When I woke up this morning at 5:00 a.m., it was easy. I haven't slept past 5:30 the entire time that I have been here due to a busy schedule and lots to do! There was a knock on the door at 5:30 a.m. from the nice man that I had asked to bring me tea while the sun rose over the Ganges - incredible!
After tea, Kylie and I head out to meet our guide Pappu for a 6:00 a.m. boat ride along the river. We had done the same the night before but it felt very different in the early morning hours. The colors were magnificent as hundreds of people stepped down from the ghats to bathe in the holy water of the Ganges.
As we drifted down the river the night before, the burning ghats were glowing with fires lit for the ceremonial burning of loved ones who have passed. The bones that remain will be gathered by the family and given to the Ganges. It was an amazing sight and I felt privelaged to witness the ceremony that did not belong to me.
Earlier that night as we negotiated the alley ways, I stood in front of the burning ghat for the first time. As I stood not knowing quite what to think I heard Pappu yell, "Lift Up!!!" So, I quickly found a step to jump onto as men rushed down with the body of a loved one covered in the most beautiful fabric. When that one passed another was soon to follow. We would seem them later alight as we sat on the river.
It is still early and I am trying to make up for the meals I missed on the train ride here... off to breakfast. More soon.