Got up, packed, set off. That’s what I do. I might change the routine one day. Maybe I won’t pack and I won’t set off. I’ll have a rest day. I need time away from the highway.
Stopped for chai except I could smell the milk burning. Hate that, ruins my day. Not really but side of the road highway Indians are all I know and they make me laugh out loud, with great affection. Four of them standing in a line stirring their dal in large pans, pots of fresh milk steaming. Chai Wallah Boss comes up with a clay cup of this delicious liquid bringing a serious face. I taste it, thumbs up and he breaks into a wide smile then chuckles.
No four lane for 100kms so it appears I have a dense ride in hard traffic until lunchtime, across Bihar, once with a reputation of being the most dangerous state in all of India. But I was ‘Having a Ball in Bihar’ which is better than having a brick bashed into my head. There used to be dacoits.
Sup iff the froth, overlaying the top lip, lower lip against the cup and you breathe it in so cooling the surface. It’s a tiny cup, 10 rupees and designed for little and often mid winter here in India.
Stopped again for gulab with cream, and the milk sponge pudding which is my current favourite desert of all time. Highway cycling is all about not losing a body part and eating. The daal was delicious and warmed me for the next 50kms of my conquest. It was quixotic in part (chasing windmills as an allegory), but in my pursuit of a beautiful world today had started well. I paid and carried on. Stopped for skewered meat, first I'd seen for weeks.
35kms to Jamui and I turn right and suddenly am between fields of crops, no trucks, immediately sweeter but it didn’t last long. I seem to be riding on single track roads through endless villages joined up to become a conurbation. Large coal fired power station has made all of us black faced. Across the river bridge, double back below the underpass and I must ride the last 30kms before the sun sets and then I see Mr Balloon Man on a Bicycle.
What I Saw When I Stopped
Map of the Day