Varanasi Travel Blog› entry 8 of 13 › view all entries
I know I said next stop was Varanassi...well I should have said next stop - all over India! We boarded our train at Haridwar god knows how....(this train trip is going to be a whole entry it was that insane!).
First we arrived at the station and it is absolute bedlam! People everywhere with hardly any space for us to walk. We managed to figure out that we should be on platform 1 and it was just pure luck that it happened to be just out the door. We had paid for a sleeper air conditioned train, and as far as we knew the trip was anywhere from 10 - 15 hrs. I found an enquiries desk and asked whereabouts on the platform we should stand for the sleeper class. They said right here. So we stood and waited for about 10minutes, and the train pulled up. As you can imagine, the station was even more crazy than before, and we didn't know how long it would wait on the platform for so we just hopped on. Luckily we got in where Katie's seat was (Lisa and I were allocated seats carriages away from her because our travel agent was an idiot - I'll be writing a review on them don't worry!) So we figured we'd leave Kate there find our seats and then come check she's ok. We ran frantically from carriage to carriage (you can't walk thorough the train) hopping on asking "IS THIS S4?" (for Sleeper 4) we were told it was this way, then back that way, then the other way again, then right at the end. We kept running though faster and harder terrified that we were going to be left stranded...
We got to the back of the train where we had been told to go and get on to ask again...My heart sank. If this was S4 I was going to be sick! There were people everywhere! Limb on top of limb babies on laps women on laps of men, everyone seemed to be attached and the carriage was busting at the seams! Reluctantly we asked is this S4 again....No - it's general
So back on the platform running the other direction again my phone rings - it's Katie "Have you got your seat yet?" I screamed NO in her ear and hung up...She called back - WHAT? she quickly said don't hang up - I have spare seats....so still running, we had to hop in each carriage again to check if it was Katie's. Finally we made it to her and I was exhausted and shaken. I was so hot that my Kaftan came straight off...bare shoulders or not I didn't care anymore all that I cared about was being on that train together with the girls. This was disaster number 1.
We settled in and got some sleep before being woken with some woman telling us that we were in her seat. Yes we were in someone else's seat, but it wasn't hers...nonetheless not wanting to cause any problems, and show them our ticket (with the incorrect seat on it) Lisa and I said we'll share so that she could have a bed. I woke in the middle of the night hitting Lisa "THEY'RE GONE!!"