Trying our best to get out of Delhi…
There’s a population of 24 million people here in Delhi, that’s four times the number of people in London. Leaving was never going to be straightforward was it?
Day 320 – Friday 7th April 2017
Travelling in India is a funny thing, and this morning we had to be awake by 10:00 sharp to be in with a chance of bagging a couple of train tickets. It didn’t go quite as expected, but worked out pretty well in the end.
Our plan was to take a train north to Amritsar to meet up with Jasmine (a friend we made at Madpackers) and travel with her for a while, but that option was sold out so we decided to head east to Varanasi instead. As far as we were concerned Jasmine was already on her way to Amritsar so for a while it looked like we’d never see her again, but she just so happened to miss her train, which meant that she had to rejig her plan too. Anyway it’s a long story, but in the end all three of ended up with a ticket to Varanasi, but not until tomorrow evening, which meant spending another night at Madpackers.
We didn’t do much with our afternoon other than visit the Lotus Temple with a guy called Jake who we got chatting to back at the hostel. The Lotus Temple, a house of worship with a capacity of 2,500 people, is open to all regardless of religion or any other qualification, and it was nice even for me (as a non-spiritual guy) just to take ten minutes and sit in silence – not quite meditating, but relaxing for sure:
We went out on one last Madpackers adventure in the evening, to SDA Market for a bite to eat then Beeryani (what a name!) for a quick beer, but it was a bit strange because everybody else was new to Delhi and us three (Abbie, Jasmine and I) felt a bit ancient. Ah well, I guess that’s just a sign for us to get going eh?
Day 321 – Saturday 8th April 2017
This morning we had until 11:00 to check out, which gave us a chance to take it easy before getting everything together and then cementing our place in the common area where we spent the majority of our day. We only actually moved a couple of times, once to get some chai, then again for a visit to the local bakery so that we could stock up on snacks for the train, and that’s about it.
We said our goodbyes in the evening and left for New Delhi Railway Station, where we arrived after about an hour on the road. Abbie and I had A2 class tickets (upper tier with air conditioning) but Jasmine had Sleeper class (lower tier with just a fan), which was pretty nasty. The thought of letting her sit in a separate carriage for fifteen hours on her own amongst a group of strangers just wasn’t right, so we let her take one of our beds and jumped in together. It wasn’t particularly comfortable, but seemed like the most reasonable solution – taking one for the team, you know?
The fact that A2 class is considered upper tier is almost contradictory, because it was alright but nothing special. It did serve as a great introduction to travelling in India though, which suited us very well, especially for an overnight journey. Maybe we’ll even push the boat out and go for another class next time, you never know!