Aung San Suu Kyi and me travel blog

Windscreen before

Broken tach

Windscreen after

The breaks 'fixed'

Damage after the crash

 

The kid who helped me bend everything back together. He wouldn't take...


November 10, 2013

I left Bodh Gaya at 8am and am in some shit hole on the side of the highway going towards Ragjir. The hotel guy gave me fucked up directions and I drove around Patna for two hours looking for the turn off to the highway I wanted. No one spoke English. NO ONE! The hotel I am staying ay costs 500 Rs. and is pretty good

To make matters worse I got sideswiped by a motorcycle and crashed into a car. The driver was pissed. Of course the motorcycle guy fucked off. I only got a small mark on my rib cage; I sure played it up though. Looking for sympathy. None here. I paid the driver 2000 Rs. for the damage to his car. There was a good size dint and some scratches. On the bike; the right saddle bag was really bent up, the headlight system is hanging on by one point rather than four and I don’t know if I can salvage the wind screen. I did want the cops to show up because sure as fuck they would want some baksheesh too.

I stopped a welding fabrication place on the side of the road and used a long metal rod with a snipe to straighten out the saddle bag. To fix the two broken points that hold the headlight assembly on I used an old trick I saw in Peru when trucks would break their leaf springs. They would mesh them together then tightly wrap everything with strips of an old inner tube then use hay wire to keep it all tight. I used an old mountain bike tube I carry with me, cut in half and then zip tied it to keep it cinched tight. Good to go.

I will need a drill to see if I can salvage what’s left on the windscreen with zip ties. If not fuck it. I’ll toss it. It’s almost had it’s day anyway.

My hard drive with all my movies is fucked. Good. Now I can get to reading. I must have fallen asleep with my petzel on last night; the batteries are dead. I just bought the fuckers too.

Oh yeah, and my head light doesn’t work. It’s probably the bulb. I smoked that car pretty good. I’ll take it apart tomorrow and check. The headlight is an off-road racing light. Bright as hell.

I have to start writing in my notes book more.

This bed is nice.

I felt dizzy this morning.

I am going to send home one of the peddle bikes to too.

I should be in Sikkem in three or four days. Fuck Kolkuta, for now.

November 11, 2013

I am now on the eastern side of Bihar. Finally roads I have not yet been on. I am starting to see more ‘convents’. Far north east is predominantly Christian..

I left the hotel at 8am and stopped for chai about 20kms down the road.. While I was having chai a nice Punjabi man, who spoke good English stuck up a conversation. His program was to go to some city, by train, to a temple. We said our good byes and left it at that. About 30 minutes later he pulls up beside me with some other character on the back of his scooter. I thought it to be odd. He said to follow him. Bihar is known as a lawless state. We got off the highway and he stops and hops on Suu Kyi and his partner takes off. I asked him where we were going he said a short cut to Bihar Sharif. We drove to a small village and his told me to park and we could walk from there to have something to eat at his house. I said, “nah I have to get going”. “Ok”, he said, “we go this way to Bihar Shaif”; where I was going anyway. He knew this from our previous conversations. Unbeknownst to me we went thought Bihar Sharif but I caught a glimpse of a sign that said ‘Nawana’ in the direction we where headed. This is in the opposite direction I want to go. I pulled over on a dirt road to have a smoke. After I finished I told him not to get on until I turned around because the bike is too heavy. That was the last I saw of him. I just kept going. Too many things didn’t add up.

I went back to Bihar Shaif and turned west instead of east. I drove for about 10km’s before I realized my mistake.

I still had to fix the wind screen. I needed a drill to make some holes so I could zap strap it together. I stopped at several welding shops and no one had one. Then one guy had the clever idea of heating up a pointy piece of metal and poked holes through the plastic. Nice! I fixed it the best I could but it’s finished. I am missing too many small pieces from the crash. I think I am going to take the whole fucking thing off, except for the part that has the Garnisha sticker. This would give me more air flow anyway. I don’t have to worry about buffeting because I don’t go that fast anyway.

Last night I didn’t find a hotel until about 7pm. It’s dark at 6pm. No head light. I checked the connections and they were good. The bulb must have broken when I crashed. I drove for one hour using my hazards. Crazy. What can I do? I just took a pee and it was really yellow. I need to drink more. Thank god for the camalbak.

Very few people in this area speak English. I find that the only people who speak English are from out of state

In the morning, before I left the hotel I though I should check the headlight situation. I took it apart and the filament was broke. And of course there was a crowd. One guy spoke perfect English. He was in Bihar on business. One guy watching the circus happened to have access to light bulbs. The English speaking guy sent him off to get one. On my trip to South America I carried extra bulbs of all sorts but this time I thought, “Why, they have bulbs in every country. Maybe not BMW but a bulb is a bulb, I can make it work.” He came back with a bulb that was almost the exact the same as the BMW bulb [100 Rs]. It was just a little too big to fit in the housing. I carry a rat tail file with me and in 10 minutes it was working just fine. I bought an extra one just in case. I wonder how much a BMW headlight bulb costs. I am thinking an easy USD$20.

My tee shirt is so greasy I could oil my chain with it. Doesn’t stink though. My boots however…

I am in a no name town. I asked if any foreigners come here and they said, ‘sometimes to speak to the priest.” Missionaries.

Getting directions in Bihar is fucked because no one has been more than 20km’s out of their village and if they have been farther it’s by train.

