The Great Circular Indian Railway Challenge – Day 3
Ahhhh… Sitting back, taking in the scenery, chatting with my fellow trainophiles, getting some much needed sleep, eating some great Indian food, and hanging out the train door at 50 miles per hour… life is good.
It’s the little things that tend to provide the most value, and hanging out a moving Indian train with the sun beaming down and the landscape zipping past, well, let’s just say it’s a refreshing contrast to my previous corporate life.
GCIRC – Day 3
We spent most of Day 3 aboard trains, other than an intermission in the morning at Ahmedabad train station where we organised ourselves, took a shower, ate lunch, and got reacquainted with solid Earth. Then we set off on a 24-hour trip from Ahmedabad to Amritsar.
- Train: Ahmedabad-Jammu Express
- Depart: Ahmedabad @ 11:10 on 20-Feb-11
- Destination: Makhu @ 11:03 on 21-Feb-11 (estimated)
- Distance: 1184 km, over 24 hours
On this train trip, we travelled from the dry-state of Gujerat (yes, that means no alcohol), then into gorgeous Rajasthan, then we clipped the corner of Haryana, and continued into Punjab heading straight for Amritsar to watch the boarder crossing with Pakistan and to visit the exquisite Golden Temple.
It was in Rajasthan that I took a moment to travel in the vestibule and bask in the sun while hanging out the door of the speeding train. It was a much welcomed break from the air condition, which I think is taking its toll in the form of a cold/cough.
Travel Bloggers, All Aboard!
Before I forget, we actually have a number of bloggers on this trip. So I recommend you check out their latest posts too, especially since they’re having better luck uploading photos. And with a number of professional photographers on the trip, the photos themselves are worth the visit.
The team has fluctuated between 16 and 18 people. We lost a member to sickness, who may get on again in Delhi, and we had someone jump off, then jump back on again when we backtracked. But at this stage we’re 16-strong and going better than ever.
So who’s on the team?
Mark – The unofficial leader, Team UK
Steve – The Indian train expert, Team UK
KS – An Indian local, and subsequently our translator, Team India
Nari – Another local, and also a translator/helper, Team India
John – One of the Brit crew, Team UK
Andy – Another of the Brit crew, Teak UK
Mick – A Brit, but regular traveller to India, Team UK
Drew – Mr AlmostFearless.com (sorry Drew), Team USA
Troy – Photographer, and associate of Mr AlmostFearless.com, Team USA
Todd – Me, Globetrooper, Team Australia
Lauren – Other Globetrooper, Team Australia
Courtney – Sister of Mr Globetrooper, Team Australia
Usha – Medical Student, Team Singapore
Emily – Part of the unofficial Team USA
Bella – Lived in India for a couple of years, Team UK
Tim – Photographer, living in Dehli, Team USA
Stoycho – Single member of Team Bulgaria
A Tip About Toilets
On Indian trains, there tends to be two toilets on each carriage: one Indian style and one Western style. The Indian one is often cleaner, less smelly, and much preferred. It’s just a hole with a couple of foot plates, but by design, this simplicity affords longer-term cleanliness compared to it’s more complicated Western counterpart. So my tip is to avoid the Western toilet and go for the traditional toilet.
Oh, and don’t forget to take your toilet paper, if that’s your thing.
Another tip for the toilet is for getting changed. Most of the time, the floor is wet. Wet from what? Well, your guess is as good as mine. But my first guess leads me to not wanting to make too much contact. So, if you’re changing into long pants, especially as you head to the cooler Northern areas, here’s a tip to keeping the bottoms dry. Before putting them on, simply roll up the bottoms, that way you can surgically direct your feet through the leg holes without making contact and then let them go without touching the floor. Simple? Yes. Useful? Absolutely.
Signing out for now, The Globetrooper Team