Travelsonabike2 India This Day 22nd-December-2011

This week’s Travelsonabike2 on this day cycle touring post again comes from India on the 22nd-December-2011: a long day and a bad experience.

Thursday 22nd December 2011. Kenonjhar to Baharagora. 95 miles.

There was a definite chill this morning. And I was grateful for an extra layer, although I didn’t need it for long. The press stopped me again today. They had seen my newspaper interview and wanted to say hello and shake my hand. You can tell they’re from the press. It says so on their bike. The number plates have press written on them. It was something I noticed when I got stopped before. I don’t know if anybody can buy them, or you have to prove who you are. I also managed to fall off my bike. I’m not sure how it happened, but neither the bike nor myself were damaged.

A close-up of a motorcycle nuber plate
Can anybody buy one?

I was hoping to finish a bit earlier today, but the town I was expecting to stop at didn’t have any accommodation or none that I could see. But apparently, there was a lodge 10km down the road, so I made my way there, only to find out it was full. I was then told there was a hotel another 10km further on. It was getting dark now, so I turned my lights on. Only to find out that my front light wasn’t working. No problem, I thought I’d put my head torch on. That was about as good as a candle. The batteries were flat. I carry spare ones, but they were buried deep in one of my panniers. And I wasn’t going to stop now and try to find them.

Things Go From Bad To Worse

It was dark now, and the road had deteriorated into a dusty track, and I was now stuck cycling between two lorries, which turned out for the best in the end. I used the lorry lights as mine, and because the traffic wasn’t moving very fast, I could stay between them. I later found out the reason for the slow traffic. We were approaching the Subarnarekha River and a narrow, rickety bridge. It was with all this stop-start that I fell off!

I eventually made it to the so-called hotel. It was a building site. There was no water or electricity, and to top it all, they wanted 1000 rupees! That’s over twice as much as I’ve paid anywhere in India. But as it was late, I was tired, the road was a nightmare, and I didn’t know if there was anything else up the road. I reluctantly agreed to the 1000 rupee price but made it obvious that I wasn’t happy and knew they were ripping me off. That’s the first time I’ve felt ripped off and taken advantage of in India, but I won’t let one person spoil my view of the rest of the Indian people.

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