Engine on: 10:00
Engine off for the night: 19:45
KM travelled: 188
Issues/breakdowns: No major issues to report on. Popcorn noise in the engine started again, but we managed to fix that by fiddling with the filter.
Challenges: Potholes and night time driving in the rain, thunder and lightning.
After a slow start, Google maps failed us once again! Instead of taking us via the highway (which turns out to also be the shorter route), we were led into rural India with terrible roads that were riddled with potholes. On the bright side it was pretty cool to be travelling through somewhere that hasn't seen many tourists, and the looks we got from the locals confirmed this. We were totally fascinating. At one stop a school was overlooking the road and we signalled for the kids to come down to meet us. So much excitement! Georgina had done some pre-planning for such circumstances and had brought along a bag full of coloured pens and colouring in books. The kids were stoked and had surprising good English. They greeted us with 'Good Afternoon' which was pretty funny.
What seems to be a tradition for this trip is no lunch and in keeping with tradition we were pressed for time and didn't have time to stop for any food (not that there were in shacks serving food). Luckily, so much focus is required to drive on the Indian roads that you don't realise that you're starving until you arrive at your accommodation. At around 5pm, it began getting darker (which was encouraged by the approaching rain clouds) and when the other two teams we were travelling with (Bhunatics and Kashmir if you can) saw the 'recommended route' their plans quickly changed to heading to Shillong which was only 15km away, rather than 50km away. We decided to see what the route was like, but headed to the main highway first rather than taking the 'route' that Google maps was pointing us down. Surprisingly the road up to Sohra was fantastic so the driving was easy, with the exception of driving in the dark, fog, rain and thunder and lighting. We busted out the last 50km in the quickest time for the day and settled into our accommodation for the night with the rain bucketing down. One more day to go!