To have your concept of a slow travel day be completely redefined, take a vacation to Nepal. Where traveling a 200 km distance at home would take a little under 2 hours, that same distance between Kathmandu and Pokhara will take around 7. No matter the route, a long and bumpy ride is in your future when traveling in the country, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
So when the time came for us to depart Nepal for neighboring India, we got very excited. Not so much for all the things worth seeing in India, those go without saying, but rather due to the fact that we can get back to using trains as our primary mode of transit. They are just as slow as anything else, but being able to walk around or stretch out on a bed can make a considerable difference during a travel day that seems like it will never end.
But before we could get back to our favorite mode of travel, we had one large hurdle to cross. One long day that I have always considered to be my most dreaded of this 18-month trip: traveling from Chitwan National Park, Nepal to Varanasi, India.
That day had arrived, and we were mentally prepared for a long and tiring journey going to a city that is, quite frankly, not that far away.