Brindavan Express to Bangalore

Trip Start Nov 16, 2004
Trip End Nov 15, 2005

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Friday, November 19, 2004

Woke early this morning for a 6am taxi from hotel to Chennai train station. We arrived at a very busy station and made our way to platform 10 to catch the 0715 'Brindavan Express' to take us the 320km/6hrs ride to our present destination of Bangalore.

I decided to stand at the top end of the platform where the 'wealthier' looking Indians were, thinking this is where the 1st and 2nd (ours) class would be. After a short wait a group of smartly dressed guards formed a line to prevent anyone trying to jump onto the train before it had come to a halt. A small number managed to break through and jumped onto the what we had now guessed and read to be the 3rd class cattle carriage. One of the guards decided to use his 3foot stick to persuade the early-starters to come back down while his colleague barked at them through a megaphone (from a distance of about 2 meters).

After that early morning comedy we shuffled on down the platform and took our seats on a more orderly 2nd class carriage. The journey was reasonably pleasant, managed to get some sleep and listen to mp3 that passed the time. Even attempted one of the many food offerings. It seemed that a different man would walk down the aisle every 60 seconds inviting people to try whatever it was he had. Nial & I ended up having some white bread/donut with a very spicy sauce - didn't eat much but very adventurous for me!

We arrived at about 1300hrs in a sunny 30c Bangalore and hurried past the rickshaw drivers. We found a row of hotels on East Tank Bund Road and after Dan had inspected one of the rooms decided to stay. It is of a reasonable standard. I have had my first experience of a squat toilet (no western toilet in this 5pound a night hotel!). I'll save you the details anyway!

Spent this afternoon walking and exploring. According to Cath's walk-ometer we did 4 miles this afternoon. Might not sound like much but when you are concentrating on avoiding manic traffic, hundreds of people and trying to take everything in it is very hard work.

Probably be in Bangalore until Sunday/Monday. If I work it out I'll get some photos added. Until then, I shall continue to enjoy the warm if smoggy weather, while the UK enjoys its normal climate!

Bangalore 1948hrs
UK 1416hrs
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