into Calcutta

The track

Man, been looking forward to this.

“There were opium dens where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new.” Oscar Wilde

and

” the jailers locked the prisoners in the fort’s prison, “the black hole” in soldiers’ slang, a small room that measured 4.30m. × 5.50 m (14 feet × 18 feet). The next morning, when the black hole was opened, at 6.00 a.m., only about 23 of the 146 prisoners remained alive “ Holwell, the Black Hole of Calcutta

And all that stuff about Calcutta we read about as kids.

But anyway, we started off at dawn again on a Saturday morning to beat the traffic to our hotel in downtown Calcutta. On the way we stopped at a toll booth exit for a ciggy and water. Next thing, we were surrounded

The guy with the blues shirt was a toll booth supervisor and he asked me to the office for a cup of tea and cookies. You don’t say no to this. If you have time for a ciggy and water, it would be a slight to refuse the offer. Here are the bosses. That’s my tea and cookies

Here’s toll booth security

That was cool, one of the more-than-daily times this happens.

So, the early rider in from just 95K away, down a big highway. You have to respect a city this crazy and enormous with a decent strategy and it pays off. Pretty peaceful

But then it goes to shit. I get bounced off the highway, motorcycles and tuk tuks not allowed, and the Calcutta OSM on my GPS is hopelessly inaccurate, and I end up doing a big loop, below, argh

So, you see that little blue waypoint flag on the right hand side? That’s where I grabbed a cab and told him to lead me to my hotel. I’m not proud of that, and I’ve done it before, in Barranquilla, Colombia, but there it is. The cab in the video in the end, plate ending 3189.

So we’re here. In many ways our big introduction to India. Sadly there are no fancy India ADV club members here, they said, as if that would be obvious. LOL

It’s hot, 91 today, going to 94/95 by the end of the week, and humid. Legendary for this. But we have a few big things to see and do, like see a famous Kali here, get out onto the Ganges, and Curzon’s incredible Victoria memorial hall, husband of Lady Curzon who created the Kaziranga reserve.

And, of course ‘other stuff’ that I hope happens that I’m working on!

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