Spending our final day in Varanasi we just chilled out by the ghats having our photos taken by every Indian who passed by.. It was like we were famous or something. Taking it in good humour we happily posed for most of them before we headed back to our little roof top haven in this completely relentless city. We sat in the guesthouse for a few hours playing chess and catching up with postcards etc before heading out to the train station.
We had planned to go to the station early to book the rest of our trains we wanted to take so that we could guarantee we would be where we wanted to be at the time we wanted to be. After queueing for a good hour I made it to the front of the queue and sat down to speak with the man about the trains. When I said I wanted to book a train to Agra the following morning he said “NO, do that when you arrive in the morning, Indian trains are always late” fair enough… “Can I book the train to Shimla then?”. He replies, “Hmmm you get them to book it in Delhi, they know better”… Riiiight! So we left having nothing booked.
Sitting around in the station for a while before our train arrived, Al decided he was going on a mission to find a few travellers (beers) for the journey, 30 minutes later he returned. Apparently he’d wandered down some dark back alley and found a small hole in the wall with bars over it. Above was a small sign saying ‘Wine Shop’. Gesturing for beers he negotiated a price, gave the man some money and he then disappeared. For a moment Al says he thought he’d been shafted but then the guy comes walking up the street with a case of 8% Kingfisher Strong. He arrived back at the station looking very pleased with himself. Getting beer in such a religious place where booze was severely frowned upon was a bit of an achievement.
All please with ourselves we went in search of our cushty little 2AC carriage for the night, only to discover that when we looked at our ticket we had actually booked Sleeper Class, NOT 2AC. Neither of us knew why we had got it in our heads that we were going AC but we had both thought it. We found our carriage, jumped on, cleared the peanut shells off the seat and flicked away a couple of cockroaches and settled in for a noisy evening in Sleeper.