Thursday, October 14, 2010

The run to the border

Having caught up and rejoined the group on the following morning, we decided to have a massive day in the saddle to try an get back on schedule.  Welding and repairs were out of the way early and we were on the road by mid morning.  On previous days we had averaged speeds of about 20km per hour over the day due to poor roads, breakdowns and general fatigue.  A full day should have seen us travel about 200km in ten hours. 
Small Maoist cells still try it on in some of the small townships by blocking the road and soliciting 'donations'.  We simply road around many of these without stopping.  On one occasion where they had strung red tape across the road; we roared up on the bikes and said "up, up, quick up".  They were quite surprised, and actually did it - giving us enough time to belt off up the road and leaving a few bewildered locals who were fishing in their pockets for cash.
We were pleased (and astonished) to find smooth and flat roads where we could really open the bikes up (well, to 90km pr hour) and we made good time all day.  So much so that we found ourselves at the border as dusk fell.  Jeff and Brad were despatched to find alternative lodgings after our intended hotel proved unsatisfactory.  They located somewhere that was an improvement - even though the rooms were filled with bugs, the bed linen bore the stains from many previous occupants, and the bus station offered a chorus of horns from 3am onwards.  Certainly not one of the better night's sleep that we have had, and needed a bath in aeroguard before sleep.