I was just thinking of what the first words in my diary will be when there was a knock on my door. The two young guys managing the guesthouse I’m in wanted selfies. The one running the show must only be about 14 years old. Now I’m back in my orange and blue room, chilling out on a double bed under a ceiling fan, which is keeping me just cool enough to feel comfortable. It’s super hot in India at the moment. The morning’s paper contained news stories about all the people that have died from dehydration over the last couple of weeks. I have been drinking lots of water over the last few days to put myself in the best position to cope with the excessive temperatures I am facing on the bike and I’m carrying lots of electrolytes.
I woke up at 5am and had my bike prepared by 6.30am. By the time I finished breakfast (leftover biryani from last night and a tomato), my host mother was up and offered to make me sandwiches, which I gratefully accepted. I thought they were being made with lunch in mind, but then three sandwiches were presented to me on a plate. Figuring they would be best enjoyed immediately rather than get squashed and heated in my pannier, I ate them all, only just managing to fit them in on top of my earlier breakfast. It was then time to say goodbye to my host family and hit the road.
Getting back on it after so long was like…well…like riding a bike. It is such a natural part of me now that no settling-in period is needed. The huge volume of food in my belly fuelled me all the way to my destination, with only one break in between. I arrived at Rohtak at 12.30pm after about five hours of riding. I immediately devoured a footlong Subway sandwich, then set about finding a home for the night. The first place at which I inquired was perfect: great price, super clean and with a westernised bathroom. Such luck meant I didn’t have to go bargain-hunting in the hottest part of the day. One good thing about it being so hot is that it is no hardship to stay in a place without hot water – a cold water shower is perfect after a day riding in the heat. I had a refreshing wash and then lay down for a couple of hours. Once it had cooled down a bit outside I went for a walk through town and came home with four litres of bottled mineral water and six bananas. My guesthouse has an attached restaurant so getting dinner was just a matter of placing an order with the boys and waiting for it to be delivered to my room. I am feeling very happy with how today went. The bike performed perfectly, I didn’t suffer too much in the heat, I had a decent afternoon’s rest and I’m now full of good food. Let’s hope such luck continues.
|Distance ridden today||78.42km|
|Average cycling speed||16.7kph|
|Total distance ridden||17,987km|