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Rose's Freewheeling Adventure

by seadogrose

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One year on and the hair is longer, the legs are longer but the seat and helmet still fit so time to get on the road again! This time Rose will be crossing India from the Bay of Bengal to the beaches of Goa. 'India holidays bike!' says Rose so let's go!

Following on from Rose's first adventure aboard the Windrush (see below), her next trip is to cross Cambodia by bicycle!

Meet Rose Harvest, born in February 2010. Follow this blog and find out about her adventures!

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Caves at Badami

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The second days cycling to Badami was much shorter and on pretty roads and we got to the town early enough to explore the caves as the midday heat eased. The caves are over 1500 years old but in remarkable condition and some of the stone carvings looked like it had been done yesterday. The remoteness of the caves and the very dry environment contribute to minimise erosion. Rose liked the cheeky monkeys who busied them selves ripping luggage off the roof racks of unsuspecting tourists!
8th Feb 2012, 09:12   | tags:comments (3)

Leaving Hampi and back into real India

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We were pleased to be on the road again leaving Hampi, and all evidence of the many Western tourists disappeared within minutes. The start was very pleasant, through boulder-strewn paddy fields, palm trees and friendly villages. Our route today was north-west, heading for Badami, and involved a stretch of national highway 13. We've cycled on these before, but this was VERY busy with trucks and heavy loads, all squeezed onto a narrow pot-holed lane due to construction of the brand new dual carriageway alongside. The going was hot, slow, dusty and fumy, but to our relief we were able to slip onto the empty new carriageway next door, with its lovely smooth tarmac. At one point we had to rejoin the main carriageway as the tarmac was so new our tyre began to stick!

We were ready for lunch after a difficult morning's ride, and stopped off at a popular truck-stop only to find one of the best meals of the trip so far. A big bowl of dhal scooped up with about 10 chappatis straight from the tandoori oven, delicious!

An afternoon following small roads to our overnight stop at Gajendragarh amounted to the longest cycle of the trip so far, a monster 95km!
6th Feb 2012, 13:13   comments (1)

Evensong outside our guesthouse

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One side of the track guesthouse and restaurants, the other is paddy fields accommodating about a million frogs by the sound of it!
3rd Feb 2012, 15:43   comments (1)

Happy in Hampi

Rose is a STAR! Sometimes Kate and I can not believe how great Rose is. She is such a happy little girl and takes everything in her stride. We have had some long tough days on the bikes in some harsh temperatures and Rose keeps smiling. She is interested in everything and seems to love all life has to offer. She has taken to the local food with us, handles the temperatures and disruption to routine and has been cuddled, held and squeezed by literally hundreds of adoring Indians during our journey.Traveling with her is a real joy and enriches the experience for us in so many ways. Thank you Rose.xx
3rd Feb 2012, 15:31   comments (3)

Arriving in Hampi

Arriving in Hampi (serious Lonely Planet territory) was what we expected, but still felt alien. It is a backpacker's town but thankfully localized to the main temple sights, and the first sign as we got to within 1km were children asking for money rather than waving as we passed. There are many different nationalities here with an abundance of Russians and Israelis. We realized that it had been on the train leaving Hyderabad that we had seen the last westerner over 12 days ago!Hampi Bazaar is described in the Lonely Planet as a 'backpacker ghetto', so we opted to stay on the south side of the Tungabhadra river, crossing on the tiny ferry. It was rammed with white faces, but despite sitting shoulder to shoulder no one said a word to each other or asked about Rose, the bikes or our grubbiness; of course, we're just tourists here like everyone else. But we were soon stopped by a stall-holder showing us our article in the paper (not bad photos!), then someone else told us they'd seen the report on tv. Do the gap-yahs not realise we're celebrities?!
3rd Feb 2012, 14:50   comments (1)

The best hotel in town.

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India is quite a noisy place, and along with warm rooms, hard beds and early starts we haven't been sleeping too well. The ride to Bellary was a short-ish one at 60,km and in need of a good rest we asked around for the best hotel in town. I should say that doesn't mean the same as it would in the UK, prices are around £7-£12 and you could say you get what you pay for...Arriving at the Pola Paradise we has high hopes, but the state of the exterior should have given us a clue about the rest of it! Keen to get in the pool, we rushed down in our swimmers only to be told it was men only and closed in 10 minutes! After some serious discussion with the manager we were all let in and the staff disappeared for the half hour we had been granted. It was a delicious dip in the forbidden pool and very welcome indeed.
3rd Feb 2012, 14:26   comments (1)

The road to Hampi

We had one more day's ride before Hampi and it turned into a very enjoyable day. We set off in good time but broke our routine and opted to keep going and reach our destination early rather than stopping at midday, instead taking more short breaks. This worked well with the help of a following wind, and we reached Hampi at around 3pm. The landscape became more hilly with beautiful rock formations and palm fringed villages, possibly the prettiest views yet. We lingered at one oasis and had a long chat with the young owner and his sister. Rose copes very well with the heat and heading west her bike seat provides shade in the mornings. Kate is very thorough in applying the 50+ sun block and the cooling breeze as we cycle keeps her smiling.
3rd Feb 2012, 14:11   comments (1)

Desert roads

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With a population of over a billion people even a vast country like India can feel over crowded and so far we have always been close to villages or people working the land. The last few days however have felt guite remote and unpopulated. We are in a desert region now and there are larger distance between settlements and few crops growing in the parched earth. Temperatures have risen as far as 41deg and we have had to be careful with water levels carried. All this said the flat red plains with spiny rocky mountains jutting out of them against the blue sky make a strikingly beautiful landscape.
1st Feb 2012, 16:04   comments (1)