15 November 2009
O Ganesha and Kali Ma, bless our yatra!
I have one more train ride for which to buy tickets. What's so hard about that you may ask? Well, if you have ever dealt with the Indian rail website, believe me, I repeatedly chant Ganesha's mantra to remove any and all obstacles!
One can book tickets 90 days before a trip excluding day of travel and we have been lucky. My friend was afraid we would be "waitlisted" (where you basically wait for seats to become available) for the train from Delhi to Haridwar because of the mass of humanity (check out the satellite photo) traveling to the Mela. But Ganesha and Kali have smiled upon us because I was able to book us seats in First Class Air Conditioned for $18 a ticket (yes, you read right. $18 for First Class train travel) with a minimum of hassle (and that's another story about using the website.)
Our third train ride (the first being a 7 hour trip from Kolkata to Bhubaneswar) is returning from the Mela, Haridwar to Delhi, nine days later. We will chill out in Delhi for a few days before my friend flies home and I fly to Africa via Qatar for another adventure. The 90th day is Wednesday so wish me luck that I can get our last train tickets. I'm ready to chant Ganesha's mantra 108 times....and view the video to get a taste of my adventure....