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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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Food on the road

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Many people have asked about what we're eating. The answer is always local food, and because we have taken this direct-ish route there has been no alternative. The food is very simple, tasty but not the mammoth choice you find in Indian restaurants in the UK. Snacks of bananas, biscuits, oranges and sort of brioche buns are available almost everywhere so we usually carry some supplies. Breakfast is either pancake-like dhosa, cooked fresh and served with a sort of onion relish; idly rice cakes, or poova, fried round breads; you can ask for a parcel and it's literally packaged up for you to take away. Lunch is similar if you eat at one of the many street sellers, but there is sometimes the option of a 'family restaurant', usually defined by having fan and/or written menu. We've all enjoyed the food, sometimes a dish is too spicy but generally it's delicious and Rose has been tucking in heartily.
1st Feb 2012, 14:55   comments (1)

Cycling west again

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Our route headed west again after Tadipatri and we decided to spend the day getting some miles under our belts. we had got into the routine of packing the night before and being out on the road by 8am in the morning. We usually cycle for an hour before stopping for breakfast and then doing a couple more hours on the bike before lunch. Lunch would be leisurely and would extend over the hottest part of the day. Usually itching to get back on the bikes we would set off again about 3.30 for a couple more hours before sunset around 6pm. Rose generally loves the cycling and the abundance me animals and wild life holes her attention. Her favorite animals are the baby goats closely followed by the cheeky monkeys. Depending on how the previous night was Rose will usually have a nap late morning as we ride along. The small roads we are using are generally metalled but have regular pot holes and patches of stones and sand. These annoyingly tend to be at the bottom of hills meaning you have to slowdown and can not use the speed gained going down to get you some of the way up the next hill!
1st Feb 2012, 12:03   comments (1)

The mark of Zoro

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Kate first noticed these strange markings on the road. They appeared randomly but regularly. It took a couple of days to figure out but then we realized that when buffalo are pulling carts along the road they wiggle their bottoms from side to side and any on-the-move wees make this strange zig zag line!
1st Feb 2012, 10:58   comments (3)

Sightseeing on the road to Tadipatri

After staying in Banaganapalle we carried on south west towards Tadipatri on a road skirting the Erramala range of hills. We chose this road as it passed some famous caves at a place called Bellum. We visited the caves but not the full 3km of tunnels as it was pretty sweaty down there. The caves were beautifully lit with LED ribbons set into the smooth ceilings. Even down the caves we could not escape the press and were questioned by our fourth reporter of the day and eighth of the trip!

Very different landscape today; dry, dusty and we cycled through a vast slate and granite mining area. We all enjoyed a long downhill towards town, even impressing the truck drivers we outran, Jon registered 52kmph!!

It's worth noting that alcohol is not readily available in the areas we're passint through, but Tadipatri is a reasonably big place on the train line and, having installed ourselves in the only hotel in town, enjoyed a well-earned beer.
31st Jan 2012, 14:37   comments (2)

Nandyal to Bagananpalle

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The sixth day of our journey found us leaving a town called Nandyal. We hadn't arrived until late the night before so got away late and suffered in the midday heat. Kate's bike computer told us the temperature was up to 35deg so we pulled off the road towards some colourful fabric we took for a cafe. It wasn't a cafe but the wedding party of Shafi, a guy working in London for Virgin Media. We chatted about Islamic culture and he seemed relaxed about getting married the next day to a girl he had never met. His family generously fed us and, after a good nap, Rose made friends with a goat - not knowing it was on the menu for the 1000 guests arriving later! We wished Shafi and his family well and peddled out into the cooling day to finish the planned miles.
31st Jan 2012, 13:47   comments (2)

Akkamahadevi Caves

Srisailem is a lovely town, an important Hindu pilgrim centre and unusually clean. We were pleased to be offered toilet roll, as the last few places had no idea what it was! (Don't worry we're carrying supplies!) After the surprisingly tiring bus journey, we has a restful morning of sightseeing and a boat trip 16kms upstream to the Akkamahadevi Caves.

It's a beautiful setting under a natural arch, and was made famous by a woman who meditated inside the cave for a great number of years. There are several devotees there today, destined to spend the rest of their lives meditating in the caves. It should be a tranquil place but for the daily boatloads of (domestic) tourists making their own pilgrimages. The water would be great for a cooling dip as long as you can out-swim a crocodile!

30th Jan 2012, 08:42   comments (3)

Green India...

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After a reasonable night's sleep, we zipped back to Merchala where we had arranged to meet our new friends Nasaraia Yadav and Chandra Sekhar. They are involved in an environmental project which includes a tree planting programme, using natural shade to keep cool as an alternative to aircon. We each planted a Mahindra tree outside the local registrar's office, had another few hundred pictures taken followed by an audience with the local Chief of Police. Nasaraia also sent us a copy of the article he had written when we first came through town; we were sent off with more presents of fruit, buns and cake for the journey.

The rest of the day was spent on a hair-raising 6-hour bus trip across the hills to Sri Sailem; disappointing not to be cycling all the way but swithback turns on a hilly single track road through tiger territory would not have been much fun anyway.
30th Jan 2012, 08:14   comments (1)

Boats and buses

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A short ride from Macherla took us to the Nagarjuna dam where the Krishna river is reduced to a trickle. From here we took a boat trip to a museum on an island in the reservoir. We were now in the Eastern Ghats mountain range and our route took us through a large tiger conservation area and due to the lack of lodgings and distances involved we would have had to camp which we were warned against. Not wanting to be tiger breakfast we loaded our bikes on to the roof of a bus and took a ride to Srisailam.
30th Jan 2012, 07:39   comments (3)