Montag, 8. August 2011

Colorful Nasik Ghats

The small town of Manmad owes its existence only to the important railway junction of the north-south and west-east lines. That's also the reason why we left the train here.

On the market a clever salesman wants to fool us offering his apples thrice as expensive as to his countrymen. We go for a papaya on the roadside. Passing men stare, girls in school uniform giggle and one homeless asks for a piece. We love to share it. It's way too big.

Today we want to make it to Nashik, 200 kms short of Mumbai. Our first lift is our second tractor. The farmer next to me almost faints as we try out our Hindi phrases with him. He puts on a perma-smile. Twenty kms off Manmad we get a lift with three men on their way to Mumbai. They barely speak English.

We have just checked our mails in Nashik. Now we want to find the much recommended washing places - the so called 'Ghats' - by the river. Indeed there seem to be many pilgrims around here. On our way we try (!) to use one of the public toilets. But, no way!
"It's too disgusting to use or even write about!"

The Ghats are fascinating. It looks, smells and sounds like a big carnival. Women wearing colorful sarees devote to their ritual bathing, a youth group dances around musicians and locals bargain in the market.

Amidst this fireworks of impressions we get in touch with two local students, who want to practice their English - like all Indians we meet. They show us the way to the Mumbai highway. Since we had no way contacting our CouchSurfer we decided to try our luck hitching to Mumbai today. Oh my gosh: Hitchhiking in India once again!

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