Summary of Day 7
Engine on: 05:30
Engine off for the night: 19:30
KM travelled: 377
Issues/breakdowns: None, best day yet for tuk tuk performance
Challenges: menacing looking dudes outside Saidpur and driving at night through storms with no lights, horn or windscreen wipers.
We started the day well with all of us ready to go at 5am. Unfortunately, Elton wasn't as complient and decided to appear to run out of fuel. The others had to race off to get more fuel, although this was necessary as we all needed fuel asap. Turns out Elton was tricking us and he just needed a few more revs. 30 minutes behind schedule but still confident.
The organisers had warned us about Bihar being the poorest state in India and about a team from last year getting held up at gunpoint whilst going through. Before we had even started we were a bit on edge due to this, especially seeing as how much attention the girls were previously getting! As a result we set a goal to bust it out in 2 days (proving nothin goes wrong). Unfortunately one of the first towns (probably with only a million people), didn't put our minds at ease when there were half a dozen menacing looking chaps with long bamboo poles trying to pull us over. Needless to say we didn't stop for them, but our pace did quicken after that.
Entering Bihar you notice almost immediately that it looks like a poorer state, with many of the houses built out of hay, cow dung and bamboo poles (as the structure) as opposed to small shacks in the other states. While we targeted the main roads, we were still passing plenty of small villages and the highway was one lane for large parts which meant we got to see how people lived in rural India. It wasn't long before we made it Muzaffarpur (our backup option) and made our final push to Darbhanga which is a little over half way to Siliguri (our first stop after Bihar).
Darkness hit at around 18:30 (we'd expected/hoped it would be 19:00) and that significantly slowed down proceedings with Tommy and Georgina lacking lights, a horn and a windscreen wiper. Fortunately there was limited rain, but the wind and lightning made the last hour of driving still interesting. As per usual, the place we were staying in was super busy when we arrived, but with some expert navigating we arrived at our hotel.