Friday, January 4, 2008

Jan 4: Unusual stop in Dhaba(part 1 of 2)

Disaster - got up at 7! Should have been 15kms away by this time. Out
of the hotel by 8, slow again - this sets the pace for the rest of the

Wasn't in any mood to ride the cycle today, and this directly
translated to a slackened pace. So much so that I had crossed
Allahabad, a distance of about 65km, well past 1:30.

On the outskirts of Allahabad flows the Ganga - or should I say
'dries'? There's a really long bridge - easily 2km long. On the sandy
river bed, they have laid makeshift electric poles, and tents! A local
tells me it hasn't rained properly for 3 years, and so the river is
not full. This is surprising, since the source of these (so-called)
perennial rivers is in the ice-bergs way up in the himalayas! Such is
the state of Ganga-maiya. So I decide to skip the visit to Sangam, the
meeting point of Ganga and yamuna - afterall, I reckon there is surely
no point looking at two dry rivers meeting, is there?

The outskirts of Allahabad is where I bid audieu to NH-2 and turn left
to NH-26. This NH boasts a grand beginning with a cable stayed bridge
over Yamuna, four lanes for traffic and two for 'slow traffic', plus
iron girders at the extreme ends! As expected, the glory fades away in
a few km, and exposes a typical highway with enough space for two
lorries and a cycle to pass.

The map mentions a fort at a place Bhita, off Ghoorpur, 15km from
Allahabad. This turns out to be a disappointment, as using the words
'ruins' is an overstatement for it. An appropriate description is 'a
few bricks over a fenced hill'. There is a buddhist site close-by,
which is the better one, villagers tell me later in the evening.

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