21 Oct 2013
Another early start as we are woken with a cup of chai at 6.00am, followed by breakfast of porridge and toast while our tents are dismantled and re-stowed. Yvonne managed to overbalance getting into the boat and got a full dunking in the Ganges!
A short boat trip down river to meet our bus for a 3 hour drive to Allahabad station to catch our train. We drove through the countryside and small villages. It was a nice drive looking at small farms at the side of the road with rice and corn fields. Our only excitement was an accident on the way where a tree had fallen on a truck which was now blocking the road.
We arrive with 3 hours to spare and wait in the ‘Uppre Class Waiting Room’ (sic). This means that there are fans and benches to sit on rather than sitting on the floor in the main waiting hall. We dined in shifts at the cafeteria – for a R76 ($1.50) lunch that would have been enough for 3. And it was self-service but that concept was lost in translation as it consisted solely of us carrying our trays upstairs! But at least there was air-conditioning.
After boarding our train at 3.00pm we waited another hour for it to depart and then learn that it will be even later getting to our destination of Satna (7.30pm) and then we have a 3.5 hour jeep ride to follow to get to the National Park. We opt for dinner before the car ride rather than when we eventually get in. We are absolutely filthy and dying for a shower and clean laundry but wonder when this will actually happen as our first jeep safari is scheduled for 5am!
The jeep ride takes 3.5 hours and we are packed in like sardines. The road is extremely rough but we are warned that the last hour will be really bad – it doesn’t disappoint!. There are potholes large enough to swallow a jeep! It really has been a long & exhausting day with soooo much sitting in cramped and uncomfortable seats. Everyone is complaining about sore butts (and everything else). We finally get to bed at 1.00am.
For this and other similar tours see:
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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