Friday, March 07, 2008

From Murud to Bijapur

It's a long journey! It's only an inch on the map. First I took the bus to Alibag (2 hours). Indians have good eyesight: They can spot a foreigner through the murky window of a speeding rural bus from 20 paces. At Alibag I changed onto a bus to Pune (6 hours). Once in Pune I established where to get the night bus on to Bijapur, then with four hours to kill, I decided to find an internet cafe. Standing around looking lost is usually a good way of attracting a tuktuk, and one duly pulled up beside me. Piling my luggage into the back, I told the driver "internet cafe". "Address please?" he said. "No, no address, I just want internet. Internet" I mime tapping on a keyboard - from past experience this is usually sufficient - and he sets off. A couple of minutes pass and I get the impression he's just driving with no particular aim in mind. "Internet?" I try to confirm. "Address please?" No, I don't have an address, I just want internet. Mime typing again. He looks puzzled. "Wat erria?" ARGH!! He pulls up to ask for help translating the crazy foreigner's rambling. Right next to an internet cafe.

Time flies when you're having fun, and suddenly it's 8:45 and I have to find my way back to the bus stand. Pune has three bus stations, and I realise I don't know which one I want. After one stop some helpful people told the driver where to take me, and I ended up at a bus stand I'm quite sure isn't the one I came into, but as it turns out has a Bijapur-bound bus leaving at 9:30, so it'll do me just fine.

A restless night laid across three seats (thank goodness the bus wasn't full), nestled in my sleeping bag, hugging my camera bag and occasionally being jerked bodily into the air by overzealous speed bumps, and I arrive in Bijapur.


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