I will never criticise Virgin Trains again...

Goa Travel Blog

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How do I start this!? hmmm... well...

it was about 4pm on tuesday 30th september and we left the man, the myth, the legend, the driver with the air con at agra cantt station and mingled with a crowd of sweaty travellers in the station waiting for our train, the train wasn't until 5.40 but we'd run out of things to do and as we were travelling cheap-we weren't allowed into the air conditioned waiting room so we plonked our rucksacks down and laid our weary butts on top waiting for the train, not knowing what to expect. After a mere 60 seconds of sitting and waiting came the first beggar. Ok, i have no problem with beggars but when i only have 500 notes, i kinda begrudge giving them money. if i'd have had change-i'd have been a virtual bank but instead we just had to fend them off until the train came.. in their 100s they came and knelt before us, some came twice but they all got the same resounding NO bellowing from us. 5.40 rocked up but no train. GRRRRRRRREEEAT!!! it looked like we were going to be stuck for a while-eeek! then the station manager rolled over and told us to struggle over the bridge to platform 4 for our ride so we strode over but he'd got the chuffing platform wrong so we set off back but then saw a flashing light on 3 and so investigated-this was in fact the right platform so we stayed nearby the track watching and waiting for our lift. 7pm and nothing. we were hungry and tired and losing the will to live but remained calm and stood firm watching 100s of lilttle rats run amock in a deli on the station, scuttling in and out. We watched as westerners took bites from their samosas and cringed-not nice!! The guy didn't help himself as after he had made the food he brushed the raw waste onto the floor and made the feast for the vermin! Suddenly... we heard a horn and bolted for our coach, S9, no air con, just basic-this was going to be fun!!

We jumped on our coach and struggled down the carriage looking for our beds/seats, people were sta in them but the ticketman moved them but they still made us change beds and sleep on the lower bunks unbeknown to us exactly why... this was the night of a thousand cockroaches. We sat close to the barred windows watching station after slum after field whizz by until the dark firmly took hold and that was when the cockroaches struck. One by one they reared their ugly, tentacle driven heads and ran riot over our bags, beds and bodies. We tried to avoid them but they were everywhere. Off i strutted to the washroom feeling dirty and bug eaten. the toilet was a hole in the carriage and so all the waste filtered onto the track, no wonder all the stations wreaked of urine!! the wash basin was rusty and covered in bugs and the top was but a bolt that you twisted for water, back to basics indeed. I bathed my face thinking about the next 36hours that i had to encountered and cringed before bolting back to the carriage and snuggling down into my bug infested sleeping bag. the night passed by quickly and soon it was morning.

To me... there is only one 6 o'clock in the day-pm, that is NOT am!!! i snoozed way through the day only occasionally waking when beggars grabbed at my legs-i was in a middle bunk suspended by a bit of rope-not the safest thing to do and i still didn't have any change! men selling goods and drinks hustled through our carriage, all i wanted was a cold drink so i threw my money at him and grabbed for our drinks. It was now about 8pm and rats were running riot at our feet as me and lindsay hid from the monsters occasionally battering them with newspapers or whatever we could get our hands on but the more we got, the more they came! Soon we were joined by a belgium couple and an indian doctor and so i sat in deep conversation learning about the taj and goa while lindsay shut herself away with her ipod just dreaming of being bug free again! Night fell and we got our original bunks this time and so we set ourselves to sleep but it was harder than the night before as soldiers with guns as big as giraffes filtered onto our train coughing their guts up and again the dreaded cockroaches spread like wildfire across our limp bodies but morning came after a minute's sleep and we arose to a cloudy day. NIGHTMARE... our 1st day in goa and it looks like it's going to rain!!

We trundled to the reservation centre and booked our ticket back to mumbai on a nicer coach this time then hopped in a taxi to take the 90km drive to mandrem beach, toor resort. We rocked up about 11am and were met by a guy on crutches and another guy, both amazingly friendly and at our every beck and call, we were hurried up to our rooms where we took our stuff apart and decockroached it all and had the best shower ever and it was warm-praise the lord. Our food was cooked and then we sat in front of the television watching films until we felt rested and strutted along the beach to a bar but said bar was newand blatantly just built so no alcohol-dammit!! While we sat shaking off advances from the pervy owner and having our pictures taken by every indian man under the sun like at the taj, we felt we needed to escape. especially as he said we go live with him when his house was built in 15 days-errrr... how's about NO!!!

Next bar was COCK'S TOWN but what we didn't know at the time was that it was DRY DAY, a day when the whole of india does not drink alcohol so we sat looking defeated and after yet another soft drink marched back along the bay to the withered jetty that we had to manouver across to get back to our hotel. On the way home we were approached by a snake on the beach, how random is that?? lindsay was oblivious to it at first but she wouldn't have been if it had bitten her-apparently it takes 1 week for the bite to take effect-weird!! Little kids played around it, totally oblivious to it's bite. hmmmm... made us like jessies!!! We stayed in that evening watching films and american tv til late and slept a full night without being eaten-yeay!!!

So... today we got up and watched the pelican brief, ate lunch and then took an overpriced taxi to agr... something to change money then back to the other side of the island to use an atm, we got back to the hotel but their internet didn't work so the guy was going to lend me his motorbike-yeah, good one!!! clearly hasn't seen me on a quad bike-let alone a motorbike so instead we settled on the back and he drove us here and this is where the story ends for today... STAY TUNED... kisses xxx
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photo by: chiyeh