There are rajdhanis and rajdhanis it seems. This one is still better than standard express 2AC, but not a patch on the raj’ train from Delhi to Dibrugarh.
Overnight and this morning we’ve had 5 people ditch, Andrew in Ernakalum and then Todd & Lauren and Drew & Troy in Goa. I’ve lost count as we are all dotted up and down the 4 2AC coaches we have, but I think we are still 10 strong for the final 8 hours to Panvel. But for one the journey doesn’t stop there. Emily is so taken by her life on an Indian train that she is now going to stay on the train up to Delhi, then jump straight onto another train, rajdhani of course, down to Bubaneswar on the opposite side of the country (we went through there about 4 days ago). Then, before her ticket finally runs out, pop down to Bangalore. So well over 15,000 km in total I’d imagine.
Trying to get online up the Konkan is actually a nightmare, it takes about five minutes to get online, the a tunnel comes and you have to start again. John, Jason and I will be the only ones to make it up the hill at night at Matheran.
Expect a micro post in a few hours declaring the completion of the main rail route at Panvel, but after that I need to take a break from this for a few days and work out what we ended up with and what state my head is in.
And for the record, Der Führer means, literally, The Guide.
I’m three days behind now, the last 60 hours have been a blur, it’s been hard enough hanging onto the ride, let alone posting. So here’s a blog blitz coming.
The berth allocations on the Boat Train to Rameswaram were screwed up. Nothing new there, but we were generally all in 3AC, and the priority persons, specifically those who claim membership of the supreme caste of North-West England, didnt get the few 2AC’s on offer. We’ve somehow managed to get 16 people right round the edge of the network in 2 weeks, I dont think that’s going to be happening again in a hurry. Anyone who did this trip without fully briefing themselves might care to reflect on the success of the proect when they get off the train in a few hours, and take the 30 seconds out of their busy schedules it will take to read the Causes page on the menu at the top (also try About and Costs).
After crossing the impressive Pamban Bridge to the island we arrived at Rameswaram and our first mistake was accepting John’s “lets get the horse rickshaw” suggestion. The miniature wild west wagon carts they had would perhaps have been enough for either Jason or myself, but certainly not the pair of us, to the amusement of the entire town as the guy took us on a tour of just about every street in the small but important temple destination.
Ate at Ganesh’s Mess, which was great on both occasions. Drank warm beers at the “under-construction” Hotel Tamil Nadu.
Boarded the train to the cape at 8pm. 3AC was the best on offer, and it was due in at the appalling hour of 4:00 AM. Tomorrow is going to be a killer.
Here’s the lovely shot of the temple at Rameswaram, taken by Andrew