We left Shillong and had to make a side trip to Guwahati on the way to Kolkata because we were having some trouble with our SIM card and internet that we had bought there. That made us a little late and by the time we hit a little outside of Nalbari it was around the time we usually start to look for places for a night halt (around 4:30pm since the sun sets around 5/5:30pm). We were in the middle of Bodoland amidst signs of “Stop extortion…murders…kidnapping!” We felt perfectly safe but thought it was better to hunker down and get somewhere to put the bike away. There seemed to be only two hotels, one run by Assam Tourism and there was another one in a sleepy town-village ….can’t remember the name. Both denied us, the former saying they were full (bullshit) and the latter saying there was a conference in town (bullshit). For some reason in Assam hotel people were very reluctant to give us a room . I don’t know if it was the bike , us or the combination of both. Before we hit these hotels we had stopped at Greenwood Dhaba on the highway and asked about hotels. They told us if we didn’t find anything that we could camp there, so camp we did! They were so nice and allowed us to set up our tent in their back lawn. The villagers were really nice and came to chat with us along the bonfire the dhaba workers had made. The food was absolutely amazing…we had been longing for food that good. It was simple…daal makhani and mixed veg but it was absolutely perfect. Heaven! After stuffing ourselves and securing ourselves in the tent from the mosquitos (turns out there was a big pond next to the lawn), we fell asleep. In the morning we found a lot of condensation on the tent and ended up spending 2 hours trying to dry it! Now we know we have to allow for better ventilation. It was an awesome experience and the people were really great!
The next couple of days would be long drives of nothing. No real scenery at all. The next night we stayed in a bamboo hut near a truck stop in Maradihat. The next morning we started out intent on Kolkata again but came to our decision point at Dalkhola. If we go straight we’d be going to Kolkata and if we turned we’d go to Patna Sahib. We had thought that if we don’t go to Patna Sahib now, it may be never or a super long time from now! We stopped and talked to some sardar (Sikh) truck drivers along the way to have a frank discussion…which road was better. Turned out the road to Patna and then Patna to Kolkata was way better than the road from Dalkhola to Kolkata. I guess our decision was made, and we set out for Patna. Maybe this was how it was meant to be and God intended? Sometimes you just have to stop asking and enjoy the ride!