Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day 6. April 21, Odisha

Day 6. Bhubaneswar route.    
April 21, 2015

I had some catching up to do for yesterday's forced day of rest.


♡ smile emoticon @Andhra border

A quick stop for this picture, taken after 501 km on the road today. My longest ride on the road so far on a day.
 Today covered the longest distance of 537 km. Actually planned stopover was at Bhubaneswar;
I reached there at around 5 pm. I had planned to stay with my couch surfing friends. They had called me. But they were in Cuttack. It would be 25 Kms to Cuttack. and I would have to return to Bhubaneswar next morning to go on to Puri.  Direct from Bhubaneswar to Puri it is 62 kms. And from there 35 kms to Konark.  Since it would be unnecessary travel back and forth. I called my friends and informed them of the change in plans.
Stay at Puri will cost more.  

Today has been my longest ride as of now. Traveled a distance of 537 kms.  I must have had about 5 litres of water through the day.
Now, finally I am here. 

Puri at night.  Jagannath temple precincts. The place is milling with crowds of people. The roads filled with a moving mass of humanity.. Looks like a celebration of devotion.
A business of devotion too.
Wayside shops filled with paraphernalia related to the place and other stuff we see at all such places.. Things common to where many people gather. Hawkers trying to attract customers.
A lot of places to stay. But no safe space for T Tenzing.

Whenever I stopped, seeing the bike and maybe seeing signs of travel,  a crowd would gather around. Some asking if I wanted any help. 
Many seemed to be on drugs. Even sadhus. Suspicious looking crowd.
Avoiding them, I rode around trying to find a safe place for Tenzing.
Seemed in vain. Where to rest Tenzing for the night? I needed a place to stay too.
But I was more worried about him. I didn't want him gone when I woke up.

Stopped to have a drink of cool apple juice.
And then I found a place. Close to the temple.  With space inside for safely parking the thunderbird.
I would cost me 5k for the night. But good comfortable rooms. At that time the owner of the place came. Talked to him about my travel, about my purpose of travel. He listened with interest, asked questions to know more; said the rooms would cost 4500. They were saying it was 5k because it was season then. Then he said, pay thousand  rupees for the night. He gave instructions to give me a double room with AC. The checkout time there was 8 AM. And when I said I would need the room for a couple of more hours; and he said, that was fine.
After a tough day, bliss :) I thanked him. Got to the room. Covered in sweat an grime.  A bath in hot water felt good to my tired and aching body.
Have ordered a Masala dosa.

Now, for tomorrow.
Not sure I will be able to enter the temple if it is going to be so crowded.  But, I hope I can; that I can take some pictures, see the place. I am looking forward to tomorrow. After coming this far, It wouldn't be complete if I left without seeing Lord Jagannath of Puri.

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