Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A Whole Day Waiting for a Train

Today we spent almost 12 hours waiting for a train.

The alarm went off at 4am, Michael was up first and then I sleepily tried to get dressed. Despite the fact that the beds in the hotel were rock hard, I had slept surprisingly well. Just about conscious and packed up to leave and Michael discovers, though the IRCTC website, that our train is running late. Over 9 hours late, in fact it has only just left Delhi, which is 900km away. Back into bed, back to sleep hoping that there won't be further delays.

Check out at the hotel is at noon, so we make the most of having somewhere cool and peaceful to wait, though this confused the boys at the front desk, as we had told them we would be leaving at 5am. We head back over the the Laxmi restaurant from yesterday, the one positive from this delay is that we get to try their food again, this time opting for a thali and eating far too much.

Eventually we have no choice but to head to the station and watch as the delay gets longer and longer. We find a mercifully quiet spot by the Foreign Tourist Booking Office, Michael heads off for supplies and cash, and I try not to let my stress levels increase with the frustration of it all. There is a lone lizard on the concourse and we gasp as he nearly gets squished by a passing foot. This prompts Michael on a rescue mission to get the little fellow to safety, which then prompts the woman sitting next to us to tell Michael he must now wash his hands.

We head over to the platform at around 4pm and wait as two other trains pull in and then out of our assigned platform. I am paranoid that after waiting for eleven and a half hours for the train we will miss it due to a last minute platform change, and sure enough we are moved to platform 4 minutes before the train arrives. So relieved to be finally in our seats and heading to Gaya. We had chosen this train to avoid a night time arrival, but it's already getting dark so now we have no choice.  Four and a half hours later we are off and into one of the many waiting tuktuks for the 40 minute drive to Bodhgaya.

Michael headed to the hotel he stayed at four years ago and luckily they had one room left. Again it's by the front door and the beds are rock hard but I am just grateful to be no longer waiting for a train.