Checked out and left around 9am. The entire hotel staff was present when I prepared the bike for the ride. Temperatures were still pretty pleasant, but that changed soon. The terrain became pretty flat and vegetation became more and more sparse. Saw some villages with the traditional round bhungas as well as modern rectangle-shaped houses. The road has some bridges, but at this time of the year all the rivers are dry. Crossed the Tropic of Cancer at some point.
A west’ish wind got stronger and sometimes the road (and everything else) vanished in the dust. Saw a little twister that passed by a few kilometers away. Had a break and sat down in the minimal shade of a traffic sign. Two guys stopped to check if I was alright and to take a picture of me. Every now and then signs pointed left or right, but most of the time there was nothing to see, no village, no road, not even a track.
Reached Bhirtiyara in the afternoon and had a lengthy break. Right outside the village was a police check-point and my permit for the Kachchh district got checked. Harijan Vas was just 50m ahead at the roadside.
Aarif, the guy from the artisan shop in Bhuj, had given me the address of a family there where I could stay for the night. So I stopped at the first bhunga and asked for directions. Immediately was I stunned by the beauty of the girls’ and ladies’ clothing, and, to be honest, by the beauty of the people themselves, too.
I found the place. They knew I was coming by and invited me to a tea, an English-Hindi mixed chat with the elders of the family, a stroll around the village, and finally dinner with the head of the family. Later that evening there was a kind of party (for lack of a better word) at the local Hindu temple, that involved cooking for the entire village, and singing. Due to the language barrier I didn’t really find out what the occasion was, but I was told it was not a religious one.
Unfortunately, I was so tired that I had to miss out on the singing part. My bed was set up outside the bhungas. I learned that some of the people prefer to sleep inside (probably under a fan), while others sleep under the stars. With no mosquitoes hanging around, the latter is definitely a great choice.