Tuesday, February 09, 2010

PURI - Tuesday 9.2.10

(.. I think this computer I'm using must have been made in the 1940's ...) Travelling to Puri by bus was seeming too complicated & so I ended up getting a train ticket from a place I was changing money at - on the Howrah-Puri Express. I always feel wary of using the train partly because of damage incurred to a bike on an earlier trip & also because it means losing contact with the bike & entrusting it to the Indian railway system. Given that the train left at 8:55pm I thought it wise to get a taxi to Howrah rather than cycle either in peak hour traffic or in the dark. Jamming the bike into the back seat again was a hell of an exercise, requiring the combined brain & physical prowess of me, the driver & 4 hotel staff. We eventually succeeded when I finally computed that I needed to remove the front wheel & lower the seat. Then of course, booking the bike onto the train is a rigmarole - just finding the Parcel office is a bit like being on a car rally: small cryptic clues eventually lead to your destination (e.g. discovering that it's the Parcel office I want, not the Baggage office). Then, after dropping the bike off & filling in a form, I had to retrace my steps quite a distance back to ask a functionary to stamp the form before returning it to where I'd dropped the bike off. The train trip (I went in a sleeping car, 2-tier) went quite quickly & I slept like a log until shortly before arrival at 6am. But ... where is the bike? The bloke in the Parcel office said come back in an hour, which wasn't very encouraging. I figured that I could use the time to find a room which I eventually did at the Hotel Lotus (my first 2 choices were booked out) at Rs400 a night (about $10 AUD). This time, a spacious room, just a little lacking in the window department (one window looks out at a brick wall, 1ft away, and the other is 1ft wide by maybe 4 ft high) , but otherwise clean & comfortable & the owners & staff seem friendly & helpful (and extremely interested in the bike, my age, ... and am I insane...). On returning to the station my bike had arrived & was waiting for me in the Parcel office!

Puri is a pretty relaxed beachside place & also a major Hindu pilgrimage centre - home of the Jagannath Mandir (temple), which I cycled out to this afternoon. The town was apparently big on the 'hippie' trail in the '70's & there are vague remnants of this now (eg in names such as Peace Restaurant, Xanadu Pavilion, Love & Life hotel, and in the numerous ayurvedic & healing centres around town). It's lovely to see the sea, although apparently it's a bad idea to try & swim in it (sections of it double as public toilet & I think there are rips, etc). The one unpleasant feature about the place is that apparently it's also a bit of paedophile hang-out. I'll probably stay here for 2 days & then head on to Konark ... by bike...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a bit confused about your route. Is it on Bikely or ...

Simon W

Anonymous said...

Ah ...found it
cheers
Simon

Anonymous said...

That Pak Peelips fellow and His reference to 'Carving deep blue ripples in the tissues of your mind" Has made me melencoly and rememering a not to similar verse from a rock group where I believe the latter quote was taken from.

This mey be salient to your situation in India" Silver curtains run down moon beams in your dark eyes tired starlings no contenment"

Confused. Im in Mildura and its bloody hot.
Stockist of Disposable Catering Item" according to his business card). What was my religion? Did I believe in god?).

You certainly get amongst it Dave.

Am Enjoy the Blog/trip

Bikku Pete

Mr Felix (aka Pak Peelips) said...

I think Bikkhu means...
"Silver horses run down moonbeams in your dark eyes,
Dawn-light smiles on you leaving, my contentment"
And, ah, whatever that last line means, it's worth getting right, wouldn't you agree, Bikkhu, my fine poem quoting friend? And also, that's "black curtains", not silver ones.... btw, how many drugs did you do in your last incarnation?
However, enough doctrinal arguments...we'll be here forever... I think the next lines are relevant to Dave's difficult situation, viz:
"I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines, Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves.
You said no strings could secure you at the station,
Platform ticket, restless diesels. goodbye windows."
Now this sums up Dave's Indian dilemmas, wouldn't you agree, Bikkhu?
It's probably even better than Nostradamus, wouldn't you also agree, or have I just opened up another can of contraversial worms? Oh, dear... :)

david w said...

Peelips, Pete, this is doing my head in ... spinning me out ... I feel like I've entered into a 70's time warp here, what with all these 70's lyrics & me surrounded with the likes of the Woodstock Hotel, Hotel Xanadu, Peace Restaurant ...

Mr Felix (aka Pak Peelips) said...

Just put on live Cream 'Spoonful' on the IPod, and you'll be sweet. :)