Bad Day in Varanasi
Leaving KTM was hard but the roads were waiting and our Indian visa was loosing time. We made Varanasi in two days with only one Indian truck driver attempting to run us off the road.
We camped at the Surya Hotel in their lovely garden. It was so peaceful to escape the pressures of this vital city on the Ganges. More shock woes as break no. 3 occurs. There cannot be any "bounce" left in this piece of steel. The search for a replacement starts. A helpful Honda dealer Ravi, swings into action. Many springs were found but failed to fit. Seven days later a spring is produced, not quite the right size but it will get us out of trouble. Contacted home about a warranty claim but 200,000kms is too much. I don't know why!!! In addition to this problem, a knock which I thought was steering head bearings turned out to be a broken frame. The large support in the middle of the bike with the electrical items attached. Another welding job and her broken back is fixed. The bike has reached 20yrs and has thrown in the towel, maybe!! There is no pension, until it reaches OZ.
Mike and Rosie arrive in Varanasi after 4 1/2 days ride from KTM. The Guzzi is going fine but the Enfield....is a real problem. I will leave to Mike to tell his story. Varanasi will be remembered for the special help from Ravi and the cycle rickshaw riders who, after agreeing to a negotiated price, demand more on arrival.
It was a bad day to leave Varanasi. We ride towards Allahabad and the Kumbh Mela on its biggest day. The traffic was insane. Two lanes turned into six as everything grinds to a standstill. We averaged 25kms per hour and were exhausted when we reached Fatehpur. Only one near miss as three vehicles head towards us on a two lane road. We split the two outside vehicles!! Crazy stuff.
Reaching Agra was not easy. We watched a local motorcyclist overtake us on a Honda 100cc and ride staight into a pig crossing the road. This was a BIG pig and we cannot believe he did not see it. They are not on this planet when they drive/ride here. He survived, the pig squealed and ran off. Another phenomena is the desire for people to overtake us at all cost endangering all involved and then slow to an almost crawl and then, request us to overtake them again. We are a novelty but their driving is absolutely crazy. Their ears are their eyes. They do not react to anything on the road unless they are tooted. A loud different horn is a must. We have a small siren purchased in Bulgaria. Combined with the normal horn it creates a disturbing sound. It works!! It is interesting to note that in almost 200,000kms of world travelling in the last 4 years we have seen more vehicle accidents in the few weeks in India than in all the other countries combined.
The Taj prices are out of our reach and now there are no "free Fridays". It is now closed on Fridays and open on Mondays. We have heard there will be a price decrease some time in February. So we will head to the deserts, forts and palaces of Rajasthan and maybe trade our bike for a camel for a day or two.
The earthquake in Ahmadabad 26/1/01 was felt here in Agra as we ate breakfast. What a strange feeling.
Posted by Carol Duval at January 26, 2001 04:13 AM GMT