Saturday, February 12, 2005


Day 15 cycling: Diu to Veraval, via Somnath
Distance: 94.20km
Ride time: 5:35
Maximum speed: 25.6km/hr
Total cycled: 1494km
Total between towns: 1310km

On the whole, the road was fine - terrific for the first bit, awful for a while & then good again. The sun has quite a bite to it, and I now have sunburnt arms (as well as the gaps between the straps on my sandals & a strip across both hands,j ust below my knuckles ...). I detoured to the temple at Somnath on the way to Veraval but didn't find it all that enthralling. Curious to see that it was patrolled by soldiers, with one of them in a turret, with machine gun behind a sandbag. Expecting trouble perhaps? It was disquietly amusing to notice that two of the soldiers had left their rifles (they looked like the old Boer war .303 rifles) leaning against a column, with neither owner to be seen. I suppose that if I had ventured to pick one up the soldiers might well have reappeared, or maybe the guy in the turret would have sprung into action. For some reason I gave a totally voluntary donation to the restoration fund, before reminding myself with a small tinge of horror that I'd contributed to the maintenance of a religion - not something that I'm generally happy to do. The older I get, the less I can relate to or have time for religion of any sort ... perhaps a topic for another blog.

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