So we’ve arrived at Bharatpur after a busy day yesterday spent in Agra visiting the Taj Mahal, jaw aching for its magnificence, but also very noteworthy for the endless amounts of photos taken in front of it to fill a family album for a life time… You have to really don’t you it’s the Taj Mahal… you never know when you will be back!
An afternoon of bike fittings adjusting saddles, testing the brakes – thank god they work! Is followed by an early dinner, a briefing on the rules of the road from the guides… It seems there are none! Just ring your bell endlessly and just keep going… oh wait I forgot one ‘do not under any circumstances stop under a bridge with a moving train above unless its good luck to have someone’s bowels deposited over you, and I’m pretty sure it’s not very lucky!!
So with a more respectable wake up time than on day 1, and a peaceful sleep until the calling for prayer at 5.30, we breakfast and are on the road out of Agra. With only Nescafe offered at breakfast we were soon to realis
e that the caffeine fix hit us in the form of complete ‘organised’ chaos on the roads of Agra. It was a close call on many an occasion with Marcus wedged between two tuc tucs trying to be ahead of the game, horns beeping, cycles, tuc tucs, busses and cows all weaving their way in no order what’s so ever! Half an hour and we are out of the chaos of Agra to find ourselves cycling along a pleasant stretch of road… well so we thought. To describe pleasant on this cycle is to say that the roads are tarmacked and the end result of the day is that we can still sit down on a chair for dinner. We stop 20km in for a snack break to be welcomed by our support team. We build up a bit of speed having a chin wag to your fellow cyclist, every so often swopping partners like musical chairs. Suzanne dec
ided that she likes her chin wag partner so much that she falls into Toms arms … Unfortunately they are cycling at the time and both took a little tumble. Only a few scratches thankfully!
The days passes on and then there we are enjoying the lush yellow fields of mustard and taking in our first experience cycling in
India and then …..HONK!! They (our fellow Indian road uses) seemingly creep up on you and then sound their horn at its loudest just as you’re least expecting it, Leaving you with a wobble! The adventure continues, we have been told by our guides to‘keep on the left’..but on the left is a tractor racing along (and when I mean left, I mean its driving up the highway in the opposite direction!)And so you swerve to miss the tractor and then find yourself back to your pleasant leisurely cycle with now a couple India boys cycling along with their school racks looking at you like you have just stepped straight out off the planet Mars!
In India cycling is the lowest class of transport. Any Indian who had to cycle would do anything to have a car or even a moped… so when they see a line of westerners choosing to cycle they immediately think that we must be form a different planet. To top it off we are also all wearing these alien objects on our heads… The kids run out to wave and the buses of people that drive by all have mobile phones hanging out the window to take pictures of these weird foreign objects choosing to cycle for no apparent or sensible reason that they can work out at all. Young boy Q. What you doing? Mick A. Cycling, Young boy Q. WHY??(very inquisitive look on his face followed by are ‘are you crazy’ look.. followed by a ‘Il take your car anyday!!) Mick A. to get fit, Young Boy. Q. WHY(even more confused look!) and then Young Boy Q. Where you going? Mick A. That way. Young Boy Q. WHY(Now he is just completely lost and has no idea how to comprehend this and so the conversation comes to a standstill.) A conversation of many to come…so a good start to our cycle today from Agra to Jaipur. Five days to go.
So To hear more updates from Jo in India, stay tuned to this blog! Whilst she’s out in country, you can get in touch and follow Jo via her twitter feed at @jojowarren82
you can also find out more about the challenge she is embarking on – The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge! – by clicking here. To see more information about the array of amazing challenges we have, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, please subscribe to this blog. You can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.