Friday, July 3, 2009
Day 64 jun 26 fri
Wake up and start photo sorting. Never ending – panoramas are a bitch. Jedi gets on high horse and bashans saurabh. Smokes the entire day. Try to find royal
Photo sorting finally finishes at 7. Go and pick up the bike – also replace the switch. Again andhi hawa and rain. Walk to find mobile repair shop to fix his phone display, which conked off yesterday in the rains. Shops shut. Go to internet café and upload stuff, until electricity goes off. Pass movie hall – decide to watch. Jedi buys tickets thinking Kambakt Ishq. Enter hall to find Terminator Salvation in Hindi. Christian Bale saying Isse nast kardo. Not a single girl in the hall. Man does loud biz call in the hall – have to intervene after long patient wait.
MTV has become a reality show channel. Young girls have to wear shorts and do car washes to win a contest. have Rakhi Sawant is having a tele-swayamwar. Tomorrow finish the uploading and head for Sanchi. Jedi still going insane whether to head east or north. The monsoons have reached MP, so tending to head north. The east continues to remain unknown, but U.P.,
Day 65 jun 27 sat
Wake up and walk to Internet café to complete unfinished photo uploads. Spend 3 hrs. Return around afternoon and spend the day in. Mostly silence prevails in the room. Jedi going insane wondering where and what work to find. Zen almost destroyed.
Divert mind by planning further route. So here is the proposed route – Sanchi (v) – Udaigiri Caves (v) - Sagar – Kajuraho (v) – Naraini – Chitrakoot – Allahabad – Benaras (v) – Sasaram – Bodhgaya (v – mahabodhi tree) – Gaya – Nalanda (v) – Patna (v – Patna Museum – world’s oldest fossilized tree 200 mill yrs) – Muzafarabad – Motihari – Bettiah – Raxual/Birganj(Nepal) - [Simara – Hetauda – Daman – Katmandu (v) – Pokhara (v) – Butawal – Mahendranagar – rough beyond this,; should probably head to Delhi and find a job. If I get this far that is. Rameshwar – Almora – Ranikhet- Karna Prayag – Joshimath – Hemkhund sahib/Badrinath – Valley of Flowers – Joshimath – Karnaprayag – rudra prayag – srinagar – Rishikesh – Dehradun – mussoorie – nahan – Solan – Shimla – Fagu – Kingal –
Day 66 jun 28 sun
SH18, NH86 extn.
Jedi wakes up at 12 and packs. Leave the hotel and ride around
Reach Sanchi around 4 and see the museum where we see the famous Ashoka Pillar lions – the top part with the lions on it. Cant take photos here and Jedi doesn’t even want to bother.
Go to the Stupa – similar to Leh Stupa but without wall paintings, but pillars at all 4 sides with beautiful carvings which tell many stories. Get a guide for 100 bucks (off season) who tells us the stories. 3B.C. to 10 B.C. See the rest of the Ashoka Pillar. So much history, so much art, so much skill, so much devotion. So far from 66 days and half the country, beyond the 15th century nothing of note has been made in
Go to see the Stone bowl when we see a peacock fly across the greenery, with another following on foot.We are now in the Vindhyas having crossed the
Too much to tell. Photos should say more. But basically one has to come here to see and more importantly feel these places.
Guide recommends lodge in Sanchi and advises against going to Vidisha as was planned. Seems as it is a World Heritage site, it has 24 hrs electricity, as compared to the rest of M.P. Saw ppl on TV going insane in Delhi and Rajkot over electricity and water shortages. Don’t blame them – I went little nuts in Mandu when I had to wait for 34 hrs to get welding done coz no electricity till then. Even normally 4 hrs daily plus 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Settle in room and teach Saurabh full yogic breath.
Jedi and ananya smsing each other after almost 2 years, since ananya’s phone mysteriously stopped sending or receiving smses from jedi’s phone – despite jedi changing his number and service provider. Her dad still on ventilator – do 27 trayambakams.
Sit and make list to calculate kms so far – 7354 kms since April 24th.
