April 23 – 25, 2013
We left the house with Hari and took an auto rickshaw to the train station, dropping Hari off at the metro station along the way after he had given the driver instructions for us. The train station was confusing because we were on the waiting list and technically didn’t have a seat assignment yet. There wasn’t any guidance as to what we should do, and the train officials were apathetic. After asking a few people behind the window, one of them grudgingly looked up our ticket number on their computer and wrote our seat numbers and platform down for us.
When the train pulled into the station, we boarded the 3rd Tier AC Car. This meant that we would have air conditioning and be sharing our cabin with four other people. However, when we found our seats, we found that we were separated into two different cabins. There was only one other person in Chan’s cabin, so I just moved in and claimed a bunk. It was time to get cozy because we had a 48 hour train ride to Kerala.
The ride was really pleasant. We were provided clean bedding and the bunks were comfortable. We could order food from for meals from a porter who picked them up at stations we passed. Chandler hopped off at one point to get some snacks and toss some trash into the bin. We spent most of our time reading and writing a few blogs posts.
Chandler’s cabin filled up in the middle of the night and he had a hard time convincing the men to allow me to keep sleeping in my bunk. In the end, Chandler was able to get the guy to switch spots with me. During the day, the guys would all squeeze altogether to drink watered down rum and eat peanuts. I stayed on my top bunk to avoid the situation, leaving Chan as the star attraction.
The long train ride was nice, but we ready to get off when we finally reached town, Ernakulam. We took an auto to the main jetty to get a ferry to our final destination, Fort Cochin, an old Portuguese settlement. We spent an hour wandering around looking for an inn within our budget. We found a small bed and breakfast, (though there didn’t seem to be any breakfast) which was cheap (500 rupees), clean and had some wifi. It was so hot out, but being on the ocean, we had a nice breeze to make the heat bearable. We spent the remainder of the day eating samosas, drinking chai tea and strolling up and down the old streets.