Monday, February 14, 2005

Sasan Gir

Day 16 cycling: Veraval to Sasan Gir
Distance cycled: 43.03 km
Ride time: 2:58
Average speed: 14.64 km/hr
Max. speed: 25.9
Total odometer reading: 1537 km
Total Distance between towns: 1353 km

The first 13km to Sasan were OK, but then the road degenerated, wind arose, making the whole day quite arduous. Sasan Gir is the main town near the Gir National Park & Sanctuary, which is the "only abode of the "Asiatic lion" in the world ..." and houses a little over 300 of these lions, which are at great risk of extinction. I'd be lying if I said I felt no disquiet on entering the gates of the Lion Sanctuary on my bicycle (approximately 37km from Veraval). I reminded myself as I pedalled on that the risk would have to be much less than that posed by cycling on Indian roads.

Hotel Utsav, where I stayed in Veraval, comprised 5 rooms on the 4th floor of a building opposite the local bus station. Cheap but probably fairly priced at Rp 200, given how run down it was. Still, there was bucket hot water & towel provided - I'm beginning to quite like using the bucket method of washing myself, but I'm not sure my bathroom at home could handle this innovation. While in Veraval had an excellent thali at Prakash Dining Hall, which was a very clean & simple place. Recommended. On the whole though, Veraval didn't grab me as the sort of place that I'd choose to linger in for long.

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