Thursday, February 11, 2010

Konark - 11.2.10

Day 1 cycling: Puri to Konark
Distance (DST) = 35km; Total Ride Time (TRT) = 1hr 52min; Average Speed (AVS) = 18.3km/hr;  cadence = 70rpm

After a hearty breakfast, I hit the road at about 9am. It was an easy, leisurely ride to Konark: a slight cool breeze, temperature about 30'C, smooth, flat roads, little traffic - and surprisingly benign when there was some - and very friendly people along the way. The highway - NH203E - passed through two animal sanctuaries, over several rivers, along the sea shore, and by a place where blokes were carving statues out of sandstone. A fine road, albeit short at 35km, to cycle ... as the tired old phrase goes "it doesn't get much better ...." A great feeling to have finally started a bit of cycling.

As in the past, it's interesting watching the mind tick over as you sit in the seat pedalling away: wishing you were there already; thinking how great this is; will there be accommodaton available?; maybe I'll wash some clothes; I haven't been very hungry of late & feel tired ...hope I haven't got some disorder; what the hell was Felix ... well, you get the picture. All rather redundant, pointless, as it will all work itself out one way or the other anyhow, whether I spent time thinking about it or not, and in the meantime it involves quite a separation from what's actually going on.

The road to Konark

Eventually arrived at Labanya Lodge where I've taken a pretty good room for Rs750 (about $18 AUD) - I tried to argue the price down but the owner, a friendly but business-like bloke, wasn't budging. Relative luxury, with several windows facing in different directions, hot water & a ceiling fan, and the only place in town with the internet. For some unkown reason I booked & paid for 2 nights, whereas 1 might have been enough. The Sun Temple, about 300m away, is an very impressive temple complex, built in the 13th century in the fashion of a gigantic chariot for the Sun God, comprising twelve pairs of huge wheels pulled by seven horses. I took a guide & he explained it all fairly well over about 3 hours. He asked my profession at one point & when I replied went on to tell me about his poor sleep & excessive worry about his 2 daughters who were of marriageable age but how the family needed to pay a dowry for them in the range of about $7000 - a huge sum here (I cracked some joke about whether he was hoping I'd marry them but it went right past him - perhaps just as well). So he worries big time. They also have a small house - there are 5 of them (they also have a son) so they can't even all get to sleep at the same time. I gave him the "why worry" tip but I don't think it hit the mark. He seemed a little crestfallen when I gave him Rs320 for the 3 hours work (pretty reasonable according to my homework); later I thought maybe I should've deducted a bit for the free psychological advice. These are difficult matters here - whether to tip people e.g. a worker cleans your room at his request then puts out a hand & asks for a tip - like, isn't that his damn job? - or whether to give money to beggars (one neatly-dressed fellow in Kolkata presented me with a bad luck story & said he just wanted some food, no money, as he wasn't a beggar. We passed a stall & I was going to buy him something but they hadn't quite opened so I gave him some small change (Rs20) which he looked at rather ungraciously, took, & then walked off.) There are some extremely tragic looking cases everywhere but how to judge who's 'worthy' because you certainly couldn't afford to give to everyone who asked.

The Sun Temple is mostly made out of sandstone, with a few granite sections; there are heaps of human & other figures in various "amorous" poses around the temple - men & women, with one, sometimes two partners, having 'regular' sex in various poses, oral sex, anal sex, 'self-sex', lesbian sex... a dog was involved in at least one scene ... two elephants having sex... the one thing I didn't notice was male homosexual sex... what's the story there? I had to return to my room to lie down for a while after 3 hours of stickbeaking at all that ...

The mossies are pretty bad around here ...

Sun Temple


Mr Felix (aka Pak Peelips) said...


Sounds like India is sucking you into it's dark interior, and it's only your first day out on the road! Oi! Me, I simply don't go there much anymore, unless I have specific business. Can't stand to be swallowed up into all that animally depraved tree worshipping sexo-thingo anymore. It's easy to overdose.
Speaking of swallowing, did I tell you how good the food is here in Thailand? And it's so clean... :)
Stay cool, mate! Ride safe.

Mr Felix (aka Pak Peelips) said...

What's happened to Bikkhu Pete?
I miss him! :)

Anonymous said...

Dave been in the outback "hot as hell" been looking at a sewrage recycling plant being built outa Mildura. I guess they could use these plants in India. Quite an engineering coup. You see the shit comes in and goes around and around diffused with air then sunshine and then pumped onto almond and fruit plantations around the region. I suppose you would appreciate the engineering expertise. Didnt you and felix do civil engineering? You could both harness your engineering prowess and help India develop.
"Ah" Felix I did not see any RSJs being used so you would be safe, its all concrete!!!!
The Sun Temple is mostly made out of sandstone, with a few granite sections; there are heaps of human & other figures in various "amorous" poses around the temple - men & women, with one, sometimes two partners, having 'regular' sex in various poses, oral sex, anal sex, 'self-sex', none of that in Mildura.

Ride weel Dave

Bikku Pete

Mr Felix (aka Pak Peelips) said...

Hey, Bikkhu Pete is back on the air, excellent!
You know, Bikkhu, when I was reading your post and you said. "The Sun Temple is mostly made out of sandstone, with..." for a second there I thought you meant they had one in Mildura. Hey, hey...pagan worship and all that up where the rule of law breaks down, but no such luck.
Be kinda cool if they dug one up, though.
Re concrete, actually, if you knew anything about concrete constructions you would know that they put somethng inside the concrete called REO BARS.In steel buildings there are things called RSJs, but in concrete buildings, they have REOs. Long bar kind of things that stick up. RSJs stick out - that's the difference.
It's like footy - there is the pre-season, the season, and the off-season.
It's technical, I know.
Hope that's not doing your brain in, mate! As the song goes:
When my baby smiles at me I go to REO, en-gin-eering...!
Stay cool bros! I'm still stuck in Bangrut on the beach with some French, an Englishman, a Belgian and a Pole. Cheers. :)