Monday, 7 March 2016

The Sleeper Train Experience

(Picture by Richard Huckvale)
Well, where do I start? I had heard loads of conflicting stories about the sleeper trains and if I am honest they made me into a little bit of a snob. As I was under the impression that I would not travel in any class lower than first ha ha, 

But believe me when I say this the sleeper trains are a great experience and one that should be shared with the locals.

Our train left Udaipur City Station at 21:35 on Sunday evening and I am writing this blog now at 12:12 Monday afternoon and we are still over an hour away from Mumbai, We are sitting in 3 Tier AC and have just shared a traditional Indian Breakfast with a local family in the beds next to us on there way back home to Mumbai. Our journey in total will be about 18 hours and all for £12.50 each I paid that to get the train for 45 minutes to Lauren's parents house after work on a Friday.

We were advised to get to the station at least 2 hours before our train left so we were hanging around for a while but surprisingly there was a bar right next to the station so we managed to waste an hour in there and for £1.80 for 2 pints who could blame us ha ha.

The train its self is comfortable the toilets are no better or worse than some of the hotels and hostels we have stayed in and if I am honest the whole experience has been fantastic, There was no worry about getting the wrong train as the locals at the station were extremely helpful and showed us that our names would be on the paper attached to the side of each carriage. Although this journey was one I was not looking forward too it has become one of the highlights of the trip so far.

Now I struggle massively sleeping on anything that moves so was worried I’d be up all night but I was out like a light around midnight, Our sleep was broken by others getting on and off at different stations but all in all I had a really good night sleep and woke up around 10:30 this morning, I had completely forgot where I was so was startled by the elderly Indian woman’s arse in my face getting her bags from under her seat as she was vacating the train, all part of the experience right?

I am not too sure how many more stops we have to make before hitting Mumbai I think there is 19 in all on this journey but I have really enjoyed it, It’s an experience I was wanting to do but not looking forward to doing, the same with the sleeper buses, I can’t imagine the buses being half as comfy as the train but you never know. I will experience that once we decide to go to Goa.

The staff are welcoming and helpful, coming round with extra blankets in the night, and constantly bustling about offering tea and coffee. Although I am stuffed from the breakfast that the family near us have shared, yet another act of kindness from the local people here in India. I would say it’s the people of India that is making the whole experience even more enjoyable. This lady and her father have been visiting family in Udaipur we have been chatting away over breakfast for the last hour of the journey and they have just offered us accommodation and travel but sadly we are not getting off at their stop otherwise I would have taken them up on their offer.

We are heading off to our first real hostel experience today, one which has a common room where we are hoping to meet new people and maybe just maybe visit new places with new people. I guess I can finally say we are travellers now, we no longer have the safety net of a driver, its all about doing our own thing now meeting new people and going to places we maybe didn't think of visiting.

Well, that's all for now, We are at the hostel now getting to know people from all over the world so we can now 100% call ourselves travellers.

Take care 



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