Train time

Trip Start Sep 19, 2012
Trip End Jul 22, 2014

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Flag of India  , West Bengal,
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It was one of the clearest mornings and the mountains looked spectacular when I walked down to the taxi rank. I am sad to leave Darjeeling as I have met so many awesome residents as well as travelers.

As today is the main day of the festival everyone has warned me that there will be no taxis and everything comes to a standstill so I am expecting the worst. As I got to the taxis there was a jeep just about to leave so we are off to a good start. Even the the road is in terrible condition and the jeep has no suspension it is still an incredible trip down the hills. I had forgotten about the noise and chaos and it hits you hard when you come down from peaceful Darjeeling. The temp has risen from 10 to 30 degrees in the decent and the filth and smell is oppressive. As I got out the jeep found an auto rickshaw going to the station so know I have a 3 1/2 hour wait for the train.

The good thing about getting a better class ticket is you get access to an A/C waiting room away from everyone else. Train was only 15 min late and found my berth quite easily. Nice and roomy and as I got on was given a bottle of Ice water and 10 minutes later served a delicious 'Meals on Wheels' lunch. This is going great

Had just stretched out on my bunk with Kindle (no not porn. Before I left SA I downloaded Kindle onto my phone and went to Amazon. As I didn't have an account every book that I saw was free I clicked download. It was only later when I went through the list I realised that most were porn stories!) when I was served an ice cream. Lay on my bunk with a big picture window with great panoramic views of the rural countryside. Dozed off and woke up at about 4pm and was served afternoon tea with a hot samosa, sandwich and a packet of biscuits.. I think I could live on this train I thought as the sun slowly began to set. A later little late was brought fruit juice, soup with crunchy croutons, followed by a delicious chicken curry, rice and rotis. What no dessert!!!

Really nice people in the compartment and had great chat with the daughter who was getting married. It is unbelievable the traditions and costs involved. Between the parents they have to make sure that the married couple do not spend any money for the first year of the marriage so everything is provided from food, clothes and even down to toiletries. The cost that the parents spend is astronomical. 

Had a good night sleep and was woken with a tray of tea and biscuits. The menu also showed eclairs. I was expecting fresh pastries but these turned turn out to be one of those toffee chocolates. This was then followed by a breakfast of a veg cutlet and one of the nicest omelettes I have ever had. I am really impressed with Indian Railways.

Finally arrived relaxed and content in New Delhi at about 10.30 and walked into downtown chaos. Found a reasonable hotel so have checked in for a few days. Lets see what Delhi has to offer
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