The train was delayed, so we were trying to make ourselves comfortable in the rather cramped quarters until about 1:20pm. As we were leaving the platform I noticed a man lying on the ground. Nothing unusual in India, there are usually people curled up and sleeping next to bags and on mats. But he was by himself, not on a mat, on his back, and flies were going up his nose. Again, might just be a case of locals can hack it… But his chest isn’t moving, and the flies are now in his mouth… I called to the guide, and pointed him out. After I kneeled to check for a pulse, the guide spoke to the shop keeper who said the police and a doctor had seen him, pronounced him dead, and they were just waiting for the morgue to come and take his body. He was lying there, fully exposed. So very sad. The hotel we were staying at was right near the station. Very posh looking (for our budget anyway), and clean, tidy, nice. The shower even had a shower curtain. But it didn’t stop the water from spreading all over the floor. At sunset, we wound our way through alleyways and streets to come to a ghat (steps leading down to a river) on the Ganges. We boarded a wooden boat whose motor made my teeth clatter and my vision blur with the vibration. There were collections of mismatched buildings all along the bank, and women were selling little silver platters with flowers and a candle to float on the water. We stopped to watch the prayer services: loud singing and swinging of candelabras and ornaments in synchronised dance by the priests. The Ganges is a holy place for the Hindu people, and it was interesting to see the pyres along the river at certain points where people were cremating their relatives. All Hindu Indians are cremated at the riverside, and their ashes spread in the river. It was about the same colour as the Brisbane River. The next morning we got up early to go back to the Ganges for a sunrise cruise. It was a bit longer, and more revealing than the sunset version. The lighting was much better for photos, but also for showing the clouds of garbage and dead animals gathering around the stationary boats, tied together and anchored. People were doing their washing, slapping the clothing against the steps, and many doing some sort of purification prayer, splashing water over themselves and submerging themselves repeatedly. One of the guys on the tour organised for us to do a walking tour, as we didn’t have other plans for the day. The guide filmed documentaries and lived part time in Denmark. Interesting guy. He took us to the oldest house in Varanasi, with steep stairs and bats in the ceiling. And the house of the man who created Hindi to unify communication between the Indian kingdoms which had various dialects. It was quite hot by the end, and we went back to the hotel, and went on a walk to a different cafe for lunch instead of the hotel restaurant. They had enchiladas, and burritos on the menu… Very interesting. After lunch, the others went on a silk factory tour, but I opted to stay in the room and get some sleep, and check emails etc. We met for a farewell dinner at the Hotel Surya. It was top quality food and quite reasonably priced. I had a vegetarian thali, which sampled 3 curries, raita, rice, naan, and rice pudding for 300 rupees ($6).