India Road trip Take 7: Jaipur to Delhi, Friday 13 Sept


Early on what we thought was Thursday morning, we hit the road, wheels rolling, before the crack of dawn.  Was the first time I felt a slight big cold since I’d arrived in India.

Gaby pre-sunrise

Gaby pre-sunrise

Gaby had spotted on Google Earth that there was a Salt Lake to be seen, which would be about a 50 to 100 km detour from our way to Delhi.  Since none of us had ever seen a salt lake before, we agreed it would be worthwhile.  At the turn off going towards the salt lake direction, we stopped to have tea with ‘Ali Baba and the 40 thieves’

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Stop for tea

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Having tea with Ali Baba and his 40 thieves also getting ready for their day.

And then carried on riding on some pretty empty roads.

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Waiting at a railway crossing

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at a railway crossing

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On the way to the salt lake

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The salt lake

The salt lake offered some pretty challenging riding terrain!  Buy by now you know Gaby, Never say “Can’t”.

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A very tricky crossing! I’m not sure this was meant for bikes. That we never landed sideways in the salt water could probably a topic for Indian mystics to ponder

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Navigating some rugged terrain at the salt lake

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Gaby and her KTM Duke at the salt lake

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navigating some rugged terrain at the salt lake

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Taking a breather from the offroad challenges at the salt lake

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Finally being shown a way out of the salt lake … we sure weren’t going to attempt the near impossible way back we came from!

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Trying to get back on the way to Delhi

Just alongside the salt lake was this town, all painted blue and green.  It was quite novel.  The things of story books.  If you look closely, you’ll notice gutters running alongside the houses.  This is actually the sewrage system.  People squat and do their business in these gutters.  In a pretty public way.  It smells bad, but after a couple of days in India,seeing someone squat in public to relieve themselves is not shocking.  You tend to have lost all sense of grand imagination of how posh we are, when necessity forces people to do what no human can avoid, with no doors or private rooms to hide.

The ride back was pretty much just a very busy, freeway with lots of trucks, lots of cars, lots of motorbikes.  It was hard work after the lovely rural farm roads we’d been riding the last few days.  Finally, about 30 km from Gurgaon, Delhi (Gaby’s home), Santosh’s rented Enfield let us down in a big way.  It had been having issues all along the trip with misfiring, and difficult starting.  This incident was kind of like a test for me, and I think I only passed with 50 %.  Gaby had ridden ahead of us, and didn’t know Santosh was stuck.  It was HOT, and Santosh and I were frustrated trying to get the bike to start.  Santosh was exhausted, and we were both dying of heat-stroke.  Several people had tried to stop to try to help us.  I called Gaby, to tell her we were stuck.  She was already about 20 km ahead of us.  Explaining to her where we were was not easy, because of the unfamiliar surrounds, It seemed that via fone, the language barrier between me and her was quite big.  In the end, me and Santosh decided to go wait at a cafe’/shop a few hundred meters from where we got stuck.  Which was not a good thing really because it made it harder for Gaby to spot us.  I think I handled things like an ungrateful spoilt brat.  I was impatient in my communication with Gaby, and she must’ve picked up on it.  She handled it really well though.  She was very patient and tolerant.  She has alot to teach me on being a good sport.

Such a hero she is, she organized for the freeway patrol to come and help us, and they got a mechanic to sort Santosh’s bike out for free.  There were nice guys.  And they said, that this is what the freeway patrol service is for.  I’d trade our freeway service back home (who are just out to catch you misbehaving) for these guys any day!

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The freeway patrol fixing Santosh’s bike

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The friendly chief on patrol

With a couple more minor hickups, we eventually got home in one piece.  I can’t say the Enfield was in one piece though, The top box was basically only being held on by one single bolt.  The others had fallen off along the way.  Also I had broken one of the pillion seat springs when we were putting on the top box, before the trip had even started.  It also suffered one broken indicator, but nothing else major.  The KTM duke, except for halfway along the way showing a false warning light signalling engine trouble (which started when we left Dausa), and never went away, was still in perfect nic.  And by now you can probably all guess that Santosh’s bike was in need of a serious carburettor cleaning.

We slept pretty good that night, and I was I was surprised the next morning when I woke up to hear that it was actually Saturday and my day to go home … sniff.  All three of us thought that I still had a day left.  Oh well, all good things have to eventually end.

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8 thoughts on “India Road trip Take 7: Jaipur to Delhi, Friday 13 Sept

    • misschief101 says:

      It was absolutely incredible! India is absolute magic 🙂 Stay tuned, I’ll be attempting a Southern African trip in the next couple of weeks. Its a bit ambitious, but I’ll see how far I get.

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      • misschief101 says:

        basically what I’ll try to do is start in Cape Town, where I live and go up North to Springbok, then East to Upington, and then south to Kimberly, Lesotho, Swaziland, maybe Mozambique, and then come back westwards down the East Coast through Durbs, PE, all the way back to Cape Town. Of course it may not be completely possible, but lets see how it goes. Wow, which part of SA were you living?

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      • matthias1982 says:

        why shouldn’t it be possible? There are good roads everywhere – better than in India, I guess!
        I would love to visit the west coast north of CT…
        I lived in Bloemfontein, but from the 11 months, I travelled around for 3 – throughout SA and in the neighbourhood: Mozambique, botswana, zambia, malawi… I would love to come back some day!!

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      • misschief101 says:

        Its getting quite hot up north now, being Capetonian, one gets spoilt because the climate is moderate down here. Then there is the issue of the bike I bought a month ago, not sure how capable it is yet. And of course however far my money takes me… You should come. The West is a gem. And I think it is less touristy than the East. I have never been to Bloem, maybe I get there this time.

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      • matthias1982 says:

        well, I don’t think Bloem is that special for someone from SA, but for me it was a great experience, because there were almost no foreigners… that was quite nice for me…
        well – maybe i come next year – who knows?

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