1,102 miles (1,773 km) 25th October to 8th December 2022

Cycle Touring India

This is the sixth & final stage of our journey from home to Delhi. We decided to start our Indian cycle from Dwarka (Gujarat) at the very West of India, by the Arabian Sea, opposite the Gulf of Oman & the Persian Gulf, where our fifth stage ended in Iran.

Dwarka is famous as the place where Lord Krishna spent his final years on Earth, so we decided to ride to Vrindavan where Krishna spent childhood as a cow herder, having been born in the nearby city of Mathura, on the banks of the Yamuna River.  Modern day Mathura Junction being a short two-hour train ride into the traffic chaos of New Delhi.

Our ride took us through the Western Indian states of Gujarat & Rajasthan, into Uttar Pradesh.  We had ridden our bicycles in India, twice before, so we sort of knew what to expect… lovely vegetarian food, cheapish hotels (including royal palaces), lots of wildlife, jungle, cows, busy urban traffic, cows, monkeys, roadside chai & samosa.  Together with Tim’s reasonable understanding of Hindi, we were ready for a ride in familiar territory, except this was a long-distance ride across the West of the Indian sub-continent, through many non-tourist areas, compared to our previous palace-to-palace meandering in Rajasthan.  Our longest ride of all the stages. We purposely routed the ride through parts of Rajasthan that we had not visited before.

The Covid-19 pandemic had delayed this final stage from 2020 until the autumn of 2022.  But it was definitely worth waiting for.  And the sense of achievement when we arrived by the banks of the Yamuna, in Vrindavan, was worth that many years of stages since May 2015, when we had set off from St Malo in France.  The follow on from the pride of accomplishment, was the beginning of a new set of thoughts…. where do we ride to next ???

There is a Flickr Album of Tim’s photos here…

India Cycle Ride 2022

Alysun’s diary of our ride….

