I woke up several times this morning on the train until I finally got up for good some time around 08:00. I then laid on my berth bed, reading, until the train finally pulled in to Varanasi Station at 11:45. I then immediately walked to the foreign ticket sales office and bought my onward journey ticket to Gaya for tomorrow (the staff in the ticket office and tourism office lied to me initially, but finally a supervisor came in and was able to assist me – typical government employee behavior: rather than do their job and give me correct information and assist me in purchasing my train tickets, they rather lie and send me away so they can get back to bullshitting). I then took an auto rickshaw in to town to a guesthouse that was recommended to me by the two Spaniards I had met in Khajuraho; unfortunately, this guesthouse didn’t have any beds available; so the auto rickshaw driver took me to another, but this one not only wasn’t clean and fairly priced, it looked like a number of the rooms were in a state of disrepair; at this point I left the auto rickshaw driver and walked toward the Ganges River and to where more lodging options were available. The auto rickshaw driver followed me and I figured he was still trying to steer me toward a hotel he receives kickbacks from, but I ended up stopping at a guesthouse he walked right by and, even though it certainly wasn’t the best, it was decently priced, so I ended up getting a room there for the night, located right next to the Assi Ghat (a ghat is a series of steps leading down to a body of water (in this case, the Ganges River), used by bathers and pilgrims). Then, after checking in and dropping my bags off in the room, I walked through a number of ghats along the Ganges River until a boatman came up and offered a “fair” price (better than most were asking, but still a price strictly for foreigners); I accepted his offer and soon I was sitting in a row boat and he was rowing us down the Ganges toward Dasaswamedh Ghat (the main ghat); sadly, the boatman soured the trip when he tried to double the price after we had cast off; I demanded he take me right back to river bank so I could get off since we had agreed on a price already and I was not going to pay more; the boatman then gave up, went back to the original, agreed upon price, and then didn’t say much the rest of the journey (if only these people could understand that they are hurting themselves in the long run; after all, why would I ever recommend India to anyone when there is Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, China, and many better places for tourists to spend their hard-earned cash). We then continued down the Ganges and after about thirty minutes, we reached Dasaswamedh Ghat; after snapping many photographs, we turned around and this time the boatman rowed nearer to shore. As we passed by Kedar Ghat, I could now clearly see several cremations occurring and a deceased woman laid next to the Ganges in the ghat just west of Kedar; we also passed by a number of men taking their late afternoon baths in the Ganges (Note: the Ganges is a very polluted river and sometimes they even weigh down the bodies of the deceased and dump them in the river instead of cremating them; so I certainly did not take a swim or a dip). Finally we reached our ending point, I exited the boat, paid the boatman, and then walked back to my hotel room and relaxed inside until venturing out for dinner. After walking around the winding streets of Varanasi – never straying too far from the hotel I was staying at – in search of a dinner that happened to suit my tastes this evening, I settled on one overlooking Assi Ghat and listened to Hindi music blaring from a street performance on the ghat while I enjoyed a ginger lemon tea, water, tomato soup, and a pineapple, onion, and green pepper pizza. After dinner, I retired to my hotel room and fell asleep early (at about 20:00).