Today has gone extraordinarily well. I woke up at 6am and was farewelling my host family at 7am. On my way out of Sultanpur, I stopped to buy some bread and some bananas. The bread (six small rolls) cost me 12r (AU$0.25) and I got six bananas for free, thanks to the generosity of a cart owner. Then all I had to do was ride 140+km to reach Lucknow. During my first 10km I kept an eye out for a place to eat breakfast, but after failing to come across any good options, I began to feel ill from a lack of food, so I stopped to eat three bananas and bread rolls. This kept me going for a surprisingly fast 40km, after which I stopped for a couple of samosas.
My next rest came at 70km (about halfway into the day) when a guy on a scooter invited me to his shop, which was an internet/word-processing/money-transfer business that he started after completing university in Lucknow. I finished my bread and bananas while we chatted; then he took me out for a couple of samosas and tea. Riding on, I stopped after another 35km at a fruit stand, where I bought 4 bananas, 3 apples, 3 oranges and a bunch of grapes for 110r (AU$2.15). I ate an apple, orange and half the grapes at the roadside, then got back on the bike for the final push to town.
At the 125km mark I got chatting to a guy on a motorbike. His name is Sharad and we got on really well. We rode and chatted side by side for ages. Eventually, he invited me to stay at his place. I followed him for about 15km around the edge of Lucknow, past a new stadium being built and into a nice neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city. We stopped in at his family’s house, where I met his mother and sister; then we rode the 1km to his home, which he shares with his cousin. We continued to chat and I really enjoyed listening to his perspective on life. He has a great outlook and based on his stories it sounds like he has had a great teacher in his father. He is 28 years old and works as a mathematics teacher (just like my dad). His parents have arranged a marriage for him, which will take place in March. He doesn’t know the girl he is marrying but has faith in his parents’ choice.
|Accommodation||Home of a friendly local|
|Distance ridden today||142.84km|
|Average cycling speed||18.4kph|
|Total distance ridden||17,265km|