Distance travelled today: 315
Overall distance covered: 1921
Remaining Distance to Shillong: 1350 approx.

Puri – Konark:
A very nice stretch of road to drive along. The road creates one of the borders to a Deer & Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary appeared to be well protected in the constant warning signs imploring people to avoid picnics and pollution, to drive slow in case any of be animals stray on to the roads. The stretch of road not bordering the sanctuary would swing out and run along the coastline, with washing waves and clean sand beaches. It would have been nice to have been able to spend some time, but we needed to push on to Konark.

The originally planned few minutes extended to an well worth hour. As written about in the earlier updates.

We then pressed on. We knew Kolkata was too far away to reach before nightfall. So we planned to stop at the next best location just around dusk.

Balasore, Odisha
Based on distance covered Bhadrak would have been ideal. However we were on the National Highway and the night driving was relative safer. Still with a high degree of stress. Next city, Balasore was a bigger town meant about an hour and half of night driving. Calculated decision taken. We aimed for Balasore.

It was Rama’s round to drive. He’s become quite a keen driver now. But being a night drive he’d be slower than I would and I didn’t really want to stay out on the highway during the night for longer than we needed to. Besides, the longer time to relax and recuperate would be useful. So I took over the driving and pulled into the hotel around 8pm.

The Three Wheelies:
On the way, we bumped into another team, The Three Wheelies. Sriyal and Nick. They had broken down with some clutch trouble. This team has really had a bag full of adventures. We waited till we were sure they had help from a mechanic and pushed on. After talking about our plans, they too decided to head to Balasore for the night. It was good chatting about each other’s RickshawRun experiences. Most of them humorous!

~ Rakesh