  • DAY 01… Arriving in Mumbai
    DAY ONE… Sitting in Mumbai airport. It’s a kind of transitional space between two worlds; the world we’ve come from and the world we are going to. Here it is…
  • DAY 02… Arriving in Dwarka
    DAY TWO… Our train experience was good. It was nice to have a whole first class berth to ourselves. We had done this to get our bikes on the train,…
  • DAY 03… Dwarka
    DAY THREE… We have successfully packed up our pink cycle bags and the bubble wrap protection into a box we managed to scrounge from some shop stall’s recycling, and we…
  • DAY 04… Dwarka to Porbandar
    DAY FOUR… 63.44 miles (102.10 km) This morning we rose at 6am for a set off at 6.30am. Not to be…. the bike lock had jammed and we could not…
  • DAY 05… Porbandar to Madhavpur Beach
    DAY FIVE… 39.60 miles (63.73 km) Porbandar has actually nothing to recommend it, except that it was the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. It’s a filthy town. The streets are covered…
  • DAY 06… Madhavpur Beach to Sasan Gir
    DAY SIX… 50.28 miles (80.92 km) We rise at 6am, plan to leave by 6.30am (dawn). First chai is at 7am (not a stop), then its cycling as far as…
  • DAY 07… Sasan Gir
    DAY SEVEN We have decided to go on a birding walk. Amil, our guide is an orphan from Nagarkot in Nepal. No schooling but he has learnt so much through…
  • DAY 08… Sasan Gir to Junagadh
    DAY EIGHT… 31.93 miles (51.38 km) The heat is the main difficulty with our ride. It is getting up to 38c or 40c by 1pm, and only starts to cool…
  • DAY 09… Junagadh & Girnar Hill
    DAY NINE Alysun’s words…. Violent episode of diarrhoea at 4am and after  ? due to water at the hotel. It had me grounded for the day. Tim went off to…
  • DAY 10… Junagadh to Gondal
    DAY TEN… 38.94 miles (62.67 km) We cycled out of Junagadh as more bus loads of pilgrims were arriving to join the crowds of over a million. It was dawn…
  • DAY 11… Gondal to Chotila
    DAY ELEVEN… 38.94 miles (62.67 km) It was up, up, up today. Hard to keep going as the heat got up, and having achieved the summit, along some dry, hot…
  • DAY 12… Chotila to Muli
    DAY TWELVE… 33.37 miles (53.70 km) Who would have thought a petrol station would be a haven of tranquillity? We are sitting in the cool, away from the road, and…
  • DAY 13… Muli to Zainabad
    DAY THIRTEEN… 45.05 miles (72.50 km) We are sitting in another petrol station, trying to get a lift for the last bit of our ride. Although its only 12.30, and…
  • DAY 14… Zainabad (Little Rann of Kutch)
    DAY FOURTEEN Morning safari. We ride out to the salt plains again in a jeep. This time to catch another sight of the wild ass. We see a lot of…
  • DAY 15… Zainabad to Modhera
    DAY FIFTEEN… 34.11 miles (54.89 km) 8.15am chai stop… We left our little tribal house at Desert Courses at 6.30, a beautiful time of day, cool and the sun a…
  • DAY 16… Modhera to Patan
    DAY SIXTEEN… 27.15 miles (43.70 km) Egrets search for frogs in the fields.  We sit at the chai shop and drink tea.  Thank God for quieter, less busy roads today….
  • DAY 17… Patan to Vadali
    DAY SEVENTEEN… 47.60 miles (76.60 km) This morning having eventually roused the hotel lads to let us out of the hotel, we set off on what was to be a…
  • DAY 18… Vadali to Poshina
    DAY EIGHTEEN… 43.68 miles (70.03 km) We leave our little adobe hut at dawn, enjoying the morning light and the slight welcome chill of the air (only slight chill). It…
  • DAY 19… Poshina
    DAY NINETEEN… 12.99 miles (20.91 km) A ‘rest’ day. We take little cycle rides up into the nearby hills to explore the area. The hills are inhabited sparsely by tribal…
  • DAY 20… Poshina to Gogunda
    DAY TWENTY… 36.35 miles (58.50 km) First light of dawn and we are eager to get on our way despite the loveliness of this palace. There is a small ripple…
  • DAY 21… Gogunda to Ranakpur
    DAY TWENTY ONE… 32.50 miles (52.30 km) Very lovely ride through remote rocky and then jungle terrain. Tim tells me ‘up then down’. Music to my ears. The ‘down’ was…
  • DAY 22…Ranakpur
    DAY TWENTY TWO As we did last time, when we were here in Ranakpur, we try to get into the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, with a permit.  Rising early we walk…
  • DAY 23… Ranakpur to Deogarh
    DAY TWENTY THREE… 40.58 miles (65.30 km) 6.30am  Our chai and poha (breakfast) have arrived. It is cold this morning. I can’t believe it. Fleece and jacket on this morning…
  • DAY 24… Deogarh to Bhilwara
    DAY TWENTY FOUR… 58.23 miles (93.71 km) We left Deogarth at our usual time, 6.30am. It’s a lovely little town, amazingly clean. At dawn people are out sweeping the dust…
  • DAY 25… Bhilwara to Jahazpur
    DAY TWENTY FIVE… 54.99 miles (88.55 km) 8.05am… Morning chai by a lake. It doesn’t ever take long before we are noticed and people pull up to stare. Already a…
  • DAY 26… Jahazpur to Rajmahal
    DAY TWENTY SIX… 24.30 miles (39.10 km) Sitting on an antique couch, drinking lemon tea in the vestibule of our luxurious suite of rooms in Rajmahal. The bedroom is adorned…
  • DAY 27… Rajmahal to Tonk
    DAY TWENTY SEVEN… 36.35 miles (58.50 km) The day began so well with a road with beautifully smooth tarmac, that I thought might go on forever (foolishly). After 10 miles,…
  • DAY 28… Tonk to Sawai Madhopur
    DAY TWENTY EIGHT… 42.87 miles (69.00 km) The ride today was pretty easy and we noticed a change in how people treated us as we got further away from Tonk….
  • DAY 29… Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore)
    DAY TWENTY NINE The tiger safari began 6.30am with a ride in a cantor (sort of elongated jeep) round many of the posher hotels in Ranthambore. There is no suspension…
  • DAY 30… Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore)
    DAY THIRTY Alysun’s words… Today we just rested, hoping for the illness to pass quickly, which it did. Though not quite as quickly as I’d hoped, so by the end…