Leaving Udaipur, we were treated to a fun day of riding on National Highway 8…it was practically all downhill for hours. The road itself was a 10, with a wide shoulder and even though there was a lot of truck traffic we were able to average almost 14 mph.
Toward the end of the day, though, we turned off of Hwy 8 and took a smaller road into Dungarpur. This was much more interesting riding and took us through a rural area that is unaccustomed to seeing foreign tourists. For the next few days until we rejoined Hwy 8 in Vadodara, shouts of ‘Hello’ rang out to us hundreds of times a day as we peddled past people’s homes and businesses and fields.
Unfortunately the road quality wasn’t always good through these areas, with some stretches that went on for miles where there were far more patches in the road than original pavement. Add to that a whole bunch of hills, our first bout with bad food, and our average speed plummeted. One day I think I came in at just over 70 miles, but with an average speed of only 8.6 mph…that’s a long day of riding.
In some of the smaller cities that were along our route, we attracted crowds of 30-40 within moments of arriving. In one particular place, Rick arrived in town about ten minutes before I struggled in. By the time I pulled up to him, he had a group of over 100 assembled, many staring slack-jawed at the only westerner they had ever personally seen.