It was an early and dark start to our Christmas day walk.
Bobby usually started slowly in the mornings and picked up pace as he warmed up.
Nellore is a big town and the highway runs alongside it. I knew this would be a long stretch of some 10km before we passed the town and reached the mighty Penna river on the other side.
Finding a suitable rest location was proving very difficult again and we had to resort to parking at the side of the main road. The Walkmobile was only slightly clear of the two lanes of the highway and I had to stand by the side of the vehicle directing traffic away whenever Satinder needed to open the side storage doors.
It was mid afternoon when we finally reached the Penna River bridge which stretched for 1km in front of us. Although the water was at an extremely low level, you could imagine the awesome sight of such a mighty river when it was full.
As we walked, we passed an quaint little temple by the roadside with a large statue on its roof. You could see the changes in design from temples in Tamil Nadu where there would be lots of smaller sized statues adorning the side of the roof and possibly larger ones at the entrance.
We passed a sign for Kavali which was to be the next major town we would come across by next Tuesday and we also passed another temple with a large statue of Hanuman (the Hindu monkey god) under its ornate canopy.
Hindu scriptures mention that When Lakshmana (Prince Rama’s half brother) was badly wounded during the battle against Indrajit (Ravana’s powerful son), Hanuman was sent to fetch the Sanjivani ()a powerful life-restoring herb) from Dronagiri mountain in the Himalayas in order to revive him. When he reached the mountain, Hanuman found himself unable to identify which herb it was so he lifted the entire mountain and delivered it to the battlefield in Lanka. This is why Hanuman is often depicted lifting a mountain with one hand.
The evening was drawing near and the first petrol station I entered at this point said we would be able to park there. I knew there was another one on the other side of the road just a short distance away so I got ran ahead of Bobby and crossed the road. They were much more obliging although facilities were a little limited.
I knew we still had a short distance to walk and they mentioned another petrol station a short distance ahead. I jumped on the Walkmobile and we drove past Bobby and Satinder so I could check out the final location. Unfortunately it was not suitable. We were running low on non-drinking water for washing dishes and clothes, etc. This location had intermittent water and the toitels were not very well maintained.
It was not long Before Bobby and Satinder caught up and as we they had reached the 20km target, I sat Bobby in the Walkmobile and we made our way back the the petrol station that had given us permission earlier.
The air was cool an we felt rested.
I went to sleep dreaming of mountain moving monkey gods.