08-Mar-2008 -- This is the 11th point in a journey by motorbike in India to visit 16 confluence points. The story starts at 22N 86E and this visit follows on from 21N 80E. The next point in the series is 21N 82E.
8th March is “International” Women’s day – congratulations to all. I thought it was only observed in former communist countries buy found that it also exists here in India.
From Raj Nandgaon this point lies about 11 km south west. We started at 7.00 am and were at the point by 8 and away from Raj Nandgaon by 9. We followed a good road to within 2 km of the point and then turned off onto farm tracks which led us to within 50 metres of the point and we were able to ride off into the small orchard to within a few metres of the point. The farm tracks included a few hundred yards of partially improved road - a thick layer of sharp 5 cm stones had been laid but not rolled - this was awful to cross on the motorbikes. I hope the roller turns up soon! I am not sure what the trees in the orchard were but they I am sure they were there for a purpose. Nobody approached us at the point and we quickly concluded the formalities. Nice to have one under the belt by 8 am.
Degree of Challenge:
1 – Good roads to within 2 km and then small roads and farm tracks almost to the point. (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
3 – A small orchard in pleasant flat countryside. (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
3 – Several very traditional small villages on the way to the point.Also many ballons on sale and dislay for a local festival. (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)
We left the point and decided on a different route back as we came to a good asphalt road. This was the first of two times that we made that mistake – an asphalt road can end in dirt tracks and villages at both ends! Never mind we made it back to the main road via a couple of interesting villages. It seems that not much has changed in these villages for many years – the traditions and necessities of fetching water, tending to animals, growing crops and standing around talking are timeless.
Along the way to and from the point there were many balloons being carried and sold and tied to gateposts etc. We learned later that the day was a festival day and this would also explain the thousands of bicycles we followed and weaved through on our way back into Raj Nandgaon.
From Raj Nandgaon we headed east to the major city of Raipur. Fortunately this city has a southern ring road but it was very busy and slow. We eventually came to the radial road leading south east and escaped the city and traffic.
The story continues at 21N 82E.