Bombay

Mumbai (India), 23.08.2013

On monday morning I got up early, packed my bags and after a delicious breakfast at the Imperial hotel I drove to Land Rover to pick up the Evoque with its new engine. The car was ok, a little dusty perhaps, I was happy to be able to drive again. It felt strange to get into the car alone, but as soon as I hit the road the rain and morning traffic took all my attention. At 11:18 I left, with almost 28.500 km on the counter.

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From Indochina to India

New Delhi (India), 18.08.2013
Getting to New Delhi from a remote Cambodian island isn’t easy, and the trip took me through several places during some days. In the early morning a motorboat took me to the main quai on Koh Rong. The sun was shining, a breeze blew over the bay, everything was fine. Once on board the ferry boat to the main land, dark clouds came up and it started to rain. Only when everybody on the upper deck was well showered, the ferry took off for the two hour ride to Sihanoukville.

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Varanasi

Varanasi (India), 17.07.2013

It feels strange to write this post about the first leg of our journey that we drive in a different car. We don’t actually drive ourselves but are driven by a local driver, from Kushinagar to Varanasi. Last night at 02:30 the Europassistance truck showed up, we loaded the Evoque on it, and off it went into the night. Suddenly we were left with just a few bags, and it felt really strange how our way of travelling had changed from one moment to the other. The next morning we left town in an old Chevrolet car. The aircon saved us from a free hour-long sauna, but what a change in moving forward. No comfort, no music, the view from the back seats, lacking the familiar atmosphere and personal things we had on board. We miss our car!

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A Nightmare on India’s Streets

Kushinagar (India), 16.07.2013

We left off our last post with the impressions of lush Nepalese mountains, a flight to see the Himalayas, and great food. We had arrived hours late at the Nepal-India border in Birganj due to the delays in the mountain flight, heavy traffic in Kathmandu, and a more complicated road through the mountains then expected. We had almost no Nepalese cash left and tried to find a gas station that accepted credit card throughout the day, without success. (Usually credit card acceptance and good diesel are found at the same stations.) Reaching the border our tank was pretty much empty. While having no Nepalese cash was not an issue any longer, we were also low on Indian cash. Continue reading “A Nightmare on India’s Streets”

To the Birthplace of Buddha

Lumbini (Nepal), 12.07.2013

We reached Nepal today, after two days instead of just one, due to the terrible slowness on the roads of India. Yesterday morning we left Agra at 09:20 and began with a good dose of Indian city traffic. It didn’t get a lot better during the following hours on the road. The same ordeal of driving in India we have already seen so often now. It was a day lost, through flat and unexciting land. We drove without interruptions, just the occasional gas stop. No food on the road, we ate from our reserves in the car. Heat and humidity outside were brutal.

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Taj Mahal and Agra Fort

Agra (India), 10.07.2013

The former capital of Hindustan, Agra, is the location of one of the world’s most impressive constructions, the Taj Mahal. This Unesco listed site is an ornamental masterpiece, a perfect exercise in geometry and a jewel of Mughal and Muslim architecture. But Agra also has another amazing site to offer, the Agra Fort, another Unesco listed site. Today we went to see both. Continue reading “Taj Mahal and Agra Fort”

Out of Delhi

Agra (India), 09.07.2013

New Delhi has been our third major milestone on this journey, after Istanbul and Tehran. We’ll have to skip the next two, Bangkok and Beijing, due to the changes in our route we mentioned in our last post. In New Delhi we got the Evoque finally checked by a Land Rover service station, where it stayed for over a week. In the meantime we headed for the beach and relaxed. Continue reading “Out of Delhi”

Sweating in Delhi

New Delhi (India), 02.07.2013

Having spent countless nights in them all over Europe, we must admit that we are no big fans of hotels. And also this journey has brought us to see plenty of them across the countries we have passed that were far from perfect, in the better cases. The Imperial in Delhi is a noteworthy exception, and for various reasons. The most apparent one is historical, since this place transmits the splendour of British imperial times to present day. The opulent decoration, never cheap, contrary to so many fake antique hotels we have seen particularly in the US, amazed us. We walked through the corridors to admire the various rooms, bars, restaurants and lithographs on the walls. Continue reading “Sweating in Delhi”

India

New Delhi (India), 30.06.2013

Against all expectations we have had a great time in Pakistan, without exceptions. All good things come to an end though, and today it was time to move on. We hope that we will be able to come back to Pakistan soon, there is just so much more to see that our time schedule didn’t allow for on this trip. That said, in the early morning we left the hotel, and took a quick tour through the city by car, to at least get an idea by driving through what apparently is Pakistan’s cultural capital. The colourful chaos that greeted us confirmed the lively impression we had had the previous night. We drove around the fortress, one of the major sights, before fuelling up and heading towards the border on the Grand Trunk Road. Continue reading “India”