Staying in the room where Fred Klien of Motorbike WorldTour -2005.
firstname.lastname@example.org / fredontour.de has stuck a sticker with name, email, website, address. – so assuming he stayed here. Maybe I should stick one of the mataozm stickers and go J
Day 67 jun 29 mon
156 kms, 7510 kms
SH18, NH86 extn, NH86
Wake up at 9 – sleeping late and waking late these days, have to change.
Jedi tried to fix Saurabh’s helmet – if man at shop said it could be done, then wy couldn’t we. Takes screwdriver and tightens the screws and voila. Helmet fixed.
So much for 2 engineers! Its taken 2 years to fix this helmet. Sorry ananya.
Leave for Vidisha to see
Ask for directions and then cross two rivers, the Betwa and the Bes, to reach Heliodorus Pillar, a 3 AD pillar made by a Greek from Taxila (Pakistan – Earliest universities in the world?) who came to India and eventually became a Hindu. Its called Aam Baba or Khamba Baba now, worshipped by fisherman and locals.
Head for Gyaspur where something is supposed to be there acc. To saurabh’s friend. Reach but see only a hindola toran from the road, go left and see a semi tiny fortish used as a house by people. Take the left and see the sign for a temple – not in the mood for temples but almost there so go ahead. Park and walk down the path and lo behold mother of god – brilliant temple – partly in ruins at the edge of the hill. 10th cent Jain temple for Maladevi but over the years Hindu stuff added.
Jedi turns anger towards assholes, who probably scratched their names on their mother’s womb, who now write their names over such places. Cools down and thinks of compromise – Maybe the ASI should just make a wall for such assholes to write their names and go off- but then again, some one will want to be different, daring, and cooler and write on the actual structures.
Go to the Hindola Toran and actually enter it – to see another what would have been a magnificient temple now rubble except 4 pillars and a gate. Again Vishnu boar avatar connection. More head damage for the idols and Jedi.
Head for Sagar over broken road. Stop at a junction for chai when a drunk man approaches and says Saab bula rahe hain and points to man across road. Jedi asks kyon. Bula rahein hain. Kyon. Chori ho yagi hain yahan. Aap kahaan se aaye ho. Bambai se and aage ja rahein. Unko yahaan bulao. Aur aap daaru pike humse baat mat karo. Hum daaru piye hain, par woh nahin. Aap jao and Jedi walks away to shop. Man walks away.
Some tea later – another younger man just high, not stinking comes and wants to ride the bike. Jedi says no. Asks name. then surname. Also Saurabh. Says baniya. Oh Jain. Saga says Jain nahin. He says baniya jain sab ek hi. Chalo sath mein chalthe hain. Points to bus. Jedi gets up to leave. He puts hand of Jedi shoulder and asks sharaab pite ho. Jedi says mein woh sab nahin karta and walks away. Drunk man friend also says jaane do. Jedi plans to move Buck knife to trousers.
Reach Sagar and try to find hotel. See Vodafone store and stop to get Saga’s phone fixed. Seems battery is problem, but without warranty card, no fixing. But you can get a Mini Store down the road. So we go asking and after 3 shops selling duplicate battery, finally buy duplicate battery from original Ministore! Find a cheaper hotel after first try by asking around and settle in. Jedi sees bag shop and asks if they will fix broken bag zips. No but B.K. Repair will fix. Jedi empties bag and goes.
After wait and walking around market while B.K. has lunch? Dinner? At 7.20 p.m., BK fixes bag and asks bag dothe nahin ho kya. Jedi says 2 mahine ka trip etc. Then man starts on what about Sagar. Seems local, Dr. harish Gaur, who went to
Jedi heads back with repaired bag and sees Bhang shop. Has bhang, despite Day 68 jun 30 tue
Sagar – Chatarrpur – Kajuraho
215 kms, 7725 kms
Wake up and go to the main road to have tea – Yesterday we had heard a jeep go by saying shut shops tomorrow. Today as we had tea, most shops were shut; a group of 6-7 bikes with young men on them went along the road, telling the still open shops to shutter down. We head back to the hotel and asked – seems there is a rally in town.
Day 68 jun 30 tue
We pack and head out to kajuraho. See the Sagar lake on the way.
Have brunch at Shah. This is cattle country – cows and buffaloes everywhere. Almost like dogs elsewhere in the country – have to keep swerving and avoiding – cows are quite deceptive in length and movement.
