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, stress free.  But it was not stress free, as Tim ended up paying extortionate amounts of “Special Diwali” money to actually get the porters to put our bikes on the train.

We’d also got the berth to ourselves for Covid reasons, though as Tim’s taxi driver said “there is no Covid in India anymore and no one wears masks”. The latter is definitely true.

India Cycle Touring Gujarat Thorn Club Tour Bikes
Our packed bicycles are very comfortable in the First Class Compartment

The train ride was bumpy, but I slept OK. Woke with a massive headache and felt super rough. Another great reason to have a berth to ourselves. I was sick in a Fab India bag (only available item) and then had to rally myself to get the bikes unpacked ready for our ride to the hotel in Dwarka. I had to carry all the packing materials and my panniers as well as our cycle bags. We hope we can send our bags and packing material to some end point in our journey, though this remains to be seen.

Hotel Kuba, our hotel, in Dwarka, is run by a very stressed man, and a lot of young assistants who sit around doing absolutely nothing. It seems pretty busy, as does Dwarka. The hotel itself is functional, modern, and we have some chai.

7pm… The streets are packed tonight. Cows or bulls wander or lie in the road, as rickshaws, packed with more people than humanely possible, weave past. Stalls selling glittery bangles, beautiful sandals, mirrorwork dresses. Men with flutes, fruit, snacks, sweets, peacock feathers, and shells.

India Cycle Touring Gujarat
The packed streets of Diwali season holiday makers