So how is it??
Well… we crossed the border expecting suicidal traffic, congestion, polluition and staring people who make you feel uncomfortable. What we’ve found is most of that, but also some surprises.
We’re still in the far east of India, the part that’s surrounded by Bhutan on top, Myanmar to the east, and Bangladesh to the west. So we dont really feel like we’re in India just yet, which is dumb, because obviously we are, but it somehow doesnt ‘feel’ like it.
For the first few days we were in the mountains, where there is a mix of regular Indian (???) and Hill tribe ethnicity, the Indians look like… Indians, but the hill tribe people look more Mongol. Either way, everyone is really friendly, interested, helpful and very honest. No dodgy scams at the border, no overcharging for food or drinks, just really nice people.
Everywhere we stop we get a crowd of something like 50 people gathered to look at Betsy, I’m not sure she’s ever gotten so much attention before – I think Sal is a little jealous 😉 They have KTM’s that are actually made in India for sale here too, in shiny new orange showrooms, so everyone knows what a KTM is, they just havent ever seen one as big before.
“yes it’s the same as the Duke we have here…”
“the 200 duke?”
“yes, what is this one?”
“my god! it’s nearly 5x bigger, Oh My God!!” you need to imagine the accent 🙂
We keep having kids on motorbikes follow us for kilometers taking pictures and video, I wheelied away from one bike and the kids were so excited they could barely speak…
“that thing you do with the front in the sky, please do again, i like very much your bike!!”
We entered India in Manipur state (a dry state), and the next region had a ban on alcohol for the last and first days of the month (guess when we arrived?), so tonight’s beer was my first for five days, which may be a record, consequently I’m quite sleepy now so will keep this shortish.
The traffic is not as bad as I expected, but still pretty bad. Being run off the road is a regularity, cars/trucks/motorbikes/bicycles/cows/people going the wrong way on dual carriage road is also quite normal (i’m serious, imagine cows on the expressway… unbelievable!), alhtough I’m just pleased there is some dual carriage road!!
Cows are literally everywhere. As are goats, people and dogs. At this stage it’s quite manageable though, we’re not hating the roads yet, which is good as we have another 8,000km to get through here 🙂
Petrol is 1.30 a litre, we’re paying about $20 a night for a room, and 20c-$1 for a plate of street food, or $3 for a curry in a restaurant. The food is really heavy though, lots of deep fried stuff and obviously curry, but also momo’s (dumplings) which is a nice healthy break.
tired now, over and out xoxo
PS we also saw some elephants, 6 actually! I stopped to take a pic and they crossed the road to see us, quite scary! (and also 2 rhinocerous off in the distance)