Long Travel Day

February 20, 2008 - Ahmadabad, India

The group met at 8am for the start of our long journey to Mumbai. The first stage was a 5 hour bus ride (this bus was a fair bit better than the previous local buses) to Ahmadabad. After lunch we went to the Ghandi Ashram, where Ghandi spent 12 years of his life. We walked through the house he lived in and saw the area in which he would pray.

Right beside the Ashram is an orphanage and school. The kids were out playing in the yard. Some of us went over to interact with the children - taking their photos and then showing them the shots. Most of them were timid at first but were excited to see their own faces. At the end of the Ashram tour I wanted to make a small donation directly to the school by giving it to a teacher or someone at the school. They certainly weren't asking for it, which was refreshing. I asked our local guide if that was possible, he in turn asked someone at the Ashram who led me over to the Orphanage. On the walk over we ran into Ryan so he came with us. The guide introduced me to the director who then asked me into his office to sit down as he wrote me a receipt. The amout I was giving didn't really warrant this formality (I just wanted to give a token amount so the kids might get a treat) but I guess it is how they do it and at leaset I knew that it was official. The director led me around the grounds showing me where the children sleep (outside but covered), the kitchen, the classroom and the washing area. As I was walking back through the playground, all of the young children were sittling quietly on a concrete platform as their dinner was about to be served.

There were a few hours to kill before our second stage of the trip to Mumbai, an overnight train leaving at 10pm. We wandered a busy area and all met at a cafe (not very common in India) to head to the train station.

I've been on a few sleeper trains - Europe and Vietnam - but this one wasn't as nice as those. There was a better class but we were on a 'Roam' version of a GAP tour which means using local type of travel. The car was separated into 'areas' but there were no walls or curtains between the areas. Each area contained 8 beds - 3 on two walls and 2 on the other with the corridor in between. I was on the top bunk which had a little more head room but not much area to place things.


Bustling Train Station
Our Group Waiting for Train
Train is a Coming

1 Comment

March 17, 2008
you do have a good heart...
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