And our journey continues. North India is very different from the South in terms of colours, landscape, people. It seems like a very different experience altogether. We’re heading towards Rajasthan. Very honestly, right now we’re not able to feel too much beyond the heat. It is after all the driest state in the country comprising of the famous Thar Desert. Keeping ourselves hydrated becomes very crucial at this point. Giving up is certainly not on our mind right now.
Our first stop in Rajasthan is Kotputli which is near the border.
After Kotputli, our next stop is Kishangarh. On the way to Kishangarh after finishing with our McDonalds Ice cream, (I’ll agree, it’s good to suddenly spot a McDonalds where you least expect it) we met a 100km Ultra Marathon Runner. He was someone we were able to relate to, after all, we’re all on a similar journey. Though our courses may differ, the motivations seem the same.
The next morning in Kishangarh, we decided to explore the local areas a little bit instead of riding on. I’m not sure we’d be visiting the same place ever again. It only makes sense to look around a little bit and soak in the culture as much as possible. These are the experiences that we are gathering along our road, things that will remain with us, things we learn from. The gali’s of Kishangarh was rather intriguing. Narrow with rows of houses on both sides, very apt for Bollywood movie chase scenes. We did have people stare at us while brushing their teeth, after all, we did disturb the usual harmony of the morning environment.
Then we headed off to see the famous Kishangarh Fort. It was beautiful from outside but we weren’t lucky enough to go in because there were people residing inside.
That’s all from Kishangarh. Our journey continues towards Ajmer. We kept ourself full with dal baati churma.
After Ajmer, we kept riding towards Udaipur. En route to Udaipur, we were supposed to make our stop at a place called Bali but unfortunately, we couldn’t find a hotel there so we kept on riding and if was getting dark. Usually, we avoid riding at night but sometimes circumstances lead you to so it’s a good idea to be prepared with proper lights and reflective gear.
Finally, by 9:30 pm, we reached a place called Bheem where we were able to find a hotel. The locals then told us that it’s not a good idea to ride at night because it’s common to have tigers around. We fell asleep to the call of peacocks.
Next morning, we resumed our journey for Udaipur. We crossed a couple of marble factories. The terrain included a number of climbs, tunnels etc. Most of the time, we were left with awe at the diversity of terrain and landscapes even within short spans.
Udaipur is a land of fancy palaces or “Mahals” as they call it. We had to make our visit to a few since we were in the vicinity. I consider us very lucky to be able to catch a play at Bangor ki Haveli. It was wrapped in culture and traditions with puppet shows, folk dances, local music etc. The most intriguing sight was a 70-year-old woman who danced with 11 pots on her head balancing a plate and on top of broken glasses.
We spent the next day exploring our surroundings and seeing unique sights like palaces in the middle of a river etc.
Our first stop in Gujarat was Shamlaji. From there, we left at 6am in the morning. The first thing we did was to look for breakfast. We had to settle for Khakra and Papri, I’ll be honest, it made us quite miserable. It was a hectic day on the road with excessive security and traffic because of the arrival of Japanese President Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad.
The Same day we were able to reach Ahmedabad. The next day we had a workshop in Decathlon Applewoods. We kept eating Khakra and Papri throughout our stay.
Our next destination was Decathlon Vadodara. We were surprising welcomed by a huge group of people. The workshop there was very interesting and interactive with a good mix of enthusiastic people. One of the guys present was building a Tandem that can be fixed to any bike. Our interactions with him were definitely worthwhile.
The next stop would be Surat. On our way, we came across the Smitten Chocolate Factory. I was so excited that I carried a lot of chocolates out of there but in a while, all of them began melting. 😛
The road towards Decathlon Dumas Store in Surat is very good and well maintained, I felt like I was riding in Los Angeles. Before our workshop, we had a rest day when we explored the beach and just had a good time.
We ate royally at the Night Bazaar, finally.
It was time to leave Gujarat. 60 people from Surat Cyclists came to see us off.
Next stop – Decathlon Thane