India, a Himalayan Adventure... in 'moderation'...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MaddBrit, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    28,187
    Location:
    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    'India will humble, awe, frustrate, amaze, and intimidate you - all in the same day. Home to some of the worlds most spectacular medieval structures and largest slums; sacred rivers and filth-strewn streets; deeply religious ritual and endless traffic jams; aristocratic tigers and low caste untouchables; jewel-encrusted tombs and pavement-bound beggars; ancient traditions and modern-day scams- there is so much to take in'.




    (Frommers India)
    #1
  2. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    28,187
    Location:
    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    Back in the depths of last winter, one of the Advrider moderator staffers posted that he was thinking of taking a trip to India to ride the Himalayas. He was inspired by the ride reports of Chanderjeet, another moderator based in New Delhi.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=379512

    Soooo.... the idea was floated out there, and some of the others in the 'mod squad' quickly expressed a strong urge to join him.

    Well, after a few curve balls thrown in the way from life, the posse increased and changed until we were left with four staffers for the trip. Misery Goat, Dragoon, Johnny Drunkard and yours truly were the final crew of riders.

    We didnt have a fixed plan, but in essence we would all fly into New Delhi, rent some Royal Enfield Bullets, and then go ride bikes in the Himalayas!

    :freaky :ricky :pynd
    #2
  3. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    28,187
    Location:
    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    Johnny Drunkard.

    [​IMG]

    Dragoon.

    [​IMG]

    Misery Goat.

    [​IMG]

    ..and some ugly Brit.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. falconrider

    falconrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    New York
    Keep it coming..!! :lurk
    #4
  5. Putts

    Putts Gettin' there.

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,861
    Location:
    Bozoman, Montana
    Been waiting a long time to see these pictures. :nod



    :lurk
    #5
  6. Extreme Velcro

    Extreme Velcro Vegan Junk Food Addict

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,072
    Location:
    Flic en Flac, Mauritius
    Hell yeah.....:lurk
    #6
  7. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    28,187
    Location:
    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    Flights were booked, initial hotel (to meet up) was booked, bikes were arranged, and before we knew it we were all heading east to India!!

    [​IMG]

    It was a looooong flight from California, via Denver and Frankfurt for me. But boy was I excited about the trip!

    Touching down in a strange new land is always a great experience!

    [​IMG]

    :wings

    JD (Johnny Drunkard) had flown out 10 days before, and had already started his adventure. MG (Misery Goat) and Goonie (Dragoon) would be flying in together, 24 hours later.

    And so the adventure begun.

    :freaky
    #7
  8. Bongolia

    Bongolia stop acting

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,712
    Location:
    on thin ice
    I'm in :freaky
    #8
  9. Flash412

    Flash412 Elk Biffer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,492
    Location:
    Effin' 'ell
    Before I arrived in India to visit him, my pal Ashwin told me, "India is a country of 330 million illiterate, impoverished, peasants. India is a country of 330 million upwardly mobile, middle class, professionals. EVERYTHING you have ever heard about India is true, in some context." (He didn't say anything about the other 330 million people.)

    My last day in India I realized what it is that makes travel in India so hard for westerners. You know your "street smarts," that sort of "Spidey sense" that tells you when to take your helmet into the 7-11 instead of leaving it on your bike, when to keep on moving to another location, a "better neighborhood' before you park your bike to take a nice, worry-free, dump? That Spidey sense, in westerners, is related to poverty. In the west, poverty = crime.

    The problem for westerners in India is that both of those Indias referenced above occupy the same place at the same time nearly all of the time. But in India, poverty does not equal crime. While there are clearly slums, there are no nice neighborhoods without any poor people around.

    India is a nation of Hindus (mostly). What they do in this life will affect their next life. Therefore, even though a luxury hotel is next to a field where people live with nothing more than a blue tarp, you are not in danger. Nobody is going to hit you over the head and take your wallet. Sure, if you drop your wallet, it may not be there when you spin around again. But your bad luck is someone else's good luck.

    While you can make an effort to ignore the filth and the poverty, you REALLY need to make an effort to quell your Spidey-sense alarm bells going off all the time. Because THAT is what takes the emotional toll on you over time. Well, that and the Indians' total lack of any sense whatsoever of "personal space."

