Jodhpur, India

January 25, 2003
Odometer reading: 2129km
Weather: high of about 85ºF and clear

In a misdirected spirit of adventure, we decide to take a smaller road from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur. We'll see something new, we thought. Ha. What we saw was 150 kilometers of torturous one-lane road with more patches than original pavement. We are forced to drive 35 kilometers an hour, turning this into an all-day ordeal. After one of numerous stops to rest our abused backsides, we began the last 60km leg of the trip to Jodhpur, but the bike wobbled severely when we began to ride.

At first I thought the rear tire was flat, but closer inspection revealed that most of the spokes in the rear wheel were sheared off. This picture shows only two spokes still attached and ten broken spokes on the near hub.
We are only stranded for a few minutes before a crowd begins to form around us even so far out in the middle of nowhere. After 40 minutes, and as the sun is setting, our savior comes in the form of a tuktuk. Which is a relief, because we were preparing to sleep on the sand dunes that night.
Here we're trying to secure the bike with a couple of bungee cords. The back wheel of the bike extends out quite a ways and only when a passing camel driver offers us some rope is the bike really secured.
The bike is hoisted in, a price is fixed and we ride away into the sunset with all our gear down the last stretch of highway to Jodhpur. (The driver doesn't always remember to allow for the extra bulk of the bike on the left side and we knock over a couple of pedestrians, a scooter, a bicycle, and smash a wooden archway on the way into town.)
We arrive in Jodhpur and wake up on Sunday morning, so the adventure of fixing the bike will have to wait another day. The young man running the guest house where we are staying says that we paid way too much for our poorly built new bike. His older used Enfield was purchased for $700 and he says he'll be able to sell it for as much. And it is much prettier. And it never breaks down.
We rest in the comfort of the guest house for a day. Even without leaving the building, we can see the beautiful fort and surrounding blue buildings of the old city.
Blue painted houses used to be a sign that a brahmin or priest class person lived there. But now maybe it is just fashionable.
Maybe its these cool Mediteranean buildings that encourage us to move up our schedule to fly to Greece. Or maybe it is the many days of Indian cuisine that we've had. [We hate to say it, but the best Indian food we've had has been cooked in homes or in Indian restaurants in America. India's Indian restaurants are usually a grave disappointment.]

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