Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Sent to my family in the UK:
Herbie, Terry, Cliff and Andy
I LOVE INDIA. The sights and sounds here are amazing. The countryside is so lush. Remembering back to pictures of farming in India as a child and thinking even then it looked as it would 100 years ago, here nearly 50 years on it is still the same. Today was only 180km which is less than the distance of the last two days but around 100km was off-road or on roads so bad that the depth and width of a pothole was big enough to bury an average size dog. We also now have to avoid monkeys and chickens as well as the cows and dogs. We were warned today that there are usually a lot of 'offs' (crashes) on this route due to the terrain. They were not wrong..... The ride was beautiful through lush farmland with crop field’s rich green in colour. There was a climb up a mountain with drops beside the road edge. Terry managed to miss judge a left hand bend and managed a sort of jump off the bike followed by a somersault. Alan who we roomed with on the first two nights tried to overtake an ambulance but the ambulance had to avoid a rock. Alan went over the edge, after about 20ft the foot peg dragged in the dirt and a large shrub stopped him and the bike. Colin pulled the bike off him and it took 8 guys to get the bike back up on to the road. A big crowbar straightened out the foot pegs. Joe the American firefighter ended up with his arm in a sling and one guy took a smack to his body armour in the chest and they thought he was having a heart attack. Luck had it that a cardiac specialist on the Enduro was close by and went to hospital with him. He is now OK. There were numerous other offs which made it a very long day. We reached Silent valley at dusk. Tonight I share a dorm with 18 other guys we each have a two inch thick mattress on the floor. Just one loo and one shower. I decide not to even bother taking my kit off and go to drink and eat. With any luck the beer will kill the pain of the day and help me sleep. I stayed out until most were in 'bed'. I took a sleeping pill and pain killers and jumped into my sleeping bag liner with my pillow. I passed out real quick. I have lost my voice today due to dust inhalation and my ribs are thought to be cracked/broken following my "off" 2 days ago. Up at 5am, another night of 4 hours sleep and 250km ahead of me. The funniest story of today’s ride was about a guy who rode through a town where there was a cow with a long rope around its neck. The cow had wandered over the road and the guy had rode over the rope without realizing it was attached to a cow and that it was caught on the bike and he was dragging a very reluctant cow down the main street. He noticed an old farmer looking very angry with a big stick (weapon of choice in India) chasing him when he looked in his mirror but had still not realized about the cow there was no way he was going to stop...someday this rally is like a moving circus. The most touching moments of this trip is seeing the children, they don't have much at all but are smart and clean for school, always smiling and exciting. Another very small girl blew me a kiss today, I blew one back and she went shy. This time I shed a tear........
thank you for all recent donations, very much appreciated :D