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Adventure Magazine

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Charles Graeber
Writer Charles Graeber

Image: fishermen on a boat

Life on Assignment
Indian Summer
Sailing, rowing, and dragging a skiff up the Ganges, writer Charles Graeber went native in India for his new Adventure article (read excerpt). Here he offers anecdotes and images from the odyssey.

Writer Charles Graeber was given rather loose instructions for his Adventure story on India: Set foot on the subcontinent and let fate take over. To execute such an unwieldy assignment, he planned to begin in the city of Varanasi, considered to be the most auspicious place to die in the Hindu religion.

In this sacred city along the Ganges River, Graeber would consult fortune-tellers and piece together a mystical adventure based on their cryptic suggestions. Should his oracles fail, he would initiate a backup plan: From Varanasi, he would arrange a boat ride on the holy river and hire a few good boatmen as guides.

Luckily, his fortune-tellers offered no sage advice, and Plan B resulted in an unforgettable, eight-day journey up the Ganges. In the audio clips that follow, Graeber recounts the surprises of his river trip, and offers his on-the-fly travel advice.

—Nicole Davis

Read an excerpt of Graeber's article "Being the Boatman" >>


Against the Current (3:58)
"I wanted a guarantee that I would know the river. And going upriver—it did seal the deal."
RealPlayer 28.8 | 56.6

Bonding With the Boatmen (4:07)
"They're a mean team. Sometimes they reminded me of the Rolling Stones."
RealPlayer 28.8 | 56.6

Blundering Your Way to a Success (2:45)
"The most interesting things that have happened have been the result of not only not knowing what I was doing but not even thinking I knew what I was doing."
RealPlayer 28.8 | 56.6

Poverty as Preparation (2:52)
"Being broke for long periods of time is actually good training for rough travel, because you just learn to make fun out of not doing much."
RealPlayer 28.8 | 56.6

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