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Old 02-12-2011, 09:47 PM   #211
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: trivandrum,india
Oddometer: 1
new bee here

wow enjoyed the photographs, your patience ( bad bikes ) and the ride. hope to do the same if i am at Delhi for some time. but not on an enfield. i have used the bike for years, and requires good maintenance. not happy on that.

waiting for the rest.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:57 PM   #212
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Welcome to ADV Triv!

I envy you the opportunities living in India gives you.
You country is beautiful and small enough to actually See with not great efforts. and those around yours are not far off.

(EDIT: just looked up Where you live in India, you have a bit of a ride to the nearest border. lol. plus I had a false impression India was about 500 miles shorter and skinnier. whoops.)
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ad·ven·ture n.
1. Participation in exciting or hazardous experiences.
2. An undertaking of a questionable nature.
3. An undertaking of a hazardous nature.

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Old 02-12-2011, 11:23 PM   #213
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triv has mindblowing beaches and forests right on his doorstep! He's just a bit far from the snow
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:33 AM   #214
Joined: Nov 2008
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great write up and fantastic pics.

I'm hoping to do a very similar trip in august, so i've followed this very closely.

Thanks for sharing.

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Old 02-13-2011, 07:57 PM   #215
Ignorance is bliss..
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Location: Tahoe, baby
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Hell Yes!

I don't know if this was your first trip to India, but you obviously nailed it. Attitude is everything there and your minimalist, ready-for-whatever program is a lesson to those who follow...Respect.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:02 PM   #216
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DAY 15:
We woke up to beautiful weather. I'm telling you, Sonamarg and the surrounding hills were awesome!!

The road was better than average.

What a start to the day.

We were just taking our time, totally enjoying the terrain.

This valley runs all the way down to Srinigar. We were hoping we would make it through Srinigar and not stay there.

We came to a small town where the road is closed from here up the valley in the winter.

The towns slowly were growing larger as we approached Srinigar.

This was the first time we encountered women wearing burkas.

Before long we were in Srinigar. It's a big city and we had no idea how we'd navigate through it.

Lots more burka clad women here.

Here's a quick video of Srinigar. This was only medium chaos on the streets. Take note of the constant horn honking. Also, you can hear the propaganda that gets broadcast throughout the city from load speakers mounted all over the place.

Somehow, without too much hassle, we seemed to be threading right on through the city on the right track. Here's Dal Lake where a lot of people stay on house boats. We were warned that you need to pay close attention if you plan to stay on a boat as there are lots of scammers and theft happening around the area. We were shooting through. Not far outside of Srinigar we stopped in a small village for a rest and to have some food we had packed. Soon there was a crowd of young Indian boys chatting with us. The girls were informed they were beautiful gems and should be covered up with burkas. This was our cue to boogie.

Ah, back out in the country making our way through the foothills again.

We went through a couple of pretty long tunnels. These were a bit intimidating. Remember, Minxter and I don't have a headlight.

The road continued to be better then average. A very pleasant cruise.

We spotted this little settlement down below the road by about 800 feet in elevation. It looked quite remote.

We climbed over a pass and started down a huge drainage. It was getting late and we were really liking the ride but were hoping we'd come across a place to stay soon.

Well, we found a place. Rambam was the town. Still up in Muslim dominated territory.

Buuurrrt and I headed for the liquor store and the girls settled in to this TOTAL RAT HOLE. We were going to need A LOT OF BOOZE for this place!! The guys at the liquor store were selling some sort of cheap booze in a bag!! Gives a new meaning to the term "booze bag". Of course we had to buy some. We had reason to celebrate. It was the second FULL DAY WITHOUT ENFIELD REPAIR of the trip!! Can you believe we wrenched on those piles 13 out of 15 days so far?

While the hotel was totally disgusting, the food was amazing. The guy on the right was the chef. Not long after dinner he stumbled upstairs to where we were hanging outside our rooms. HE WAS TOTALLY WASTED!! He wanted more booze. He could hardly walk!! We told him no, get going! He was grabbing our empty beer bottles trying to guzzle any last drops. Holy crap, this was a desperate dude.

We were pleased with our day. We made 220km and were drunk enough to stomach the rat hole we were in.

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Old 02-14-2011, 08:14 PM   #217
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Thanks for posting that video, man I love this stuff!

I think that "Propaganda" is "call to prayer" It sounds like what they blast in Saudi. I am not 100% sure, but I think that is what it was.

