THE HOLY CITY VARANASI

From Khajuraho, we took a 40 minute plane ride to Varanasi and checked into our hotel. Because we leave before dawn to see the religious festival that attracts thousands of pilgrims to the sacred River Ganges, Ranvir asked to host our farewell dinner a night early. First a concert by two excellent musicians. The drum sounds like a deep throated bull frog between taps with hands and sticks.The stringed instrument emits high pitched notes our ear is not used too. Not easy to play, both men worked up a sweat while playing.

We dress up for dinner. Theo has a nice tie and a shirt with a collar.

Dinner is fast paced with food coming at you in waves of various smoked meats and vegetable dishes, sauces and exotic combinations.  Adam told this great story of his college days at Cambridge. He would enter a pub and have a drink, then challenge anyone to eat three boiled eggs, without liquid to wash them down, faster than he could drink a flagon of beer. The loser paid for his  beer for the evening. He always won. My son Doug would pull a similar trick. As a carpenter, his challenge was that he could pound 10 3-penny nails into the end of a piece of 2 x 4 in ten seconds. He always drank free.

Before dawn, the bus takes us where permitted and then we walk to the river. Everyone is bundled up and we take in the ever changing panoply of street people.

Beggars hoping for a handout.

This is our guide hailed by a holy man with white paint who anoints him with a red dot on his forehead. Our guide took us through a narrow alleyway shortcut.  Motors and walkers in tight quarters squeeze  past each other. He warned, stick together like glue. Theo wasn’t feeling well and stayed in.

We load into boats and view everything from the river. They cremate 150 to 200 bodies a day on the Ganges River.

We watch the sun come up and view the bank where the cremations take place, from the boat.

It takes 200 to 300  kilograms of wood for one traditional cremation. The body is placed in the middle,  covered in branches of sweet smelling herbs, then covered the rest of the way. It costs the equivalent of $6000 American for a traditional burial. Most people must use the electric, or in some communities, gas crematoriums, which are cheap.

In this picture, the man in white with a shaved head is the one who lights the fire for his father. (Or, brother, or wife, or son.) He walks around the funeral pyre three times clockwise, and three times counter clockwise before he torches. Notice the man, lower right corner, carrying a huge pan full of ashes on his head. The untouchables will go through the ashes and collect anything of value like gold fillings, or gold fibers before delivering the ashes to the river.

Here you see the body coming in under the red plastic. Under that is the body covered in a saffron robe with gold fibers. It is removed and along with the pallet thrown into a separate fire. Taking pictures of a cremation is forbidden, our guides tells us.

This body is getting a dip in the Sacred River before cremation. Pregnant women, infants, people who died of snake bite, people who have leprosy or anyone who renounces faith will not be cremated. Women are no longer allowed to attend cremations because they would often throw themselves into the fire to go to a better place with a loved one. The government forbids that now.

The festival is very spiritual. It isn’t only about cremation. On the riverside are ghats where people register their dead, and arrange for prayers and a proper entrance into the hereafter.

This man is performing his own ritual with the candles, flowers, fire and bells.

The participants sometimes get into a state of ecstasy or trance.

Each ghat has a priest who records the death for the government and performs the ritual for his customer. The government records births and deaths now. Ranvir tells us that at one time, a person could go to his village priest and he would have the records of your father, your grandfather and whoever died before them, handed down from a former priest. This city is 4,000 years old and death is a cause for celebration.

The Ganges is a mecca for pilgrims to come and take a ritual dip and cleansing in the sacred waters.

Some may travel across the country and make it once in a lifetime to the Ganges. Others come every year.

Bathers are everywhere. Some bring vessels to take the precious water home with them.

Bathing and lighting a ceremonial fire for a loved one departed.

The process is fascinating.

Men and women bath together.

These women sought a bit of privacy among the boats.

More tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bakersfield To Paicines, California

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Because we have 4,000+ postings, I’ve invited her to continue posting entries on this blog.
I’m currently in my 22nd year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click Here

Yesterday I drove the motorhome 189 miles from Bakersfield to Paicines, California.

 

Here’s a previous blog link from 2011 about part of the drive…

https://otrwjam.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/100-miles-of-beauty/

 


Upon arrival I parked at Thousand Trails San Benito RV Resort…

 

My camping site…

 

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the usual dinnete window photo…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very pretty black and white bird stopped by for a brief visit. I do not know what kind it is, if you do, please let me know…

 

 

 

 

 

I’m scheduled to depart here April 19th.

 

 

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PHOTOS.

 Yesterday was partly sunny and 73 degrees. Forecast for today is partly sunny and 67 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

 

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

2

My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…

DSC040481b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 700 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://get.google.com/albumarchive/110455945462646142273?source=pwa

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2017

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A New Way To TV For Me…

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Because we have 4,000+ postings, I’ve invited her to continue posting entries on this blog.
I’m currently in my 22nd year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click Here

The motorhome is parked at Moose Club #2178 in Bakersfield, California. Because I wanted a great taco salad last evening on Taco Tuesday, I’ll depart here later this morning.

