After visiting Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini and a nice x-mas dinner with friends from France, Thailand and Dutchland it was time to move on. Together with Mélanie it was a taxi that shipped us to the border. Out of Nepal was very easy. Than you walk to the Indian border. But where can we check in??
So you ask here and they send you there and you walk further into India. Welcome back!
Than we did almost miss the little hut where 6 or so guys take care of the passport biz. Quick quick and we where on a bus toward Gorakhpur.
Now i did need internet on the phone. So lets go the the BSNL office. In the shared taxi a woman told me that it is holiday (x-mas!!) today and they are closed. Well lets try – and sure enough there where only 2 security guys there and everything shut. Great – but wait – this is India! The guy told me to go to the back and so we did. Than he escorted us to a small small office somewhere inside a huge file cabinet. And there was a crew of hardcore BSNL workers. Doing unpaid overtime to have the desk free for the next working day. So hello – aha – yes please take a seat. Uhu – well – i see – sorry this SIM card is from Himachal Pradesh. Oh – can i get a new one from here? No problem – a photo id, passport photo and somebody to guarantee for you! well who can do that here – i do not know nobody. Ok lets see – and the other guy went to work on the computer. Than more ppl came to see what is going on. Ok – no problem – the man at the computer did some this and that. Do you need a refill as well? Yes please! So after 10 minutes i had my internet flat for a month and 125 rp refill. Now i need the settings as well. The computer guy went to work. Big boss did order some tea and sweets and we had a cup of tea before we went back towards the hotel.
This is the India i like – and stuff like that only happens when you travel. Thank you BSNL!!! And one month internet on the phone with data roaming all over India is only 4€!!
The next day another bus to Varanasi. I did make the mistake to pay the fare for 2 ppl with a 500 rp note. And somehow the 2 tickets did cost 500 – ha ha never but we got good seats and somebody had to sit somewhere else. Laele had a really good hotel tip for Varanasi. Big garden and a bit away from the street – close to the river and not expensive. Emilia, Katie and Cheney are here so we try to organize something for new year tonight.
Next year i go and visit Rita and her friends from Budapest in Bodh Gaya or go straight down to the beaches to see Efrat before she has to fly home.
Well – i get nothing done over here!
1st i did run into Sato and Craig that i did meet last August in Risikesh, than the 2 French guy from the trek, than Max, Chris and Eli from the treck, than Emilia from Argentina – did meet her at the Langtang treck. Yesterday David did arrive at the hotel. Last time we saw the total eclipse in China together. Than i did see the Dutch girl form the last trek. So ppl come to my balcony for tea, coffee or whiskey and a chat, we go for breakfast, dinner or a walk.
Which is great but time does zooooom – lets see when i make it down to Kathmandiu.
Looks like i have to go there 1st – sort out the Indian visa. Than towards the east to the National Park – see some big animals if possible and than to Buddha’s birthplace.
From there over the border and towards Varanasi.