Northern India and Nepal till October 3.

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Doogle, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    I'm flying to Delhi today. I don't have a bike rented yet. Totally unorganized. I even lost my POIs I saved. But 2 days ago I got a message from an inmate I met last year. He's been in India for a month and a half. He sent me a lot of good info and routes. Unfortunately that info is on my phone. And Google won't let me access anything from this unsafe site. But it's not too unsafe for my sons phone or this tablet. It will be sometime Monday before I post here again. Long flight and probably be really tired when I get there at 4:30am.
    #1
  2. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    Today was another fun day. I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I thought about buying a $24 sub sandwich. But I couldn't get my wallet to come out of my pocket. My flight was 20-30 minutes late leaving. And I only have an hour and 20 minutes to transfer in Istanbul. When the plane landed I ran to the security check point. It took half an hour to get through. I had everything out of my pockets and into my riding coat pockets, including my belt. I didn't get my liquids bag out. But they didn't say anything. I looked at the flight board and saw I needed to go to 201. I was fast walk old man running. 201 gate was the absolute longest distance in the airport. If you could go past 201, you'd be in Asia.

    Did I get there in time? I looked at their board and it said Tel Aviv. The board I looked at first must have been updating when I saw flight 716. The flight agent at gate 201 told me I needed to go to gate 306-5 minutes away. I get there and I'm as sweaty as I've ever been. I'm dripping everywhere. People are all lined up. But there is a flight delay. I don't know if I would have made it without the flight delay . Half an hour later I'm on my way to Delhi. In 5 1/2 hours my clothes should be dry. Smelly but dry.

    After arriving at the Delhi airport and going through immigration I left the building. I wanted to go back in the building and exchange some money. You need a plane ticket to enter or pay a fee and get screened. I used an ATM outside the terminal.

    I used a prepaid cab to go to my hotel. The man in the booth did a slight of hand to me. I gave him a 500 rupee bill. Then it was a 100 when I looked down. I thought I pulled out the wrong bill. So I took the 100 back and gave him another 500. When I got to the hotel I remembered I didn't get any 100's at the ATM. I recounted my money and I was 400 rupee short. About $6.

    I'm at the Holiday Inn near the New Delhi airport. I got a room, and they will let me in at 8 am. You go through a security screen coming into the lobby. I got to the room and took my medications. I forgot I'm in India. Never drink tap water. I was 6 ounces late before remembering. I read there are some better hotels that filter their water. But 70% of public water is contaminated.

    I cleaned up and slept some. It's 4 pm now. Too late to go bike shopping.
    #2
  3. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    8-28-18 It's 11 am and I'm waiting in my room. The manager told me to wait until noon before going to Karol Baghdad. That's where I hope to rent a motorcycle. There was heavy rain last night and the water is knee high there. Maybe I should rent a kayak instead.

    The hotel with food ended up costing $143. The breakfast and service was the best I ever had.
    2018-08-28 Holiday Inn breakfast .png

    This is a picture from the airport yesterday. I think this is where I got my e-visa.
    2018-08-27 Delhi airport .png
    #3
  4. theironhorse

    theironhorse Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    somewhere on the roads in India...
    where are you headed to from Delhi ? to chandigarh then to manali ? whats the route plan. i will be able to guide you. sending you my contact details in PM.
    #4
  5. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    8-29-18 Cottage Crown Plaza $19 Karol Bagh Plaza
    I took a tuk tuk to Karol Bagh.
    2018-08-29   Karol Bagh, Delhi  1.JPG

    I went to the same place David, from California is currently renting from. I took over an hour to get there. And it wasn't that far away. I rode 4 bikes and decided on the Himalayan Royal Enfield. I'm renting it for 21 days. They changed the rear tire and added a luggage rack. It is a 2016 with about 6000 miles on it. It will cost about $13 a day. And there a refundable deposit of about $800. Once again my debit cards let me down. I got partial money from one card. I should get the rest tomorrow.

    A sat in front of the shop most of the day watching Indian life. Hectic.
    2018-08-29   Karol Bagh, Delhi  3.JPG

