Archives for posts with tag: expedition

The time was around 7 15 and after spending the night on a sleeper bus where albeit I did get my own compartment and was able to lie down I did not sleep due to the bumps and the horns of Indian drivers, we pulled into Indore bus station.

I looked out the window and a lot of Rickshaw drivers looked back at me smiling and sensing money. It was way too early to be enthused so I must of looked quite delicate to their delight. One even put his key down the side of the window to open me up to the world outside.

The bus driver and ticket guy were nice people and told me to stay on the bus and asked me what my plans were now. I told them I wanted to get to Shivpuri, they gave me tea and said I needed to go to different bus station. They got a Rickshaw to load up all my bike and 5 bags and me! They also agreed price of 50 rs so I was happy and these guys were very nice!

The bus to Shivpuri was 420 rs. Again I sense I was ripped off but I had no choice and got going. Transport count 4 and non stop travel since Mumbai really. This was a local bus so took forever as went through every village on route and had to change buses halfway through. Saw a lorry overturned halfway through just showing that the organized chaos that is Indian driving has it’s risks. The wheels were still running so it had just happened but the driver was out so it was okay.

The bus to Shivpuri was interesting, an albino Indian guy got on and sat next to me so 2 white people together caused much amusement. I don’t know much about albino condition but I have seen more than one in this part of the world, don’t know if it is more common or just the fact they stick out like a sore thumb.

Arriving, I unloaded my stuff and wanted a bus to Lucknow, it appeared there wasn’t one and I should get on a bus to Gwalior which is a city where I can continue the journey. Transport count 6. This bus was a rip off I can’t remember exactly but taken advantage of! Charged me for ticket and for luggage and then for luggage again when arriving at Gwalior… Great!

I wanted to get to Gwalior quick in hope of a sleeper to Lucknow as it saves money on hotel but road was blocked for 45 mins and we got in late. Lucky the bus station was next to a hotel so I went and got a room, guy wanted 2000 I said 1000 he said 1500 all in I said okay as was tired.

I ate first proper meal in days and prepared for day ahead, I got to bed at 3 AM and wanted to be up at 7 to find the right bus. I closed my eyes and opened them again and it was 8 30 crikey I was tired! I rushed to the bus station without luggage to find a bus and got told none to Lucknow and I should get a bus to Jhansi which leaves at 9.

I ran back to get stuff, breakfast was off the menu. Had to do 2 trips and only just made it in time. Again this bus was a rip off but cannot recall the price. On the map I was going back on myself south so was a bit annoyed as buses were starting to get to me!

Jhansi was full of unhelpful people as I needed a bus to Kampur which was 10 meters from where I was dropped and no one would help me put things on bus. eventually 2 guys said they would for 50 rs each. A rip off considering the work but I had little choice. This was another local bus with a electronic ticket printer thing. Ticket said 157 but guy said 350 because of luggage. Corrupt idiot was obviously now 200 rs up. This bus took forever and Kampur was massive when we arrived. Big city with all the waste and foul smells which come with it in India. the bus park was very large and I talked to the 20 people who crowded me when getting off the bus to see if there was a sleeper to the border with Nepal. They said yes! My luck was in perhaps! One guy showed me to the bus and I loaded stuff on and took a seat. It was 250 rs so I bought 2 in the hope of getting some sleep and no made-up luggage fee! I had not eaten all day and bought some crisps and drink from people selling them at the bus. Transport count 8. Finally to the border and into Nepal… If only things were that simple. One more twist in the tale to be explained in final part 4.

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After finishing breakfast in the cafe I wheeled the broken bicycle to the side of the road and made about trying to get a lift to the next big city called Nashik, I was at the side of the road for about 10 mins and a lot of cars just waved as they went past but I got a truck to pullover and told them Nashik and they loaded the bike in the back and let me in.

Finally on the way again and probably not aware fully of the 1700km ish journey I had just started to the border. The two guys in the truck were nice enough, gave me fruit and tea and bought lunch when we stopped. I tried to get a formal arrangement for the cost before starting but it didn’t happen but I had a feeling I would be okay, I guess one of the guys just looked genuine and kind so I had faith!

I showed them the map at lunch and they were going to a town the other side of Nashik by 30km so would take me there, this was a bonus as avoiding a big city is always good!

Eventually arriving at the destination they unloaded the bike and showed me the way I needed to go, I gave them 200 rs each, as they were kind to me and didn’t ask nor pressure me for anything. Not bad for the distance.

I tried to get back on the road to find another lift but nothing was forthcoming. A man and his wife on a motorcycle stopped to talk. He went out of his way to find out what my problem was and said he would help. It appeared I was trying to get a ride 50 meters away from a bus station which was round a bend, oh how foolish. I went to the place and the man was waiting for me trying to get me a ride to Malegaon next on my hit list.

A taxi driver said he would take me for 1000 I was close to accepting when my driver from earlier walked up. A stroke of luck as 5 mins later a local bus came round the corner going to Malegaon. With the bike loaded on top and me inside I was off again, vehicle count 2.

The bus cost 77 rs and the ticket guy had an electronic machine which printed tickets so he was unable to rip me off nice! He asked me all standard questions, where are you coming from? Are you married? Where are you going?

Arriving in Malegaon it was dark and I was unsettled. Didn’t know where to go from here. Literally making this plan up step by step and didn’t have a step for now. Luckily some guy unloaded my bike and told me to follow to go to bike shop. I went with him but knew bike shop wouldn’t do anything. We walked through busy streets and drew lots of attention I felt like I was being paraded a little.

The bike shop did nothing and seemed to like pulling the brake levers and looking at spokes but not the gaping dent in frame. We drew the attention of a bunch of 20 year old guys and one spoke good English, I said I wanted to sleep and get to Indore, he told me there was a sleeper bus which went there tonight, I was up for it so asked him to show me where. He took me to a ticket office and it cost 650 for the bus, they charged me 350 and 300 for the bike. I later got told this price should be 200 total. The bus left at 11 PM and I arrived in Indore at 7 AM. A day of massive distances and was in high spirits for coming travel plans although being absolutely tired and drained and not sleeping at all on the sleeper bus. Transport count 3.

Okay this is getting long so probably going to be 4 parts. Will continue with the Rickshaw driver opening the window of the bus with his key and literally licking his lips at the sight of a westerner when arriving in Indore later.