Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The train ride from Ernakulam to Goa

Having experienced a 3 and a half hour train ride in India i already knew what to expect. We paid 650Rs between us for a 'Sleeper' with a fan. We departed at 1:10pm and arrived in Goa at 3:15am the following day.


Try and reserve a 2 tier bunk, especially if there are two of you as you will have more privacy and more head room. For lone female travellers make sure you book a women only carriage.
As soon as we boarded the train Ian complained that he hated it. Once i convinced him that it would be ok as we had a reservation with a 'bed' he reluctantly agreed to stay and sit it out. We had a 3 tier compartment and had the lower and middle bunk reserved.

 Plenty of tea and coffee is available

There were 3 bunks opposite us with the same layout and next to the aisle were the 2 tier bunks. The toilet was squat down style, with a hole so that you could see right down to the tracks. Be careful not to drop anything because you won't be seeing it again! The sink was located outside of the toilet but i couldn't find any soap on our carriage so i had to sleep with my contact lenses in.

The train doors are always left open during the day time, you would often see passengers jump off and go for a wee when the train stopped at a light junction. If you're feeling really adventurous you can even hang out of the door whilst the train speeds along, probably not recommended though.

I seated myself right next to the window to get some fresh air, as it was very sticky and hot, even with the fans on it made no difference to the temperature.

The best part of the train ride had to be the views. I saw the most interesting sights whilst gazing out of the window, listening to my iPod. Another unforgettable memory are the local tea and coffee sellers. They would walk up and down the train every so often repeatedly shouting, 'Chai, Chai, Chai, Chai' or 'Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, Coffee'. It still makes me laugh when i think about it now.

During our journey a local explained to us that the seat we had 'reserved' would not be valid until 8pm. We had been unaware of this and Ian had spent almost half the journey stretched out on the lower bunk which should have been left available for other passengers to use.

Ian looking very unhappy and taking up the whole seat on the train!

Throughout the train ride i noticed a lot of these large insects that looked like cockroaches and even a few small rats. The rats were on ground level so couldn't reach us but the insects would scurry around you during the night.

We put our bunks down at about 9pm and tried to get some sleep. Whilst the rest of the train appeared to be unconscious, i lay there wide awake. I found it quite noisy and because we had to get off at 3am and our stop wasn't the last, i was anxious that if i wasn't alert i may sleep through my alarm.

Even though the trains are filthy and a strong smell of urine filled the carriage, i found the experience quite funny and would definitely do it again, Ian on the other hand said he would rather spend time in prison then endure another minute of the Indian railways haha.

The train was huge, i never actually saw the front and back

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