Por to Nadiad, 57.2km
Today was the first time Pat had ever had lunch outside the car. We were in sitting in the restaurant of Boulevard9, a luxury resort in Nadiad. Pat had ordered about four fruit smoothies and downed them all in a row.
Usually, around this time of the day he’d be eating whatever he could get his hands on – that went for the crew as well.
It felt strangely like a holiday. We had so much free time and we weren’t sure what to do with it.
“Enjoy it while you can,” Pat said. “We don’t know when we can do this again. This entire run will go by in the blink of an eye.”
We’d been ahead of schedule for quite some time because Pat was managing 80km everyday, even when he didn’t have to. Finally, he was cashing in on that extra mileage so he and his team could enjoy some kind of respite.
The road can feel like a pressure cooker situation. While the people in the crew are not the sort to demand a certain standard of living, we can say we enjoyed our gourmet lunch more than sandwiches on the side of the road.
The manager of the hotel was all too obliging. After he was briefed on our mission and the difficulties of our journey he personally went out of his way to ensure we were treated well.
“Every day there is less and less humanity,” the manager of the hotel told us. “I help because we need more people like Pat Farmer in the world.”
Being on these runs, particularly in areas where they are still developing and lack basic amenities we take for granted, you learn to appreciate everything you have. We didn’t question how nice it was; we simply put on some clean clothes and enjoyed it, knowing full well it wouldn’t last.
We enjoyed the games room where we gathered around and chatted about the countries we’ve visited and all the strange places we’d like to go. We enjoyed the gym, which Katie and Josh said made them feel like home again. The crew made calls home and then gathered in our rooms for some socialising beers and scotch. Then we went down to the poolside for dinner and laughed about a man we saw earlier, who ate a hand towel.
Then we went to bed, knowing fully well these comforts were fleeting. Tomorrow would be business as usual.
The hotel was called Boulevard9. It's tucked away a bit off the highway and we were surprised to find such an oasis in the middle of so much construction work and farmland. The facilities include spa, sauna, gym, a games room, a high-end restaurant and wonderful pool where you could also enjoy your dinner. Outside the rather pricey hotel in the centre of Mumbai, it was definitely the nicest place we've stayed so far. We would recommend it, even if you're not part of a team running 80km a day.