When is a 12 hour train-ride in tropical heat with no air conditioning worth it? When it gets you out of Mumbai.
Our journey began before dawn at Mumbai’s Central Station and would not end until just after night fell on us and our Auto-Ricksaw driver on a beach in Goa.
In between everything was a whirl of sweat, heat, pollution and “Che San-wiss”.
There is no doubt about it India is hot. We were really kicking ourseleves for not buying seats on the air-conditioned car (They cost 4 times as much, but may be worth it next time). And there is a crazy amount of pollution. I expected it to fade an hour or three out of Mumbai, but no luck. It followed us the better part of the day. So by the time we did reach our final destination we were covered in a thin film of …industrial pollution …burnt household trash, your guess is a good as mine.
The one relief we received was the people. Our co-sufferers were great, pointing us in the right direction on all matters from buses to which station we needed to get off at. And then there are the services of the “Wait Staff” in third class coach – quite nice. No need to get up – they come buy hawking all manner of food and drink, Chai Tea for 5 Rupees, Che San-wiss (Cheese Sandwiches), Omlets and a very nice veg Tali for 35 rupees, not too shabby.
Once we ran out of rail, we had to make our way to the beach via “Tuk-Tuk” a three wheeled Auto-Ricksaw. In hindsight, we should have taken a full size taxi. Our poor Tuk-Tuk was constantly being passed on the hour and a half trip that probably would have taken 35 minutes in a regular car. No worries though, he earned his 400 rupees the hard way.
Many thanks to the good people of the Indian Railway system for making our departure from Mumbai possible.