Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Long not Winding Road Continues

The long not winding road continues towards the vanishing point.  I don't know if it is the sameness of it all but I am having real trouble pushing the pedals round.  Yesterday and today have been relatively short days so they should have been easy, but they have been the 2 hardest days so far.  I seem to need to stop every 5ks or so and have an overwhelming desire to go to sleep.  Even my normal 30ks of hard fast riding in the cool of the morning only lasted 15 ks this morning.  I might just be a bit off colour, or perhaps it's this bloody road.
Enough of the complaining.  I am now in Balasore which is just before the West Bengal border.  It is a fairly typical Indian town but has a great many Police establishments.  From Training Colleges to Officers Clubs to Barracks these seem to dominate the approaches from the south and the west.  The rest of the town is pretty standard and I eventually found a hotel at a reasonable price.  Last night I stayed in an upmarket place for 1050/- in an A/C room.  Here the first two "hotels", I use the word with some reservations, wanted 1500/- and 2500/- respectively.  The hotel I have chosen is a bit of a pit, but at 250/- a cheap pit.  So dhobi done I sallied forth and discovered they had a great restaurant - bonus.
Most people I meet seem somewhat perplexed as to why I am making this journey and why particularly on a bike.  I can obviously, as a westerner, afford to do all the visiting I want by car, bus or train.  So the hot, difficult and sweaty choice of the bike is difficult to understand.  All I can say is that I like to cycle, that I love India and that the bike is a good way to do it.  This is all true but I have deeper motivations which I get a lot of time to think about whilst cycling.  This has been a journey of discovery for me and it is not over yet....

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