Thursday, 1 March 2012

Nightmare train journeys..petrol strikes..sleeping rough..hitch hiking....the last few days of HELL on earth!

Head to the train station to get an 8 hour train to Hampi which should'nt be that bad- we thought.It's a day train, it's absolutely roasting and humid.
The train station is packed and the Indian's are definately at their rudest today.The train pulls up and they all run to he nearest door causing a slight crush and some guy hits Leanne's head with a huge parcel running past,her head nearly fell off.
We squeeze onto the tain and kick the Indian's that have stole our beds off them.We have sleeper beds booked but that does not stop the rude Indians climbing on the end of our bed when we eventually doze off. Leanne can't handle this and rudely kicks the indian's off her bed everytime she wakes. I'm not sleeping so to Leanne's disgust I decide to give my bed up to a little Indian guy who is covered in dust and dirt sleeping on the floor.
My trousers are stuck to me,shirt is wet with sweat and I am stinking.It's Leanne's first train journey, this is definately the worst train me and Sorcha have experienced and I am secretley laughing inside looking at Leanne's face. Karma pays me back for that as when the train stops I cant squeeze off quick enough,there are about 100 indians trying to squeeze in through one door and I have to throw my bags out to the girls and squeeze through the mosh pit of rude fucker indians who are pushing,shoving and screaming in Hindi at me.Rude fuckers.I officially hate indians at this moment in time.
The torture finally ends and we jump a local bus to Hampi.
Hampi is green,surrounded by lush palms,banana plantations,pretty CLEAN rivers,quaint streams,ancient ruins of temples,massive rocks and believe it or not NICE Indians that do not want to rip us off or be rude.
After a few minutes we meet a nice indian guy who takes us to his home in the middle of a banana plantation and stay at his house.The shower is outside in the garden with straw walls and we are eaten alive by mosquitos every time we shower with the hose pipe.
We rent a couple of bikes, spend the day exploring and watch the sunset.This place is like a ghost town and we decide to leave the next day on what should be a pretty easy journey of two buses which take 4 hours on each.
Get up early,eat a nice Indian breakfast and head the bus station to find out the buses are on strike.The indians normally say this so they can squeeze a taxi fare out of you so after an hour of being convinced there really is a strike we get into a auto rikshaw which takes an hour to get the main bus station which is apparantly not on strike.
The bus station is unusually quiet so we walk 2 k to the train station in the blistering heat.My back pack is seriously pissing me off.I throw an item away everytime we  arrive somewhere and I just cant understand why it's so bloody heavy.I really wish I had invested in a good bag and not opted for the pink one just because I love pink!Durrrr!
It's an 8 hour wait for the next train so after 2 hours debating we decide to blow the budget and pay 60$ for a private taxi to Gokarna.Nothing is ever easy here though.There are no taxis in this little shit hole of a town and we decide to find an Indian with a car and offer them some cash.There are no bloody cars here at all and we find a guy who can get a car in an hour.Another hour of waiting in the heat and the car arrives.An hour into the journey the driver explains to us there is no petrol and all the petrol stations are on strike.Typical.We head back to the shitty town and wait for the train.
Very random but in this tiny town we spotted a massive hotel,looks 6 star here but it's probably 2 star in Oz so we decide to spend the next 3 hours waiting there.We read the menu and there is western food which excites us,just what we need.We order sandwiches, chips and beers and wait patiently for an hour for it to arrive.Cucumber and tomato on stale bread cut into tiny triangles arrive with some crispy homemade chips and I sware it's the best thing I have tasted in months.After drinking two pints of beers each I feel smashed and we head the station.
This train takes 8 hours,we have no seats booked so when it arrives we have to do the 'Indian run,push and shove to get a seat and there is 6 of us on a seat made for 4 in a small cabin of about 12 people.My back is killing me as we have been sleeping on a bed with no matress the last 2 nights and it's boiling hot and stinks of Indian sweat-as per usual.
Arrive at our destination to get the connecting train but once again we have been mis informed and there is no train.A half hour hike to the bus station through the busy city follows and we pray there is a bus to Gokarna.
It's now 9pm we left at 8am and nobody in the bus station speaks English.Indians are laughing at us, talking about us, staring and we are in no mood for this shit today! We pull out the map and ask about 30 indians how to get to Gokarna and finally get an answer. Wait at bus stop number 10 for an hour and the bus arrives.The guy who spoke little English tells us it does not go to Gokarna but we can get off a the last stop which is another 6 hours away and then get a connecting bus to Gokarna. There is about 10 of us on the bus,it's dark and the driver is a madman.One of the fellow Indian passengers is arguing about the price of a fare and the bus condutcor blows his whistle.The driver slams on, there is a full blown argument for about 10 min then the mad ride continues.
At one point I doze off and wake to the breaks screaching, the bus nearly tipping over as its taking corners so fast and massive trucks flying past us on a one laned windey road.I tell Leanne and Sorcha I think we are going to die and I really dont want to lose my life in this hell hole of a country and start to well up.They are so sympathetic and make me feel a lot better by telling me to put my ipod on full volume and close my eyes.I crank up the volume, listen to radio1 live lounge ,close my eyes, wrap my shawl around my head and hold onto the bar on the seat in front of me for my life.
Finally at 2am we arrive at a bus stop but there is no connecting bus till 6.30am.We strap our bags to ourselves and get ready for a night on the streets.It's hot,humid and I am being eaten alive by bugs and flies.I cant sleep, the girls doze off and I watch a little indian man sit and put the sports page in about 1000 newspapers for the next 3 hours.
The bus finally arrives we hop on and after another hour and a auto rik shaw ride we finally arrive in Gokarna!
Surrounded by lush rainforest is a pretty beach with nothing but a few beach huts.I have been praying for a beach with 'nothing' this whole trip but after an hour in the blazing sun we are bored and wish for a bar,music and some fellow travellers.We feel really out of place here.There are lots of hippies,yogis and weird people and we look like we are on a package holiday dressed in denim shorts and singlets.Leanne and Sorcha head into the village to buy some alcohol for wih our dinner and I have some 'me' time playing with my camera(which I am still using in auto mode.)
Order our food and finally after 2 months in India get a spicy curry.We ask for spicy all the time but it never is.This blows our head off.We hit the rum and coke and end up sitting chatting about death,old times,future,mates,cairns and family till the wee hours.
Wake up the next day a bit delicate do our 100 sit ups ritual which we have been doing the last week and try to figure out where we are going to head next as this place is way to quiet..hahah. After a stressful hour or 2 of 'trying' to book a train we figure out we have to head backwards to the shittiest city of the world Margo in Goa to get a train to the next state Kereala.
Tomorrow is going to be loooong day.We have to get up at 8am to get a bus ride to the train station,hang around for 11 hours in the shitty city and then get SIXTEEN HOUR train to Applely which is decribed as India's Venice. WATCH THIS SPACE!

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