02-Mar-2008 -- This is the fifth point in a journey by motorbike in India to visit 16 confluence points. The story starts at 22N 86E and follows on from 22N 83E. The next point in the series is 22N 81E.
Before checking out of our comfortable hotel in Bilaspur we went out to visit this point which was 16 km away. The actual journey was a 60km round trip. Bilaspur is a busy town but at 7.00 am the roads were quiet until we reached the level crossing. Level crossings are special places – the gates tend to stay shut for a long time as the trains are long and slow. Many pedestrians and cyclists dodge under the gates and those that cannot line up to fill the road on both sides of the tracks. When the gates open battle commences - but in a very restrained way – lots of noisy horns but no anger.
We reached the point at 8.45 and arrived back at the hotel at 9.45.
The point was 10 km from the main road along a winding road. We passed through several villages including one on our return journey with a paved main street less than 3 metres wide. We saw many monkeys
while on the smaller roads as well as a large herd of cattle being taken out to graze. We were able to ride the bikes all the way to the point for the first time.
Degree of Challenge:
2 – Difficult approach along winding lanes but no walking needed. (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
2 – On rough ground close to a busy path to the nearest village. (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
2 – Another opportunity to see village life at close quarters. (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)
From the point we returned to Bilaspur, packed up and then moved on west.
The roads were not good and rather busy so we decided to stop for the night at Kawardha rather than go hunting in the late evening. In Kawardha we could not immediately find a hotel and were directed towards the government rest house (or circuit house). We were told that this was only for government employees but that the palace took guests. So we went to the palace… continued at 22N 81E