So Day 2 starts and what a day it was.
It was my first day of proper walking and I knew it was going to be hard; that would be putting it mildly. I had a 29 Km walk ahead of me.
My first big mistake – I over slept. I had planned to get up at 4:30 every day; one hour to get ready, on the road by 5:30. The heat was a big problem and I had planned to do all my walking in the morning, before the sun gets too hot. The temperature can reach 43 degrees and I didn’t want to be walking in that. As I started, after being attacked yesterday by a monkey, I was very cautious of any animal that came near me. And at this early hour of the morning, dogs are a real problem. Again, the walking sticks came in useful for fending them off.
So, on the road I was. I knew that I couldn’t follow the river all the way; it was just too remote. It’s amazing, though, what you can see just walking along a road in the middle of India.
I stopped for breakfast. God only knows what I ate, but it was enough to keep me going.
After a full days walking, I managed to get to Nashik. It was bigger and dirtier than I expected. I arrived at some hotel called Ahmed Lodge, cheap, but all I needed to do was sleep. I had a rucksack problem that had to be sorted. Firstly, I had to lighten my carrying load; secondly the rucksack had split. I also lost my sunglasses and my sleep sheet during the walk – it was a good day.
The guest house I was staying at was also a dairy.
So it was a full-on place. The owner, a great guy called Asif, helped me and as soon as I checked in, he got me on the back of his bike to get the rucksack repaired.
I bought some bananas for my dinner and had every intention of having an early night. I had a 26 Km hike ahead of me tomorrow.
Then there was the inevitable Indian power cut, so I went down stairs to investigate. I saw Asif busy serving milk into plastic bags (so much for the ban on plastic in India, I thought!). Then a guy started talking to me about how good India was during Victoria’s reign. Before I knew it, I was on the back of his bike, off exploring. Turns out he owns vineyards and hotels in the area. I tried to resist, but he wanted to get me dinner at one of the hotels he owns. So within one hour I had been on two motor bikes. I am walking India in the morning and seeing how many vehicles I can get on at night. So, we just walked into his restaurant, the food was ordered and his friend joined us. What a lovely guy. Kausar was his name, but to me he was like Al Pacino. True to his word, after the dinner, we just walked out of the restaurant. It seemed funny having no bill to worry about. Then, back on the bike and back to my hotel.
Al said we’d only be a hour and we were. I thanked him, went into the hotel and straight to bed.