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Pink City, Blue City

roopangarh

The Hippie Trail has completed 9 stages and happy cyclists are now resting their legs in Jodhpur, Rajasthan: the beautiful “Blue City”.

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A blessing to start the Hippie Trail in New Delhi

We got off a great start in New Delhi after a blessing from a Hindu priest: cyclists were exhilarated navigating the crazy traffic in the big metropolis. However, as chaotic as traffic seems, it flows slowly enough to allow for safe navigation. As we cycled along we discovered a sort of logic to the traffic flow: cows are granted the right of way while cars, motorcycles, buses, trucks, tuk-tuks, camel carts, bicycles and pedestrians all compete for space on the road. Honking here is an art, and we had to get used to the cacophony–and quickly! Entering Agra was also quite exciting but after a couple of days on the road, cyclists had already acquired seasoned riding skills in the Indian city traffic.

stage 8 meet the locals

Local villagers were very curious about the rider’s bikes

As we made our way south and crossed into Rajasthan, our routes have taken our wheels “off the beaten track” through villages where locals excitedly greeted us and were stupefied to learn what the “Engrish” were doing on their cycles. Cycling Delhi to Goa? Amazing! Our local guides taught us the proper way to greet the people of Rajasthan and cyclists elicited big smiles from children and adults alike screaming “Ram Ram” while passing through tiny villages where tourists never go.

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Relaxing at our hotel for the night in Roopangarh

We visited Jaipur, the “Pink City”, and were enchanted by the fort overlooking the city. How cool would it be to stay in a place like that for a night? Well, the Hippie Trail cyclists got to spend not one but two nights in two amazing hotels which were indeed forts from the 17th century. Fort Roopangarh enchanted us but Fort Khejarla was really the most charming accommodation we had thus far: it’s going to be hard to top that!

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Home for the night in Khejarla. Tower room anyone?

Today most of us are going sightseeing and getting some well-earned rest after some rough riding on dusty, unpaved and remote roads. But we are all looking forward to more of this: India is blowing our minds everyday so far!


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