Today we were stopped at a checkpoint and refused entry to the city we planned to visit tonight.
“No entry to foreigners, military area”
“Oh well, I guess we’ll just ride back 30kms to the last turnoff then, lucky the roads here are so nice… Hmmm”
Fortunately I was still on a bit of a high after the great experience we had with Pieter and the gang at KTM. I can’t begin to explain how nice it was to work in a workshop with a concrete floor, in the shade, with compressed air and any other tools i might have needed. I really enjoyed being there, and Betsy got the best oil she’s seen in a long time.
So a small hiccup followed that, which left us without a destination today. With no option we changed route and rode until 3pm, then stopped and looked for a town on our way that had some hotels.
“Nahan has three hotels marked”
“Sounds good, let’s do it”
We rolled in here just after 4pm, when I immediately rode the wrong way down a one way street in the middle of town, because… well… there normally aren’t any road rules in India.
The policeman’s whistle was quite a surprise, I had to look twice before taking it seriously, but sure enough, there he was, so I pulled over while Sal went to check out the hotel 100m down the street
No staring groups of people, no problems from the policeman, and Sal came back with a thumbs up. Wow, first hotel and they let us stay!
“Yep, secure park, room’s a bit dirty but it will do”
“Fantastic, now all I need is one cold beer and I’ll be in heaven!” I was really hot!
“There’s a bar on the roof”
“Like an actual bar… With drinks?!”
So this hotel is in the middle of town overlooking a football field, where there were games of cricket, volleyball, basketball and football being played simultaneously as we arrived, with what felt like the whole town either in a game or watching. It had a really nice community feel about it.
We took a walk around town (post beer), and stopped to eat some momos, where the owner sat and chatted with us, and then wouldn’t let us pay for the food.
“No money needed, you are our guests in India”
So nice! Further on we were greeted by lots of people with smiling faces, and waving children wanting to practice their English.
The town spilled it’s way down the hill in little streets lined with shop fronts that reminded us both of Europe, and while the horns are still there, it’s much more bearable than anywhere else we’ve been so far.
India has changed a lot right up here in the North, looking forward to going even further up in the next few days.