Michael Eierle - Germany to India, Pakistan and Iran, Germany to Turkey - India and Nepal - from Amrithsar to Gopalganj
From Amrithsar to Gopalganj
On the 28.11. last year we crossed the border to India on Attari road. Altogether we needed 2 hours. The Indian customs controlled very strictly. In Amrithsar we stayed in the New Bharat Hotel in the middle of a bazaar. A better and cheaper choice is to stay in the Golden Temple. What a beautiful and peaceful place. It's a must to see.
After 3 days we drove to Dharamsala, in the north, where the Dalai Lama lives. Exactly he lives in McLeod Ganj a little Village above. We had the great luck to see him twice. No audience, just a view. What an aura and shining this always smiling man has. You see him and you have to smile.
We enjoyed the good food (chocolate- and carrot cake) and the friendly Tibetan people there. If you want to stay there in wintertime, make sure you stay in a guesthouse close to the Yellow Guesthouse. There is enough sun. Otherwise you are freezing your __.
On the 5.12. we left for Chandigarh. In Amb, a little place in the middle of nowhere, we had to rest for some days. While riding, the good breakfast I had, decided to run through my head again. I went sick with bad diarrhoea too for days. Imodium showed no reaction. After 4 days we finally reached Delhi.
In Delhi we bought an Enfield. It looked so nice, swing seat, big tank, new front brakes and -we have been told - a new engine. For around 2000 $ US only. We had a special contract: to give the bike back after 6 month and get the money back with a difference of 250 $US. If you really want to travel on an Enfield and sell it after, do it this style. No Indian will give you a fair price when you try to sell it.
Rosi on the road to Kathmandu
On the 17.12 we left Delhi for Nepal. We needed 4 days (for 300 km) to reach the border. Normally you can do it within 1 day. Normally. Short time after Delhi. we realized that the Enfield dies, when you switch to the 4 gear. After 150 km the compression was gone. Top speed 80 km/h. But it looked very nice.
First aid in form of Indian Enfield specialists was on the road, but costs plenty of rupees and time with no result. One time they found out, that the battery was gone. So they put a new (wrong one) in and the rectifier was blown through 3 times in 2500 km. Finally there was no day, I didn't adjust the tapped setting, cleaning carburetor, changing plug, contact, timing, just everything I could do.
The road was only bad the last 70 km before the border. Border crossing was uncomplicated and needed again 2,5 hours. We made the visa on the border and it is a 2 month single entry for 33$US. For the Enfield we had to pay about 80 cents per day road tax. Nepalese customs have been very relaxed and friendly.
The road in Nepal is new and very good till Kathmandu. You can do a good mileage, as long as you don't have Rosi's Enfield. After all the daily procedures she had two flat rear tyres. Nothing in it. But the valve was broken out of the seat. What a good quality. Finally we fixed my German spare tire and the problem was gone.
We enjoyed the road to Kathmandu, nice countryside, friendly people and no traffic. So we fought our way to Kathmandu. One day before Xmas we met our friends Ken, Carol and Angela again.
We had a fantastic Xmas buffet. Next day we left for the Royal Chitwan National Park by bus. We had elephant riding (was a pain - 4 adults trapped in a little wooden square, shook all the time) but we saw rhinos. We had a boat trip - I thought it will overflow every moment, a nice jungle walk and the best sizzler fish in my live. (Note: fishing is not allowed in the park!) We only ate.
Back in Kathmandu the shops were closed for two days, because an Indian actor said that he hates Nepal and some Nepalese started to storm the Indian Embassy. Result: 16 dead Nepali. So sick.
We spend over 3 weeks in Kathmandu, met nice people (Ken, Carol, Angela, Dr. Molittle and Yeti, Urs, Andrea, Maria and many more). We also met a German overlander, who wanted to go to Australia without his Honda Dominator. So the idea was born, that Rosi rides his bike back to Germany. We spend a hell of time in Internet cafes to get his Carnet changed in Germany. Everything was organized so far and then he suddenly quit. Sometimes it's hard not to become a killer.
Rosi and friend in Nepal
We also visited the burning places (Dr. Molittle gave a good description) and some stupas. Had a funny photo session on the Durbar Square and a very nice New Year's eve with friends. We also got a new 6-month-visa for India within 6 days, didn't matter our old one was still valid (VIP's need two, HaHa). No problems. Costs ca. 35$US.
But most of time we spend with getting rid of this Indian piece of sh*t bike (that one was a real bad one) and the dealer was not willing to give the full money back. And to organize a new Carnet in Germany for Rosi's Honda.
That was the final decision when our German "friend" disappeared: Rosi's bike being sent to India.
On the 14.01. we left Kathmandu following the tiny road to Hetauda over the Dalan pass (2500 m). Was still a little bit icy there. Short time after the pass Rosi's Enfield died once again. The battery was empty. The rectifier blew trough again. Luckily a truck came along on this lonely road and we loaded the bike (sorry, p. o. sh.) on the truck. Unluckily it had loaded cows before and we learned, cow shit is easy to clean off. In Hetauda we stayed at the Avocado Hotel, nice and cheap place with a pleasant garden.
Next day we organized a new battery, but the rectifier was still broken. And no spare in Nepal available.
On the 16.01. we crossed the border to India again. We spend 15 days more in Nepal and had to pay more road tax for the Enfield. Pay the customs officer private, do a good bargain and save money. He will ask you. Also the Indian customs have been very friendly and helpful.
Sad, we left a country with friendly, relaxed people, good and cheap food (where else do you get a tasty sizzling steak for less than 2 $) and only little traffic. After India, everybody who has been asked, said, he feels like in heaven. Then coming to Uttar Pradesh is like to ride in a big bowl of cow shit.
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