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

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

  1. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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    Don't know what you are on about, Pang is great, you do not need to keep saying Pang.

    Ahhh Pang, I loved Pang, it had everything going for it.
    Apart from no Panging Oxygen.
    And Pang has no buildings
    There was the 'sleeping' on a mattress on the ground thing at Pang.
    The complete lack Pang of any form of Pangitation was a bit dicky if one ate a Pang meal and needed to
    remove it from their body in a hurry.
    They do need a supply of clean Pang water.
    The smell of Pang kerosine and Pang gas was a little overPangering at night, when I woke up, every 4 minutes or so
    gasping for air, luckily the Pang tent had a bit of a draught, sleep time is lost time.
    Our hosts preparing the tent specialty - PangMaggi noodles on the ground and they do not need to go to
    Technical College and get a food handling certificate, that is for wooses, this may have put some off, but luckily
    I wasn't hungry due to Pangitude sickness.
    Some might object to accomodations being an old Pangachute, but luckily it has never rained at Pang.
    The complete lack of vegitation might put a few Pangicky wooses off.
    The 'Apollo moon landings' are a conspiracy, a fake, it was actually filmed at Pang.
    You have to get fully rugged up to make an outside trip at night to err see the Pang sights else you will freeze
    into a solid lump.
    You need a strong torch at night or you will step in some Pangexcreta, you have to walk a long way because there
    is no Pangrivacy, which is odd considering you are about 10 hours on rough roads from any form of services.
    But apart from those couple of little irritations Pang is Great! I might buy some land at Pang for when I retire, set the
    scene up for the next Mars mission.
  2. TravelDoc

    TravelDoc Day Tripper

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    To those with such little happening in their lives that they must follow ride reports from September 2009, I will add the following:
    -Mark C you are correct. Pang has indeed shifted uphill a little and onto the other side of the road. Pretty easy to do when the entire metropolis gets packed up in autumn (Note to Dragoon. Autumn = "Fall") and reassembled next spring. I personally suspect that reason for said relocation is that they couldn't get tent pegs to remain firm in a deep layer of human excreta.
    -Craig, how dare you imply that our hostesses were preparing Maggi noodles on the floor!! They were genuine Tibetan momos.
    -Yes, the air was a bit thin. We checked everyone's pulse oximetry and from memory it was 84% all round (except Bruce at 86%) To my surprise our Tibetan hostesses also read 84%
    -My biggest regret was that I failed to check out and photograph Craig in his sleeping bag with arms and legs. C'mon Craig, lets have a photo.

    All this talk about Pang has me hankering for a return visit. What's the latest from our American friends ( I am referring here only to genuine adventure types) Count me in on the next trip.
  3. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    There is talk of a 2012 trip with Dave, the guy that couldn't go last year. Would looooove to have you along and anyone else.

    As you know Mark is making his way through South America. I think he is home in the states for Christmas then back south around Jan 3rd.
  4. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Allen, Tejas. Blissful state...
    Is this microphone on?

    tap tap tap...

    Bump!

    And for anyone thats interested, a bit on my spiritual journey that started on this very ride in the thread below that I have just started penning:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=714771
  5. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    geez how time flies:huh
  6. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    and how lives change. Bob transforming into one ugly butterfly! :lol2 :hide
  7. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

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    I'd love to know how the Enfields performed overall on your trip.
    forgive me if this question has been asked and answered already - I love your pics but skimmed throught the text.

    It seems as though you had a mechjanic accompanying you? A Mr Pink from Lalli singh is my understanding.
    would you do the trip on Enfields without a mechanic in tow?

    My friend and I are planning a very similar trip in Spetember and while we would really like to do it on Enfields we are nervous about their reliablility and are considerign the Pulsars or Karizmas as well.

    Seriously would appreciate any info you can provide.
  8. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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    We had no serious issues.
    Mark had a disk come loose and the bolts rattled agsinst the forks, Mr Pink had the spanners so we had to wait for him to tighten it all up again.
    Mine had a habit of oil fouling the plug in slow going, so a few times i had to wait for Mr Pink to turn up to replace it, He was the keeper of the spare plug and spanner. I had to beg him for it (and the special plug cleaning rag) the day we went on a 'rough'' road and a good thing too becaus i neede to change it a couple of times.

    Mine also developed a short in the headlight the same night Mark threw himself under the bus, ( the only night riding I did) blew the fuse and i could not find it in the pitch dark, ( an some quiet time was good after the days events) a long wait for Mr Pink, and it was PITCH dark, as he was recovering Marks bike from the police impound. And all the BS that would have involved. I ended up riding Marks wrecked bike about 40 km to the hotel ( with broken triple clamp, smashed headlight glass pointing up at 30 degres ) and Mr Pink rode mine using onle my camping torch attached to his turban, he is a legend.

