Our first Indian Train Journey !!!!
Trip Start May 10, 2011
162Trip End Apr 15, 2012
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We decided last night to head to Goa a day early so that we could watch the Man City game and party there our train wasn't till 2305 at night so we had the hotel still all day which was great.
We got our tickets at the station during the day as you can only get a tourist quota direct from the station – I had tried to book online in advance but it was full so we were delighted to get our sleeper class tickets confimed woo hoo
We then done a power shop on the way back for the things we needed – so many stalls selling stuff on day one we just put our heads down and hurried by but after the buzz of getting our train ticket we were on a haggling mission – got our stuff and got back to the hotel and celebrated with a kingfisher at our bargains of new watches (not having a phone means never knowing the time) new daypack and god knows what else
We headed off to the station early to make sure we could find the platform as we entered it was just FULL of people everywhere I think there are around 20 platforms in the station and each train has around 20-27 carridges – it was overwhelming my pack weighed a ton and we were sweating like 2 stick out westerners lost in a giant train station !!!!!!!!!
Platform found now it was where do we stand for our carridge, how long does the train stop for cause if our carridge is at the other end I am doomed running with my pack on !! Train pulls in and my goodness people were diving for the doors to get the seats …to explain there are several classes of indian train travel
Hard seat – exactly what is says
SC – Sleeper class which is 6 beds in a section and 2 sideways ones, no air con and its where most of the locals traval
3AC – 3rd class air conditioned same beds with sheets and curtains to separate
2AC – 4 beds n sheets and air con
1AC – you get ur own 2 beds with a door to shut
The price for SC was £3.50 each and the next class up 3AC is £12 each which by our daily budget is a HUGE difference so in with the locals we went
We go on the train and found our bunk it was chaos like I had never seen, which is saying a lot considering we lived in London- people were getting their bags packed away and there was us with just standing in this tiny compartment with giant packs just sweating our tits off getting stood on by people walking past with giant bags on their heads and us looking dazed and confused we didn’t know what to do with our bags after hearing so many stories of getting stuff stolen and it appeared there was no room for ours – but lo and behold some person moved out and I looked down and got the 2 packs under the bottom seat and padlocked it with the chains we were told to buy – on my knees under this seat utterly sweating and feeling around for the hook to chain it to praying to god no cockroaches were anywhere near me,
So Marc jumped up on the upper bunk and the girl in the compartment told me to get my middle bunk pulled down or else people would be sitting in the lower one and I wouldn’t get to lay down so we got on our bunks and just sat there – there were people everywhere – it’s the indian holidays and they are all heading south to the beaches they were sitting in every space possible on the floor – some of them 5 on one bunk – they tried to sit on ours but we just told them to get off – eventually the train takes off still people are trying to get up and down the carridge – we got our wee pillows out and to be fair the bed was good no bugs and thought right lets sleep – then train stops at next station and again chaos people passing up and down the carridge so much shouting going on
About an hour in I needed the loo – I debated it for 20 mins but I though I will never sleep if I don’t go I am gonna have to just climb over them I got just over about 7 people then someone said where you going I said toilet and they all just laughed he said toilet closed too busy – and to be fair these guys were standing nevermind the people sitting at his feet I was mortified and clambered back to bed thinking well if I have to pee myself I guess that’s how it will be. Needless to say we fell asleep no bother and woke as the train was bit emptier people had got off.
Chai Chai was all we heard – its the indian version of tea – I had brought a packed of biscuits for eating incase the food was rotten so I figured I will try this indian tea thinking it gonna be bit funky tasting but better than nothing – WELL as it turns out they just take milk and two like the rest of us !!!!!!!! was just a nice normal cuppa tea dipped our biscuits in and life was good.
So our first indian train journey out of the way – the indian girl on the train said she had never ever seen it so busy so I guess the next time will be a breezew – most importantly not a cockroach in sight J