Day 174 – 27th September 2014 Leave midday Miles rode 177 Agra – Kanpur

I woke and walked out onto the roof terrace to see the Taj Mahal gleaming brightly in the morning sunshine and whilst I will not be visiting as I did 5 years ago drinking my morning tea looking out at it was beautiful. It is beautiful.

Before we left I briefly went out in Agra and its a dirty, stinky place with open sewers. The relationship between the magnificent Taj Mahal and the poverty of Agra is very striking.

As we rode I felt that we were moving away from the modern India complete with tourists and when we stopped for a late lunch and had some great street food about 40 local boys and men gathered around to stare. We ate small spicy vegetable pasties which cost 5p each, no tourist inflated prices here.

A bloody car hit me! Whilst riding and doing an undertaking manoeuvre a car swerved into me who also wanted to undertake the same lorry and hit my right pannier knocking me violently left towards the high kerb, I thought I was going to crash and fall off but somehow I managed to get the bike controlled after much swerving. I was shaken up but the bike and me survived to tell the story.

As we rode into Kanpur hundreds of people were coming out of the many factories after a day’s work, the factories lined both sides of the road and went on for miles. The factories were manufacturing arms and ordnance. As we stopped at many hotels looking for the best deal so many people gathered around to stare at us. No problem at all, they were all friendly and curious.

You know you’re off the beaten track when Lonely Planet don’t even mention the city you’re in!