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 a really long descent to Ranakpur. Rather a lot of ‘English wine shops’ en route, and the driving of some was rather questionable. Are they topping up on ‘English Wine‘ (AKA Indian whisky or rum), then driving down? The road was pretty treacherous with lots of potholes in unexpected places, and the dreaded sand, so progress was a bit slower than imagined.

India Cycle Touring Rajasthan
Jungle descent to Ranakpur
India Cycle Touring Rajasthan
Roadside jungle & langurs

En route, we planned to get rid of some offering garlands that had been given to us, and the Hanuman temple seemed the ideal site. Even though these garlands were light, they were unnecessary weight we did not need.

There were a surprising number of langur monkeys at the Hanuman temple. So many that we got off our bikes and Tim began excitedly snapping the wonderful photo opportunity. Monkeys none too pleased by our actions. One became threatening, and another leapt onto Tim’s bike. I managed to extract my bike, very slowly away from threatening monkey, to a safe place, but Tim’s bike was still under monkey control.  Panicking, ever so slightly, we wonder what to do. Tim settles on the food option. We extract a packet of namkeen from my pannier and before Tim has a chance to open it, monkeys are charging towards him. He throws it and we rush for the, now liberated bike, and leg it away.

India Cycle Touring Rajasthan
If only the Langur had been able to reach the pedals…. then what ?

We stay at Shivika Lake Resort. We’ve stayed there before. Now it is under new management, taken back into royal ownership and there have been some improvements. It’s very quiet. In fact, we are the only guests, which is nice. The royal owner rings to check we are happy and have everything we need. Lovely Ranu from Poshina was responsible for that. He’d checked where we were headed, and contacted his family who own it.

A late bee sucks the last nectar
Swallows in shoals
Sweep the lake, a nervous flutter
Cicada chirp
Then owl.
The lake, silent
Holding it all
Mountains, sky
The fading day.

India Cycle Touring Rajasthan
The fading day sunset in the jungle