Gopalpur is some 20 km away from the highway and that 20 km stretch gets pitch black during nights. No Street lights, almost non-existent population. Only the silhouettes of small mountains which I could see under the clear moonlit sky. It was scary but amazing. The resort was located on a slope from where the road would directly lead you to the beach.
As the keys to my rooms were handed over I asked the attendant if there was a place somewhere near where I can get a few beers. The owner of the resort was himself sitting in a room in front of the reception with his father with glasses filled with whiskey came out and asked me to freshen up and come down there. “We ourselves are always on a lookout for people to have drinks with.” I nodded and went up to my room. I settled in my room and cleaned up. took a short nap and then came downstairs to look for dinner. To my surprise, the father-son duo was still going on with their booze.
“Join us”, the old guy said.
“So you’re coming from Punjab?” He asked.
“I’d like to think so but no, I’m riding from Kolkata.”
“We thought you’re coming from Punjab. I saw the number plate on your bike,” said the son.
“I used to live in Punjab at one time.” I said, “I moved to Kolkata almost two years back”
“Where are you going?”
“Waise hi ghumne or something else?”
“…something else,” I said.
“I once used to do a lot of bike trips,” said the old guy pouring some whiskey in his glass. “I owned a 76 model Jawa CL-II” He continued, “My friends and I would deliberately go to all the worst roads ever to drive a bike on.”
“Why the worst?” I asked.
“They change you… they change you for the better.” He said, “Paved roads are fun to ride. But putty roads, boulders, fields, mountains… they teach you how to ride.” This discussion ran for something over 3 hours before I finally bid my farewell to them for the night and went back to my room to sleep. Although I was dead tired- But sitting with them and talking… For that whole time, I had forgotten my body needed rest as well. Long story short — It was a day well ended.
The next day I woke up early despite sleeping late. I smoked a cigarette and pulled my tools out of the bag and went down to the parking area. I spent the morning fixing up the bike. By the time I was done it was already lunchtime. I freshened up and went out to explore the town a little. I found this really small shack on the beach. The weather was humid but it wasn’t hot. I spent around 2 hours roaming the town before coming back to resort. The attendant called me up and gave me some weed wrapped up in a newspaper with a chillum and said, “Sir bol ke gaye hai apko dene ke liye”(Sir asked me to give it to you) I was nothing but all smiles. I smoked up and the rest was just a trance.