Day's run: 81 km
Total: 812 km
Saddle Time: 05:06
Total Climb: 662 m
Total Descent: 531 m
Average: 15.8 kph
I was down at 06h30 to checkout, the foyer floor covered with the bodies of sleeping staff. I was expecting to be delayed, but by the time I had hitched up all my panniers I was groggily presented with my bill.
I'm off to see the Jain monolithic statue, a pilgrim destination and voted (by Indians) No 1 of the 'Seven Wonders of India'. That's good enough for me.
It's the best bit of the day, heading off somewhere new, through cool empty streets, seeing the city waken to a new day. Once I'd cleared the 'burbs' as Syd, my Adelaide Aussie calls them (how come Australians so excel at sport but don't have the energy to string two syllables together) I was into farming country, paddy fields, maize, coconuts and sugar cane.
|The artistry on these bullock carts is first class and seems to be the done thing around here. In rural India the craft of sign-painting is alive and well for adverts, political slogans, and on school walls exhorting students to work hard.|
Cutting cane in Karnataka. This looks like hard labour.......the workers live and sleep in a tarpaulin tent encampment next to the plantation. I've still not had a sugar cane drink....when I've lost a few more kilos : )
|Around here there are more oxen working in the fields than tractors. Several pairs out ploughing the fields today......controlling a plough and steering wayward oxen at the same time looks like a skilled and backbreaking job.|
|This is my objective for this afternoon.....on top of that hill.|
|First, check into a room at the government-run pilgrims' accommodation complex (huge!) Rooms are basic but cheap at 250 rupees per night.....my bike is sleeping with me tonight so I should sleep soundly : )|
Checked in, showered, and like a million pilgrims before me I'm off to climb barefoot up the 600-odd steps carved out of the granite rock-face (very hot rock at 2pm!) to meet Gommateshvara Bahubali.
|OK, it was impressive. For me, mainly because this monolith has been superbly sculpted out of the top of the granite mountain and then the temple built around it......1,000 years ago, about 100 years before the Magna Carta was signed. Wow! It's big, about 55' high. My photo doesn't give any impression of the size but his willy is about 3' long, if that is any help. Why naked? Syd says it symbolises rising up and leaving all worldly possessions behind. I like that. What!.... and the phone? Better photos and background here|
|It's my chai guy. This is what you look like if you work 16 hours a day......or maybe he put eardrops in his eyes too : /|
|And finally, before I head for the restaurant, a street stall masala dhosa (25 rupees) for hors d'oeuvres...delish!|