Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The overnight train to Hampi.......

The hardest part of the overnight train was securing the tickets (online drama not worth whining about since objective was achieved) and leaving Ads behind. Well he wasn't exactly left behind as he wasn't home to be left. He had gone to Mumbai to take part in a EMUN (sort of mini United Nations) with a group from school. Seemed too good an opportunity to miss and as he wasn't landing until the train had left........... He got to stay home (and in the Villa across the street)

As we pulled up at the station, an hour and a half early (my fault), we grabbed our bags from the car and headed off to find the train.  Purander's parting words were to warn us about the quantity (high) and quality (low) of folks at the station. I'd agree with him on the first, but no evidence of the second!!

People were everywhere - all just going about their business, eating, sleeping, playing with their kids, nursing their babies, laughing, chatting, while they waited for their train.

And when their train arrived they crammed on. Sometime the math/physics of how many bodies you can force into a small space seemed to be turned onto its head......but it seems when there's a will (and their certainly was) there's a way....

However, once the passengers were somehow stowed, the trains would pull out, doors open and bodies perilously perched inside.

These trains cover huge distances. Purander's train to his home state of Orissa apparently takes 30 hours plus. Most folks are at best seated, with their kids and food as they embark on a trial of patience and fortitude....

Our train was already in the station but was miles long. Being train virgins we set off walking up and down the platform looking for our carriage.  However next time round we will know to look at the illuminated signs along the platform, denoting the position of each carriage and save a few miles hike!! We were in the second class sleeper which was very civilized. We got clean sheets and pillow cases plus a blanket. In each little cabin, separated from the rest of the world by a curtain, were four bunks, two up two down. I'm not a bathroom snob but suffice to say the facilities were better than I had imagined.

We met up with the other two families we were traveling with and all took to our bunks for a varying amount of sleep - I did well here, the lazy rythym of the train sort of sends one off. We totaled four - 7 year old boys, 2 tween girls and 6 adults embarking on a few days in the ruins of Hampi.

The train pulled out of the station on time at 10.00pm and we rocked and swayed through the night.

1 comment:

  1. Oh you got some great pictures of the train scene! Great post!