Distance by bus: Rajkot to Mount Abu - approximately 430 km
Time: 9.5 hours
Cost: from Rajkot to Abu Road - Rp 220 + Rp 100 for the bicycle
The bus arrived at the offices of Shrinath Travel at about 7pm, & so I somewhat nervously handed over my bike to be tied to the roof of the bus. It looked a long way up & there were heaps of other boxes & baggage being thrown up as well. (In 2000, my bike was badly damaged on a train between Kochi/Fort Cochin and the aptly named Managalore - the rear derailleur was damaged beyond my capacity to repair it & beyond that of Jyoti Cycles - the main bike shop in Mangalore. They weren't really familiar with gears & so were going to hit them with a big hammer, until I shrieked "no!" They were kind, however, in not wanting to charge me anything, and their efforts did enable me to be able to make slight gear changes with some struggle.) However I'm happy to report that it arrived safely at Abu Road. I, however, was in pretty bad shape when we arrived at 5am. It was unbelievably cold, and the bus seat was murder on my tender cyclist's buttocks. I was so cold, shivering uncontrollably in fact, and had hardly slept, that I decided not to cycle the 27km to Mount Abu from Abu Road, and caught a local bus.
Abu Road has a spacious and relaxed feel to it, and there seems to be an absence of the hideous traffic that blights much of India. I've checked into a relatively plush place - the Samrat International - but I feel the need for some comfort at present.