It was going to be a long day due to the distance. But we were extremely excited because of the rest day coming up tomorrow… We couldn’t wait to get to the beach (we were told that we are staying at YMCA, on the beach). And the other excitement (not really exciting) is washing our clothes.. hehehe.. we've been piling them up for the past few days anticipating the break day. Our next break will be after 9 days at Chennai.
The road today was very enjoyable. It was a lot of downhills, though we did have quiet a few uphills as well. We had our first Dosa for the trip. The owner of the dhaba pulled out the newspaper and showed us our picture:)
One of the new things that most of the girls did today was eat a fruit called tateningo. It grows on a coconut like palm and has small juicy heart shaped fleshy pulp filled with sweet water. One has to peel the outer skin with the fingers and eat the fleshy pulp while the water bursts into your mouth. It was so refreshing that we ended up eating quite a few each.
OH!!! and how could I forget.. All the girls also tasted fresh toddy today :).. We watched a guy climb up the palm tree using the rubber and jute apparatus and recover fresh toddy.. we all had a sip each... It is amazing how are are all getting to do so many new and exciting things ont he journey and meet such accomplished and generous people...
All along the route, everywhere we stopped for a break, we've collected a crowd of curious people. Everyone is equally shocked (it is more like - entertained) when we tell them our route. But more than anything, the men and the boys are more interested in the geared cycles and they all ask us the price. They refuse to believe us when we tell them that they are Hercules (Indian) cycles. In fact they refuse to believe that we are Indians ourselves. hehehe.. We normally have a tough time getting them not to touch the cycles and change the gears. It is really funny to see that in every group there is one person who is the 'know-it-all'. He invariably is the one who explains to the others the intricacies of the gears and how they work, even though he actually has no clue about it.. hehehe.. As you can see, we have entertainment wherever we go, even if we feel like zoo animals up for display :)
We've had many people stop us on the road to take pictures. One of then today turned out to be the District PR person. He was extremely interested and said that he will pass on the details to the media.
Mr Vithal Raj of the Rotary came to pick us up from the beginning of Vizag ( also called Vishakapatnam and Waltair). This place is so beautiful. One of the most beautiful cities visited so far. Even our truck driver Is telling us to stay back here for a few days. As promised, we are staying at the YMCA and our stay here is hosted by both the Youth Hostels Association as well as the Rotary. Had a big press conference and a presentation with the Rotary. We've not had time to go to the beach, though it is just across the road.
BSA Hercules got all our cycles re-fitted today. That is exciting.. They should run like butter day-after-tomorrow. heheheh..
Have a long day of sightseeing tomorrow.. and meetings and conferences.. :) catch you later… :)