I donned my leg warmers for the very first time and rode with more clothes on than ever before: socks, warmers, shorts, t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, jacket, gloves and face cloth. Even then I was cold as I rode into the fog. After shooting some leaving Nepal footage, it wasn’t until about 10am that I really got going. Just shy of the border, I stopped to enjoy my last meal in Nepal (a 100r daal baht). This left me with just 103r, which I spent at the border itself. 30r went to six bananas and the rest went to chocolate treats. Getting stamped out of Nepal was super easy, but as I entered India I faced the hassle of border control going through my bags. They only did a half-arsed job though, so it didn’t take too long. Indian immigration was super easy too, only taking about five minutes. Then I was in! It was around noon when I entered and I had 100km to ride to my planned destination. I made it fairly easily, helped a lot by the fact that the road was brand new and in magical condition, but hindered a little by some headwind towards the end of the day. The mist cleared around 1pm and I finally felt warm enough to remove my jacket, socks and leggings. I really enjoyed the ride. Everyone was friendly without being overbearing and the rural scenery was nice. I got looked at but not gawked at and I was left alone whenever I stopped to check my location or have a quick rest.
Eventually, and quite exhausted after pushing myself, I rolled into Gorakhpur and made my way to the train station, around which a heap of hotels can be found. The first one at which I enquired wanted 900r, the second 700r and the third 300r. Easy choice! My 300r place is perfectly fine and the bathroom didn’t ask for any shudders. I got my stuff and bike up the narrow flight of stairs and into my room, then showered in startlingly cold water. My next task was to find an ATM so I could pay for my stay. I received no extra charge on withdrawing money, which was a bonus. Back at the hotel, I paid with the 2000r note I’d received from the ATM and received the change in 100r or smaller notes, which suited me perfectly. I wandered down the street and enjoyed two street-cart dishes – two-piece chapatti and curry (20r) and a fried egg dish (20r) – before sitting down at a little restaurant where I had two chapattis daal curry and vegetable curry for 90r. All up dinner cost AU$2.55. I’m pretty sure I was charged he standard price each time rather than getting ripped off for being a tourist.
I am now sitting on a massive balcony area overlooking the glowing lights of the train station and the busy street below. It’s very noisy and I can expect the noise to continue all night as I believe things are open 24/7. The train station is super busy and the streets are filled with rickshaws rushing people and baggage about. There is even a speaker in the hotel wall next to me which randomly announces train arrival and departure times. I’m definitely going to wish I had ear plugs tonight!
|Distance ridden today||123.58km|
|Average cycling speed||18.6kph|
|Total distance ridden||16,731km|