Home > Kev's Blog > 31-Mar-2013 Kolkata & Run logistics

31-Mar-2013 Kolkata & Run logistics

Monday 1 April 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

I think it was the first night I slept well, until gone 5am then dozed until 7.30am. I was going out but the front door of the hotel was still locked and the doorman was sleeping on the floor in front if it so I went back to bed. At 8.30am I actually heard him unlock the door so went out.  My mum said all I have done is write about food! Anyway I had a banana porridge at a place on the corner.  With a honey lemon ginger,  and another whilst I typed up my diary.

I reckon any place that opens early with decent tables will make a killing as a stream of tourists came in. I spoke with a few which is why I was still there at 11am talking with a west-indian Londoner who had been a Hare Krishna devotee and had just come back to India for the first time in 8 years  she was very interesting.

I decided to move hotels from a $10 a night to a $20 a night – a big difference.  The golden apple calls itself a boutique hotel, has aircon,  tv, toilet paper, a shower that works better, hot water all day, a towel. Overall a much nicer place. I checked in there,  then checked out the other. I had paid for only 1 night – all my transactions in India are cash including plane tickets and I just draw out from the ATMs which are everywhere. I think that’s a heaps safe way to operate. I had until noon to check out / make a decision.  I may change hotels a lot, a good job I only pay 1 night at a time. There seems to be no shortage of hotels anyway, just the quality that varies.

With my run starting in weds 3rd I wanted to check out where I was due to start as I had just picked the most obvious place – Howrah station by the bridge. From the hotel I walked all the way to the Hooghly River and got a ferry to the other side right by the station – it only took 10-15mins. It is a massive station – I heard an announcement about platform 48 and there could be even more. I had a look around the station then wanted to confirm you could cross the bridge by foot – you can – so I walked across to see how easy it would be to follow the roads – pretty easy early in the morning I think. I also passed the flower market which was most impressive.

I then walked for miles in a big circle back towards my hotel. On the way I came across a nice aircon restaurant that seened very busy with local Indians so figured it must be pretty good. I got a masala dosa and stuffed idli. Excellent quality, very delicate and not overcooked. I like idea that most dish sized servings are small.

I had planned to call Dawn at 3.30pm (9pm sydney) so rushed back. In the end she couldn’t call me nor I her, so we skyped on my 3g mobile. It was ok quality – amazing technology when you think about it.

I then got my maps out to reveiew the first leg of the run from Kolkata ro the border with Bangladesh 82km away. The 2nd leg within Bangladesh 210km to Dhaka looks welk catered for – a minibus, 3 or 4 crew including English speaking with food & everything – should be fun and a lot easier to not have to worry about anything. All I have to do is run.

The first leg to the border is the scary one – me and my pack. Alone in the Kolkata mayhem. One option I have considered is to pay someone to be my crew. Another option is to leave my stuff in Kolkata and catch the train back n the evening to stay and catch the train out again in the morning.  The other of course us to just run with the damn oack on my back. There are of course a heap of pros and cons with each option.

Hiring a support crew was definitely something I have considered seriously but they would clearly not buy into what I am trying to and wouldn’t realky get it (understand a runner’s needs). They might try to change the route – hard because this is a simple direct route any other would add miles. Being by myself is good as I can change sides of the road depending on how safe I feel. I think route finding will be ok. There are plenty of food & drink places. Having someone along especially a poor english speaker will probably be more pain than it’s worth.

I have brought a small pack and ensured it’s the best to run with as I always had this idea that I might do it like this.

I suspect that my petsonal safety will be ok as its a main road and there are a lit of people around.

I highlighted the route on my maps and noted the main kilometer points.

At just gone 6pm I went out to find an ATM and then had a Bengali pulao (basically rice) and some dhal down the road. They had a long menu but basically the only vegetable was potato. When I asked for a chai he said no and when I asked about the desert out of 5 or 6 he said curd (yogurt) so I left and went to the cafe round the corner for a honey lemon ginger. Went to bed early.

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