I knew today would be a long, hot day across Maharastra into Madhya Pradesh but I got a late start from Nashik. The riding was generally easy with most of the way being good 4-lane divided highway with a few patches of construction going on. The heat started early on and now I could feel its dryness compared to the humidity that I was riding in up till now. I had my water bladder frozen overnight and was slowly sipping chilled water with ORS (oral rehydration salts) and staying properly hydrated.
I took a break under some shady trees in northern Maharashtra and Shashank Parwar emerged from his fields to take a look at this curious-looking bike and its rider. He was so polite and well-mannered, which I can't really say for most of the people who are curious about sanDRina and me in urban areas. In all my travels, I've seen a greater sense of civility in rural areas than in urban areas.
I crossed into Madhya Pradesh and enjoyed some short bits of ghat riding. In contrast to my riding up the busy, fast-moving, two-lane coastal highway, the four-lane NH-3 is chock-full of trucks chugging along at 40 kph and I feel like I'm riding on an obstacle course, dodging trucks left and right.
Within sight of a petrol station, sanDRina ground to a halt. She would start but when I twisted the throttle, she would die. Hmm, what could it be?
I pushed her into the station and after putting in more fuel and having the same failure, it clicked, I knew exactly what was wrong: the main jet needle in the carburetor had come loose and was stuck in the main jet. This same thing had happened back in Ethiopia. I opened up the carb, removed the stuck needle and put it back in its place in the slide. And voila! sanDRina was running good again. Now, this issue was in no way related to the work done on the carb in Mumbai but it's easy for the inexperienced mechanic to quickly tie two carb-related issues together and say the carb is bad. It's just a matter of coincidence that two issues with the carb surfaced within days of each other. I apply these lessons that I've learned through my travels to my life -- as in, there is a lot of random chance in the world and unnecessarily drawing connections between unrelated incidents can lead one down a path of a lot of worry.
We got back on the road and in the peak of the afternoon, my on-board thermometer registered 47 degrees C! I arrived into Indore, which is considered a mini-Bombay for being such a strong regional, industrial powerhouse and spent the night with the relatives of a good friend from college.
Watch the video postcard of Jay beating the heat in Madhya Pradesh
Central India -- comprising the states of northeastern Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, northwestern Odisha and Madhya Pradesh -- is known for its extraordinary landscapes, cuisine, architecture and melange of cultures.
Read more: A pious journey into the heart of India