A mixed bag of beans…!
Day 7 dawns slightly daunting for our crew who have now spent a week on the road. Here’s looking at how they diligently and stubbornly ride through it all…
7th November 2022
No. of kms covered: 364 (Total 2275 kms)
No. of hours ridden: 21 hours
Cities covered: Bhujaini-Tendua toll plaza-Gorkhpur city-Kushinagar road-Sapha road-Madhuria
States travelled: Gujarat-Rajasthan-Uttar Pradesh-Bihar
Some days are sweet, and some quite a feat. And such was Day 7 for our crew, a mixed bag of good times and tough scenes.
Their first significant halt was at Gorakhpur Air Force station where they met and interacted with the officers. They had kindly arranged for breakfast too, however our crew requested them to pack it for them as they were racing against time. It was 11am by the time they left.
After leaving from there, they consumed their packed breakfast at a temple on the roadside. Then they received a call from the Rotary club of Khushinagar who wished to meet them. They met all the members of the Rotary club at a dhaba on the highway. The members honoured Preeti and our crew. It felt wonderful meeting them. They all scanned the ReBirth information too.
They reached the following toll too early for lunch, hence asked them to instead get it arranged at the next toll.
At 5 pm they finally reached the toll and decided to halt and eat there instead of simply carrying the packed lunch. It was a delicious meal of roti, sabji, dal and chawal.
The going after that was pretty tough. Both Preeti and the crew members were feeling extremely sleepy and kept nodding off. Our crew chief Mr. Ghanshyam took over the wheel for quite a few kilometers so the driver could nap some. Even Mr. Mayank took over the wheel for a while.
Finally at 12 pm, when they couldn’t withstand it any more, they halted 40 kms before their target at a petrol pump. Exhaustion had taken over to such an extent that they could not even put up the tent. Mr. Ghanshyam slept off on a chair, Ms. Nivedita on a mat on the floor, Ms. Preeti in the backseat of the car, driver in the front seat. The crew technician was up till late in the night repairing some tyre issues. They all fell into a deep dreamless sleep within seconds.
“Hats off to Preeti for covering so much distance in spite of it being arduous. She was experiencing some body and knee pain, yet she strove on. She fought sleep off for a long time too!” says Mr. Ghanshyam
They experienced a long bout of traffic near Muzaffarpur (as a bypass was being constructed) where at one point Preeti was almost 6-7 kms ahead of them. Fortunately they were constantly in touch with her over the phone. While highways do not have much directional change, directing Preeti about the turns and routes becomes essential while driving through towns and cities. That’s when staying in touch via phone is imperative too.
Yet all was not dreary. There was a gorgeous patch of road after Gorakhpur station which was refreshing. It was a single lane road lined by tall teakwood trees with the sunlight glinting dreamily through them. Since it was a touristy place, there were quite a few street vendors and corn on cob shops on the roadside. Our crew loved riding through it.
Also they chanced upon an acquaintance of their driver Mr. Sandeep. While driving by a furniture store, he suddenly recollected that his friend from Pune owned it! So, they stopped for a minute, met him, gifted him the ReBirth t-shirt and shared the expedition information too. He was thrilled and invited the crew over for tea but time restraints forced them to continue.
“Today most of us were feeling disgruntled and tired. We also felt we were unable to predict and provide Preeti’s requirements in time. Our moods fluctuated. Sometimes we would lose track of day and time as we are travelling almost 20 hours a day in this little vehicle which now feels like home. But we know we shall buck up soon. Our mission keeps us inspired” signs off Mr. Ghanshyam.
Here’s wishing our crew lots of love and light!
Blog by: Arohi Bhimajiani