    A tip... even in the opinion of this carnivore, Indian food, vegetarian Indian food, is some of the best food on the planet. Try everything.

    If you take a train, don't EVEN buy a chain and padlock at the train station for your luggage. They ALL use the same key. And only buy "name brand" bottled water, preferably BEFORE you get to the station. The FOOD you can buy on the train is great. But probably not the water.
    #9
  10. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    28,187
    Location:
    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    CJ (Chanderjeet) came out to the airport to meet me, which was very generous of him considering it was just past midnight, AND that he had gotten off early from a late shift to do so.

    :bow

    Thanks, CJ.

    The first thing that hits you when you arrive in Delhi is the heat. Its hot, even in the evenings, although its not as humid and sticky as it is in the daytime.

    The second thing that hits you is the traffic. OMFG!! Its crazy and ike nothing I have ever seen before!

    The ride from the airport is an experience. Everyone is driving fast, everyone is driving erratically, and everyone is on their horns! :lol3

    We see broken down vehicles (no warning), cars with no lights, cows in the road, huge holes in the pavement, and numerous other obstacles on our way to New Delhi.

    We finally arrive at the hotel, CJ drops me off, we wake them up, and 15 minutes later I am flopped down in bed asleep.

    :snore
    #10
  11. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    28,187
    Location:
    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    The next morning I awake to the sound of traffic and HORNS!

    I get up, take a shower, and head out to take in the sights and sounds. Its sensory overlaod. Heat, humidity, NOISE, smells (some good, some bad), and people everywhere! I am the only westerner in sight, and with my lilly white skin, 6 feet 220Ib torso, and shaved noggin I tend to stand out somnewhat!

    :lol3

    I took a short video clip of the traffic and the local intersection.

    Can you say traffic chaos?

    <OBJECT height=344 width=425>
    &ampnbsp
    &ampnbsp
    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/rLXQgv48UCM&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></OBJECT>

    Check out the guy on the old blue scooter going from right to left. Funny thing is the traffic got far worse than this. My comment at the end sorta sums it up! :lol3

    :zilla :freaky :jump
    #11
  12. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,400
    Location:
    N.California
    :lurk
    #12
  13. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    30,207
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    :wave
    #13
  14. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,248
    Location:
    Austria
    Weee!

    :lurk
    #14
  15. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    130,812
    Location:
    Valle del Sol AZ
    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    18,439
    Location:
    ☼ Ca ☼
    great stuff Bob and gang, looking forward to the pictures and prose. :clap
    #16
  17. HighScore

    HighScore No More, all done.

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    929
    Location:
    in a coma
    For the clove of God you guys, be bloody careful in that traffic. Make sure you take lots of photos, and have a GREAT TIME!:clap


    Subscribed!
    #17
  18. rogerfjrfaster

    rogerfjrfaster Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Corona,Ca
    Madbrit
    Once you get over the initial magnitude of people and vehicles its not so bad we spent 3 weeks there 2 in New Deli and 1 week in Chandigar with my daughter and her husban and his family. We stoppped at a honda shop to ask if they had any Gold Wings did'nt realize they have a limit nit on CC's 350 being it and now Harley Davidison is going to be selling some of there bikes so they have increased it some but at the price it will be very few and only the very rich will be able to buy them.Next year were headed back for a month you can't see India in a couple of weeks.
    roger'sklr:clap
    #18
  19. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    28,187
    Location:
    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    We are all now safely back on US soil, just slow to get off our asses and get the report up! :lol3

    We did have some close calls, and faced some extremely challenging conditions (more later....).

    'Be blooody careful' is indeed, bloody good advice!

    :thumb
    #19
  20. HayDuchessLives

    HayDuchessLives Loquita

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,256
    Location:
    Anchorage
    I can't wait to see the rest of your photos! :clap Tomorrow morning I'm flying over to Kathmandu, via Delhi, to spend a month trekking in the Himalayas. The Himalayas are magical and bring out a deep sense of inner peace and almost-childlike wonderment. I have been looking forward to returning to Nepal ever since I left after my first trek. It's much different trekking 200 miles compared to riding 200 miles. The scenery is the same; you just don't get to see as much. One of my dreams is to go riding in the Himalayas sometime so I'm really looking forward to this ride report. :thumb
    #20