Tonight guy tried to charge in 1,500 Rs. for a room. I told him 500 Rs. He showed me the 500 Rs. room and I don’t see the difference other than the 500 Rs. room is twice the size and doesn’t have AC. It was only 28 degrees today.

The area I drove through today was nothing but rice paddies as far as the eye could see. There were a few palm trees and some banana trees.

The roads are soooooo much better now. Everyone strongly agrees with me.

Before the accident yesterday I was rear ended doing about 30kph. It was just a tap but hitting the rear tire at any speed can be very dangerous. The guy new he fucked up but didn’t acknowledge it. I gave him the finger, for all that was worth.

The room last night was 500 Rs. and quite nice. I had a good sleep. In the early hours I always have crazy dreams.

Everything that has happed in the last few days is what it’s all about. I am afraid I am getting older though. It is getting tougher and tougher to climb on. I was at a chai stall today staring at my boots and wondering what everyone else is doing at that very moment. I am so far away from the reality of Canadian day to day life. I am a little lost, oily, sweat dripping from my nose, my hands are filthy, my finger nails need clipping, my gloves are getting worn in and I am sitting on a plank that seems to be 1000 years old under a ragged blue tarp having chai on the side of a horn filled chaotic highway in the middle of Bihar with a chai walla trying to make conversation with the me. He really needs to see a dentist. This is it. This for me is the essence of travel. It’s not the forts, churches, mosques or the temples; those are only merely expensive, tourist cheating, tourist filled destinations.

Many Indians are amazed at what I am doing and have seen in India. Almost all have not seen as much as I of their own country. One question that always comes up, “What do you like about India”. I always point to several people near by and say, “The people, without the Indian people - India is nothing. It’s the people. Everyone from the leper to the cycle rickshaw walla to the business walla – this is India.” This can not be learnt over night nor can it be found at ANY tourist site.

I am going to send home a bicycle and a super loud truck horn with the Triumph. I hope they are 12v. I do have a compressor in the Land Rover.

Time to read.

November 12, 2013

So there is a six inch pot hole on the road. They fix it but over fill it by six inches. This is not a recent fix so it’s compacted as much as it’s going to get. My hate for the day.

I was good to go at 8am this morning. I stayed at Khagaria. No name on the map. It only indicated that there was a railway station there but it was a good size town.

The room was nice. 500 Rs. I couldn’t keep Suu Kyi at the hotel because I couldn’t park her inside so I had some walla push her to the owner’s house for me [2km’s!] I gave him 200 Rs. for his troubles. He was happy as hell Before I gave him the dough he came to my room and asked if the service was OK. Hint hint wink wink. I didn’t give him the cash right away. I made him sweat a little. He drove us to the owner’s house to pick up Suu Kyi. There were about 7 guys sitting around bullshitting. Clearly the wealthier crowd. One guy wanted to trade his new 4 Runner for Suu Kyi. I said no and that she was my Bibi [wife]. After it was all said and done I didn’t get going until 11am.

I am finally on the north side of the Ganga. It’s such a relief. I can’t get lost now. There is only one major highway going to West Bengal and Darjeeling.

I only drove until 3pm today. At 3pm I was going through Khagaria and I knew it was big enough to have a hotel. The next big to that would have one was 250km’s away. Six or seven hours driving time.

This town has never seen a white guy let alone one on a big overland bike. I got sucked into paying 600 Rs. for a room I was tired. The four hours I did drive were full on concentration. There was the usual bullshit plus the road wasn’t the best. I have never had my picture taken with so many people per day as I had today. Cell phones should NOT come with cameras.

I saw some lady lying on the road; she got clipped by a bike or a truck. I don’t know the aversion to walking on the sandy shoulder, it’s always has to be on the asphalt. I clipped a guy in the shoulder the other day.. It was lightly. I did turn around just kept going. He would have wanted some baksheesh or something. Suu Kyi’s bars are shoulder height for most people here. And I have bark busters on them. I also clipped some truck’s bush bumper today. It was nothing.

I made the decision that if I had a good secure place I would remove Suu Kyi’s windscreen and tonight I did just that. Plus there was still one break in the front end that I wanted to wrap with an inner tube. Without thinking, I bought a used bike tube to cut up and do the wrapping.. Dead rubber. I should have bought a new one. I used it anyway. I ran out of zap straps so I sent the hotel kid to get more; he could find any. I have seen them available else where.

I wonder when I’ll get internet again.

I had a bucket shower today. It was great except that I left my brush a few cities back. It was shit anyway. The mattress I am sleeping on still has the plastic covering. I hate that. I tore it off. At least I know I won’t get bed bugs. No fucking blanket and am too lazy to get one. I’ll sleep on the mattress and double up the sheet. There is a mosquito net. I have yet to see a mosquito. I like the net. It’s like a little fort.

It was cooler yet again today 28.5. I wonder when I’ll get to use my long underwear. I know I’ll have to

I did the work to Suu Kyi in the hotel lobby. I had two apples and two samosas for supper. I did see deep fried fish heads. I have seen a lot of weird food but the roasted spiders in Cambodia were the worst. When Susan and I were driving the motorbike across Cambodia we stopped at one village to eat. No one spoke English. They prepared us some soup. Being westerners they must have thought that they would make the best soup they could.. It was good. Lots of veggies and grasshoppers. We ate it anyway. Except for the grasshoppers. The lady who prepared it was proud.

My boots stinks so bad.

The bidies here are good. I wish the Champix would kick in. .

The Kit Kat bars only come with three sticks

I can’t use the iPod. It’s too distracting.



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