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Blog 83 Jamui to Gridihi

13th December

Today I got lost in the back roads going through small Indian villages and it was brilliant. Leaving Jamui, the NH 333 wouldn’t be a major arterial route and getting there involved a minor route through villages and across India’s verdant farmland. Whilst the villages were sparcely stocked with goods, hardly a place to take tea, much of what was on sale fulfilled the basic needs of a household - pots, pans, cleaning materials, basic clothing, anything to do with agricultural feeds, baskets of live chickens. All morning I rode on a narrow two lane ‘B’ road made a more important with the embellishment of a dotted central white line but that made no difference to traffic separation. Road markings are there as a guide and don't have anything to do with an Indian road users reality. Same with road furnishings. Signs, if still standing, are something to aim for, not observe but there were few trucks and whenever I soaked up the quiet. I heard the mist lift and the sounds of the sun as it shone through onto my face.

Every single moment since entering India, my air space was punctuated by vehicles passing, but there were other sounds too; girls laughing walking to school and always beautifully turned out in crisp white uniforms and striped school ties. Music played everywhere, it was a festival but I suspect it played anyway. Frogs, cicados, suble sounds of nature not entirely drowned out by auto rickshaws. Dew was beginning to steam off like ironing a moist shirt and out there across fields with no end butting up to trees lining the horizon there was a magic cutting though the back lanes of Bihar that started off my day in the best possible way.  And then there was the band, it played on, it stopped the traffic, and they did it the Indian way. I love it!

And the Band Played On

Old man with their moustaches and bowed legs walked their cow, others seated would shoot out their beetle juice. Through decayed teeth and an expert squirt I caught sight of their swollen blood red gums. Lining every village in the same sequence cows lounged outside small earthen houses, some built with bricks and they all had their harvest in, wheat piled outside the front door waiting to be threshed, woman in their sari's and always carrying a pan. The old men looking absent or maybe tending the fire. 

Getting closer to the National Highway I stopped for fried kadotha, daal and tea and a white gulab. The traffic had now returned, one exceptionally moment replaced to one where people and goods have to be moved. 

The Palce on Wheels (there is an 'a' missing) passed me and further up the road I caught up with the driver, ther crew having stopped for lunch.

What I Saw When I Stopped

Just noticed my signpost - I lost track of where I was going and without exception I've never not been pleasantly surprised about the benefits of what 'being lost' actually means. Always good.

Map of the Day

Postcard From Home

This fella, Mr Will Lloyd Williams MBE ussed to be our local butcher in the town of Machynlleth and one of the finest. Used to be the Mayor but after giving up butchering and having a life long special interest in footbal and it's administration he is now the Vice President of the Welsh FA - he'll be President before long - rubbing shoulders with Gareth Bale and the like. A dear pal and stalwart of the town.

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