Intrepid, the tour company we’re travelling with, has helped to establish some responsible tourism projects in some of the communities they visit. This morning we visited one of these. A paper making factory has been set up near Orchha to help local tribeswomen gain employment. The business involves recycling unwanted textiles into paper. Some of their products looked really nice.
Most of the remainder of the day was spent pottering around Orchha, awaiting the tonight’s train ride. There’s only so many times you can walk up and down the main street but wandering slightly further afield I found some great historical architecture.
Prior to leaving we had a meal at the hotel. Slightly unusually for Orchha the actually had an above-board bar. Granted they had run out of beer, rum and tonic, ruling out my first three drinks choices. I had to make do with a gin and lemonade.
The night train was definitely an experience. Even before we boarded there was a cow walking up and down the platfrom. We were accomodated in a second class sleeper carriage. This also entailed negotiating a triple-decker bunk bed. It’s not the solid variety of bunk bed either. The beds are suspended from the ceiling via metal chains. My bed was on a middle tier which is possibly the worst position. If you’re on the bottom, getting in and out of bed is easy. For those on the top there is a bit more room above, reducing the claustrophobic feel. Anyone over six feet tall also will struggle to lie straight without their feet ending up across the aisle. We were provided with a pillow, blanket and sheets but the quality of the bed certainly wasn’t comparable to a memory foam mattress. I eventually found a comfortable enough position to get some sleep despite the lady below me snoring for India!