India, not for the fainted of heart

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India 9 - Hendi KafFor the longest time I was intrigued by this mystical country. After a lot of reading it was clear that I couldn’t chose just one  specific area and still get an idea of what there is to discover. I decided for a little over 3 month trip to get a sample of the colors, traditions, religion and food that India will give me to fill up my thirst of knowledge and adventure.

India 1 - Hendi kafA long flight took me from Florida to New Deli, arriving at night and after a 24 h flight the road to the hotel was a blur but as soon as the morning started I was delighted by the cultural shock: everything was there in the tumult of an over populated city, in every street my senses were overwhelmed by new smells, vibrant colors, new sounds and strange looking people.  After a few hours of research I picked up a Royal Enfield motorcycle from one of the many rental places around my hotel, they did give me a full box of spare parts and performed a religious ceremony for my protection, or maybe it was for the bike, this should have been a warning sign for me.

The following morning  I started my trip which would take me all around India riding over 13000 miles on and off road. India 16 - Hendi KafFirst impression which remained for the all trip is driving in India is not the smartest things one can do. I drove pretty much everywhere in the world and this was my most dangerous driving experience, I guess believing in reincarnation is pushing some of the locals to try to either kill you or get kill by you while on the road. Trucks and cars have most of the time no respect for two wheels and the actual condition of the roads are sometime very difficult. But if you are up to the challenge you will discover day after day an incredible scenery, ranging from desert resembling the Sahara to high mountain passes, ever lasting valleys and untouched beaches. The main cities are too crowded  (16 million in New Delhi ) for me and even if I did go to all the major ones I didn’t feel like they were the most interesting places to visit.

India 35 - Hendi KafThe population speak Hindi and English for the most, so getting what you need is fairly easy. I was not harassed by beggars like some people are and even if in some area poverty was present, it seems like the condition of life for the locals are getting better. The cost of food is very low but a basic hotel is not cheap so make sure that your budget is sufficient for your travel. Buses can take you everywhere but are not very comfortable, the train is a most interesting option and if you take a private cabin you can travel in style for a very low price. Would I recommend to do a trip like mine on a motorcycle ? maybe not as your first adventure : this was the most dangerous roads I ever drove on, worst that any other places in Asia, Africa or South America, it will be safer for you to drive in Paris or Moscow at rush hour. If you are not a fainted of heart this country have a lot to show …

Namaste as they say

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One response to “India, not for the fainted of heart

  1. Very well written Hendi. Even for me being an Indian it is challenging every time I visit India. The chaotic traffic and the unsafe roads make you meditate and count
    your blessing! LOL!

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