I couldn’t keep my eyes open at midnight in San Antonio. We were going backwards and forwards, the engines were firing and not firing, but regardless, I knew we weren’t going to be arriving in Lafayette before 10 in the morning so I curled up to sleep in my double seat.
I woke next about 3am. We weren’t moving. I checked my GPS. We hadn’t moved at all, except to run into a siding, we were still in San Antonio. We were told later that our train had had to wait for a freight train, on the track ahead of us, which had broken down. But for all I knew at the time, it could have been us that was stuck and waiting for a new engine. I went back to sleep, knowing that I’d got just as long to get where I was going as we’d had at midnight.
The next time I woke, it was three hours later and people were getting on the train. We were at Houston, which is progress, but I wasn’t jumping up and down with excitement. On the other hand, some of the people who were getting on, had got up early for their 3am train and had been sitting at the station for three hours so they were wide awake and chatty. So I came back to life, slowly, listening to the chatter of three Houston housewives pointing out which neighbourhood we were still in and reminiscing about great burger stands in the city that they had known. Oh Amtrak!
Once we were moving, it was really just a question of how soon we would get there. I enjoyed retracing my steps from the car journey I had with Taylor last year in the opposite direction, Beaumont where I bought jeans and a pair of Chuck C’s and ate at the Catfish Kitchen, the state line into Louisiana, Lake Charles, swamps and small towns.
And at last I was touching down in the charming little station in Lafayette. The first time I haven’t disembarked into a large city. Time for some R&R.