The Motorcycle Diaries

Delhi was never a place I wanted to stay for long. Another big city in India. I went there to get the motorbikes. After lots of contemplation me and Tom had decided to rent them, as the whole buying and then selling scheme could be such a hassle and we might lose what we’re renting them for quite easily.

Renting the bikes

The company we rented the bikes from, Stonehead Bikes (SHB) sounded like the best option. Their oldest bike would be a 2007 model. That was the first lie they told us. What a mistake we made going with this company!! If you’re reading this when looking up Stonehead Bikes through google; Don’t go for this company! Pay a little more and go with the quality bikes Lalli Singh has to offer in Delhi!! Despite the bad experience we had with this company, we did have an adventure taking two Royal Enfields onto the Indian roads. Here’s the Motorcycle Diaries.

Getting out of Delhi

Day 1 (18/02/2012) – Delhi to Faridabad (25km)

It was horrible! It took more than three hours to get out of Delhi because we didn’t know how to get to the main high way out. And of course, every Indian has their own way of going there so we were driving back and forth for a while. In the end we made it to Faridabad, a suburb of Delhi. There was no accomodation to be found in Faridabad. It was getting dark, I was tired, the bikes were more difficult than I’d imagined, plus they weren’t even the bikes we were promised by the rental company. I was in tears and Tom guided us to a road stall for some food to calm down. We were so lucky to have met Naveen, who offered us his room! We went along with him to his parents’ house in Atmadpur where we were welcomed into their home. We got a bed, chai, a hot shower in the morning. They were so incredibly friendly!!! Definitely an amazing experience. But… If it’s going to be like this all the time, I want to take the bikes back tomorrow.

Agra to Bundi

Day 2 (19/02/2012) – Faridabad to Agra (200km)

S-s-so cold! We left Naveen and his family at sunrise and were freezing. Better than day one, but still hectic and getting used to the bikes. Getting to Agra went pretty smoothly but then getting into Agra took 3 hours!

We stayed in Agra for a few nights. Checked out the Taj Mahal, which was stunning. Very beautiful, not just the Taj itself, but the whole premises were pretty amazing. It was very busy with both Indian and foreign tourists, but nonetheless it was worth the money (750 rupees!). Me and Tom went shopping for some jackets and found some gloved as well. That should help for the cold mornings!!

Day 3 (22/02/2012) Agra to Bharatpur (70km)

Left at sunrise again. Very happy about the new jackets and gloves. Nice short ride and the way out of Agra was surprisingly easy. Drove by a fort in Fahetpur Sikri, which was nice too.

Bharatpur is nothing special. There’s absolutely no restaurants, so you’re confined to your own guest house, which I didn’t like so much. There were some nice food stalls with the most ingenious little plates. They were pressed out of dry leaves! A walk around the old fort area was nice enough, but most people come here for the Bird Sanctuary. I didn’t go there, and didn’t really meet any people here.

Day 4 (24/02/2012) Bharatpur to Ranthambore (250km)

Awesome! Great day, open roads, good scenery and good roads – mostly. Warm in the afternoon and some off road riding on a National Highway that turned into gravel. We had breakfast in a Hindi restaurant, and although there was no English menu, they whipped us up some nice stuffed parrathas! And chai in tiny clay pots, yum yum! All in all a really great day.

Ranthambore, again, is a spot with a National Park. This one “promises” tigers, but there’s so many jeeps that go in, morning and late afternoon, that the chance of actually seeing a tiger is exceptionally slim. But a nice area and happy about the last riding day, we enjoyed our time here anyway.

Day 5 (26/02/2012) Ranthambore to Bundi (150km)

What a difficult day. Off road riding for the most part, getting lost and misdirected and to top it off, Tom had to ride both bikes through a river. We only had to ride another 10kms to Bundi after that. Lots of foreigners in this little town and a nice cheap room to recover after this ridiculous day.

Day 5 (28/02/2012) Bundi to…

We only made it 10kms out of Bundi and then disaster happened. Tom got hit by an oncoming jeep. Of course, the driver didn’t stop. After that, it was madness, but we got a lot of help. The full police force was there I think (about 8-10 people), an ambulance, a journalist, a police officer and later a mechanic who first tried to fix the bike on the spot, before deciding against it and then riding it with bent forks to the garage. Tom’s got a fracture in his shoulder. Bike riding time is over.

Wow. An adventure it was. Looking back on it (through the window of a bus or train), I wonder; What were we thinking?! Now it’s time to heal, recover and get the bikes back to Delhi. Lucky for us, Bundi is one of the best places we’ve found in all of India!

Motorcycle Diaries
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