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Old 03-25-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
Thomas B. OP
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Location: Switzerland and around the globe
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Back to India

Hello everyone,

want to let you take part in what we did last winter in order to get out of the cold for some time.
The original plan was to send our KTMs to South Arfica and have a look around there. Leave them somewhere and then start to go up the west side of the continent during our next couple of holidays.
But plans often don't work out.
During a short ride through the Pyrenees in fall a strange ticking noise from my engine reached my ears and didn't want to go away again. After reaching home I had a look at the drain plug and the magnet on it had got hold of some ugly small silver pieces of metall. Great! You cann't go to Africa with some remote tracks in mind with a bike that is not completly ok. So the plan with Afrika died and I got to work.



Took the engine apart completly and found some issues. The bike is back on the road again but for Africa this winter it was to late.
More later

Thomas B. screwed with this post 03-25-2013 at 12:25 AM
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:26 AM   #2
Haroon
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Nice to hear of your India trip. Are you already in India?
BTW, if you are heading that way, there is a good indian biker's forum with lots of info and helpful members www.xbhp.com/talkies

Ride safe and waiting to hear more.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:34 AM   #3
Thomas B. OP
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Hello Haroon,
sad to say, but the trip was in december and january. I am home at work now. But at the end of the week we're off on a bike for three weeks again.

----------------------------------------

Since Africa was no option anymore we had to think of something new because we wanted to leave the winter for a month. It was too late to organize a transport for one of our bikes so Sandra came up with the idea: let's go to India again. We have been to this country more than once and had allways liked it so why not. The last visit was ten yeas ago. We were in South India then an had explored this part of the country on a rented bike. We had rented the bike from Peter who lives in Goa and does organised tours in India and other asian countries. But you can also just rent a bike there. We rather go on our own.
A short mail to Peter if a bike is available, after the confirmation look for a cheap flight in the net, and off we are to the subcontinent.

The plane door opens and we step into a brise of warm air. That's something different than december in Switzerland. A cab takes us to Peter's place where we spend the night. In the morning after a good breakfast we get our ride for the next four weeks.



Peter's bike park.



And this is it. Our ride.
It's a Royal Enfield.
For those of you who don't know the bike: it's an indian bike, actually an old english one still being buildt in India, and for me the best choice for a cruise around the country. Its not very fast but fast enough (India is no place for speeding anyway) has a 500cc single engine and a nice sound.

And off we go.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:14 AM   #4
Thomas B. OP
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Just to give you an idea where we are going with you here is a map of southern India with our route on it.
Black is what we did 10 years ago and red is the route from this winter.



Sandra normally does the trip planning. On the map you see what she highlighted. Those are places where there is something to see.
We try to stick to small roads where there is little traffic, the riding is easy, and you don't have to focus on the crazy indian traffic the whole time. Of course you cann't avoid every town specially in the evening when you want to rest your head somewhere.

Most of the time we get up early, pack, and get on the bike to enjoy the cool morning air. After an hours ride we look for a tea stall and have a break.



On the first morning on the road we have some christmas cookies Sandra's mother gave us when we left with our tea.

We often stop the daily journey shortly after noon or in the early afternoon, look for a room, maybe have a short rest, and do some sightseeing during the later afternoon.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:34 AM   #5
vaish
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Are you guys in India now ? or back home .. well ping all the ride photos and routes ... As per Haron told the above mention biker club is good help for you ! next time :)
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:29 AM   #6
DetourJournal
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India Huh? I'd love to see some more photos of the trip. We don't see a ton of Ride reports on India
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:55 AM   #7
Thomas B. OP
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Hello Vaish,
this ride was in december 12 and january 13. We are at home working at the moment.

-------------------
Hello DetourJournal,
you will see some more photos if you can wait.

-------------------

Hello all,

this is my last post for the next 3 weeks. On friday we're off to visit eastern europe. On a bike. brrrrrr!! Yesterday it was snowing the whole day. Today all the snow is gone but its cold. Last year it was 10 to 15C warmer. I only hope to get over the alps with no ice on the roads. In northern Italy it should already be a bit warmer.In Venice we're taking the ferry to Greece and there it will be quit pleasant. We only have to get to Venice on time and in one piece.

-------------------

I'm not going to bore you with the history and story of every temple or site we visited. Maybe some facts every now and then. But I'll post a lot of photos just to show you the amazing archeticture of the indian culture and relegion.

Here is the first site we visited:





There were some school classes on a day trip there too and the girls stood in a line and wanted thier photo to be taken.



Of course the boys didn't want to stand back and got in line too.

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Old 04-23-2013, 03:09 AM   #8
Thomas B. OP
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Hi everyone,
I'm back. Sitting at my desk at work again and trying to fill my lunch break. So i'll go on with our India trip.

Here is where we stopped. Just look at the marvelous work.









We then moved on to another site that afternoon. Some temples worked directly into the side of a mountain.
And again there were some school classes there.





Here a view from one of the temples to the lake and town below.







After spending the night in a hotel in the town below the last site we moved on the next morning. Here the first tea stop that morning.