    2018-08-29   Karol Bagh, Delhi  2.JPG

    I am a mile or two from the shop. But they don't open until 11. One of the brothers I've been dealing with lives 2 1/2 hours away. I used to complain about being a half hour from work. I'm staying in an area called the Main Bazaar. I did go out to eat-soup and Pepsi. Interesting at night. Blurry too.
    2018-08-29   Karol Bagh, Delhi  5.JPG
    #5
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  6. theironhorse

    theironhorse Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    somewhere on the roads in India...
    keep us posted on your adventures. if you are on FB lemme know will add you in the national Highway groups. will be very helpful.
    #6
  7. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    First day on the road. Or I should say, first evening on the road. I was told they would be there at 10:30. That was an hour off. Then I was told they were putting a side stand on it for me. At 12:30 I complained enough that a guy was told to take me to the shop doing the welding. After a quarter mile his scooter quit. I told him I was going to walk back to the shop, get my money back, and find another place to rent from. The owner, Raju promised the bike before 3 pm. I told him I just wasted another day. The bike was ready before 3. But then I had to wait another 20 minutes for someone to bring insurance papers. After I knew I had a bike I went and bought some saddlebags that I had seen. As I loaded them one of the zippers pulled away from the fabric. So I took them back and got another set.
    2018-08-29 Himalayan being picked up1.JPG

    So at 5 pm I'm leaving. I was told I needed to get a smog check. Really, is that my responsibility? That only took 15 minutes when I stopped for gas. But as I tried to start the bike, it wouldn't. So,as I'm trying to leave the shop, the bike won't start. Another 20 minutes. Out of gas. Then water in the carbs. They said.

    Before I left they said my odometer wasn't working. They got the one off the other Himalayan and put it on. I told them they were doing that to show lower odometer reading on the one they still had there to rent. I'm sure of that. Because 2 hours later my speedometer and tach and dipper switch don't work. When I left the shop I said I don't have much confidence in the bike.

    10 minutes after getting gas I hit rush hour traffic. I sat for an hour and a half locked in with charts, cows, scooters and trucks. Eventually a guy told me to go up an alley a ways and get on another road. It helped. At least I was moving. Did I mention it's raining and dark. The 4 lane each way out of town isn't expressway. Push carts,ox carts,bicycles. Half with no lights. If you think lane splitting is scary... Well never mind. You also have the same type of traffic coming the wrong direction at you with no lights. When traffic is slower bikes pass on the muddy rutted shoulder. That's where most of the 45 miles were done. Long hard miles. I wanted to get away from Delhi to avoid what morning traffic might look like. I did stop to get a drink and a bag of chips. That's supper.

    The first 2 hotels I found were full. I just passed the third. So I went back on the flooded shoulder. I went around some trees and came to deep water. I tried to back up. The bike hit a rock and stopped. I put my left leg down- into a flooded drainage channel. We feel over. Could have broken my leg. It was a foot deep. Broke a mirror mount. But I got a room at Deepak Hotel-$16. No Wi-Fi, hot water, toilet paper, 2 half bars of soap. But A/C. I was up till 2 am washing and organizing things. Very tired now.

    I would liked to have taken some pictures but didn't have the energy.
    #7
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  8. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    Location:
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    Srinagar Alaknanda Hotel $15 150-200 miles
    I was up till 2 washing filthy clothes then reorganizing my storage in my saddlebags. I got started at 11 am. Traffic was calmer than last night. The little breakfast I had at the hotel was like a piece of French toast cut into small pieces. When I saw a McDonald's I had to stop. This spicy chicken sandwich my be my last American food for a while. Then back on the road.
    I stopped at a shop and had my stripped out mirror threads fix in a way I'd never seen.
    2018-08-30 Riding to Srinagar 02.JPG

    On a good road, 50 mph is heaven. But there are so many towns that you go through. Always cows, tuk tuks, and trucks to work around. There has been nothing in India that has interested me yet. But I still took a few pictures.
    2018-08-30 Riding to Srinagar 04.JPG

    My loaded bike
    2018-08-30 Riding to Srinagar 08.JPG



    Later in the afternoon I started into the mountains. The roads are curvy with a lot of washed out areas. Add monsoons to mountains and you see landslides. I did see some landslide while waiting for construction to clear another landslide. I saw a whole lot of this.
    2018-08-30 Riding to Srinagar 09.JPG

    On a motorcycle you can go to the front of the waiting line when traffic is stopped.

    I thought about breaking out my warmer clothes. It was getting dark, I was at higher elevation, and I was seeing lightening ahead. But I was in Srinagar in another half hour and still dry. Hotels in India are like Russia and China. Many don't allow foreigners. They say they are full. My third stop took me in. Later the receptionist took me on his scooter to an ATM. Then we stopped at a restaurant. I ordered food that was delivered to my room 15 minutes later. It was semi Chinese food. And too much. Again I have not Wi-Fi. I may need to get a SIM card.
    #8
  9. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    8-31-18 110 miles Hotel Rajpur Heights $28. Rajpur, India

    I got started about 11 am. First thing I did was go to a shop and have my 3 headlight bolts tightened and the 4th one-missing, replaced. Last night in the dark I saw my headlight and attached tank guards were ready to fall off. Cost me 70 cents. I passed the Tehri Dam.
    2018-08-31 Tehri Dam2.JPG
    2018-08-31 Tehri Dam6.JPG

    I know. It's just a dam. But that's all I saw till I got to the hotel, besides this town.
    2018-08-30 Riding to Srinagar 18.JPG

    The monsoon dumped on me. No where to hide so I kept riding. And it was nearly white out. I was riding through clouds the rest of the day. I rarely got out of first or second gear. Occasionally there was an opening and I could see long vertical drops at the edge of the road. It looked steeper and as high as the Yungas Road in Bolivia. I wish I could have seen it on a clear day.

