Would love to say we slept well… But we didn’t! Would like to say we slept… But we didn’t! Would like to say that we both have all ten toes attached to our feet… But it is possible that one or many might be lost in the next few days to frostbite!! Woke up repeatedly during the night due to the cold, or excessive horning, or snoring and snorts from the bed next to us. After a couple more toilet breaks, the last thing I remember is Jayne saying we’d done half of the journey and me silently wanting to kill her!! Woke to the sound of Hindi music blaring out from our neighbours phone at 5.30am and my desire to kill someone intensified!! After 12 hours on the bus, we arrived at the bus stand as we were told (both of us were pleasantly surprised). Got off the bus and received both our backpacks from the hold (again – we were both pleasantly surprised!!). Got the usual taxi calls and, when I told him we were crossing the road to get to the main bus station, he said ‘so, taxi?’. Almost wanted to give him the fare for making me laugh! Used the relatively clean toilet before booking our bus tickets to Bhubaneswar for tomorrow. Decided since it was early and we both needed to stretch our legs that we’d walk the 3km to our hotel. Walking through the parks and streets, Kolkata reminded me very much of Mumbai. Got to our hotel with ease, thanks to Jayne’s navigation skills, and after they gave us free chai & biscuits and let us use the Internet to book upcoming accommodation and flights to Goa on 26th December. Felt a bit disgruntled that they cost the same as our flights to the Maldives, until I realised that they were double the distance!! The hotel then let us check in early – think he felt bad for not having put us on the booking list – so we headed upstairs for a very hot shower before going back into town. Wanted to try and find a cinema that would have the new Star Wars film (which is released here on Christmas Day) so that I could pre book tickets for Jayne. Unfortunately, all the cinemas within walking distance of the hotel only show Hindi films. A quick supermarket shop to buy some new underwear for me (as mine don’t fit anymore…) and get a snack lunch. The shop was playing Christmas songs – I hadn’t realised how much I missed them! Spent time wandering around the shop, listening to them!!Having both really enjoyed ‘Shaandaar’ we decided to spend the afternoon at the cinema watching the new Hindi film ‘Tamasha’. Not as easy to understand as Shaandaar but could have also been because we were both practically asleep at some point during the film – it was a love story with an ‘on again, off again’ theme. Too little dance numbers for my liking! Came out of the cinema and went into the restaurant next door for some hot dinner and some amazing milkshakes – the Oreo one was incredible!!
Went investigating at some travel agencies for trips to Sunderbans Mangrove forests and tiger reserves. Found a three day tour which we can do just before Christmas and add some volunteering days onto the end. Sorted it out with the hotel to make sure that we definitely had accommodation on Christmas Eve / Day. Watched ‘The Hunger Games’, had dinner of chocolate cakes & Fanta and took it easy for the rest of the evening.