4am wake up call, 430am departure from Rishikesh to Hardiwar by taxi, 5:15am arrival at Hariwar Train Station, original train departure time to Agra; 6am, actual departure time, 8:15am. This was the first Indian train experience along our journey.
Upon arrival our eyes met hundreds of Indians, all of which were camping outside the train station, a dramatic picture to say the least. As we made our way in, we were told by the "superior" train people that our train was 2 hours late. This was mainly because of the accident that occured the day before, so the trains were moving extra slow and taking extra precautions (lucky us).
After meeting a friendly guy, Javier, from Spain, we quickly taught him the card game crazy eights (loco ochos), fed some bananas to the monkeys, and watched the busy people jump from track to track.
Once on the train (AC 2 Tier), we were sitting with 2 Babas. (babas are a religious master, or a father of religion). They were very quick to stare at us, and quickly moved to the seats behind (I guess they weren't amused with our talk-a-tive-ness). On the 3rd stop (and this train stopped a lot) we were joined by a nice old Indian couple. The woman didn't speak any english, but the man spoke broken English/Hindi. They were super nice, giving us homemade Indian food that they brought along, on many occassions.
Throughout our 12 hour train journey Jeffery and I slept, ate many cookies and Indian food, killed cockroches, watched mice scurry around, played cards, read, and watched the countryside pass by. An overall fun Indian experience. Although I've heard many bad train stories, we lucked out with a great one. And although it was a dirty dirty train, we kept an open mind and made it a great memory.
Until next time...