Another Land-speed record
Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
90Trip End Oct 01, 2006
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Finally asking at yet another petrol station, I got proper directions to the NH 7, and only had to go out of my way just 10 kilometers or so. . .
A long day on the road here is of course, filled with dust and exhaust, for all their cursory attempts at pollution control, it seems as if no-one is listening
As the mornings are relatively cool, I made a non-stop 200 km in the morning, through many smaller towns, and a couple of larger cities, overtaking the smoking trucks and buses every few seconds. . There was another reason I did not eat before midday as well, I had been experiencing some **ahem** digestive problems as well, but as usual, this only lasts for 24 hours or less, and by the time I had my puri masala and a couple of coffees, I felt much better. 300 km later and more of the same, I approached Nagpur finally around 5:30, and of course it took an hour or better to find a lodge, no-one knew where they were, and at last when I found one, it was a luxury place, too expensive for my shrinking budget. Fortunately, though, the man at the counter directed me toward the center of the town, where there apparently were lodges.
"Lodge" means hotel in the south, but as I travel ever northwards, I begin to notice that "hotel" means dhaba (restaurant) and also occasionally it means an actual hotel with rooms and such
With the night coming on, I found one, central air, tv, and nice bathroom for 300 rupes, and I took it. There comes a time in the day when one is not only tired from travelling, one also needs to find lodging before it gets too dark, as it is pretty much near to impossible to find proper lodging in the night, not to mention the price difference when the innkeeper realizes he has a cash cow right in front of him.
I explored the town a bit last night, and though it is not on the "lonely planet" circuit of "must see" destinations, I am, as I have said many times more interested in India itself, it's people, than it's historical sites. You can just basically drive along, and look around--"oh, another ancient temple. . ho hum. . there's another ancient ruin. . oh, joy.. "
The tourist areas are nice little oases in which to have a beer and speak English with other light-complected sunburned types, but the Real India is out here, in the cities and villages. The everyday, workaday India is what piques my interest. The living country, not the dead one. The history and sites are important to see,as their legacy still lives on in the present, but there is other here.