Wednesday, February 09, 2005

DIU

Day 14 cycling: Rajula to Diu
Distance cycled: 70.17km
Time: 3:36
Average speed: 19.82
Max. speed: 31.1
Total distance cycled: 1348km
Total distance en route: 1216 km


I was feeling a little queasy in the morning & thought that I'd ordered toast with jam. The jam sandwich that arrived wasn't quite what I'd expected. The ride itself started off delightfully; the road to Una was excellent & it was easy to maintain a pace of 22 km/hr or more. Most of the way from Una onwards was ghastly - either very rocky or else potholed & bumpy. It was nice to arrive at the Hotel Apana in Diu & freshen up after 2 days cycling. My room at the hotel is tiled from floor to ceiling (and including floor & ceiling). Theoretically, I guess it would make cleaning easy. I suspect the tiling also enhances rather than dampens any ambient noise, as the first morning here would have to be one of the noisiest starts to the day I've had in India - the usual banging, bellowing & dogs barking, with the addition of some of the loudest clearing of nasal & other passages I've ever heard. It sounded as if someone was being murdered down the corridor. I'm sure it could not be good to do whatever it was he was doing. The other sound that floated into my subconscious mind was the repetitive 'ding' of a bell being rung - which I slowly realised was my bike's, which was locked up out the front of the hotel, below my window. I don't think my yelling out the window at the perpetrators did much for the morning's harmony. In fact, at every single hotel I've stayed at, with the exception of Hotel Palace Utelia, my bike's gears have been changed from those I've left it in. This can be especially annoying when you start cycling in the morning & find your gears all out of whack, and slipping. The big question after "what is your country?" or "from where are you coming?" is to ask how much the bike cost. I'm usually pretty coy about this, and if pressed give a value of a fraction of what it cost.

India! You have to love it (otherwise you'd go mad here....).

For breakfast this morning I had utappa - like a big vegetable pancake, with associated sauces in small tin tubs, and for lunch channa chaat - chick peas with chopped up salad. The food certainly is one of the delights of India, and I'm working way through all the different food that I can.

Diu (pronounced "dew") comprises an island about 11km by 3km & a few bits on the mainland, and along with Daman, which I visited earlier, were ruled by Portugal between the 1530's and, surprisingly, 1961 when India kicked them out, using their armed forces (a few people died in the process). Daman & Diu are not part of Gujurat, but are both governed centrally, from Delhi. It also means that alcohol is available here, unlike in the rest of Gujurat, which is a 'dry' state, largely due to the influence of Ghandi. Typically, restaurants in Gujurat are vegetarian, and alcohol is not available.

Uhoh ... gotta go ... I can hear my bike bell ringing ..

2 comments:

Mr Felix said...

Dave,

RE your photo, that looks a lot my bike, mate! Almost same-same. Amazing! :)

I'm in Surat Thani at the moment, just got here after riding down from Bangkok. A nice little run, mainly along the cute little B-road that skirts the coast, beside the train line. Toot! Toot!

I did this run 15 years ago, and although now the road is sealed and in good shape, the back blocks of Thailand haven't changed all that much. Not so the main towns which have a lot more tourists, and all the things that go with that.

RE your BLOG - and why do other Westerners ignore you? Yes, it's interesting isn't it?

Firstly, I think, they haven't been out on the road all day, like you, like me, and every other cyclist, slowly going mad, and having arrived in town, in bad need of some Coke and sympathy.

But also I guess it's that "I'll pretend you aint in my movie" phenomenon. It doesn't help that you're on a bike [read: adventuring] and they're simply backpacking [read: all of a sudden not so adventuring].

Or do they think cyclists are smelly, sporty, numbskull types and not worth talking to?

And a cow nearly ate your guide book? OK, yep, it happens... I guess.

OK, mate, keep going - Mount Abu approacheth!

Felix & Mr Pumpy in Surat Thani, Thailand
http://www.mrpumpy.net

david w said...

Nothing doing, I don't think it looks anything like yours, except that it has two wheels, a seat & handlebars.

With other western tourists seemingly avoiding eye contact, I think it may be also be that I'm on the receiving end of how many people deal with India & its masses - don't look at anyone or they may try & sell you something, or rob you or do other bad things. Or perhaps people like to pretend that they're alone in India & that there are no other westerners about...

Nice to hear from you Felix & Mr Pumpy! Happy cycling.