One does not sit in the south pole and winch about the weather…. One does not travel non-aircon sleeper from Varanasi to Chakki Bank and winch about the distance. People who travel with “unreserved” tickets sit on the floor or perch off other’s bunks when they fell asleep. All in all the train was 5½ late in pulling into Chakki Bank. I thought that wasn’t bad for a journey of over 1100 kilometers. It cost Rs369 for this trip of about 36 hours. The almost completely Indian men kept to themselves. The women were very kind, and curious, especially the middle-aged aunties. They kept feeding me , and invited me to stay with them.
On arrival in Chakki Bank, Thomas and I managed to find each other on the platform. We shared a 3 hour taxi ride to McLeod Ganj. The 3 other foreign girls who were also going there went to take the bus. They had a ‘closed sisterhood’ thing going and weren’t very friendly. The prospect of another 5 hour bone-rattling bus journey didn’t quite appeal to me. Thomas and I arrived at McLeod Ganj at 8.30pm to find that rooms were scarce. It could be that we took the only 2 rooms to be had that night. I had the Rs 60 (US$1.50) hole-in-the-wall at the Green Hotel. Thomas took the strastospheric Rs500 (US$12.50) room at the …. hotel. Everything is relative.