Distance traveled today: 453kms
Over distance covered: 2356kms
Distance Puri to Shillong: 1606kms approx.

We decided to get CoCo -CW looked over by a local mechanic in Vizag. That set is back a couple of hours. Another example of Indian timing. “1 hour, full service. No problem.” Which, in reality, was equal to the just over two hours that we spent. On the plus side, CW is good for a few more hundreds of miles.

Vizag to Odisha – formerly know as Orissa – is a National Highway Drive. Dual carriageway, divided. 2 lanes each way. The easy ride gave way to a bone rattler once we crossed over the state border to Odisha. Odisha roads (at least the ones we were on) seem to be
in a perpetual state of ‘Under construction’. Diversions, unfinished paving, potholes, concrete roads broken up… They have it all!

Once off the highway, we had to take some village roads to head to Puri. The going got really rough. And the rural darkness is darker than pitch black! We lost phone networks, GPS didn’t seem to work. All dirt tracks we were on looked the same and no road signs. But we were not getting anywhere. We finally found a few local folk and asked for help. Two of them jumped on a motorcycle and escorted us upto the point where we were on the right road leading up to Puri. Heaven sent. Truly.
We finally reached our hotel just past midnight. A good four hours behind schedule. But safe.

Tomorrow is likely to be a later start with a visit to the Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha.

~ Rakesh

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