After finishing breakfast in the cafe I wheeled the broken bicycle to the side of the road and made about trying to get a lift to the next big city called Nashik, I was at the side of the road for about 10 mins and a lot of cars just waved as they went past but I got a truck to pullover and told them Nashik and they loaded the bike in the back and let me in.

Finally on the way again and probably not aware fully of the 1700km ish journey I had just started to the border. The two guys in the truck were nice enough, gave me fruit and tea and bought lunch when we stopped. I tried to get a formal arrangement for the cost before starting but it didn’t happen but I had a feeling I would be okay, I guess one of the guys just looked genuine and kind so I had faith!

I showed them the map at lunch and they were going to a town the other side of Nashik by 30km so would take me there, this was a bonus as avoiding a big city is always good!

Eventually arriving at the destination they unloaded the bike and showed me the way I needed to go, I gave them 200 rs each, as they were kind to me and didn’t ask nor pressure me for anything. Not bad for the distance.

I tried to get back on the road to find another lift but nothing was forthcoming. A man and his wife on a motorcycle stopped to talk. He went out of his way to find out what my problem was and said he would help. It appeared I was trying to get a ride 50 meters away from a bus station which was round a bend, oh how foolish. I went to the place and the man was waiting for me trying to get me a ride to Malegaon next on my hit list.

A taxi driver said he would take me for 1000 I was close to accepting when my driver from earlier walked up. A stroke of luck as 5 mins later a local bus came round the corner going to Malegaon. With the bike loaded on top and me inside I was off again, vehicle count 2.

The bus cost 77 rs and the ticket guy had an electronic machine which printed tickets so he was unable to rip me off nice! He asked me all standard questions, where are you coming from? Are you married? Where are you going?

Arriving in Malegaon it was dark and I was unsettled. Didn’t know where to go from here. Literally making this plan up step by step and didn’t have a step for now. Luckily some guy unloaded my bike and told me to follow to go to bike shop. I went with him but knew bike shop wouldn’t do anything. We walked through busy streets and drew lots of attention I felt like I was being paraded a little.

The bike shop did nothing and seemed to like pulling the brake levers and looking at spokes but not the gaping dent in frame. We drew the attention of a bunch of 20 year old guys and one spoke good English, I said I wanted to sleep and get to Indore, he told me there was a sleeper bus which went there tonight, I was up for it so asked him to show me where. He took me to a ticket office and it cost 650 for the bus, they charged me 350 and 300 for the bike. I later got told this price should be 200 total. The bus left at 11 PM and I arrived in Indore at 7 AM. A day of massive distances and was in high spirits for coming travel plans although being absolutely tired and drained and not sleeping at all on the sleeper bus. Transport count 3.

Okay this is getting long so probably going to be 4 parts. Will continue with the Rickshaw driver opening the window of the bus with his key and literally licking his lips at the sight of a westerner when arriving in Indore later.

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