Friday, 28 September 2012

East is East and West is West.

East is east and west is west or so I thought, but I had real doubts this morning.  I was keeping an eye on the sun to check my general direction when I really started to ask myself questions.  You see, the city I am heading for is to the East of where I am.  So I should be going towards the rising sun. Shouldn't I?  I was in fact heading mostly due south and even by periods south-west.  I was starting to think I was wrong about the sun or going the wrong way, so I had to imagine the orientation of my house to check the rising and the setting of the sun.  Much later in the day the direction thing sorted its self out and I am now going west.

125ks today on good roads.  Witnessed a head on between two trucks - both write offs -so they should be running again in a week or so.  In the 20 years since my first road trip here things like that have not really changed.  They are the same trucks, the same colour, driven in the same cavalier manner.  It is not usual to have cow being overtaken by bike being overtaken by rickshaw being overtaken by bus or lorry or both.  It makes for an interesting moment if you have that lot coming towards you.

I rather threw the teddy out the pram today with the locals and the Hero Honda motorbike manufacturer.  Every youth in India (and they are many many) who has nothing to do with his days and has a friend with aforementioned Hero Honda or parents rich enough to give him a Hero Honda and has 4 words of English has spent the day riding alongside me asking the same bloody questions.  I know I am being unfair as each case is an individual and just being nice, but it is so annoying.  My defence has become my shades, a rictus grin of effort - easy to do - and the mp3 player at full volume.  A doctor and his daughter flagged me down and I stopped.  We chatted for a few minutes and then they invited me for tea.  I had visions of a cool shady doctoral garden, tea, homemade snacks and perhaps a kip in the shade.  Perfect.  I cycled to the next town where they lived and was happily flagged down.  Oh dear.  Not what I expected.  They were perfectly nice but I was interviewed by the local paper in his office and photographed comforting the sick in the surgery next door.  Not a leaf of shade in sight.

I stopped about 10kms outside of this town to have a sleep in the shade by the side of the road.  I push the bike into the bushes and lie down on the sleeping mat in a pose which says sleeping not dead.  An hour passes with various groups stopping to discuss me until I can stand no more and get back on the bike.

This town is called Khammer, I think and I have checked into a ritzy hotel.  I looked at the Lodges but they really didn't say much.  A short stroll away is a market with a brilliant Tiffin stall and superb samosas which is where I am going now.  They should give me some peace as I have already answered their 4 questions.

Muddy Fox and Milepost.

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