Monday, 11 February 2013

Saturday 9th - Up the Junction

Saturday 9th - Up the Junction

Our netbook has started making odd noises. Let's hope that it is nothing too serious. Apologies for the gap in posting but the internet went down just before we published Friday's post and we have not had chance to be online since.

The hotel have stretched our 24 hours to 10.00 a.m. free gratis so there is no hurry this morning. After a leisurely breakfast we pack and check out but leave our bags with the porter. We take a stroll up to St Aloysious' College and wander through the grounds to the chapel. There are quite a few black kites around including one that had found a handy perch on the top of the building.

The chapel is a no footwear, no photos place and we were watched like hawks so there is no picture of the decorating job that took an Italian two years and eight months. It is apparently inspired by the Sistine Chapel.

 D decided that it was time for another shoe shine and a chap on a pavement stall obliges. He only asks for 20 rupees and seems pleased to get a tip. We are both paying the price a little for last night's chilli squid so beat a retreat to the Goldfinch where we order a cup of tea and make use of the facilities. Once again they excel by not charging us for the tea although they do blot their copybook a little by ordering us a very expensive taxi for the ride to Mangalore Junction Station.

This turns out to be half built and somewhat lacking in facilities but our train is already at the platform and is soon announced. We find our inside berths in 2AC - the best available on this train. Before long a German couple who we recognised from this morning's chapel visit occupy the side berths opposite. The coach next to ours is a 2AC/3AC combination - the first one that D has seen. We load up with a few essentials and leave on time. The other half of our bay of 4 is unoccupied but as it has the totally obscure escape window there is no reason to sit there.

Our own window has room for improvement and D activates Plan A at the first station. Here we are also joined by an Indian man who went to the wrong Mangalore station and who has had to hire a taxi to chase the train. His description of the trip is pretty hair-raising. He is a manager for a Swiss food additives company and is quite chatty. He also is very generous with an endless supply of different snacks and goodies - banana chips, cashew nuts and peanuts in jaggery. All very tasty but not good for our diet. Shortly after he joins us a man from the cleaning contractor arrives with a feedback form on the cleanliness of the onboard loos. R refuses on the grounds that the scores available do not go low enough and anyway none of the three of us has yet visited the loo on this train so how can we comment? Mr Feedback Form does not understand why this prevents us from filling in his form.

There is no opportunity to give feedback on the bed linen, which bears the laundry marks of Central Railways and, by the look of it, the footprints of several of their employees. They are instantly awarded the "Dirtiest bed linen seen yet in three trips to India" award. As we head north through Goa the sun is sinking rapidly and glows bright red in the darkening sky for a few minutes before disappearing below the horizon. Half an hour was wasted trying to get the colour enhanced on this shot from the train. We are inept when it comes to Photoshop and you will just have to take our word for it. The German couple get off at Madgaon and two Indian men replace them. The fourth bunk in our bay of four is still vacant.

By 8.30 most people have retired for the night and we follow suit.

No comments:

Post a Comment