Wow… We thought that it is a short distance and we can take it easy.. But, we still ended up reaching at 1… The weather has become quiet unbearably hot after 12 noon. our 20 ltr can of water does not seem to be enough for the journey (this is despite the fact that each of us already have at least 1.5 ltrs on us when we start).. at least we are all drinking lots and lots of water :)
we started at 6 as usual but Raja stopped at a tea stall before we reached the highway. had lovely tea and big biscuits before we left… Followed our usual routine of stopping for breakfast around 7.30-8 am… unfortunately the dhaba guy was not ready with food.. so we all got into the kitchen and helped him make puri's while he got the aloo gravy ready.. he then discovered that our picture was in the newspaper today - the Sambad.. It was the pic with all of us sitting on the dias, not that any of our faces were visible clearly.. But he was excited nevertheless and almost did not charge for the food..
The highway In Orissa, at least what we have seen so far, is all concrete and the roads have been really good. There is a 4 ft shoulder where we (and a whole lot of other locals) cycle. It feels quiet safe, unlike the city roads, as the trucks and other vehicles stay quiet far away from us. We do ensure we have our helmets in place though… Moreover, we're all bundled up with almost no skin showing for fear of sun burns and also to ensure that we do not breathe in the smoke and dust that the fast moving vehicles churn up. the worst part is that we have to cycle in a single file.. So we have to entertain ourselves for hours on end while looking at the backside of the cyclist in front :P… ipods are a saving grace (wish we could watch a movie or something while we're at it. hehehe)
The RJ School of Management in Baleshwar is hosting us today along with the Rotaract.. They put up a tent in the middle of the highway, about 10 kms before Baleshwar and received us with soft drinks.. They then escorted us to the college… We climbed into our truck with our cycles after about half the distance in town due to the crowd on the streets and the heat… We had after all reached our destination town on cycle :)
we were greeted with more eating and great hospitality… lovely snacks, sweets and typical Oriya food: saag with badi, tomato chutney and a whole lot more… Prof Pani, Director of the college has organised a big function in the evening with tree plantations and interactions with the who's who of Baleshwar and the college students.. we're looking forward to that now.. will update you at night….