 

I’ve never been much of a over-the-air TV watcher. Primarily because you were required to watch what THEY wanted, when THEY wanted. Then I also grew weary of the numerous and endless commercials.

 

Years ago in my last motorhome, I once hauled around a Dish TV Satellite Antenna..which I also grew weary of for the same reasons as mentioned above. I found someone to give it to.

 

Over the years, I’ve acquired about 300 of my favorite movies which I could enjoy at my leisure and pleasure, without commercials!

 

Recently I overheard someone talking about Roku and decided to look into it. Roku is a wireless television system offering 3,500+ channels. All you need is a TV that has a HDMI port, a decent wireless signal and a Roku device. (One time purchase price of $49.99 and no monthly fees.)

 

The only downsize was streaming TV gobbles up Gigabytes. A two-hour movie uses about one GB. Even with my Verizon 16GB plan…it just would not do. So, I called Verizon and upgraded to their unlimited date, talk and text plan and my bill went down by $16! I now get all that for $94  a month…now we’re talking! Now Roku can work for me!

 

The thing I’m loving about Roku is I can watch what I want, when I want. Within a few seconds I can find free and interesting programing with no commercials!

 

For instance, last night I watched a three-part series (one hour each), on The History of the Appalachian people. A great series…with no commercials!!!

 

Back in 2011, I replaced my old behemoth 54 pound, 18″ TV with a new 26 LG flat screen (11 pounds) and also installed a six-channel surround sound system. Here’s a link to that happening… https://otrwjam.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/the-motor-home-theater-is-now-operational/

 

 

 

 

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some photos associated with my new Roku set-up…

 

 

I just replaced my 10-year-old, 15″ bedroom TV…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

with a new LG 24″ flat screen TV…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a Roku box…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a Wikipedia link about Roku…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roku

 

 

To find out more about Roku, simply type it into your Internet search box.

 

For those of you who know about or have it and are wondering why I just recently found out about it, need to know I’ve not watched TV for approaching 20 years…that includes the news which I find very negative and I cannot do a thing about it. I’ve reached a point in my life (also about 20 years ago) where nothing affects me any more. 911 doesn’t affect me, the wars in the middle east don’t affect me. I’ve come to find that if there is something important is going on in the world, that I’ll hear people talking about it and then I can look into how it might affect me.

 

I’ve come to love that attitude because it provides me with a very peaceful and contented state of mind. Hence, that’s how I found out about Roku.

 

 

Finally, TV the way it should be!!!!

 

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PHOTOS.

 Yesterday was partly sunny and 71 degrees. Forecast for today is partly sunny and 75 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

2

My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…

DSC040481b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 700 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://get.google.com/albumarchive/110455945462646142273?source=pwa

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2017

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

KHAJURAHO

It’s a chilly morning when we arrive at the Hindu temple complexes. They were unearthed by British archaeologists and British Victorian values were shocked by these intricate carvings.

The temples were built between the ninth and tenth century A.D. and the widespread culture that built them dominated central India at the time.

As we approach the building, carvings are everywhere. This repaired section shows a bit of what life was like. Elephants were trained to work. Horses too.

High on the walls, are multiple sections of beautiful carved figures. Without the ability to measure them, I’d estimate they stand 18 to 20 inches in height.

One of the Hindu God’s is an elephant headed deity with many arms. Everywhere on the wall,  the trunks and tusks of elephants, human arms and hands, the most fragile parts were broken over the years.

In this intimate scene, the elephant seems to be observing with enjoyment.

There were several evidences of bestiality. Here an aroused dog. Other more graphic carvings with horses and elephants and humans could be seen, if you could locate them.

 

I think many of the scenes are about being clean and ready for intimacy.

It appears as though this mother is showing her daughter how to comb and groom. Mother has a comb and looks into a mirror while daughter looks on.

 

In this intimate scene, the child chooses not to watch. But children were indoctrinated into sexual activities at a young age.

The faces of the lovers are very distinct as though modeled by living subjects.

This scene shows masturbation by both female and male while watching a sexual act.

Some figures are just seductive and you can’t help but admire the beauty and grace of this carving. This is two men. Nothing was censured.

From this site, the positions as a whole are known as Kama Sutra.  Books have been written that have analyzed this religion in an attempt to understand it and how it came to be.

This sweet face resembles no other. It is clear there are no cookie cutter images.

Again, a child is part of the scene.

She lovingly strokes his forehead, but the other two figures role is uncertain. Other carvings evidenced  group sex with four persons and much voyeurism.

Seductive and uninhibited.

Some of the carvings are in hard to reach little nooks and aren’t as clearly detailed as others. The marble seems course. Which makes me wonder if they were carved on the walls?  Or carved on a table and mounted on the walls?

