After a bit of hassle finding a way back to the Orphanage from Darjeeling we decided on the following: Darjeeling to Siliguri (3 hrs/jeep), to New Jaipalgur (.5 hour/rickshaw), Mughal Sarai (20 hrs/train), Varanasi (.5 hours rickshaw), Bareilly (15 hrs/train), Banbassa/orphanage (3 hrs/bus).
This trip took us 60 hours with 2 overnight trains being the only opportunity to sleep. On the trip we encountered a pyramid scheme salesman, 2 transvestites, a hissing cobra 20cm from Brad’s face and countless beggars, hawkers and a whole family enthusiastic to teach Brad Indian card games. The final hurdle on our return journey was 1km from home when we had to cross a river on foot (the bridge was swept away 12 months ago) because the water was too deep for buses to cross. This we did, laden with backpacks, weary with travel and in pitch black. Luckily we had Rick and some of the hostel boys waiting on the other side to drive us the rest of the way. Miriam had felt ill the entire journey with a slight fever, headaches and sore throat but recovered quickly after a complete day of bed rest the following day.