Cycling in the heat of winter (January 16th - January 24th)
On Sunday January 16th I was up early to catch the 7:45 ferry to Mandwa. I had to wind my way around the Mumbai marathon course for the run that was being held that day but the roads were free of traffic and the trip only took about 45 minutes. Here is a view from the ferry as we were pulling out of the harbour.
(Murud - Kelshi - Chiplun - Hathcamba - Kharepaten - Sawantwadi - Baga - Palolem)
Distance biked so far: (6,715 km)
We arrived in Mandwa about an hour later and the ferry docked against another boat meaning I had to lift my bike from the ferry to the boat, roll it across and then up a dozen very steep and narrow concrete steps. I thought it would have been a lot easier to just ask the 3 men to move their boat so the ferry with a few hundred people on board could get off more easily but that's not how it works. A few people almost fell as the small boat was rocking in the waves. Nothing like doing things the hard way.
I was not sure what to expect as I headed south but I didn't anticipate the beautiful day of cycling ahead. I felt like I was in a tropical paradise with a forest canopy overhead and on relatively traffic free and smooth roads. One thing that is noticeable is that there are relatively few personal automobiles with the traffic composed mainly of auto rickshaws, buses, trucks, motorcycles and people walking.
It was exhilarating to be back on my bike and the day was filled with a sense of wonder as there is so much going on wherever you look. The smells, colours, noise and people everywhere is a sensory overload both exciting and exhausting at the same time. I noticed a brightly coloured Hindu temple, one of many I would see on the day. I went inside to observe someone saying their ritual prayers.
There was a candle burning incense in very neat and clean building.