With ear plugs and a cooling ceiling fan, I enjoyed a nice sleep in and it was after 8.30am that I felt awake enough to check the time. I lay in bed for a while longer, ate the mango I’d bought yesterday and pottered around tidying my room and rinsing my riding clothes, which I hadn’t bothered tending to last night. The hotel manager gave me a motorbike ride to a nearby bakery, where I got a couple of things for breakfast, which I ate back in my room. I did a fair bit of thinking about what lies ahead of me and came away from my mental work more enthusiastic than I have been over the last couple of days. I think I have felt increasingly unenthusiastic over the last couple of days mostly because I am adjusting back into cycle touring again. Getting so exhausted so quickly has made me think that I’m tired of cycle touring in general and need a serious break from it.

Yes, I just had seven weeks at home, but in those seven weeks I was still madly working on presenting the journey via my diary and social media etc. I mean a real break, doing something totally unrelated from travelling on a bike.

With the benefit of a sleep in and a relatively lazy day, I am coming to the conclusion I’m just letting exhaustion and soreness get the better of me. Once I am settled back into the physical challenge of touring again, my mind will be more occupied by the exciting places I’m getting to see rather than the torturous pain I’m going through. Particularly motivating is the thought that I will dedicate my next video to the Karakoram Highway, which extends from Pakistan into China. This is a much more inspiring than the alternative of making one video for Pakistan and another for China. My thinking also led me to consider skipping quite a few countries in Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Iran) and instead spend a longer, more focused amount of time in Kazakhstan. It might depend on whether I can get a boat across the Caspian Sea between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. I like the idea of getting to know one country really well rather than blast through multiple countries relatively quickly. When I was done exercising my brain, I fell asleep and didn’t wake up properly until mid-afternoon.

I went for a walk and returned to the cyber café I visited last night so I could send my family a proper message. The owner was there this time and it turns out his brother-in-law lives in Perth. I spoke to the B-I-L over the phone and he told me about the Indian restaurant he’d just opened in Belmont. I promised I’d go there when I’m back home. Thanks to the connection and the generosity of the owner, I didn’t have to pay for my internet use. I walked home on a round-about route, stopping off at various places for snacks, including bananas, fried vegetables (probably a bad idea) and a fresh lime juice. I have spent the evening lazing in my room dreaming about opening a hostel. My legs are still very painful, so I have decided to rest up another day here in Patiala.

Patiala

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 18,186km