FROM RAXAUL TO LUCKNOW AND UP
The route from Roxaul to Lucknow is best taken through Motihari and then take the NH27 highway. The new highways in India are great. They are new, wide and empty. They are empty because cars have to pay toll to drive it and trucks are allowed to a maximum weight. Overloaded trucks are the cause of the destruction of all the old highways. If you have ever driven them you know what I mean. Beside that the latest layer of asfalt is disappearing leaving small to bigger areas of damaged roads, on those places where the road structure hasn’t been made properly and bigger holes appeared, the heavy overloaded trucks are banging these holes bigger and bigger.
Driving the Indian roads isn’t easy as it is with everyone being allowed to walk drive or even sleep on these roads. Cows, dogs, drunken bicyclists, rickshaws, slow driving motorbikes, crazy overloaded and enormous wide trucks, not to forget all of these regularly driving on the opposite lane. It’s a real concert of insanity that is giving you an experience of driving with death on your shoulder while he is laughing his ars off every inch of the way.
So getting on the new highways might be a little boring after your rollercoaster ride with ‘the reaper’, but it will bring you where you want to go a lot faster and safer. It took me 10 hours to drive a little more than 400 km to get to a little bit after Faizabad. The Royal Enfield isn’t going much faster then 80 km/hour and the ghost riders that appear regularly on the empty roads don’t allow you to get casual on these roads.
I slept next to the highway in a restaurant. The people offered me their room on a wooden-rope bed. I took my bags of the Royal Enfield into the room and fell asleep. Indian roads take their toll. I woke up early in the morning and thanked the people that offered me their bed. Today I wanted to get as far as I could. I went past Lucknow and Sitapur to Bareilly. I arrived in daytime. I needed an Indian telephone number and asked where I could get one. Vodafone is not my favourite multinational but it is covering most of India. I needed a paper with a header from the hotel where I was staying, my pasport and visa, and got my new number. I paid for 7Gb internet but didn’t get it despite the promises of the servicedesk of Vodafone.
Next day was my last day to my destination Rishikesh where I hoped to sell my Royal Enfield Machismo. Rishikesh was a surprise. I arrived in the dark. I passed Haridwar where a festival was happening and almost left the road to see. Many temples on the Ganges reminded me of Varanasi. But it was getting dark and I decided to head for Rishikesh.
Rishikesh marketplace is just any of the Indian cities, dirty, busy and loud. I got a room for Rs 700 at a hotel right in the middle of the market. It was clean but sure not the best I could get. I discovered next day that Rishikesh was very crowded with people who came to meet Mooji.
Mooji is a Jamaican man that got enlightened through the Advaita Vedanta. He has been talking for more than 25 years and comes to Rishikesh every year. I remember hearing from him 25 years ago but never met him or desired to meet him. This time I took the opportunity to go and sit with him and his people.
Three days I had with him and his people. Three days of recognition and remembering. I have been meditating for 8 years when I was younger, thinking Enlightenment was the only solution for this world full of suffering. 8 Years of Vipassana and being with OSHO, until he passed away. I left the rebellious spirit because I could find none and moved into society. Twenty-five years I have been around to find the same sound again of an enlightened master. I fell in love with him and his people.
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