    Tonight I finally have WiFi again. I have a big clean room. Well until I started doing laundry.
    2018-08-31 Hotel  Rajpur Heights1.JPG
    #9
  10. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    9-1-2018

    About 135 miles today. Hotel Deewan Residency $21 15 miles north of Ambala.
    Today was another unremarkable day. I left at 11 am. I think I finally have my luggage the way I want it. I put my tank bag on. Easier to get things I want fast. And I trust it to be waterproof. I had high expectations for the day. Reasonable temperature and only a few lite showers. I stopped in a town and bought some tools. I'm sure I'll get to use them. The only picture I took today was one of many calf high water crossings.
    2018-09-01.JPG

    I discovered a boo boo that I made. I wanted to ride the Kashmir Circuit. It either starts or ends in Srinagar, where I was a couple days ago. Originally I set my GPS to guide me to Srinagar. Well there are 2 Srinagar in northern India. The correct one is 500 miles from here.

    I decided I didn't like the looks of my front tire today. Not enough tread and some cracks on the side walls. A 20 mile detour to Ambala. I was told I had to go there to get the size I needed. A guy at a tire shop said he would go get me one in a half hour. He left and came back empty handed. He said they don't have any in Ambala. It was 6:30 so I decided to get 15 miles out of town and stop before dark for the first time.
    #10
  11. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    9-2-2018 Mandir Regent Palms Hotel $25 140 miles

    Another great day. I slept 8 hours last night. May be caught up with my sleep now. Packed up and ready to go at 9. Rain gear on, expecting rain all day. Had good roads for 40 miles. Then decent roads with light traffic. Then the bike sputtered, clattered and stopped. I found why my left foot kept slipping off the foot peg. An oil line was leaking. I rolled in to a road side food stand. 4 people come to help.One guy took the factory crimped oil line off and left. Later he came back with a fix.
    2018-09-02 Oil leak01.jpg

    Then he went and got a liter of oil. It only needed half of it. I still don't know why the motor quit unless it has hydraulic lifters.
    While I'm waiting I watched the food making process. They take some sort of dough, flatten it, and slap it on the inside of this oven wall.
    2018-09-02 Oil leak04.jpg

    2018-09-02 Oil leak06.jpg

    $8 and an hour and a half later I'm on the road again. And road surface got worse. I stopped at 5 pm in Mandi.

    The security man at the hotel told me today is a big religious holiday. They had a big stage with live music going till 10 pm.I listened for about an hour. Then I went back to the hotel restaurant and ate.
    #11
  12. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    My hotel in Mandi is better than most in northern India. It has a half roll of toilet paper and hot water. It's the first hotel since Delhi that doesn't have electric wires hanging out somewhere. I figured out why they don't have toilet paper. The toilet seat has a water nozzle strategically aimed. I guess it is their way to save a tree.
    2018-09-02 Toilet paperless .jpg

    My hotel
    2018-09-02 Regent Palms Hotel .jpg

    And the stage for the entertainment
    2018-09-02 Mandir concert .jpg1.jpg

    A few observations so far:
    The women in India seem to always be dressed in bright colors.
    There are quite a few monkeys most places I've been. The way they drive, I should see dead bodies ever day.
    I've only witnessed one collision. In Delhi at the motorcycle shop a guy was taking me to get the bike. He pulled onto the road and mildly hit another scooter. Both drivers looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and went on.
    #12
  13. Sifox

    Sifox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    103
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    In. Always been curious about India. How do you like the bike so far?
    #13
  14. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    If they did maintenance it might be okay. It's heavier than I like. Power is good enough for these roads. I'd start in Leh if I were doing it again. Just riding experience so far. Nothing worth seeing. And my camera got damp yesterday and quit. Hope it dries out before I start seeing good stuff.
    #14
  15. Sifox

    Sifox Been here awhile

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    Mar 1, 2018
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    Yeah, is sad when people don’t take care of the bikes they rent. It does look like a sweet bike though. Hopefully you get to see what you want to see soon...
    #15
  16. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    9-3-2018 Manali Whispering Valley Resort $11


    I left Mandi at 9 am. Had some repairs on the road.
    2018-09-03  Manali05_1536022977126_6.JPG