Here you can see how the tea is done in south India. Bevor serving it is poured from one glass or cup into another from some distanz in order to cool it down a bit and to create some foam on its surface.



Some nice landscape in the rather boring planes that lead us east.




Thomas B. screwed with this post 04-23-2013 at 03:29 AM
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:22 AM   #9
Thomas B. OP
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Hi , I'm back.
Sorry for keeping you waiting for some time but I promise to continue more frequently. I was busy servicing 4 bike, with some repairs, to get them ready for futher rides. I,m even thinking of sending two to the states and doing the TAT in stages. Maybe this summer. Who knows.

But lets get on with India first.

Here our next tea stop that morning.







Being in the plains at a low level it began to become hot very early during the day.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:02 AM   #10
ThisWayHome
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Routes

Would you be able to share some of the routes traveled so far through India? I plan to visit in the Fall on my motorcycle and would love to avoid boring places as I travel from north to south.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas B. View Post
Hi , I'm back.
Sorry for keeping you waiting for some time but I promise to continue more frequently. I was busy servicing 4 bike, with some repairs, to get them ready for futher rides. I,m even thinking of sending two to the states and doing the TAT in stages. Maybe this summer. Who knows.

But lets get on with India first.

Here our next tea stop that morning.







Being in the plains at a low level it began to become hot very early during the day.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:02 AM   #11
ThisWayHome
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Routes

Would you be able to share some of the routes traveled so far through India? I plan to visit in the Fall on my motorcycle and would love to avoid boring places as I travel from north to south.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:01 AM   #12
zachbrowning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisWayHome View Post
Would you be able to share some of the routes traveled so far through India? I plan to visit in the Fall on my motorcycle and would love to avoid boring places as I travel from north to south.
How late in the fall are you headed there? You can still ride relatively high in the Himalaya until end of October or early November. I highly recommend the Char Dham Yatra (the three headwaters of the Ganga and the headwaters of the Yamuna) if you're there early enough. If you're there a bit later, the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand has brilliant roads and sparse traffic. Plenty of excellent view of the mountains as well.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:44 PM   #13
Thomas B. OP
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Hi ThisWayHome,
as you can see in post 4 this report is on a ride in the south of India. Depending on what you are most interested in you will like some places more than others. Beautifull tempels can be found in many towns and even in remote places. Stuning landscapes may be in other parts of the country. Mainly where there are hills, mountains, or deserts.
For the south I recommend the hills on the west side of India with the hill stations like Munnar, Kodaikanal,... Lots of tea is grown there, you get twisty roads, and it is cooler than in the plains. The ride from west to east towards Madras was a bit boring in times. Long flat stretches with nothing to see. Goa of course has some nice beaches if you want to relax a couple of days and have a swim.
In the north there is the Himalaya with nice mountain road and spectacular views.
And if you have time visit Rajastan with the desert Thar and the cities Jaisalmer, Jaipur, and Jodpur.
And of course don't forget the Taj Mahal.
There is plenty to see and do in India and I love it. But it depends on you. We met a guy, ok he was on a bicycle, and he was on his way to leave the country after only a few days. He said this was not his cup of tea.
For the riding just try to stick to small roads with little traffic. There the riding is good. Avoid really big roads. My first experience with riding in India about 14 years ago was the Grand Trunk Road from Dehli to Calcutta. It was the worst thing we ever did in India. Lots of traffic, alot of busses and trucks and on a motorbike you are not very scary to the others. We had to get of the road a couple of times a day because two busses or trucks were overtaking each other.
But if your in for a bit of lawless driving you'll love India.
For the south you might get a couple of ideas where to go if I manage to carry on with this report.
Have fun.
Cheers Thomas
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:44 AM   #14
Thomas B. OP
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Arriving in the city of Vellore we looked for a hotel.



Traffic was slow in these narrow streets. The problem is: you want a hotel with a place for the bike that is close to the center of town or to the sites you want to look at so you don't necessarily need the bike and don't have to walk for hours.
After we found a hotel we liked we took a stroll around town.



Here a lokal tailor. What you see is about the total of his shop.

And in the middle of town oxcarts. Normal in India.





Fruit seller.



Street life.



Jalakanteshwara temple



To stay healthy on the road Sandra eats a fruit salad from a street vendor.

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Old 05-29-2013, 04:28 AM   #15
Thomas B. OP
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Speaking of health:
it is often pretty hot in India and so you sweat alot. When sweating your body looses fluid and minerals. The best way to replace them is a bottle of this:



It is the indian version of a common brew known as beer.
And the more you sweat the more you should drink of it.
So after a hot day in the saddle we did look out for one or .... of these drinks in the evening. And that's the problem in India. If your in a touristy place like for example Goa you can get a beer almost everywhere. But in places that hardly see tourists it can be difficult. India is not a dry country but drinking alcohol in public is not practiced very often. There are booze shops in some places but they often only sell stronger stuff and if they have beer it is not cold (and who wants a warm beer on a hot day). Big hotels often have a bar and thats the place to go for a drink. But very often they are unpleasant dark, dirty, hidden rooms where the local alcoholics hang around. But what the heck. We need our minerals.
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