Captain's Log, star date 24.12.2010.
There's no intelligent life down here.
If it sounds like I have not yet escaped the mental asylum that is India, fear not, for I have arrived in Nepal, where the inmates are not in fact criminally insane.
Where to start? Firstly for those who have in fact tried to log on and find what I have been doing, I apologise for not having made an entry sooner. The fact is, that everything in this part of the world is so dodgy, that it is either missing, stolen, broken or temporarily closed. The places I have been have not allowed me to log on before now.
How to describe India? Well, it has often been said that India is just India. It is an extreme assault on the senses. Nothing and let me repeat, NOTHING will prepare you for India. The mental asylum I referred to above relates mainly to the traffic. Imagine everything you have seen and multiply it by 1,000. On a motorbike you know the whereabouts of every ox, goat, dog, duck, cat, sheep, pedestrian and every other mechanical contrivance they see fit to put on the raod here. The horn use is constant and it is very intimidating. The Tata trucks make room for no-one. You get off the road or be truned into a hood ornament. The overall pervading feeling is controlled by a constant thick pall of woodsmoke and diesel fumes. I have also had man flu since I arrived which hasn't helped my attitude. Combine that with the fact that the first three days which were so arduous, that I haven't had a chance to get better. Those three days by unfortunate circumstance ended with a number of hours of night riding. NOT recommended.
The whole of India I saw looked like Baghdad the day after George came to visit. There is absolutely no preventative maintenace in the Indian psyche. What started out as a five star hotel for example, is now a litany of disasters. Plumbing, wiring, doors, paint - all falling ot bits. The hovels in Nepal however seem to be held together quite well, not like the bailing wire, chewing gum and gaffer tape that holds India together. They even seem to have had a coat of paint within the last 20 years. Oh and if you like dust, they have it here in spades.
The count so far has been three sliding off on wet corners, one lost (but luckily found yesterday after a night spent native), one fell off a bridge (twisted knee and two days in the support vehicle). For my part, 3 break downs per day on average. The mechanics are pretty good though. One clutch problem, one spark plug failure, one coil failure and many times where the dear old Enfield just felt like a lie down for five minutes or so before agreeing to once again proceed.
The windy roads are nuts however. Never seen anything like them.
We are currently in Pokhara. Its a bit of a jumping off point for trekkers looking for rafting and the usual stupidity. I went for a paraglide today and looked the Himalayas right in the face. Awesome.
I apologise for the spelling but I won't be checking it as I am too shagged. Have a great Christmas one and all. I promise to write again soo as soon as I get to somewhere with power and communications.
Beam me up Scotty.