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 away with little hand brooms, temple bells are chiming with morning pooja, and people are huddled around small street fires, trying to get warm. It is quite cool at this time now. Cool enough to need a fleece on.

India Cycle Touring Rajasthan
The chicken who crossed the road to fix a puncture

At the start of the day, with good roads, we can put a lot of miles behind us quickly. Today we had good roads, mostly. Just a few road deconstruction areas with horrid slippery mud, making cycling impossibly treacherous. In fact one man on a motorbike, came crashing off, his wife too, just as we had dismounted our bikes as we thought it too dangerous. Why people need to spray the mud roads with water, making it all so much more slippery, defeats me.

India Cycle Touring Rajasthan
Totally unridable deconstructed road

Our route today passed huge marble quarries which had really destroyed the landscape, and created lots of dust. Bits of discarded marble were just dumped in huge piles.

India Cycle Touring Rajasthan
Where those marble floors & kitchen tops come from

By about 1pm we had cycled 70 km and arrived at Bhilwara along the worst road yet, traffic wise. We cycled for miles and miles along really busy, congested dual carriageways neck to neck with motorbikes, cars, buses, rickshaws, all making their way in their usual chaotic style, shooting out of side roads, going the wrong way on the roads, not to mention the usual cacophony of horns. Add to this heat, dust and general weariness, and you might have some idea what we went through.

Our hotel which promised so much with the hint of royalty in its title (Ranbanka Heritage Resort) was a big disappointment. Adequate. A big plus is the very long approach up a drive which gives it a sense of seclusion from the dusty hubbub of Bhilwara.