    Of course USA Mark had no front brake pads for most of the trip, none to pe purchased anywhere on our trip, as he hired his bike from a different company he could not access Mr Pinks supplies.

    This was over a trip of more than 4,000 km
    Would absolutely recommend Lali Singh, was very honest and he did not rip us off on the repairs, I think Mark even gos some of his deposit back.
    i would strongly recommend getting the chase vehicle with Mechanic, it was surprisingly cheap and they carry all your luggage :-) And if someone comes down with altitude sicknes or a bus runs over their leg they can go in the car for a bit and Mr Pink rode the bike. For us 6 Aussies it worked out to an extra 25% on the bike hire. And itis good to have someone you can trust with you.
  9. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

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    Awesome - really appreciate the reply (so good you did it twice!!) :freaky

    Can you remember which company USA Mark rented from? Right now we are considering StoneHead / Tony Bullet / BulletWallas. Hadn't previously considered the chase vehicle with mechanic option. How does that work?
    Do you have to pay for food and lodgings for him as well as yourselves?
    Did he have up to date info on road closures and conditions?
    Was he really just a support vehicle or did you find that having him with you changed your plans i.e - He wakes you up in the morning and demads to get going 'cos he's bored?
    You Understand what I mean I'm sure - when it's just you and a close knit group of pals it's kinda weird having someone else that you don't know there as well.

    Interesting idea though...

    How did you contact Lalli Singh? i've e-mailed him a few times but he hasn't replied - is there a trick I should be aware of?? Carrier pigeon / Smoke Signals / Long Legged Beauty with bedroom eyes and my e-mail address taped to her nipples??
  10. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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    Cursed iPad keeps cutting when on ADV rider dropping Safari, starting to bet irritated,4th time at this post, might do a little at a time and then edit so I dont keep losing it.

    For the US contingent hiring info suggest you contact Dragoon or Misery Goat.

    We paid lodgings for the mechanic and driver but it was literally peanuts, our rooms were often between AU$ 10 and 20 a night and they stayed in staff quarters for around a quarter of that, these guys have been doing this for years and know where to go and where not to.
    They are not in your face, they then to hover in the background.
    At the end of the trip (we separated at Chandigrah where the hospital was) a tip was in order.

    They were not pushy at all, did offer suggestions or routes and once or twice we went our way and they went theirs, once or twice we got a bit lost......
    On occasions we travelled on roads that were not showing on any of our maps, the road jas an intersection and you need to turn left right, but there is only one road on the map....
    The maps of this area are terrible, we could not find good ones ( and i looked for GPS mapping for about a year before we left, nothing there either) Asking the locals is next to useless for anyting outside theit local zone, they tend to agree with you whatever you ask, we spent a very long day trying to get to Batote and Had a million wrong directions, even from local police sent us the wrong way out of town to go over one of the passes, we ended up riding in a riverbed, what he should have sair was go back the way you came a couple of km and turn left, but he sent us in the opposite direction, I do not think it malicious, just no idea. It will happen, just add it to your Indian experience memories.

    When we did a day trip like from Leh over Khardung La up the river and back over the range on anotherLa they stayed in Leh.

    Travel Doc did all the organising with Lalli Singh, I recall he had some concerns with responsiveness also, but when we got thereit was all organised perfectly, we had to sign a document saying Lalli was our close personal friend who had lent us his motorcycle for our holiday, something to do with Bike Hire laws.
  11. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

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    So what do you reckon it cost you in total - lodging / food / tip / hire fee / gas etc, to hire the support vehicle and mechanic for your trip (how long was it exactly?)?
  12. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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    I think it was around 32 days we had there
    Some costs were shared between us 6 Aussies
    Usually we shared a room between 2.
    Amounts are in $Oz which are close enough these days to your pacific pesos.

