07.01.2017 - 08.01.2017
The Ellora caves are a world heritage site, rock hewn buildings caved straight out of the cliff. They sound similar to the churches we'd seen in Lalibella, Ethiopa only instead of a Christian flavour they had been built un competition by Buddhists, Hindu's and Jains. Funny that three different religions should all need to do exactly the same thing to worship their respective deities. Anyway, they are our current destination and a good 800km drive from our place in Goa.
Accordingly we set off at 5:30. Pasha was disagreeable with such an early start but we soon push started her into it. Tony roared to life briefly and then gave up a few times until finally he was warm enough to kick on.
The temperature had been gloriously warm at Goa but as we left in the early hours there was a nip in the air. Down jackets, hoodies and hats came out to keep us warm as we motored across the mountains that surround Goa.
The air was cold. Very cold. My fingers stung with the wind chill and we were all uncomfortably cooler than we should have been.
We stopped at around 8:30 for some Chai. We'd overshot the cafe. So I walked back and a lovely lady brewed up a fresh batch. Shiny silver tray in hand with four small glasses of brown, spiced, nectar sat on top, I returned to find the others balking at the scenes of human excretia they'd just witnessed around the back of the truck stop. Even better, (than the chai not the shit), Al had thought ahead and bought apple cake from the German bakery in Palolem the night before. We munched and drank and filled our bellies. More chai was needed though so I collected the glasses and turned for the cafe. A group of locals had gathered outside of the shop near our Tuk-Tuks and I gave them a hearty, big smiling, still-wearing-my-sunglasses-like-an-american, "Good Morning!" At the final syllable my right foot lost traction on the gravel slope, it then connected with my left foot causing it to disappear sideways too. The tray lifted and the glasses flew. The sunnies went up in the melee and the tray left my hand to chart a new course. My knee, and shortly after the rest of me, hit the deck as glass and stainless steel made a cacophony of awful noise around me. I couldn't have hit the ground any more wholeheartedly. As I stood up I felt like a footballer; lame as a dog but but bound to be fine in two minutes' time.
The strange thing was, there was silence. I turned around to see that the reason I hadn't heard any noise was that my 'friends' were still in the silent belly tensing phase of raucous laughter. Laura had tears in her eyes. So did I.
I looked around for any sign of compassion but Team TukTuk had set the locals off too. My shattered ego and a tray of glasses went back to the cafe where even the cate lady was being told the story of the Englishman who couldn't take his chai. She was slapping the table in laughter.
By the time we pulled into our hotel in the IT city of Satara, we'd covered 370km. We went out for dinner and a chap who we'd passed earlier in the day was having a birthday meal with his lady and two friends. After finishing cutting their cake they came and gave us some which was a lovely thing to do.
Back at the hotel I was getting our bed ready. "Hon, have been in the bed yet?" "Yep, sorry, did I get it dirty?" "Have you used the slippers?" "No." I picked up a pair of neatly placed but well used hotel slippers, browning nicely where once they'd been white, that were sat under our duvet and threw them in the bin. When I called reception they sent their 'Head Boy,' his title not mine, who asked would I like just the sheets changing or the duvet cover as well?