Gorakhpur Travel Blog› entry 26 of 34 › view all entries
So, finally made it to this shitty little border town after first 12 hours in a bus from Pokhara (should have taken 5-6 but there's something about oil prices that makes the bus driver go on strike every other corner so took a liiiitle longer than expected) Then there was the rickshaw drive to the border and all the stuff there and then another 2 and a half hours crammed on a bus to get to border town Gorakhpur. By then it was so late that we had to spend the night and decided to pay not 200 Rs for a horrible room, but go for the Ashai Palace or something for 300 and get a REALLY nice room considering we're in complete bakevjeland. (Norwegian word I just can't translate right now)
And, we've been told by many people in Nepal that the train ride from Gorakhpur to Delhi would take like 9 hours or something, I've even read it on a travel page on the Internet but BAH! Bullshait! The backpackers we met on the Nepal bus told us it would take us anything from 12 to 18 hours, their books said different things but definitely not 9. And the train station was of course closed when we got there so we had to wait to the next morning to get a ticket. SO! Great to have a plane that leaves in 24 hours then! No, we didn't make it. Maybe we could have if there had been available seats on the morning train but we had to wait until the one at 5 o'clock and it took 15 hours so... that's how it goes sometimes.
the train journey is a story by itself. We got the two last tickets and thet were 2nd class. Now, we'd been on 2nd class before... but never in India. Holy cow what an experience. It was amazing! there's this overcrowded coach with "compartments" with 6 bunkbeds in each. The middle ones are not pulled out until bedtime 'cause otherwise you can't sit up straight on the bottom bunk. So we had one top and one bottom and decided to use the top one to store all our luggage so they'd be a little harder to get to by pickpocketers and other thiefs and we'd just cram together on the bottom bunk. And there were even cockroaches there! It was hilarious.... In the beginning our bottom bunk was filled with people so we found to top ones that hadn't been claimed by anyone yet. It was alright for a few hours, but we just kept hoping to god that they would not turn the roof fans on because there was a centimeter thick layer of dust and goo on every part of it. Don't think they've worked in a few years though, so we were safe. Hehe, then night falls and we need to get to our designated bunks. ANette curls up on top of the backpacks and Miriam and I lean on eachother on the bottom bunk. Some people on the train buy tickets without seats and just settled down on the floor. We offered some space on our bed to this really thin old lady and that's when things got really scary. This train ride can be a serious strain on an the human body. I didn't see them eat or drink anything during the whole 15 hours and it started to take its toll on the woman. She was moaning and obviously not feeling well and sometime during the night she suddenly opened the window. I tought that was a very good idea because it was getting really stuffed in there and I turned back to sleep. Then I hear this strange foofing sound and when I turn back there's absolutely no sign of the old lady. I felt like I was in some eerie dream land and at first wondered if she'd fell out the window but there were metal bars outside so that just couldn't have happened. I was so tired and confused by then that I seriously started questioning whether the woman had ever been there or not and that's a pretty strange feeling. But then, through the darkness, I see a backpack on the floor that I couldn't remember being there before. So I reach down to touch it and realise that it's the bony back of the old lady. She had just collapsed and fell face forward, jamming her head between the wall and the opposite bunk bed. And the freakiest part was that I was the only person who even noticed! I woke up the guy in the opposite bed as I knew he spoke English. We got her up in sitting position and he woke her husband sleping on the floor, but he just mumbled something to her, she moaned in reply and then he went back to sleep. The Indian guy just said she'd be fine and to let her be so we tried to make her comfortable on the floor and when they reached their destination she got up and walked out. But jeezes, that was really scary because I seriously though she'd just fallen over and died....