    It was a couple of years ago so some details are getting hazy

    Bikes were 1000 approx
    Refundable deposit was i think 500, but we got most of it back ( broken bits prices were taken off, but were very cheap, like my handlebars were replaced and it was about 9 dollars - am not sure why they were replaced but i was not there to ask as we had the bikes trucked back to delhi and as Marks wreck still had some deposit refunded I figured it was a good deal.
    Our chase tem worked out to about 250 for each of us, Mr Pink has the only spare brake pads in all Himachal Pradesh, we had a tip for them which is up to you, Steve and I were generous as they helped a lot after the accident and organised the trucking of the bikes back to Delhi when we brothers stayed with Mark at thr hospital in the hotel attached to the hospital - and their employment was cut short by a week, and they were nice guys, i would definately use them again we also stuffed them about in Srinagar when we stayed on the houseboat, the biks were a couble of hundred meters across the lake in a parking area and we forgot that they would have to be gaurded overnight, so our guys had an uncomfortable night in the car, which none of us even thought about until we noticed Mr Pink was not his usual happy self the next day, oops.
    By this time the US contingent had already left and were home or on their way, Wrongway Ivan had got lost a few days ewrlier and decided to make for Delhi, Lone Wolf Rod continued on his own and eventually found Ivan I think at Agra.
    Accomodations varies from modern western hotel to a glorified parschute tent, say 600, even the hospital hotel = almost western standard was about 30 per night per room, Steve and I shared, it was here we Discovered or reaffirmed that Indian TV is truly crap, half the channels are of a guru sitting in an ornate shelter sermonising, some soap type stuff and nothing edgy at all, if a western movie was on and amel Gibson in the middle of a shootout says 'shit!' it comes out a ' Oh my goodness' :-)
    Oh, and there is a blackout every so often, usually for a minuteor two, about 10 times per evening.
    Even the local businesses arounf the Hospital in Chandigrah all had a little diesel generator bolted to the footpath outside the shop, when the power went outm they crank it up, when you see the electric supply system and the wires hanging odd the poles you will quickly understand why.
    The chase team was about 250 for each of us.
    Food varies from the staple Maggin Noodles or omlette in mountain roadside stops to nice restauraunt banquets, say another 600

    Souveniers, I bought a little silk carpet in Leh, it is beautiful and scored major brownie points back home, it was about 300. In hindsight i would wait until Srinagar and buy a very large one for 1500 and have them ship it home for me, thay are really very very nice and i an not an arty type, believe you me.

    My airfare Chandigrah to Delhi was about 60! Which suited me fine because i did not want to go back into Delhi, if found it too confronting.

    And just in case, 3 days in ICU, surgery, plate and 8 screws, 4 days in a ward was about 3500 = 5% of what it would cost here in Oz, mind you the insurance company paid after a day of so of paperwork hassles, so Steve and I had our credit cards refunded.

    It might sound like i am down on India but no, I would go back in a minute with spousal permission, but not the lowlands, too hot and polluted, up in the mountains. Maybe I can work in a giant fine stitched hand knotted silk carpet as an incentiviser, hmmmmm.
  13. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    We rented 500 machismos (US bike setup) from Soni Motos in Karol Baugh.

    I think the cost was around $18/day. No mechanic/chase crew.

    http://www.sonimotors.com/
  14. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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    Be aware that the Enfields are, ummmmm, agricultural.
    Fine for skinny Misery Goat but my 120kg tested the suspension, those roads are rough.
    I think if we had more modern steeds it could have led to more accidents, we were usually going slow because they are gutless with lousy suspension.
    In the mountains at any moment expect a 10 ton TATA truck to approach you on the wrong side of the road overtaking anothe TATA in a blind hairpin corner. The slowness means you have time to get the hell out of their way, much faster and you could be doing a close inspection of their radiator.
    As a disclaimer Marks accident was going downhill approaching a blind corner overtaking a TATA bus on the grand trunk road, and he found a Mahindra (like an old toyota land cruiser) 4wd coming the other way who had also been on the wrong side of the road until the last moment to avoid crap lying in the midlle of his side of the road.
    Also indians think our touring distances are insane, we figured day 1 to go Delhi to Srinagar, they all thought us mad, it is only 400 or so km, it was a big day and took all day.
  15. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

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    Thanks for the great info Coop - very informative and has given me lots to think about - not sure we really want to go the support team route but it's good to know it's there as an option. Regarding the driving, I live in Taiwan at the mo' and up until now I'd thought they were the worst, most incompetent, most careless, selfish and thoughtless drivers in the world - but I'm going to have to rreserve judgement until I get back from India by the sounds of things:evil

    Hi Misery Goat, thanks for the info, did you have any problems with the bikes (don't want to go back through this whole thread again) - $18 per day sounds kinda pricey - we've been quoted around $12 a day - oh just realised that's for the 350 cc though - you're right the 500 is quite a bit more expensive. Is the extra 150 cc worth the extra cost I wonder - are they any more reliable??
  16. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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    Forget the 350, go wit the 500
    Even the 500s got down to about 30kph in the high passes, the 350s are older design with reversed gear and brake levers and from what i have read are a lot less reliable. Tne 500s have electronic ignition and disk brake, much more betterer.
    MG would you concur?
    [​IMG]

    I stole that image....
  17. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

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    Actually the newer Electras have right side rear brake, left side shift and front disc brakes - I had read elsewhere that the electronic ignitions on the 500s usually crap out and that they are not much better than the 350s in the high passes - not arguing for or against them - just throwing out info that I've found here and elsewhere.
  18. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    The 500 worked fine for my riding style. Don't over think this, Enfields have been plucking their way through the Indian Himalayas for years, the bike is sound. Just make sure you check the bike over thoroughly when you pick it up, it is a rental after all.
  19. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

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    I definitely do have that tendency... :wink:
  20. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Bump.

    I just read the whole report start to finish - again. What a blessing we could all go and have that adventure!

    I feel the need to back...