18-Sep-2004 -- This is the 16th out of 29 confluences on our tour from Germany to China, the story continues from 31N 76E.
On the twenty-seventh day of our tour we started in Gwalior, 28 km northeast of the confluence. Gwalior is an ancient city. While most of the old buildings in the city have been destroyed, the castle of Gwalior overlooking the city remains comparatively well preserved. In the morning, we hiked up to the enormous castle. We were impressed by the giant rock-carved Buddhas along the way up and also by the castle itself. One room inside the castle was really scary: from the ceiling hang a couple hundred bats with all their high frequency noise and their bad smell.
In the nearby Sixth Temple, we were invited to drink tea for free. The man who invited us introduced us to the Sixths' philosophy of open-mindedness.
After our visit of Gwalior, we continued our trip on road #3 heading for Shivpuri. The turnoff to the confluence was after about 30 km. According to the Lonely Planet Map, the confluence should have been far north, but in reality we had to go 7 km further south! Indeed, at the right place there was a turnoff to the confluence, but at the intersection was police, or soldiers, making our feelings uncomfortable. Should we really go for it and accept possible trouble? There was not much time to discuss that question; we just turned into the small road. And indeed, the police stopped us and asked us where we wanted to go. I answered that we intended to go for about 7 km this direction. At that time we were quite sure, that they didn't want us to go in there due to some sensitive military or so. But in fact, the police guy asked us, if we couldn't give somebody a ride. We agreed and a 30 year old man got in our car. At a distance of 3 km to the CP we passed through a village, where he got off. Before the whole village had a chance to gather around our cars we continued towards the CP. It's a nice sealed road and it took us as close as 300 m to our goal. We parked our cars at the road and hiked across some dried out fields. It was extremely hot and that short distance gave us already an exhausting hike. The CP was right at a little river and it was hard to guess on which side the exact location would be. I guessed that it would be on the other side and crossed the river, but not without getting muddy all over. To the amusement of Guang and Joko, who had been staying on the side we had come from, I had to cross the muddy river again.
We were thrilled when we got to the point, because not even 5 meters away we saw a tree with long, tube-like birds' nests all over . By the way: In order to take these pictures I had to cross the river another two times! Just having finished our documentation, a farmer approached us. We chatted a while and he was happy to serve as a motif. Back at the road, a bunch of curious people had gathered around our cars. Due to an inability to explain what we were doing there, we wanted to drive off as soon as possible. But they demanded some kind of explanation. On the top of everything our car wouldn't start, the battery was dead. The crowd was amused and got distracted them from their initial suspicions and, with their help pushing our car, we got on the road again!
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 13:00 a.m.
- Duration: 1h 20min (until we were back on our route)
- Distance of car parking: 305 m
- GPS height: 275 m
- Description: Right next to a little river with a lot of different vegetation: grass, bushes with thorns, flowers, mimosa and one single tree with the birds' nests on it.
- Given Name: The Birds' Nests Confluence
Story continues at 24N 77E.