I am the original 'Uneasy Rider' .. not especially blessed with much natural motorcycling talent, nor am I a particularly courageous motorcycle rider.
Nevertheless I went 'Right Way Round' New Zealand (at least twice) followed by a wonderful ride around Australia.

Then it was up to southeast Asia, around Indo-China, across southern Central Asia to the Middle East, Asia Minor .. and finally into Europe.

Right Way Round - all the way home .. from New Zealand to England, 2-up on a Honda Transalp.


PROGRESS SO FAR - Distance covered across Western Europe: 6,411 km [3,984 miles] - as at Thursday, October-22nd, 2015

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Backwards to Go Forwards

The 'System' 

Undaunted – well perhaps mildly daunted – I managed to eventually conclude the bike’s shipment out of India and into Dubai. Done and dusted, UAE customs clearance and all, during the afternoon of Friday, 13th June .. four weeks behind schedule.

Misled down too many garden paths by Indian businessmen, so-called, irreparably damaged my previously unrealistic rose-tinted view of the subcontinent.

The fact is, so I discovered, that misleading people who don't know ‘the system’ in India is quite commonplace ..

Read more »


Tuesday, 13th May - Tuesday, 3rd June

The last three weeks have been 'challenging' to say the least. I really haven't felt much like posting too much on this blog as a result.

The facts:

Attempting to air-freight from Mumbai to Dubai UAE proved hopeless.

After several telephone conversations to freight forwarders based in New Delhi I received assurances that shipping from this alternative city would be far more straightforward. With this in mind, we covered the 1,500 km [932 mi] between Mumbai-New Delhi at breakneck speed .. in less than three days. Day-2 involved a whopping 660 km [410 mi], which was by far the greatest distance we have travelled on the Transalp so far, ever.

Yet it was the same story in New Delhi. Around 7-8 negotiations later with as many freight forwarders, all of which led down a series of blind alleys .. I finally gave up on India.

Reluctantly, and after a great deal of thought, I felt the balance of advantage was to return to Kathmandu, Nepal. It should all be much easier from there .. shouldn't it? Surely it should.


From Ellen's journal: click on this link → Goodbye Mumbai, Hello Dubai - possibly


Despite all the frustration, there were good times in New Delhi.

One of my oldest friends, Thierry from France, introduced us to Kalpana.

We spent a wonderful week in Kalpana's home in the south of the city.

What a lovely lady.

With Kalpana we ate delicious Japanese delicacies ..

.. and sipped supreme teas. Yep, that's not orange juice, but hot autumn tea infused with lemon balm and rose petals. A delight.

From the finest desserts ..

.. to the most excellently disgusting real ground beef* triple cheeseburgers with bacon strips.

* A rarity in India, as cows are sacred beasts.

We met and made new friends, like the lovely Kirandeep (above). A Sikh, who explained, in great detail, the basis of her religious beliefs; the Sikh code of conduct and conventions. It was a fascinating learning curve.

I wish all my new friends in New Delhi well. Maybe we'll meet again some day.


Friday-30th May

Time to leave India. It's 340 km [211 mi] northeast to the nearest border with Nepal.

Passing by even more Indian truck carnage along the way. I thought we had seen the last of all this.

We're back!

It's the end of the dry season in Nepal at this time of year (late May / early June) and yet the countryside remains green, even 'lush.' What a contrast to India.

Quieter, less congested roads too.

Just one of the many strange things you see on the road in this part of the world. The low loader trailer (above) is on the move by the way.

I picked-up my first puncture at around the halfway point between the Indo-Nepali border and Kathmandu. After 80,000 km [50,000 mi] .. I can't complain.

Back into the foothills of the Himalayas.


Monday-2nd June

More than 1,000 km [621 mi] after leaving New Delhi - in the wrong direction! - we finally pulled-in through the narrow entrance-way of the Access Hotel, Thamel, Kathmandu. Everything was all too familiar - our third visit since December last year.

For the second time within the last six months the Transalp is partially dismantled and crated.

I wonder when and where I'll see the ol' gal again?

More from Dubai in a little while, where I hope this trip gets back on course.

Fingers crossed that it will.


From Ellen's journal: click on this link → Back in the land of bicycles!