DAY THIRTY ONE… 47.72 miles (76.80 km)

We set off at 7am today, a bit later due to the excessive chill in the air in the early morning. A nice easy ride, taken gently. The first 15miles was on the National Highway…. not so good, but then mile upon mile of beautiful rural landscapes, with lovely well kept fields and dwellings. Mountain backdrop with little huts with straw roofs. I couldn’t believe it… no rubbish, no rubble either, just tidy fields and decorated huts.

After 30miles we stopped to rest in the shade and were invited in to a home by an old man, lying on a charpal. We were offered chai and again, a chance to see the family living there. Numerous kids and adults and we both tend to lose the plot when it comes to working out who belongs to whom. The dialect was hard for Tim to decipher, but the family seemed jolly and had a good laugh at the photo that Tim took of them.

India Cycle Touring Rajasthan
Our very welcoming hosts

The ride into Gangapur took so long that my energy was seriously fading fast. At this point we turned off the main road, usually a good sign, but on this occasion, definitely not. We ended up on terrible roads for miles, which gave onto a stony bumpy track which wound its way through a tight network of very poor housing, with open sewers running through it. We very quickly attracted the attention of a large crowd of young boys who ran, in a menacing way, along the lanes, after us, shouting out everything they could possibly think of in English. They kept up their momentum despite our attempts to cycle fast through their horribly desolate streets. It felt like being in hell. Google Maps had long given up the ghost and we were well and truly lost. A great occasion for a good argument, always at the best times!

After what seemed like ages, we arrived at a very moderate hotel. Nothing special but not dirty.

Monkeys acrobat along electric cables
Pigs rummage through plastic waste
The call of the muezzin, long past,
Now the clamour of temple bells
Morning puja.
Women sweeping yesterdays dust
And fires of rubbish
With men in shawls,
Warming hands.