• Day25

    Long Day of Travel to Aurangabad

    February 8, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Today was our longest day of travel for the whole trip. Up at 5am and into an Uber to the station for our 6am train heading south to Aurangabad. We had a pair of bunks reserved so we spent the first few hours dozing before folding them up and sitting on the bench seat. Not the most comfortable, but manageable. The berths are arranged into two pairs in little compartments, and the two opposite us were empty which was nice so we spread out. Until we were halfway through lunch, and two local men got on - doh. Especially since one of them was constantly on the phone, yelling the entire time. I think that the constant noise of car horns, trucks and the like means that the locals are all slightly hard of hearing, and just talk at full volume by default. A minor irritant in the scheme of things.

    After 9 hours, and an hour behind schedule, we finally rolled into Manmad Junction and hopped off. The only direct train to Aurangabad ran overnight and had no seats available, so we had to catch connecting trains - a dicey proposition in India at the best of times. I'd booked our connecting train for 6pm, so that unless our train had the once-a-month luck of being 4+ hours late, we should be OK. Except that the previous day's train had arrived 4.5 hours late, and only 2 minutes before the 30 minutes late connecting train. So if we'd caught it yesterday, we would've had two minutes to change platforms and find our carriage - not an easy task when the trains are usually over a kilometre long!

    But in the end our train was only an hour late, and the connecting train was about 45 minutes late. So we had plenty of time to sit in the "upper class" waiting room and get bored. I'm not sure what upper class means in this context, probably just fewer mice or something - it definitely didn't mean zero mice!

    Finally got on our connecting train to Aurangabad as it was growing dark, and nothing especially eventful happened for the two hour trip down. Our hotel here is directly opposite the station (close enough to hear announcements), so we just walked over and headed to bed.
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