50 hours on a train

After that gorgeous holiday in Varkala, it’s time for the next part of the journey. Travelling some of the north on motorbikes. I’ve arranged to rent bikes from a seemingly trustworthy company in Delhi so that’s where I’m heading. But the far south is quite far from Delhi. In fact, it’s 50 hours on a single train (if there’s no delays). I decided that it would be best to keep a diary for all the special memories that might pop up whilst on the train. This is it.

1:00 (13:00 on the first train day, one hour on the train) I’m in General Sleeper class once again. A guy in another booth keeps staring at me, licking his lips when I meet his gaze. I put up a towel as a curtain.

1:30 A french girl called Monya just joined us in our booth. Strange to meet another foreigner in GS… And she’s going for the long haul, almost as far as me and Tom. To Varanasi!

2:30 I went for a walk around some full full carriages of GS class, a pantry car where they prepare the food and 3 a/c. Not very special that, it’s like General Class but colder and quieter. Standing in the door, wind in my hair, I’m looking at snapshots of normal life. Then at Kottaya Station I jumped out of the train and ran back to my own carriage – it was like running over an obstacle course – back to my seat. Which is now full.

3:30 Read a few chapters of my book. Not super impressed but I want to finish it anyway. What to do next?

5:00 I started drawing with a pencil on some paper but it’s not turning out as I’d like. Maybe I just really need some drawing lessons, though…

6:00 Hungry for dinner! I ordered dinner and breakfast with one of the vendors, so he’ll remember what I ordered and bring it to me in time.

7:30 Om nom nom nom…

8:00 Some Indians just showed us the route of the train on the map. Guess it’s back to Chennai. Again. Surprised to learn that almost everyone seems to be going to Delhi. So these are the people I’m confined to for the next two days…

9:30 Big commotion! It’s time for bed. Benches are pulled out, people laying down instantly. I wonder what time they’re getting up, if going to sleep this early?! The staring guy from earlier is at it again… That’d better not give me nightmares!

11:45 (23:45 on the first day) Nighty night.

19:30 (7:30 in the morning on the second day) Breakfast wake up call. Omelet and bread which is actually quite nice and the train returns to normal. Lets see what the day brings. Oh, and am I imagining or is it getting a little cooler up here in the north?

21:30 “We need to talk about Kevin” – What a grim book!

23:00 Not much is happening. Another foreign girl (I’m guessing from Korea) joined our booth but doesn’t seem inclined to talk, even though I just offered her some of my peanut cookie and she took it. Oh well…

29:00 (17:00 on the second day) Sleep a little, read a little, listen to music a little, a couple of photos and countless vendors selling chai, coffee, samosas, biriyani, peanut cookies… I’ll get off this train like a little chubster!

29:05 I have 10 songs with “train” in the title onj my MP3-player.

31:30 A mouse! I just saw a mouse!

32:00 It’s really strange that somehow four foreigners ended up in the same booth. There’s no other foreigners on this carriage or on the carriage either side of this one…

35:00 Night night, sleep tight… Although the thought of that mouse….

44:30 (8:30 in the morning on the third day) Wow, it’s freezing!! I just got all my warm stuff out now, but didn’t really sleep much because I was so cold! Brrrr…

48:00 The Korean girl found a friend. A Korean guy! Chatting away they are… Such a small world to meet on the train like that.

50:00 (14:00 on the third day) Are we there yet? Are we there yet? ARE WE THERE YET?! This is absolutely the nutsiest thing I’ve done travelling… Over 50 hours on a train! We’re delayed!

51:00 Can you believe that this train ride only cost 535 INR rupees?! That’s $10,70, €8,25 and 6,50 pounds!

51:30 Wait… Is that… DELHI STATION?! I made it!

Wow. That was madness! Now lets see what Delhi is going to bring…

50 hours on a train
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