SEE THE LENGTH AND BREADTH OF INDIA IN JUST TWO WEEKS FOR £50
This preposterous claim is brought to you by the GCIRC steering committee. Well, the other regular commentators on the project are doubtless cringing as they read this, but you can go from Mumbai to Mumbai, via the most westerly, northerly, easterly and southerly parts of the Indian rail network, catch Gandhi’s birth place, Krishna’s home, the Golden Temple, the brand new Kashmir railway, a dobhi in Delhi, a dash through Darjeeling, a fantastic boat crossing of the upper Brahmaputra, ride on the Tippong colliery railway (perhaps the last non tourist working steam railway in existence!), worship at the Sun Temple of Bhubaneswar, dine out at the vegetarian gastronome’s paradise that is Chennai, touch the tip of Cape Kannyakumari, have a coffee in Trivandrum, and back home all for £50 (make that £150 to £300 depending on how comfy you want it, but if you are on a really strict budget then £50 is doable if you quadruple up on your accommodation and don’t want to pig out constantly). Did I mention the 18.5% of the Indian Railway network that you’ll traverse in the process ?.
I’m now framing this whole enterprise as an “anarchic social-networking experiment” as a development of the Railality TV concept. As you’ll see from the Other threads section in the margin we’ve got a small thing going in a dozen places, and there are at least 2 dozen dormant threads elsewhere that I continue to append and that still provide referrals. I’ve lost track of exactly how many people we’ve got that have been stupid enough to put their names to this, who are all as committed as anyone you’ve met on the Internet ever can be, but it’s certainly in excess of 30 and we’ve over a year to go. I am expecting a New Year’s surge of resolute “youngies” to swell the ranks of predominantly mid-life crisis Indian “oldies” that make up the bulk of the party to date.
We’re still working out many of the details, especially for the northern section where we’ll be providing a multiple-option scenario, but we’ve got a good 6 months still to get all the creases ironed out and contingency plans in place before we have to start actually stumping up for flights and rail passes. The group is growing exponentially (I have no data to back that claim up but I’ll make it anyway) , this is the ultimate Indian railway adventure, how could you miss it ?.
My second phase of charity sponging hasn’t really taken off, I think my brand of flippancy and bare faced cheek didn’t go down too well with some of the more serious people I know from when I was a bit more serious. But if you are one of those LinkedIn biz types that I spammed the other week, don’t think for a moment you are off the hook. A more business like proposal will be winging it’s way to you in the new year.
For my obligatory media insertion for this very final posting of the noughties, I have tried to avoid any of those patronising animations I could have posted about “a totally insufficient dowry”, or some guy in a turban singing jingle bells, etc. (Nick Jr has got some issues it needs to work out). This one has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever, but it’s nice and colourful as befits this festive period, and came up on a search for India & Christmas as a Hindu alternative, and I like it and it’s my blog and I make the rules.
Merry Christmas everyone, see you in the New Year