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Old 09-25-2009, 05:45 AM   #1
MaddBrit OP
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India, a Himalayan Adventure... in 'moderation'...

'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)
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:34 AM   #2
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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!

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Old 09-25-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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The motley crew.

Johnny Drunkard.



Dragoon.



Misery Goat.



..and some ugly Brit.

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Old 09-25-2009, 07:05 AM   #4
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Keep it coming..!!
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:07 AM   #5
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Been waiting a long time to see these pictures.



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Old 09-25-2009, 07:16 AM   #6
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Hell yeah.....
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:18 AM   #7
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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!!



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!





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.

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Old 09-25-2009, 07:27 AM   #8
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:45 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:15 AM   #10
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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.



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!

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.

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Old 09-25-2009, 08:20 AM   #11
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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!



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

Can you say traffic chaos?


&ampnbsp
&ampnbsp


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!

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:16 AM   #12
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:47 AM   #13
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:05 AM   #14
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:11 AM   #15
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teaser

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