Shaun, Deborah, and I were on a three-day journey to Har Ki Dun, where we would commence a valley trek. To get to Har Ki Dun, we were flying into New Delhi, then taking a train to Dehradun the next morning, where we would stay another night before meeting with our trekking group from Indiahikes whom we had signed up with. Then they would drive us to Sankri where the trek began.
We arrived in New Delhi at night, an hour behind schedule. We had been afraid of touts who would overcharge us for a taxi, so we had booked an airport transfer with Jugaad Hostels, the hostel we had planned to stay with. As expected, we had a driver waiting for us who took us to our hostel.
They had prepared us dinner that we had ordered. Although it had gone cold, it was still tasty, but a lot to finish.
Our room (I shared a private ensuite with Shaun) was alright, but a bit shabbier compared to the photos of the room on Hostelworld when it was brand new. Still good enough for a good nights’ sleep.
The next morning, we took an Uber to the train station.
Trying to buy the train tickets online had been hard to figure out on the poorly designed website, so we had gotten Indiahikes to assist with buying the tickets for us. They had kindly obliged and sent us digital copies of the tickets for us to print and bring, so we weren’t as stressed about having tickets when we arrived the train station. But with so many platforms and people everywhere, the train station serving the metropolitan centre of India’s capital was bound to be complex.
We eventually found our way to our train and our seats, and after some time the train promptly set off. We had booked executive class reserved seats on the Jan Shabbadi Express. They were comfortable: spacious and reclining with plenty of legroom. The onboard breakfast and brunch meals were surprisingly good: we were provided cereal, omelette, bread, tea, water, and biscuits.
Stops at train stations provided a literal window into the lives of the locals in transit.
Many hours later, we arrived in Dehradun. We had booked rooms at Hotel Ashrey, a hotel a short walk from the train station. After checking in, we had lunch at the restaurant that was part of the hotel. The portions were generous and the food was delicious.
After lunch, we took an auto wallah (basically India’s tuk tuk) to visit a temple a little bit out of town.
Taking the auto wallah back to near our hostel, we walked around a little more before evening set.