Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 280 Guntakal - Hampi

Uuuuuh, what a ride. 115km, heat, headwind, hills and fear of not arriving before sunset (and this now that just some days ago also my backlight has given up). But I made it. I started early as I knew it would be a long ride. In the beginning it went pretty well, but after half the distance I felt that I needed some serious rest. And water. Lots of it. I drank about 3 liter during the lunchbreak - even though I had been drinking regularly on the road. Starting after lunch was hard, but I knew I had to get started and I had to go fast to arrive before sunset. Problem was: after lunch the headwind had even worsened. I really had to push very hard to keep going - this was only possible because I knew this would be the last cycling day before some days of rest and because I knew that good friends, cold beer and food were waiting for me in Hampi. Without this motivation I would certainly have given up somewhere on the way - I really didn't look very happy on the bike. I arrived in Hampi exactly at sunset and as I drove into town I drove into a huge chaos - big festival going on here: masses (MASSES!) of people and animals, noise, mud, banana-throwing at huge chariots,... and inbetween me on a fully loaded bicycle trying to find my friends. Fortunately I managed to find the guesthouse and even though my friends were not there I could unload my bicycle and went searching for them with much less burden. I just went through the festival crowd, trying to look as tall as possible in the hope that one of them would see me - this strategy worked perfectly for legions of Indians who wanted to talk to/photograph/touch me, but still none of my friends in sight. But just when I went back to my guesthouse I saw korean cyclist-on-noncycling-holiday Yeho 'Erick' Lee waving and running at me closely followed by my dear swiss co-cyclist Yannik and korean fellow traveller Jinshee - all of them I know from Iran. Now everything was good: a warm welcome, a cold shower and after some minutes of negotiation a riksharide to some even colder beers and food. I am usually not a very big fan of Indian Kingfisher beer, but after that ride and with that company it were the best beers ever!

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