Our Arrival in Varanasi

13 February 2011

Today was greeted with another early start but this time it was to make our way to Varanasi. We spent five very bumpy hours on our now familiar coach. After a brief stop at a service station between Agra and Delhi we stocked up on numerous tins of Pringles, Chips Ahoy and Ritz biscuits to help ease the suffering of our rushed departure, having only consumed doughnuts, pancakes and eggy bread first thing.

Along the way we saw an elephant, many cows casually roaming on the road, the Baby Taj, rural dwellings, padi fields, dung cakes stacked neatly to dry for use as fuel; the God Shiva, children playing cricket and people having their morning wash.

We arrived at Delhi Airport and were greeted by our main guide: ‘the man with the smile of a thousand children’. We checked in to find that our total baggage was 36kgs over our total 220kgs allowance! Our flight left with no delays and we experienced a rather poor landing as we touched down at Varanasi to a golden sunset on a somewhat short runway! We call it Indian style due to its similarities with the eccentric driving here.

After collecting our cases, which were all still intact, we went to our new residence, Hotel Clarks. The hotel is of fine quality and we enjoyed a lovely meal in the restaurant listening to the musicians playing a tabla and an Indian flute, while the soft drone of a sitar was played in the background. Millie then knocked over her rather large bottle of Royal Challenge saturating the table cloth as an entourage of Japanese travellers looked on with bemused expressions and disgruntled murmurs! :)

Tomorrow will start with a lie in compared to most days, as we leave for the River Ganges at 6am. It’s also a rather special day as it’s Dominic’s nineteenth birthday which we intend to celebrate in the evening.


Dunlop Family

@ 2959 days ago

Happy Birthday Dominic – wow celebrating your 19th in India -it beats Watford, have fun and enjoy the lie in! love from the Dunlop Family

The Schramm family

@ 2959 days ago

Finally a chance to see the blog after a busy week! Nice to see the pictures and read about your experiences! Bonne Continuation! Nick and Christian (:

christine bernie

@ 2959 days ago

hello sweetheart (joseph) its mum i can see you are all having a very happy time and
i am enjoying following you around india i bet you cant believe i am using the computer i got the job at the hairdressers which includes a free colour and cut whenever i want. i am so glad you all landed safely and i was pleased you only at 4 omlettes not 41 i love you joe and thank you caroline and beverley for all your hard work in organising this trip xxx

Lauren Dunlop & Roy Smith

@ 2959 days ago

Hi Everyone,
We are really enjoying reading all about your daily adventures and so glad you arrived safely after your internal flight :-) Enjoy your little lie in the morning and cant wait to hear how your day has gone tomorrow evening.
Big Hugs to Shaunagh, we are so proud of you xx Lauren and Roy xx

the admiral's son

@ 2959 days ago

haha loving that nickname mum…very fitting! trip looks and sounds amazing apart from the rather anti-social early starts! (I’d blame the planner personally)…

trust all is well and hope you enjoy the remainder of your trip guys

P.s. Happy birthday Dom – strong name that!

Ann Palmer

@ 2959 days ago

Many Happy Returns of the Day Dom!!!! I bet you won’t forget this birthday in a hurry.

Love to you all


Ewa Squire

@ 2959 days ago

Hope you’re having a fabulous birthday Dominic – a trip on the River Ganges – certainly a birthday to remember! Enjoy the evening celebration, wish we could be with you. Pleased to hear you’re able to get eggy bread! Just like being at home!

Lots of love


Andy Lawson

@ 2959 days ago

Happy Birthday Dominic,

Have a great day. When you get the sitar, I’ll be expecting you to play some “Living on the Ceiling” by Blancmange next time I see you!!!

Enjoy the rest of your time out there.


Cheri Squire

@ 2959 days ago

Happy Birthday Dom!!

Sure looks like you are having an amazing time. Looking forward to hearing all on your return. Enjoy your birthday celebrations tonight!

Lots of love Cheri & Jasp xx

Maureen Moran

@ 2959 days ago

Hi Shaunagh – hope you are having a brilliant time and I am looking forward to hearing all about it on your return.
It is a lovely opportunity for you and enjoy and savour every moment. Lots of love Mo xxxxxxxxxxxxx
I have sent Dominic Squires a Happy Birthday message on facebook but just in case he doesn’t see it, could you send our best wishes onto him and say Michael says Happy Birthday too. Thanks Shaunagh xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jeanette Dunlop

@ 2958 days ago

Hi Joe enjoying following you around India its magical. Take care lots of love Aunt Jeanette.XXXX

13 Alban

@ 2958 days ago

Hello from everyone in 13 Alban!! The photos look great. Have an amazing time!