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A night sleeping rough

The highlight of the last two days was crossing the border from Nepal to India. The immigration officer sent the tea wallah for tea while he processed the carnet, then sent him back again for biscuits. Since the border I have probably only met 2 people who could speak English! I couldn’t find the hotel in Gorakhpur because everything is written in Hindi and no-one understood me. Ended up in a pretty shabby establishment. Yesterday up early to be on the road at 5am, but in the poor light didn’t notice there were 2 towns called Basti and, of course, chose the wrong one – so a round trip of 60kms for nothing, except for some great photo opportunities (which I’ll put up in a few days).

I ended up at a truck stop for the night as the light disappeared – 50 rupees (less than $1) for lovely homecooked dhal, raw turnips, tomatoes and rotis cooked in a clay oven. I spent the night in a makeshift raised platform -kept me off the ground and dry which is the main thing. Even though no-one understands a word I say everyone is very friendly and helpful.

I didn’t eat at all today (Monday) as no food for sale anywhere. Thanks Lynne for packing a few muesli bars for emergencies! I managed to find a better than average hotel for tonight, so a hot shower, a shave and a good meal. My clothes are black from road grime and no opportunity to wash them and get them dry by morning unfortunately.

I start each day draining water out of the carburettor – the petrol is obviously watered down – and I have to stretch the inlet valve springs before setting off in the morning. The low points are all the stoppages. Today it was a one and a half hour traffic jam for a special god and I saw a young boy who’d been run over, not by me thank goodness! I should reach Agra in two days if all goes well and will meet Lynne. It will be nice to have a few days relaxing and getting my gear clean before we do a tour of Rajasthan together.

It is great to see so many followers. Will catch up with everyone’s posts once I’m settled. Thanks for your support & encouragement guys!

The Old Bloke

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