Distance travelled today: 305kms

We had hoped to put in at least another 100-150kms. A little late start, coupled with a longish stop for lunch and then the very slow NH34 allowed us just 50kms north of Kolkata.

It had gone dark. This National Highway is nothing but a two way street running right through populated rural towns. No respite from people, pot holes and the blinding High beams from the trucks coming at us from the opposite direction.

Such roads really puts driving to the test. Anticipation, quick gear changes, finding that fine line between going through potholes and trying to safeguard the Rickety Rickshaw from damage.

Prudent and wise thing to do was to stop as the first hotel that came up. And fortunately in about 15mins a roadside Inn loomed up. The Hotel PM Inn. Tacky Heaven!

This puts Siliguri out of reach for tomorrow night. Plan is to get as close to Siliguri as we can. Rest up for the night. Put in an early early start and get into Siliguri late following morning.

As we get closer, the mind plays with the numbers; kms / days / hrs and tends to succumb to a false sense of comfort. But the cushion of comfort soon evaporates into painful thuds of the slow, washed out, potholed, National Highways of India.

~ Rakesh

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