Monday, February 15, 2010

Chandikhol - Monday 15 Feb

Day 3 cycling: Bhubaneswar to Chandikhol
Distance (DST) = 61km; Total Ride Time (TRT) = 3hr 7min; Average Speed (AVS) = 19.4 km/hr; MAX = 30km/hr; cadence = 73rpm. Total Distance (ODO) =159km
Even after a number of trips to India, I still find it hard to stomach the the ghastly sounds of people performing their morning ablutions. My room here at Hotel Upasana was on the ground floor, and on the wall outside my room there's a tap at which several people seem to get stuck into their morning routines with great gusto - so, at 7am, I arise to the sounds of vigorous hawking, growling, gobbing, as nasal & throat and probably other passageways are cleared out. Hmm, now for my breakfast! After performing my own somewhat less dynamic morning rituals, I had this at an LP recommended place (Truptee Restaurant) - two sambar vada (like doughnuts, floating in a sambar sauce) and a 'Nescoffee' which cost less than a dollar (AUD) all up. Good start to the day. My new chum from the past 2 days, Andrea, had already headed off - she found Bhubaneswar to be a most unwelcoming place - so I figured I'd do the same. I wheeled the bike into the lobby to settle my bill; the annoying security guy, appropriately mustachioed & wearing a military-looking security uniform, decided that he would wheel my bike outside, to which I responded "leave it!" ... he glared at me & took a few more steps with it ..."leave it!" ... yet more steps ..."LEAVE IT!!" I had to bellow before he got the message. 

The ride here was along a flat, easy road, crossing several mighty bridges, but overall the scenery wasn't very attractive - lots of truck stops, and stopped trucks, and some agricultural areas. As I arrived at Chandikhol (in some places spelt Chandikhole), the Hotel Mid East could be seen towering over the intersection ahead (it's at the crossroad of Highways 5 & 5A). On the right I could see a sign to the Buddhist ruins of Ratnagiri, Udayagiri & Lalitgiri that I figured I might visit tomorrow. The hotel's reception is on the 3rd floor, so after removing panniers & locking the bike to a metal pole in front of an interested crowd, I proceeded to reception where I selected a non-A/C room for Rs250 (the A/C room cost about Rs700) - on the 4th floor. Following in the footsteps of the redoubtable Bill Weir I lugged the bike up to the 4th floor, much to the amusement of reception staff. It's a decent enough room - large, with ceiling fan & squat toilet, relatively clean & looking like it's been repainted in the the last few years. Towel & soap also provided. If I don't look directly down, there's a decent view out the window of the highway ahead; looking down, there's a herd of pigs in a dumping ground - wouldn't reckon they'd find much nourishment in amongst all the plastic bags, bottles etc that have been dumped there. (Tragically, these dump sites of non-biodegradable plastic are everywhere in India, often outside restaurants & hotels or at the edge of villages.)  Overall, this feels like a reasonable place.

I've mentioned Bill Weir above: I probably should mention his excellent web journals at See Asia Again. My route is largely based on the one he took between Puri & Siliguri in 2008.


Please post your comments here: Qamar said...


I am from Chandikhole area a small town called JAraka. While surfing Internet I bumped up to your blog. Keep exploring India.

Anonymous said...

Chandikhol is a nice place; to visit and to stay.