Love your report. Thanks for sharing.
Rob Swartzwelder, Southern AZ
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AZ-Twin screwed with this post 02-14-2011 at 08:31 PM
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #218
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Yeah, I stand corrected, it was a call to prayer. Minxter was just pointing that out to me but you beat me to the punch before I could edit that.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:39 PM   #219
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I'm signing up for more of this....
Jaw dropping scenery.....
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:55 PM   #220
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Just amazing guys...thanks for sharing your brave adventure. You are out there truly living life while some of us are couped up in corporate America 70 hours a week. Would love to do something like that in my lifetime, maybe on a KTM though :-) Keep posting and ride safely.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:52 AM   #221
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DAY 16:
This place was such a dive and so hot that Minxter and I yanked our bed out onto the porch where we slept for the night. We got up and got out of Ramban asap. Another 45km from Ramban was the town of Kud which had many more options for places to stay. I heavily recommend Kud over Ramban for accommodations. We ran out of light otherwise would've pushed for it.

Now we were making the decent down toward the big city of Jammu. This was a long canyon with lots of trucks. Nothing to see here, just another wrecked rig, go about your business……

We were tired from the entire journey and weren't taking many photos at this point. After missing the road which would have diverted us around Jammu, we entered Jammu which was a very busy city. This is the only photo that we have from there which doesn't do ANY justice. We made a few wrong turns and ended up in some totally tight and crowded narrow little streets. It took us a while to get out of this labyrinth of a city.

We were down in the plains again. After making it to Jammu we were feeling comfortable that we'd return to Delhi with the bikes. We were going to wind back into the foothills and traverse our way toward Delhi over the next few days. Out next goal was Dharmasala. We had a stretch of flat busy road we had to punch out first though. Not much here except a lot of dirt and diesel smoke.

It was afternoon sometime we were dirty, hot, and we were toast! This photo was taken AFTER I washed my face. We stopped for some nourishment.

Once again, we had an excellent meal at a little roadside restaurant.

We pulled the throttles open and gained another 100km to the town of Pathankot. This little village was swarming!!

We went through only to find a bridge was out which crossed a large river and the detour was quite a bit out of the way. It was late and we were beat so we decided to go back and stay in Panthakot.

These are the strangest vehicles. Some sort of front wheel drive trike contraption that seem to be widely used.

We found a great cheap hotel (with AC!!) and got cleaned up. This put us back in the game again. We took a cruise through the town which we ended up really liking.

The place was energetic and alive!! Next it was my bike's turn for the clutch to start acting up. Not surprising and we'd take care of it in the morning. In the mean time we parked em in the middle of town and walked around.

We were looking for dinner and at this little dive were some cooks who were so animated that we had to eat there. At night the camera's really pick up how dirty India is as you can see all the dust particles in the air.

The place was SO small!! Two tables tucked in just off the street. PERFECT!!

The place was run by two brothers. The guy on the left and the guy on the far right. They were awesome!! They spoke so little english but really welcomed us.

One of the brothers job was to crank out "roti" which is a flat bread baked in these open fire ovens. They roll out the dough then stick it to the inside of the oven where it bakes for a short period. You can see one of them stuck inside the oven in this photo.

This tiny little place was HANDS DOWN the best (and the least expensive!!) meal we had on the entire journey! You just never know where you'll stumble across something like this.

Here's one example of how a family of 5 gets around.

We went back to the hotel and called it a night. It was a big day that wore on us but the excitement of Panthakot brought us around. Panthakot ended up being another one of our favorite places. We managed just over 250km this day.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:20 PM   #222
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That three wheeled thing:

These things were common in places like Delhi before authorities realized that each of these slow loadluggers and people movers produced more particulate emissions than any given 5 trucks. After somewhat acrimonious debates about the right to livelyhood v/s the right to breathe, they were eventually banished from the larger cities, but they continue to chug around in smaller towns surrounded by a dense cloud of black smoke....
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:37 PM   #223
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Man I'm loving your roadtrip through northern India!! I'll have to save this and visit some of your favorite places whenever I get over there!

It's amazing you went through the whole trip without a serious case of, erm, tummy problems. I guess that kind of luck is rare over there.
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:05 PM   #224
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I love your thread, man! The pictures, the places, the people, the story, everything. Thanks for sharing. You had a hell of adventure, in the good way of course. :))))
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:10 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Man I'm loving your roadtrip through northern India!! I'll have to save this and visit some of your favorite places whenever I get over there!

It's amazing you went through the whole trip without a serious case of, erm, tummy problems. I guess that kind of luck is rare over there.
Though there is a small element of luck involved, it has much more to do with the food being absolutely fresh. Not a refrigerator in all those places. The regular clientele at these daily eateries cannot AFFORD to fall sick - they dont work, they don't get paid.

The overspiced, stale, tummy upset inducing food is found at the regular tourist traps and restaurants.

Easy tip to recognise the latter - if you see tourist buses/taxies there, just avoid the place. The owner gives free food + commission to the drivers, in exchange for the "captives". OTOH, if you see trucks there (they have to eat out, and can't afford to fall sick) - you'll be OK
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