    2018-09-03  Manali03_1536022977379_7.JPG

    2018-09-03  Manali02_1536022976647_4.JPG

    It's 3 pm now and I'm in Manali at a Royal Enfield shop. They are going to do a maintenance inspection for me $5. They are also going to grease my front fork bearings-$3.50. Check that. The bottom bearing is rusted too badly. New bearing and used race.
    2018-09-03  Manali08_1536022976260_3.JPG


    There is a tire at another shop it's 3 miles from here. I'm 65 miles from Mandi. Roads have been good and bad, but dry. I stopped at a bike shop on the way here and bought a set of rear brake pads. Mine are half gone and I'm sure they will need replacing. I also had a new clutch cable put on-$3.50. The old one was bad from laying on the exhaust pipe. So far my trip is more about refurbishing a Himalayan motorcycle than touring. I hate wasting a dry day not riding. If they finish by 4:30 I may try riding another couple hours. But I don't know how long it will take to put the tire on. My daily mileage is pathetic. It will be Christmas before I return the rebuilt motorcycle to Delhi.


    While at the shop a white guy rode up. He's Russian. He said he saw me in Delhi. He's also going to Leh.


    Now it's 8:30 pm. I left the Royal Enfield shop about 7 pm. The young mechanic that worked on the bike did good work. 2 areas of my license plate holder were broken. He did the best possible without replacing 2 plastic parts. He checked the air filter. There was none. He put my new brake pads on the rear. He glued my turn signal together. The fork bearings are in good shape. He took a short ride and didn't like a sputter. He emptied the gas tank and washed it out. Gas was put back into the tank without the water and debris. Then the bike was washed. $11 for everything. At home that would be $300. There is a new tire waiting for me at another shop. But it can wait till tomorrow. I found out that I need to get a permit to travel to Leh. Something else to do in the morning.



    Today was another short day. Tomorrow will be also. The road to Leh is closed every Tuesday for road repairs. I may be able to ride about 60 miles to that closing. But I have a very nice hotel here in Manali. Probably the nicest hotel and restaurant I've had in India.


    I'll try posting pictures in the morning. It won't let me upload right now.
    #16
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  17. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    Location:
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    9-4-2018 morning. Just got internet and don't know how long it will last. It's raining again. Here's the hotel restaurant. Last night I was the only one there.
    2018-09-03  Manali16_1536022975703_1.JPG

    The Royal Enfield shop yesterday. This place is up a narrow curvy road. You would never find it without asking someone.
    2018-09-03  Manali09_1536022976000_2.JPG

    The Russian guy I will probably see again.
    2018-09-03  Manali11_1536022976855_5.JPG
    #17
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  18. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    9-4-2018 Parma Lodge $12 Jispa 105 miles

    At 8 o'clock I was checking out. The desk said they could give me a permit to travel on the road to Leh. I was told 2 hours up the road it would be closed for maintenance. I wanted to get to that point and get a room for the night. But first I went in town to the ATM. Then I was going to get a new tire. The 2 shops I went to said they could have it tomorrow. Yesterday they said they had it. I wasn't going to wait another day for a tire that probably wouldn't show up then either. I rode to the police check point and showed them my permit. They said it wasn't good until tomorrow. They finally did an online permit for me and let me go through. The police didn't seem to know anything about Tuesday road maintenance. I think people were just trying to trick me into staying in Manali another day.

    The road started climbing with more switchback than I saw in Switzerland. Soon I was at 13000 feet elevation. There was a lot of thick mud with ruts. I can't believe I didn't dump the bike. But there was a lot of new pavement also. I saw quite a few groups of bikers. And had 6 or 7 herds of goats that I had to ride through.

    I questioned myself about bringing heavy clothes on this trip when I was sweating. I'll be wearing most of them tomorrow. In fact I'll be wearing some of them tonight. My room is cold and has no heat.

    In morning I have to backtrack 20 miles for gas. I have half a tank and it's over 200 miles to the next station. I don't think I can get to Leh tomorrow. Lot's of switchback and I was told there was some flash flooding ahead.

    Pictures when I get real internet
    #18
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  19. Sifox

    Sifox Been here awhile

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    Crazy how people use tricks to try and make people stay and spend money to keep their business going. Makes it hard to trust what other vendors say. Good call, better keep moving and find out for yourself if the road is close or not. Sounds like those roads were kinda fun. Whats the longest stretch without gas you have found during this trip? Or is gas usually available pretty much everywhere?
    #19
  20. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    I'm in Leh. Got a room and straight to bed. Slept 11 hours. Still feeling altitude effects. Will try to do ride report in a while. Lots of pictures yesterday. Finally. The only gas issue has been Keylang to Leh over 200 miles.
    #20
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