Another Land-speed record

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
1
53
90
Trip End Oct 01, 2006


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Flag of India  ,
Monday, May 29, 2006

None of the lodge guys could believe it. From Hyderabad to Nagpur in one day was a something they had never heard of. Almost 500 kilometers over hard Indian roads in less than twelve hours. I could have gone farther, but I wasted over an hour and a lot of petrol just trying to find my way out of damned Hyderabad, which tempts you with a sign and an arrow, pointing the way to your destination, then confuses you with endless roundabouts and "T" junctions, so that you have to stop and ask for directions at just about every turn. I did find the National highway easily, but of course it was the highway to Bombay, going west instead of north, to Nagpur, the next stop on my journey and the geographical center of India.
Finally asking at yet another petrol station, I got proper directions to the NH 7, and only had to go out of my way just 10 kilometers or so. . .
A long day on the road here is of course, filled with dust and exhaust, for all their cursory attempts at pollution control, it seems as if no-one is listening. . One thing they have discovered here, much to my delight, is the highway rest stop, with petrol, and a restaurant. A-1 they are called, and the dhabas are always clean, with very good Indian meals. Easy in, easy out, and all the things you need in one stop. If one needs an investment opportunity, there are two possible up and comers here: The highway rest-stop, and waste management/pollution control. They will need both here very soon, or this country will be buried and choked under it's own waste and fumes.
As the mornings are relatively cool, I made a non-stop 200 km in the morning, through many smaller towns, and a couple of larger cities, overtaking the smoking trucks and buses every few seconds. . There was another reason I did not eat before midday as well, I had been experiencing some **ahem** digestive problems as well, but as usual, this only lasts for 24 hours or less, and by the time I had my puri masala and a couple of coffees, I felt much better. 300 km later and more of the same, I approached Nagpur finally around 5:30, and of course it took an hour or better to find a lodge, no-one knew where they were, and at last when I found one, it was a luxury place, too expensive for my shrinking budget. Fortunately, though, the man at the counter directed me toward the center of the town, where there apparently were lodges.
"Lodge" means hotel in the south, but as I travel ever northwards, I begin to notice that "hotel" means dhaba (restaurant) and also occasionally it means an actual hotel with rooms and such.
With the night coming on, I found one, central air, tv, and nice bathroom for 300 rupes, and I took it. There comes a time in the day when one is not only tired from travelling, one also needs to find lodging before it gets too dark, as it is pretty much near to impossible to find proper lodging in the night, not to mention the price difference when the innkeeper realizes he has a cash cow right in front of him.
I explored the town a bit last night, and though it is not on the "lonely planet" circuit of "must see" destinations, I am, as I have said many times more interested in India itself, it's people, than it's historical sites. You can just basically drive along, and look around--"oh, another ancient temple. . ho hum. . there's another ancient ruin. . oh, joy.. "
The tourist areas are nice little oases in which to have a beer and speak English with other light-complected sunburned types, but the Real India is out here, in the cities and villages. The everyday, workaday India is what piques my interest. The living country, not the dead one. The history and sites are important to see,as their legacy still lives on in the present, but there is other here.
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Comments

yoyodes
yoyodes on

anonymous happenings
hey man..watch out for the nagpur strangler...

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