Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Cyclic Journey

A cycling journey of 2300Km through India. 4 states Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. This took me 48 days (27th October to 14th December). I cycled for only 22 days though. The rest of the time i was resting and bathing in the beauties of life.

I went to Rajasthan for a folk music festival. I must say it was mind blowing. Mainly folk musicians from Rajasthan and a few from rest of the world. 
I had sort of decided to cycle back 3 weeks before i began. But no one seemed to believe me, not myself even! 

vivek chockalingam
Below are a few pictures and incidents from my journey.

Day 1. 27th October
The first day with tons of butterflies in my stomach. Im not even a cyclist, but just embarking on this marathon journey.

Day 2. 28th October
An exited second day. Was long and i cycled into the dark. I ended up cycling into a scarcely populated area and found myself a beautiful dhaba to sleep in (for free).
A strange thing happened this night. My phone was stolen from next to my head!! My phone was an important technology as it was my telephone+camera+map.
The next morning i began looking for it. I hung around for an hour, asking people and walking around.
Then this man came and ACTUALLY RETURNED MY PHONE!how often does this happen! I was overjoyed and too happy to get angry at this guy who took my Phone.

Day 6. 1st Novembr
I bumped into a fellow traveller Akbar. He was riding a tricycle, behind he had some shelves and a bed for comfortable living. He was traveling from Rajkot to Ajmer.
It was such a strange connection. We were actually cycling in opposite directions. And I cycled past him before i actually realized what was happening. Then there was a cry and hug like we had known each other for years. Was a lovely afternoon.

Day 10. 6th November
As i cycled into Gujarat from Rajastan I really began to miss Rajastan. Cant put my hands on it but i was missing something . 
Then i came upon this bizarre tree that put back vibrant life into Gujrat. Unique connections with this tree. 
chockalingam vivek

Here is a map from the first half of the journey. This was done through google lattitude application from my phone. I had initially switched off all of googles recording devices. Not that I have to hide anythin from google, but just as rebellious gesture. Some days into my journey i decided to change it. It is a service thats offered and i should use it (atlest for the journey).

Day 12. 8th November
Hit the cost for the first time on this journey. Daman, a Union territory in Middle of Gujarat. This was a small Portugees colony surrounded by Gujarat. Being a Portugees colony alchohol was flowing like water. People from Gujarat were arriving in bus loads for this as they have no alchohol where they live!
Was pretty difficult to communicate when the situation is like this. It took me almost 3 hours to get a place to stay.

Day 20. 15th November
This was just after i crossed Mumbai on my way to Pune. I hit the Ghats (rocky hills). This was a mamoth task. I ended up pushing my cycle on a couple of occasions. This night I was graced with a beautiful room in a cool hill-town. And felt worth of the effort to get there.

Day 22. 18th November
Just after half way, I arrived in Pune with not the most comforting body aches. I decided to rest here. I found a friend who was willing to host me for a bit. 
Also thinking about it cycling is not something that you would do if you are a hurry. You have to sink into it and enjoy it.I stayed here almost 2 weeks. By the time i left my body was fit and raring to go. 

Day 40. 
6th December
As I entered into Karnataka from Maharashtra I found this beautiful farm. Was nothing fancy but just a simple connection with life. Many living beings (including humans!) were living in harmony. The people on the farm were kind enough to invite me for the night and fed me well. 
Everything is open here as there is nothing to hide nor is there any place to hide. Saw people bathing in the open before i gained confidence to do so myself.

Day 42. 8th December

While i was cycling in rocky terrains of north Karnataka i came upon a patch where my wheels were not effective. There was no walking across this either so i took a small ride across with a motorboat!

Day 41. 7th December
Next couple of days I spent at Hampi. This was a place i was intending to go for a long time. This incredibly historic and visually beautiful place is only 300km from my home town. But so strange that i should come here for the first time by bicycle.

A map from the second half of the journey.

Day 47. 13th December
The day before I reach my final destination (Bangalore) i have my first puncture. As I crossed the 100Km mark 20 meters down i encountered my first puncture - then 20 meters further i found the cycle repair shop! what are the odds of this happening. 
I had all the equipment to fix a puncture the whole way and nothing happened. So i had to get it repaired from this chap!!


Coming soon: a video from my cycle's eye!
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