From the green Punjab to the drought of the dessert
At the moment we’re finished at the Pakistan side of the border and ready to enter India, we meet two Dutch girls. The “globegirls(.nl)” are traveling with their mobile home and are heading back to this is the most beautiful border we have seen up till now. Nice gardens, good looking soldiers and something that looks like stadium. Why there is a stadium? Every night there is a big spectacle at the border when the flags are going down. On one site the enthusiastic Pakistan people, on the other side the cheering Indians. A few days later we are in the middle of the Indian crowd and see how they go wild when the soldiers are walking and running around. They make a nice show and when the flags are down the people leave the border again.
Cycling to Nepal
With Dutch apple pie in our bags we leave Phuskar to go to Jaipur. We start with a nice climb and see a lot of monkeys and nice small houses. The small road changes into a real highway. We can pass the tollgate without paying. The wind is in our back an we cycle until we see a place to sleep besides the highway.
Roepies, rice and rain
After missing the border office of Nepal, it doesn't surprise us that the Indian office is hidden as well. We could just cycle into India without showing our visas, but to avoid problems we try to find an officer who can give us the right stamps. It takes a while, but after 30 minutes we are facing the head officer of the Indian Customs. He writes our names in a big book, he stamps our passports and puts his hand in the air in front of us.
Racing Indian men
"Steven, another one is coming!" I shout ahead.
Behind my back I feel a man approaching. It takes a while before he cycles almost next to me. The sound of the chain goes faster and after a second of doubt the man passes me. He doesn't say a word, but tries to steer his cycle in between me and Steven. His pace slows down, but the moment I make a movement to pass him he accelerates again.
Into the Indian mountains
The morning we want to leave Delhi the rain drops down from the sky like crazy. While we are having our breakfast we hope it will stop, but there's more water coming down instead. So we stay one more day in Delhi, where the streets are flooded at the end of the morning.
The next morning the sky looks a lot brighter and through the old part of Delhi we leave the capital. Three days we cycle on big roads into the northern direction. It's very hot weather which makes us even feel like we have to puke. With lots of drinking, resting in the shadow and a cold shower at the end of the day we arrive in Chandigarh.
Tasting the Himalayas
Foot on the ground, braking is not necessary, taking a deep breath of air is. It seems like we are going uphill forever. It isn't steep but our legs can't go as fast as I want to go. Marlous comes standing next to me. I can hear her coughing more each time we stop....again she coughs. " Lous it isn't important!"
"We don't have to cycle everything."
"It's just a pass as all he others....."
"There is a mouse in my shoe! "
"Why didn't it say ‘peep' when I went into my shoe?"
"I killed a mouse....."
I look disappointed at my shoe. A little flat grey fur is all I see. Steven looks at my sad face and he gives the mouse a beautiful place in the Himalaya's to rest in piece. This was a very smart little mouse, who found himself a nice and warm bed to sleep, but he didn't see my foot coming. Today he travelled in my bike bag along dry rocks, small roads and a beautiful crystal clear river.
Heavenly Himalayas Part 2It´s cold and ice is covering the tent again. Slowly the sun is shining on the plains and we enjoy our breakfast. Slowly we pack our bags. Fast isn´t possible here. We are at an altitude of 4900 meter and we can feel it. Steven slowly puts our mattresses in the bags and I put my clothes away. I feel a little dizzy in my head after this little movement. I have to sit up straight and take a sip of water before I start packing the next things. When we are finished packing we look satisfied at each other. Ready to start another day of cycling trough the Himalayas, a special day, because today we climb one more time.
Cycled route through IndiaBelow you can view a map with our cycled route through India