A relatively uneventful day ended in spectacular style. My heart got going a few times when I was run off the road by large trucks and impatient drivers (as I was yesterday), but otherwise the ride passed smoothly. I made it to Sultanpur around 3.30pm, but struggled to find somewhere to sleep. I tried at four places and was sent packing by all of them. The annoying thing was that rather than explain why they couldn’t accept me they simply said they were full when I knew they weren’t. I wondered whether it was something about me personally. I finally learned why I was getting rejected when one hotel explained to me that a hotel needs to be specially registered to accept foreigners. Being in a non-touristy area means that no hotels are registered.
I was looking for a fifth place near the train station when a man with a magnificent moustache approached me and told me to come to his home. By this time I was utterly sick of people stopping me just so they can stare and take a photo, so I wasn’t paying anyone much attention, including this man. He kept pressing though and I was impressed by his moderately good English. He also introduced his small son to me and pointed out that we were standing outside his home. In the end I relented and accepted his invitation. I’m so glad I did. I was welcomed into his home where I met his other two sons and wife and brother and others. I learned that he was a lawyer, as was his father and his father’s father before him. His eldest son (23 years old) is studying law. Another son is 17 and the other is 10 years old. I was put completely at ease by their good English and welcoming nature, and I could easily relax and take it easy in their presence.
After a wash I was told to lie down, at which point I received an Indian-style massage from two guys who were the hired help. I felt awkward for a moment before just going with it. One guy worked my legs while other gave me a strangely good beating to the head. I was fed snacks before being welcomed into their backyard where much of the evening was spent chatting. Dinner was a freshly prepared egg curry, which I washed down with a generous glass of rum. I have been told to stay tomorrow as well, and I am more than happy to oblige. In fact, I was invited to stay for a couple of weeks. It is a warm, loving, friendly family to be a part of.
|Accommodation||Home of lovely family|
|Distance ridden today||95.84km|
|Average cycling speed||15.1kph|
|Total distance ridden||17,122km|