I caught a very bad cold in Bikaner because of temperature variation. I had AC in my room and then I went out in the heat, which made it worse. My whole body was aching and my eyes were heavy. I badly needed rest but I knew I had to move on further. I decided to make my pit-stop at Mahajan but then thought of cycling all the way to Suratgarh, which was about 175 km from Bikaner.

Lonely in burning sun

Alone in the burning sun

I felt like a dead man because of the pain in my whole body due to cold. Needless to say, my average speed this time was the worst during this whole trip. I had some food at a dhaba at Mahajan and slept for an hour or so in afternoon. Strong winds were blowing. I felt like all the factors were against me that day, but I willed myself to be tough. I again started cycling after some rest at the dhaba and cycled for 18 km, where I stopped for a cold drink.

Mild sandstorm made cycling difficult

Mild sandstorm made cycling difficult

I asked the shopkeeper if there was any place to stay in that small town. He said no, but added that there was a gurudwara some 100 metres ahead, where I could stay. That was all I needed. I went there and asked for accommodation, and was fortunate to get it. People there and some Punjabi truck drivers were very happy with what I was doing. The truck drivers even offered me accommodation in Punjab cities if I was passing through those cities. I felt like a celebrity there with all the attention that they were giving me.

Strong winds brought with them desert sand, which was all around and my cycle was dusty. Sand got stuck on the cycle chain, axle, everywhere. I cycled for 131 km during this trip. Needless to say, it was the most demanding part of my entire journey, which pushed me to the point of desperation. Hopefully, the worst will be over soon.