It was a long slog up the hill – but there was the reward of a fort up on top – which had glorious views and I had to myself – free entrance and falling down as it was.
Back on the road again, I saw lots of evidence of fecundity: schoolkids, monkeys and their babies, cows and calves, chickens and chicks. I also saw lush vegetation – huge waxy leaves, or thorny or just prolific and adorned with strange and interesting birds I have no names for.
After I had several people stop their cars to query my route – and say “What, this way?” when I’d say “Kelshi”, or even “Dapoli” – I rechecked my direction and realised I was travelling three sides of a square – very circuitous – and the pain of the hill had been unnecessary. I became hot and grumpy and very, very mean as a result, scowling at anyone who had the audacity to beep their horn at me (which is just about everybody!). But then I met Wasim and his mechanic mate Mahajali (sp?). They insisted on buying me an Indian burger then escorting me the right direction – taking me into their house to meet the family en route – and show off his transport business and fleet of cars while he was at it.
I’d come so far back along the Estuary I crossed the bridge instead of taking a ferry as I had meant to do.
Wasim was getting married in two weeks and invited me to go! Sadly I had to decline. His sister, a dentist, was also getting married and was off to live in the States following her wedding. I got very confused with who was who, as there were 2 young girls, one young boy, two mothers, one grandfather and several husbands floating around. I got fed orangeade and biscuits so I was sugared up and much cheered up and ready to zoom off to Kelshi after that. I even started to smile at the passers by again.
I found a very cheap room in Kelshi, and very basic – complete with mouse droppings in the shower. However, at 250 rupees including an all I could eat supper, I wasn’t about to complain. Tomorrow, I intend to stick to the coastline, even if the road does look closed.