Monday, 16 February 2009
Well, I suppose the news is that I'm still in India. Both Leana and I have decided to head North from Chennai, in the direction of Nepal. Two months ago I was charging down this coast in a Southerly direction, mostly along the highways as I was in somewhat of a hurry. In some of the towns we've even stayed in the same crumby lodges which I'd occupied a couple of months ago - didn't expect to see those places again. Now we're travelling in a more relaxed fashion, and where possible have deviated onto smaller roads along the coast and through endless rural villages and towns. We've lost our way a few times, mostly due to the inventive nature of local directions. And now, the real news story: We were stopped and interviewed by local newspaper reporters every day for about 5 consecutive days. Most of those reporters were apparently working for the biggest-selling daily newspaper in this state - Andhra Pradesh. (I can just imagine the editor receiving yet another photo of us and exclaiming "Oh No - not these 2 again!"). However, people started running up to us with newspapers so we could see the reports, and the attached 4 pictures seem to be from 4 different papers (although I have no idea what is written there). To crown it all, when we arrived in the town of Tuni 2 days ago we were stopped in the main street by the TV News (causing an immediate traffic jam). We were filmed and interviewed by the local Andhra TV channel, as well as by TV5. The next day people were asking for autographs and offering us fruit along the road. Now we're taking a rest in the port city of Visakhapatnam, about half way between Chennai and Kolkata on India's East coast. Daily distances cycled since Chennai are:- Nayadupeta 118 km; Kavali 130 km; Ongole 71 km; Voderevu Beach 70 km; Challapalle 96 km; Narasapuram 128 km; Yanam 79 km; Tuni 105 km; Visakhapatnam 109 km. Total distance cycled since leaving Cape Town is 35 656 km.