Saturday, April 2, 2011

India: Goin' on a train ride

While in India we wanted to visit more family.  So we bought some tickets to Kerala.  It was a 12 hour train ride so our tickets were scheduled from 9pm-9am.  We figured that would be the best time to travel.

We called up a taxi to take us to the train station on Wednesday night.  The train pulled out of the station right at 9pm.  This was the only point when the train was actually on time.  The boys wasted no time in climbing up to the top bunk.

Each sitting on a top bunk, facing each other.
Since it was after bedtime, it didn't take us long to set the beds up.  The seat became the bottom "bunk," the seat back folded up to become the middle bed and the top bunk always stays in place.  I slept on the bottom, Mom slept on a middle bed, Biju slept on a middle with Alex in the inside, and Bino took a top bunk, as did Dad with Ajay on the inside.  

Not the best pic, but shown so you can see the seat configuration.
The boys on the middle bunk.  (Pretending to sleep)
 I was afraid the boys wouldn't sleep well, but I think they got the best sleep of all of us.  The train was about an hour late or so and we pulled into the Kerala (Kottayam) station sometime after 10am.  At least we got to see some pretty sights!
The view from our window while driving over a river.

Trying a little bit of breakfast bought on the train.  No surprise here, they didn't eat it.
Good morning.  Anyone else need some coffee?
Alex opted for tea.

During one of our stops (while waiting for another train to pass by) we took this shot of bananas growing.  I'm told that some people make a curry out of that reddish thing hanging from the bananas.  I still don't know what it really is, though.

One of Mom's brothers, George, happens to be a taxi driver so he was there to pick us up. 
Waiting as George Uncle pulls the car up.
Loading all the luggage.

The boys enjoying the ride from the back "seat."
 I had worn my support hose but I still ended up with a tiny bit of swelling in my ankles.  Unfortunately, it  paved the way for more swelling during the rest of the visit. 

We spent the first day enjoying everyone's company and getting reacquainted.  

You never know who Alex will just take to.  He happened to take right to George Uncle.
The climate is much warmer there than in Bangalore.  Okay.  A lot warmer.  Afternoon hits and life pretty much comes to a stand-still.  And I'm told that it gets hotter, still, in the next few months.  Once the heat rolled in every afternoon most everyone either took a nap or hung out in the shade of the porch (or both).  

"Sure, Brother, have a seat!"

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