Saturday, 4 April 2015

03 April - Leaving Delhi

Day's run: 94 km
Total: 2,245 km
Start:  10:19 am
Saddle Time:   04:59
Total Climb:    199 m
Total Descent: 167 m
Average: 18.9 kph

Overnight, after much thumb twiddling I decided I would head south west from Delhi some 800km to end up in Udaipur. The alternative was to head up north into the Himalayan foothills but the weather forecast further north looked pretty wet and miserable. There had been a thunderstorm in Delhi overnight and I remember thinking that it would give the streets a good clean.

My priority in the morning was to get to the train station (the one now 500m away) and make sure I had a berth on the sleeper to Mumbai for the night of the 12th. Look at me! I've got this train travel hacked! Easy peasy! Outside the hostel (Zostel Delhi) the streets, rather than being cleansed by the rain, are now a sea of mud and huge puddles. At the Reservations Office, a lot more tourist friendly than Ratnagiri, I manage to get a berth and.........having politely asked my age, the lady clerk gives me a Senior Citizens discount!

The hostel was fully booked and so I had to check out at 10am. Even though I was not far from the Red Fort and many other 'must do's in Delhi I decide that what I most wanted to do was to make the most of the cloudy, relatively cool weather and be on my way to Rajasthan. I was running out of time and I wanted to have a day off in both Jaipur and Udaipur. (I'd found a 5 year old copy of Lonely Planet's 'Rajasthan' that had whetted my appetite).

It's hard for most people to understand how I could visit India for 2 months and only spend 18 hours in Delhi, and 8 of those in bed. I guess the answer is that I get more pleasure from cycling along new roads than I do from sight-seeing. Seeing the 'wonders of the world' is of course interesting, thought provoking, sometimes amazing but riding for me is just pure satisfaction and pleasure.

I will never, ever go on about the weight of my panniers again! I believe these cylinders are around 35 kg that's 175 kg. Say what you like about Indian bikes, they are tough workhorses.

I'm heading through Cyber City - Gurgaon, on the outskirts of  Delhi. Stuck in the middle of poverty, they look a little out of place.

Water buffalo doing what water buffalo like best.........just like me really.

The main Delhi to Jaipur highway is a nightmare of road-widening works..........but the Pocket Earth solution is even worse.

I'm heading back to the highway.........I want my day off in Jaipur!

My target is Rewari which is big enough to have hotels. As it is I stop at the first one I see on the outskirts, even though it is a whopping 2000 rupees. I'm feeling a bit shaken...........right in front of me a lorry pulled across in front of an oncoming motorbike. It was a mess, one of the bikers was moving, the other lay ominously still in the road.

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