Kolkata to Visakhapatnam, India
Day 170: Country #20
I woke early to catch the bus to Howrah train station located across the Hooghly River. It had rained overnight and continued to sprinkle, reminding me of how I was barely staying ahead of the rain.
The rain kept people inside, so the streets were much emptier, but there were still plenty of people that had to bear it without umbrellas, even as they crossed the bridge where there was little cover.
As we approached the grand train station, the semblance of British clock towers and brick style architecture emerged and I realized I would be riding older style trains to Vizag (aka Visakhapatnam). The train station was extensive with over 20 tracks and gates for boarding. After grabbing breakfast, I realized that I needed to be on the other side of the complex. Luckily I made it.
Within an hour, the skies cleared up, revealing lush green fields of rice, as the train rattled down the tracks. Occasionally, after a stop, the train door would be improperly secured and it would swing open.
I enjoyed the clear views of the countryside, smaller cities and communities along the way and the slice of everyday life of local residents both onboard and off the train. But it was mainly a lot of under developed open fields and forests.
We arrived at Visakhapatnam train station pretty late and I had to get a taxi, who I asked to drop me off near a major location, then I walked the remainder of the way to the hotel.
I prefer to not give drivers my exact hotel or hostel location because I know that I always end up paying slightly more than locals despite how much I negotiate with the driver. Although, the risk of a professional driver wanting to harass me is low, I prefer to be extra careful and avoid a situation where the driver thinks they can make more money by waiting outside for me because I’m a foreigner. Also, by walking a short distance to your hotel, you get a sense for nearby shops and restaurants.