– ODO- 9886 – 10033km
– Location- Gudihatnur, India
– Weather- 24-37 degrees
I’m sitting in a forest clearing looking up at the stars. The rumble of tyres and arpeggios horns of the highway mix with cricket and bird song. Today I exceeded 10,000km on the road since leaving London 9 months ago and I’m swept with an overall feeling of calm. I remember the first-night camping wild in French fields and Swiss forests were punctuated by nightmares of getting found or of being run down by a tractor in my sleep. But now I’m sitting – wearing nothing but my pants and sandals I might add – in this forest. Feeling how lucky I am to be able to spend this time living out under the stars. Exposed but connected to nature, life and the feel my insignificance under a view of the milky-way above.
This highway through the centre of India is a real break from the coasts. It’s smooth. Fairly flat. And really quiet. Even in comparison to Europe. I’ve had times in the day where I can’t see a single moped, car or truck on the road stretching into the distance. The roadside food has changed a little. I’ve been picking tourist style places so far. Normally with a security guard with a whistle and a flag getting your attention and waving for you to stop. Here though there are only simple shacks for truckers. Wherever there are a group of trucks I’ve stopped. Today it really paid off. I get a potato veg curry and 4 roti with fresh water and soda from the fridge. The owners then showed me to a separate space at the back with beds laid out in the shade. The feet of a driver stuck from the end of one. I thanked them profusely and slept lightly through the heat of the day. When I got back on the road I made another 50km making the day a full 150km day even with the cold I’ve been fighting off. You can’t judge dahbas by their looks I learned.