Bobby was up briskly in the morning and so was I, possibly due to the fact i knew Saturday was a half day.
I was worried about finding a suitable location for the weekend rest but pushed it to the back of my mind and joined Bobby in the cool morning air.
There was a lot of construction work taking place along this section of the highway with partly built flyovers at every major junction. Diversions around these flyovers were very narrow causing major tailbacks with our Walkmobile travelling at 3km.
We began to hear a chorus of beeping as drivers frustratingly sounded their vehicle horns but we moved ahead, obliviously and slowly.
The other major issue was the dust kicked up by the construction work and vehicles that managed to overtake. Very soon I could feel the grit on my teeth. Our noses were burning and our eyes streaming.
Once we passed out of the construction areas we moved and breathed more freely … until a kilometre or so further down where it all repeated like some dusty deja vu.
I received quite a few calls from Saksham representatives in the area including Mallikarjun after they had received my route update messages. I told them I would let them know of our stop location.
The petrol station had a small shop on the forecourt which was rare for most of the forecourts we had passed or stopped at. The owner of the shop was a young lad who was extremely helpful and spoke three languages including English. He translated everything to the young owner of the petrol station and they were very happy to have us stay and use any of their facilities.
I told them of the petrol pump I knew was 2km ahead and said we would be walking that distance after our break. If that location was unsuitable then we would return.
It transpired that after Bobby’s final 2km walk for the day, the petrol station ahead was very lacking and it didn’t take us long to turn the Walkmobile around and head back to the previous one. When we arrived they were very happy to see us.
After a chat, they offered to take Bobby to a local hospital for a current assessment. I thought I’d give Satinder a break and as I was accompanying Bobby for the 25km drive into Nellore, I asked him to make a shopping list which I would take with me.
When we arrived, Bobby was greeted by the hospital manager and was x-rayed immediately. The Orthopaedic Surgeon was busy so we retired to a board room where we all had lunch.
When the Surgeon did see Bobby alongside the x-rays, he advised him to rest as there was a risk of non-union with his fracture.
We took the advice on board and Bobby’s foot was bandaged up. Some shopping would take our mind of things so we were driven to the Reliance Supermarket owned by another Saksham representative, Suresh. I spent an hour shopping while Suresh took Bobby to his adjacent hotel for a rest.
We left the shopping in the store to collect later and also made our way to the hotel where I st with Suresh in his office and we discussed the revised walk route. Bobby was sleeping in one of the rooms and we woke him after 90 mins.
Suresh very generously asked us both to stay the night in the hotel but all of our belonging were in the Walkmobile so we decided to head back. The only item outstanding on our list was ice and they said they would arrange that the next day.
Back at the petrol station, my legs were aching from not having elevated them. It was already quite late so Bobby and I enjoyed delicious kulfi ice cream from the forecourt shop before de-bugging the Walkmobile.
De-bugging consists of closing all windows, spraying anti-bug spray, evacuating anyone still conscious, closing the door for 10 mins, re-entering to vent the fumes while trying not to pass out, getting Bobby back on board and closing the door rapidly before any persistent bugs return.
I fell asleep dreaming of kulfi and bug spray.