Ride across scrub? Forests and dry dusty towns, everyone eyeing the bike and then us.
Gotten used to it but somehow still makes you notice how we stand out. Yesterday, at the bag repair shop, the image of how he crossed his arms and slowly shook his head as soon as he heard how much had been spent on this trip so far – he asked the question!
See a fort on a hill and decide to check it out. Through the village and to the base. A bunch of youth loitering around. Man asks if we are generally traveling or come to do a survey. Youth including a teacher accompany us up to the fort and chitchat. First brick fort we have seen – Govind Singh’s fort, though looks mozzy. Not much idea about it. Another man (another teacher) comes up and introduces himself to Saurabh in English – is shocked when he hears his name and then explains that villagers told that negro have come. Jedi introduces himself as the negro J Seems 65 lacs have been sanctioned and ‘spent’ on restoration of the fort – hard to see where it went.
Head off towards kajuraho and stopover for tea at Chattarpur. Meet another education department man at tea shop. Seems like all education dept. people are loitering around here! Little chitchat and head off.
Enter Kajuraho when man accosts us and promotes Hotel Gautama. We listen and then push off for our usual pre-stop recce of the place. 20 ft later another man on a bike talks to us and we decide against brushing him off and stop to listen. Seems he is the owner of Gautama and also senior guide. We listen to his proposition and then say fine, we’ll come back in a while. He looks disgruntled and says Aapka quality nahin hain and looks at the number plate to see where we are from. We head off and do a round. Go and stay at Lakeview as was original plan acc. Lonely planet. Bargain and get rate down. Constantly joking about which one of us has low quality.
We clean up and head off for the light and sound show. Too early, so walk around the market and stop to have nimbu pani. Jedi’s stomach still spasms from time to time. 3 days now – getting better but still there. Jedi go has a dose of bhang in expectation of light and sound show. The temples from outside look spectacular.
Sit there drinking NP when thousands (not exaggerating) of birds birdsound and fly over settling on the trees. Identify them as mostly parrots. Tremendrous scenes with the half moon right above. Sounds like one of those suspense thriller sounds of birds screeching on and on. For the second time on this trip, Jedi spends a better part of 15 mins looking up with his mouth open – last time was at hameediya golden beach and the hundreds of kites/hawks and eagles.
Go for the LnS show and settle down in the lawn amidst the trees and the temples. After a long soundcheck it starts sharp at 730 p.m. As expected it was AB’s voice. Informative show – nicely sets the platform for tomorrow when we actually see the temples. The Chandelas and their Kajuraho. Saurabh records the audio on his Dictaphone and takes pictures. Jedi’s first LnS show and he likes it. Saurabh doesn’t.
Head to Swiss Raja Café to have a different dinner. Jedi eats European Thali and Saurabh Vegetable au gratin.
Back to hotel and Marilyn Monroe films. The Misfits is quite nice.
Day 69 jul 1 Wed
0 kms, 7725 kms
Wake up and do nothing. Jedi calls his mom to wish her on her birthday. Calls Smriti and gets
Jedi sleeps and watches films. Washes his clothes.
Evening go to a place that serves Japanese food, only to find out that Japanese cook isn’t there. Leave and go to bhojanalay to eat local food. Korean people everywhere. Feel like we are sitting in a Korean film. Learn that its Korean season – 2 months Korean summer.
Day 70 jul 2 Thurs
12 kms, 7737 kms
Wake up and laze around. Finish watching the fellasleep parts of last night’s films. Jedi feels fine and ready. Shaves. Around noon, head out to have lunch and call the guide we met day before. He says too hot now, lets meet at 3. We check out the museum. Jedi is moved. Head back to hotel and do photo sorting/photostory (jedi) and ebook reading (saurabh).
Leave at 3 to see the southern and eastern group of temples. Impressive and exciting, esp. the mithuns (erotic) sculptures. See the Vamana,
Head back and have 3 glasses of pudina nimbu pani. Then go to the terrace of the hotel and watch the sunset. Soon the parrots and other birds, parrots in the thousands, sqwaking above and onward to the trees. 20 minutes and still they keep coming from the south. On the east, lightning and dark clouds gather. Surreal.