With reluctance, I left the relaxed feel of Bijapur for another day of cycling in the heat. (min temp 22, max 34.) Outside town, the road degenerated into one of the worst. It was (supposedly) a primary highway but barely wide enough for one vehicle, and certainly not wide enough for a truck or bus and a bicycle. So I had to make regular excursions off the tarmac, dropping down onto the packed sand along the edge of the road. Despite a few harrowing moments, it was quite pleasant riding in the relative cool of the morning.

The people working in the fields here seemed more open and friendly than those I'd seen before Bijapur. The men returned smiles and the women didn't automatically avert their eyes.

I stopped for directions at a small clinic on top of a hill, where a young doctor (obviously worshipped by his patients, who were mainly children) told me of a short cut to Badami. The small road had no traffic (except for flocks of black sheep, with their herders) and a relatively smooth surface, so I could relax all the way to Badami.

The day's rest in Bijapur had paid dividends; I'd covered 137 kms and still had lots of energy to explore the town before dark.