Saturday, December 25, 2010

Do not attempt to adjust your TV.  Your are about to enter a world of sights and sounds the likes of which you have never seen  before.  You are about to enter - the Twilight Zone.

For those of you old enough to remember the Twilight Zone series, feel free to correct my wording, but I hope I have conveyed the feeling. 

I have to keep harking back to the roads and traffic, which occupies a lot of my attention.  One minute you are bopping along a gorge road, grooving with the twisty bits and getting off on the scenery and next, you are caught in a knot of Tata trucks and buses, speed 1/2 kph, belching masses of diesel fumes, all trying to get past each other at some problem.  Sometimes its a landslide, or the road has gone missing, or a series of potholes big enough to lose the HMAS Melbourne in, or even another Tata broken down on a blind bend with the people underneath it pulling out the differential.  The also have an interesting way of signfiying a breadown.  They rip off a branch of a tree and adorn the side of the trucks with bits of the branch.  They then lay down rocks around the truck. Hmmm.

Saw the remnants of a recent crash too.  A truck with a full load of sand headbutted a Tata bus.  They had bounced back off each other by at leat 4 to 5 meteres.  Must have been a hell of a hit.

It seems that half their traffic problems arise from the huge disparity in speed.  They have no concept of footpaths, so everyone uses the road.  If they didn't push on hard and instead waited patiently in line, the maximum progress made would be that speed set by a heavily laden bicycle (HEAVILY).  And that's never gonna work.  Example:  after leaving Delhi, we hit about 15 k's of dual carriageway (yep, you heard right).  So I'm bopping along at about 95, when I come over a rise and find an ox cart making its way up the right hand lane.  Yeahhhhh...  A k or so later and two trucks come the wrong side of the median strip towards me (yes, on my side).  At least they had the decency to be line astern.

Anyway, we all arrived safely at the hotel in Matt Can Do.  Mind you, some of us got just a little bit lost. This is a crazy, crazy place.  I think Mike Myers used the term :"intensity in ten cities".  I was amused by the immaculately turned out Policeman with the white hat and mask standing in the middle of a knotted intersection, really just making up the numbers, because no one was paying him much attention.   It is a huge place, no high rise, just about a maximum of 7 stories of bricks piled randomly on top of one another.   Think Hiroshima the day the Enola Gay delivered a 20 kiloton care package from their American friends.

No break downs for my bike for two days straight.  Woohoo!

We are off for a flight over Everest tomorrow.  Looking forward to that.  My goal is to be over the man flu by tomorrow.  Here's hoping.

Same as before.  I'm too tired to check the spelling and grammar.


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