Today was actually quite good, despite being hotter than my calf muscles – which are showing some pretty good definition.
Once again it was biscuits for breakfast and it started off quite tough. I hadn’t slept that well so I was a bit drowsy; which isn’t all that great when riding in India. Even so the day improved quickly and I was soon enjoying myself.
The first half of today was pretty lumpy and there was very little flat. It also got a bit steep at times so it wasn’t easy going. I was met by some pretty good views at certain points though so it was easy on the mind.
As the temperature increased it started to get harder. The heat is really quite debilitating and I found myself having to rest at the top of climbs in order to avoid seriously overheating… And to get my breath back. I’m not sure whether it’s because the air is less dense due to the heat, but it often feels like I’m riding at altitude and my recovery really suffered at some points today.
Apart from the heat, I had a fairly interesting day; I saw my first monkey.. Although it was dead on the side of the road so I wasn’t sure if it counted. Luckily I saw 3 live ones about half an hour later.
I also encountered some more very friendly people. At the top of one of the climbs, there was a little shrine where I sat down to recover. A group of people showed up, and once they’d finished praying, they started talking to me. They were extremely interested in my trip and even asked for a photo with me. I can’t remember if I mentioned that this happened on the first day as well, but either way, that’s the second photo I’ve given.. Maybe I should start charging people.
After they left, the guy who was sitting/working/living in the shrine came over and offered me a couple of bananas – it was obviously clear I was suffering. I don’t think there is anything that would’ve made me happier at that point. Once I’d eaten them both, he came over again and gave me two more. Now I’ve learnt from a rather messy incident in Albania, that putting bananas in my bag, is a bad idea. Because of this, I ate those two as well and I must admit – even for me – 4 bananas in one sitting is a bit excessive and they did take a while to go down. However iffy I felt though, I was in a very good mood. I’ve been craving a banana (not a euphemism) for about a week and that had my smiling for pretty much the rest of the ride. So to the old fellow on the hill, if you’re listening, thank you very much, you made my day.
Hitting Goa tomorrow (even though I’ve been told by locals it would take at least six days to get there from Mumbai) and apparently it’s nice. So I’m looking forward to that… And also being able to sleep in a room that doesn’t smell like a urinal
Distance: 94.86miles / 152.7km
Riding Time: 7:15:17
Av. Speed: 13.1mph / 21.0kph