Our bags were put out the door at 6:30, and
porters came to take them down to the lobby. We were thankful for this
since the elevator had stopped working last night. After a quick breakfast
buffet of toast, juice, rice, and omelet we were on the bus by 7:15 for
the short trip to the train station (there are four train stations in Agra).
There was a mass of humanity at the station; many leper victims begging
all along the way as well as hawkers. One poor man in a “wheel chair” had
huge feet like Shrek and another was a young woman who had lost half of
her hair and was holding a toddler on her hip. She had no fingers.
The train was on time and we boarded within the 5 minites
of the train stop. We were in two seats while across the aisle there was
a row of three seats. Our luggage was stowed in a rack above. The train
had come from Delhi earlier in the morning, so some of the passengers had
already been served breakfast and were reading the morning papers -- many
of them in English.
The train journey was fine, seats were comfortable,
and we were served a plastic tray breakfast (some kind of sticky rice mixture
with peas and carrot, two savoury donuts made with maybe chickpeas flour,
lovely fresh soft bread sealed in foil and a mango juice box) Earlier travellers
- probably from Delhi, were napping after reading their Hindustan Times.
We got a copy as Prince William and Kate's visit was featured on a half-fold
front page of the paper.
Parakrum woke us up from our nap (no sense resisting
the swinging and glide of the train) about 20 minutes out from our destination.
We thought we’d better use the toilets before the stop. Bill went first
and it got pretty rough, but he was in the men’s which was more difficult
to position. LOL! One of our Norwegian travellers came back from the other
toilet and said it was a sit down, so Sue-On braved it. We are always sure
to carry lots of toilet paper -- a scarce comodity over much of India.
The toilets must open directly onto the tracks since sitting on them is
a rather breezy experience.
After we got to Jhansi train station, we were led to
a G-Adventure bus and began the second half of our journey to Alipura.