Changing Bikes for Touring Northern India

We decided to exchange our bikes for a 500cc Royal Enfield motorbike!
On our Royal Enfield at the India Gate in Delhi
There are a couple of reasons for changing our form of transport:
We want to stop sweating all day, relax a bit & start our holidays – being able to spend more time in the places we visit;
As it’s monsoon season we want to reach our destination faster, before the daily 4pm rain showers;
Our budget is running low so we won’t be going to South America as planned & instead will be spending longer touring India, thereby covering greater distances, which are too long to do safely by bicycle;
By travelling greater distances daily we then know where we’re sleeping before it gets dark, unlike when we were cycling;
We want to feel safer in the chaotic Indian traffic, so have moved to an upper caste now; from “touchables” to Enfielders;
We still have a few 5000m+ mountain passes to cross on our way to Leh, so adventures are guaranteed!
Hot dogs in Rishikesh
I get to navigate for once & take photos without stopping & frustrating Sertx, whilst he enjoys driving the bike, beeping our loud double-horn on the road (making somebody else’s ear drums burst for a change), & learning about how to fix all its different parts after it breaks down…every day. And now, rather than being covered in wet-dripping sweat, we get covered in a layer of black sandy dirt, as well as petrol and oil. We love riding the Royal Enfield so far, yet our knees, backs & bums already ache due to the different seat position, but it’s all part of the fun.
The joy of seeing the locals who gather around & watch us on our bicycle breaks
So we ended our cycling adventure in Varanasi, city of birth, life & death, just after visiting Lumbini in Nepal, the birthplace of the Buddha. After visiting these two symbolic places, we decided to give our bicycles a rest, and begin our motor biking adventure from New Delhi, heading north into the Indian Himalayas.

Incredible India
In India the traffic is the scariest. Whilst cycling, some guys on motorbikes have pulled up right beside us to try to engage in conversation – stopping all traffic behind them and creating a narrower & more dangerous cycling situation for us. Some guys have tried, & some have even succeeded, in stroking me as they ride on by. Another guy wanted Sertx’s autograph for some unknown reason, and chased after us for a while. In Nepal we were continuously asked ‘where from?’ whereas in India we are asked ‘Where are you going to?’ We receive attention & help wherever we go; when we stop to catch a bite for lunch, the locals slowly stop what they’re doing & start crowding around us to stare at what we’re doing. When lost or when the motorbike has broken down in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, people still manage to appear and offer all their time and endless efforts in helping us. 

So far we have visited Varanasi, known for the rituals & ceremonies taking place at & in the Ganges river;
bathing water buffalos
New Delhi, the bustling capital;
Lotus Temple in Delhi
Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world made famous by the Beatles; 
Kali goddess statue in Rishikesh
Mussoorie, a crowded yet beautiful 2000m high mountain resort & 
arriving in busy Mussoorie
Chandigarh, master planned by the one & only Le Corbusier.
Sertx in the Rock Garden in Chandigarh
India has the most delectably flavoured food & sweets, and the flies that share our meals think the same too! We pass monkeys, elephants, goats, buffalos & holy cows on the roads every day. Every corner is full of surprises. India is an incredible country!

1 comment:

  1. It was nice bumping into you two in SARAHAN (Himachal Pradesh). Hope you have a safe and enjoyable experiences in the Himalayas. Take care.