Day 3 – Agriculture Day
It’s also day 3 of an involuntary detox. Try getting a drink in India. I came armed with an alcohol license but it seems I won’t have much use for it. I guess it’s all part of the enlightenment.
We hit the road at 7.00am faced with a highway U turn. This was the first of these maneuverers and probably a little early to start the day with, but none the less mandatory to get en-route. Chris took the lead and confidently hauled straight into it. I quickly followed, and it was all over in the blink of an eye.
To add to the mix of obstacles we already face on these crazy roads today oxen and cows were introduced as well as massive farming equipment – sorry not sure of the official name of these machines – my farming family would be appalled – I’m going to take a stab at a ‘Header’. A picture is included below.
The irony is that the highways are littered with Safety signs spouting a host of safety messages – all of which are completely and utterly ignored. Signs like “lane discipline gives you long life”. Life expectancy in India has to be at an all time low because I can assure you no one in India knows what a lane is, let alone what direction you should travel in it. Another pearl of wisdom “Be alert, accidents hurt”.
As soon as I get back to Australia I’m heading straight to one of those gaming halls, if I can’t seriously get the top score on one of those driving games with all the obstacles, I’ll walk from here to Shillong. I’ve already made a bet with Benn Dalby of ‘The White Tiger’ that I’ll run naked down the streets of Shillong if he gets his Tuk Tuk to Darjeeling so I’d better stop now or I’m going to have a lot to do in Shillong.
Today Carol debuted on the roads and handled herself like a pro. I on the other hand did not fare so well as navigator. I was loading some pics to facebook and missed a crucial turn. This lead us off track navigating our way through some serious back streets to try to get ourselves back onto the right side of the highway. It was absolute chaos and Markus and Chris both behind the wheel, managed these backstreets exceptionally well. After about 30 minutes we were back on track and I was reprimanded by my team. No more facebooking while navigating! I will say though it was a right challenge to navigate through those back streets and quite rewarding to have done so without too many hiccups.
Only one minor vehicle issue today with our roof rods coming away from our windscreen, nothing that Chris, Markus and Adam couldn’t fix with a bit of gaffa tape and a cable tie. Chris assures me it’s no problem and the weight is handled by some other vertical poles. OK then, no biggie – a detached windscreen it is. Onwards we go.
We made 40km more than we expected and have bedded down in the small town of Srikalahasti. We arrived late afternoon and managed some daylight hours roaming the streets and getting a taste of some Indian culture. Again, warm and wonderful people and some unrelenting begging – a taste of what I am sure is going to get much worse.
We all strolled the main street excited and enjoying watching the local vendors go about their business.
Markus and I visited the Srikalahasti Temple. It is one of the most famous Shiva Temples in Southern India. We partook in 2 x 20 minute ceremonies and wandered through the temple. Alive and beautiful was this place.
It’s 10.00pm and that’s my bed time.