an Asian adventure in search of the magnificent Bengal Tiger – Incredible India, Day 12: Overnight Train

Saturday 12 November 2005

We both woke up before our alarm this morning but didn’t get up till after it went off! On the way to breakfast we stopped at reception to find out what time our driver would arrive and when we would need to leave. Whilst they were trying to find out for us our driver arrived. We decided to leave at 10:30 so then went to have breakfast, did our final packing, settled the bill and wrote in the Guest Book. We eventually left at 10:50.

Our driver stopped briefly a few times for water and fruit. One of these stops he parked outside a house and disappeared inside to collect some strange looking fruit (looked like a cross between an apple and a pineapple, he called it a ‘cheetapple’ or something that sounded like that). Anyway, right across the road from where we were parked was a little boy having a poo on the side of the road. He looked so casual and natural there. Didn’t quite believe it till we saw him clean himself with the jug of water he had with him. Then he trundled off back into the village!

We arrived in Jabalpur around 14:00 and met an Indian Moments representative. He took us to a nice restaurant for lunch and met with us again at 15:20. Heiko went to the loo and whilst we waited outside for him an Indian lady came up to me and said something in Hindi, when she left us the representative told me she had said she just wanted to say hello to me.

The train station was not far away and a porter carried our luggage (2 large suitcases on his head and the little suitcase in his hand, Heiko had firm hold of our camera gear as per usual) across the footbridge to our train – and it was hard work going up and down the footbridge slopes without luggage, never mind with! We had two sleeping berths in a curtained-off section for four people. The other two berths were occupied by an Indian couple. It wasn’t long before we made the bottom berth into a bed and put all the sheets on, same with the top berth. We were soon snoozing every now and then but there was a lot of noise – talking, shouting and many people walking past and dragging our curtain with them! As it got later, more and more people were going to bed and turning the lights out. But with that came bloody noisy snorers! OMG! There was one person who was so loud they sounded like they were in the same berth as us, but this snore was like an animal noise, like a snarl – it was so crazy I listened in awe, I couldn’t believe it and can’t believe they didn’t wake themselves up they were incredibly loud!!! There were many people snoring though, and all of them very loudly!

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