Focusing on 20 km at a Time
Day 15 From Adilabad to Adilabad– 1,500 km completed (3,000 km left)
I’ve reached a big milestone as it Day 15 and 1,500 km completed but there is still 3,000 km to go. That’s a third done so that’s good. It feels like the cycling for widows project is properly kicking off now. I had all the excitement, encouragement and support at the beginning so I’ve got to really focus on what I’ve got to do and just think of it as a day at a time. In fact, not even a day at a time, 20 km at a time.
I was slow today
You’ll see from my stats that I was pretty slow today, and that was in part because there were some pretty big hills that just seemed to go on forever. My feet were very sore hence the reason why they were taped up, which Sachin kindly did. He’s worried that some of the socks that I’m wearing aren’t good enough and they’re causing me some problems.
Loving the hills!
Early on in the day, because there are so few roadside Dhabas I did a loop before breakfast. The loop involved cycling 6 km up a pretty steep hill. At the top of the hill, I cycled back down it, which was lovely as I was freewheeling for most of it. Then we had breakfast and I loved the hill so much I cycled back up it again.
Trying a new bike
More cooking today
At breakfast I did a bit of cooking again at the Pranu Punjabi Dhaba. This time we had some Paratha and it was stuffed Paratha, potato, onion and some curry powder, or some chilli powder.
Lunch and McDowell’s
At the Punjabi Dhaba for lunch, we actually had a little private dining room… almost Michelin starred. We had our meal and then on the charpoy, a sort of multi-purpose day bed that you can sit and eat on, Sachin laid out my bedding and I was able to go to sleep on it afterwards.
The only problem with my lunchtime nap was that after the team vacated, a new group of people came in. They were rather lively, and they were drinking McDowells whisky, so things got a bit rowdy which was less than ideal.
Cheeky Macaque monkeys
Monkeys trying to steal our food
We saw loads and loads of Macaque monkeys today. Some were trying to pinch our food, and I think the lady at the Dhaba had a full-time job of chasing them away. In fact Pawan was trying to chase them away, and I was trying to stop him chasing them away because I wanted Sachin to take a photo of them.
Visiting a waterfall
After lunch today, we spotted a sign for some waterfalls so I headed in that direction. It was a relief to get off the main highway. The falls were called ‘Kuntala’ and, actually, it was a nice diversion although it took a while and there were 444 steps down and, of course, 444 steps back up, which probably wasn’t the most sensible thing to do when I still had 25 km to go. Some of the team took the steps rather better than some of the others. There wasn’t too much water at the waterfall as it’s the dry season
There were three young guys playing drums down at the waterfalls, and one of them let me have a go as you can see from the video.
Noisy home made gun
We saw a home made gun that had some gunpowder and some water that they were selling near the top of the waterfall. They are used for scaring monkeys away. So if you’re a farmer and own some trees, vegetables or fruit, these guns will frighten the monkeys away.
The video of monkey gun doesn’t give you any sense of the noise as it was absolutely deafening. The video, for some reason, doesn’t really capture the noise very well but I can assure it was really really loud.
Thank you for the song recommendations
I’m very grateful to people for sending me their music recommendations and I’m going to download those and add them to my playlist. So, I’m going to add them to a playlist so I can listen to them as I’m going along.
I’m a contortionist
Sachin got me into some extraordinary contortions when doing my physio. They look painful and are painful, but they absolutely do the job. He is a very talented physio.
All of us die but not all of us live
Today, one of the highlights of listening to Spotify was a song called Moment for life by Niki Minaj and Drake. I attended an intensive 5 week residential program at Regent’s University in the summer of 2018, I think it was, in psychotherapy. One of the class tutors was amazing, and she played that song at the beginning of one of the lectures to set the scene. The reason it was so powerful is that some of the words are, ‘All of us die but not all of us live’. That really resonated with me because, as many people know, I struggled with mental health issues and alcoholism for many years. I was not really living, I was surviving, and that’s not a great place to be.
My son Ben and Sachin makes a promise
Sachin makes a promise
This is my son Ben, who is an actor and a gym instructor. Sachin has promised that when I reach Kashmir, I will look just like Ben, so I’m waiting with bated breath, although I’m not too optimistic. The other family likeness that you’ll recognise is that he does things with his top off, as I do. He does, however, have a rather better reason to have his top off than I have. Today I caused some consternation with the local policeman as he who wasn’t too happy that I had my top off. He had a friendly word with the team to say that some of the villagers might take offence.
I once promised my wife that I would stop doing exercise, running, cycling and doing other things with my top off when I reached 50. I seemed to have failed at that so my new deadline is 60.
Feeling tired, bye!
I don’t know whether it was just the cycle or the steps at the waterfall, probably both, but I’m feeling very, very tired and sleepy now. I need some food, physio and sleep.
That’s all for today.
Why I’m cycling across India
Unfortunately, many widows in India are very badly treated when they lose their husbands. As well as facing verbal and physical abuse, rape and the threat of being evicted from their homes, they often have no income whatsoever after their husband dies.
This is where the Loomba Foundation comes in. Through their empowerment programmes, the charity provides skills training and other support to help widows become self-sufficient so that they can support themselves and their families.
I’d like to ask for your support I am already more than half way towards raising $450,000 – I’d love it if you could help me smash my target. Your support would mean the world to me and would help to change the lives of thousands of widows and their families.
If you are in India, you can make a donation here:
If you are in the UK or elsewhere in the world, you can make a donation here:
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