The answer to that question was never made clear to us

No matter how they were carved, the intent is clear.

We are no longer in the Victorian age and sex is a more open topic of discussion today.

Note:  Theo was not feeling well and opted to stay in the hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Acton To Bakersfield, California

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Because we have 4,000+ postings, I’ve invited her to continue posting entries on this blog.
I’m currently in my 22nd year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click Here

Yesterday I drove the motorhome 113 miles from Acton to Bakersfield, California.

 

 

My original plans departing Acton were to perhaps do some shopping and spend the night on the high desert, perhaps at Palmdale, Mojave or Tehachapi. However checking the weather forecast I found High Wind Warnings with gust to 75 miles per hour.

 

 

I’ve had a previous experience with high winds in this area in 2011. Here’s my blog link from that event…

https://otrwjam.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/a-most-unusual-rving-day/

 

And Mary’s blog from that event…

https://otrwjam.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/dangerous-wind-storm-mojave-to-tehachapi/

 

 

So, instead of lingering, I beat feet over the hill and into Bakersfield. Most of yesterday’s drive was in 40-50 mph steady winds with the 75 mph forecast for after 11 AM. My average speed was about 45 mph or less and the normal two-hour drive became a three-hour drive.

 

In the below photo, I had just crossed Tehachapi Summit driving straight into the oncoming wind. I was really being buffeted about and the wind generator farm on the left was doing a booming business…

 

 

 

 

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

 

 

 

 

 

Shortly after I took the above photo, the clouds really blackened up and dropped down to ground level accompanied by heavy rain. It was quite dicey for a while.

 

 

I arrived in Bakersfield at 11 AM then did my shopping. Then I parked at Moose Club #2178. I have parked here on my way south and north for a number of years. Nice electric hookup here allows me a convenient and comfortable stay at this active and friendly club…

 

 

 

 

 

DSC07891

 

 

 

 

 

As usual, the view from the dinette window…

DSC07892

 

 

I’ll spend the day here so I can enjoy Taco Tuesday at the Eagles Club. I’ll depart here tomorrow morning.

 

 

 

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PHOTOS.

 Yesterday was partly sunny and 68 degrees. Forecast for today is sunny and 70 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

 

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

2

My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…

DSC040481b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 700 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://get.google.com/albumarchive/110455945462646142273?source=pwa

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2017

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TRAIN AND BUS TO KHAJURAHO

It’s hard to look at people with elephantiasis. Both feet are affected. This man lives by begging. His hangout is the train station and I suspect he does well. Another man here had swollen  thighs that looked as though his flesh was made of stacked rubber tires the size of a kids wagon wheels. The Jhansi station was very dirty.

I was glad to load into a bus for the five hour drive to Khajuraho to visit the Bundela civilization.

This is what we call “out in the boondocks” at home. People we pass seem to be poorer in these small towns and villages.

The little girl in the back is blind. She fends for herself. Probably attached to the family waiting on the edge of the street.

We are not accustomed to the idea that where you live is where you sleep and keep your belongings. All business is on the street. You eat, get your hair fixed, buy food, clothes, paper,  tools, whatever you need is on the street. This barber shop has a mirror. Most have only a hand mirror.

Fresh chickens for sale.

Or a ready made meal.  These dumplings in our hotel restaurants, are quite tasty. Some are rice, some lentil.

On the side of the road, we saw a young couple making bricks. Ranvir stopped the bus and we watched. It takes around five 5 seconds to make a brick. They said they each make about 300 bricks a day. At the end of the season they will sell them for three cents each.

If you need iron work done, you have to wait for the gypsies to come to town.

Ranvir gives a standard warning. Thieves. They steal everything and you have to be watchful until they leave.

Heavy loads are standard everywhere in India, it seems.

At first I thought this was a woman. He plays a homemade instrument for his rupees but he has a ring and leather shoes.

We stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Cobra handlers seem quite at ease with their snakes.

After watching a Youtube video called Cleaning The Cobra Pit some years back, my impression is they are not an aggressive snake. But they are still deadly.

My oldest son kept snakes and they don’t frighten me, but Ranvir didn’t want us to get close.

Lunch here was some of the best food I’ve tasted in India. Not overly salty. Really fresh tasting. After we praised it, Ranvir told us his two nieces,  run the restaurant.

Theo is still not feeling well. It seems to be a respiratory ailment that hangs on.

When we left the restaurant, one handler was educating the bus driver’s apprentice about his snake.

We arrive at our hotel. I’ve forgotten what hotel had monkey security guards. We were cautioned to lock our balcony doors because the monkeys have learned how to open them.

This hotel had live music and wonderful art work.

In the morning, we will visit the park of the Chandela civilization. There were many sects from the area that believed the act of sex was a God sent pleasure of all living creatures to be encouraged in all of its forms. Be warned that the next blog will contain erotic carvings from the Khajuraho monuments.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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