Khanna – Ludhiana (40km)

Day 70: Khanna – Ludhiana (40km) -Distance travelled so far 3,473 km “The Spittity Poops”

We woke up this morning…. fairly tired and have come to the conclusion that our days in Dehli have left a mark on our bodies. Brian has not being feeling at all well so we have decided to reduce the amount of kilometers and to rest as much as much as possible in the coming days.

We know that the biggest bicycle manufacturing plant in the world is in Ludhiana, so it may be a great time to stop, rest and take in the sights of Hero Cycles…..so thats what’s on the cards today…

We got a fine tour of Hero Cycles by Gill (Operations Manager)..

He treated us to tea (chai) and cold drinks..He also offered us 5 star accomodation too…We reluctantly refused..Idiotic in the end by us….Hero cycles are a muti-national company built on 122 acres of land right here in Ludhiana. They supply cycles to 140 different countries…from Belguim to Brasil…and unleash close to 20,000 cycles out the company gates every single day. Labour is very very cheap though…and the work hours are long with huge emphasis on employee output/productivity…..Check out our video inside Hero cycles

 

A Punjabi tyre maker takes a break from his day’s slog

Not sure about this monument but we do love anything “trio based” us..Mike in the foreground waiting at a red light

With Brian feeling fairly bad, we decide to call it a day and stay in Ludhiana, purchase our own food and possibly take another handy day tomorrow. We find a Wall-Mart in Ludhiana so we stock up with some really fresh food food opting for soups, bread, protein/energy drinks and lots and lots of water.

We are once again minor celebrities with both the management and staff alike requesting photos

We park up the cycles at the Mid-Town Hostel. Hoteliers here request lots of ID for room check in. There are also lots of forms and signatures to fill-out to check in. Security is a high priority…with some hotels displaying mugshots of terrorists behind their check-in/reception desks….Our room is very basic. Brian hits the hay early and Paul and Mike wander around Ludhiana checking out its sites. It will be an early night tonight with the prospects of a warm front of diarrhoea coming in from the North extremley likely…This would of course be accompanied by strong winds…sometimes gale force…..”The Spititty Poops are a comin Bubs”

 

Thats it for tonight from the Thaireland Met Office

The Lads.

Day 71: Ludhiana – Jalandar (60km) -Distance travelled so far 3,533 km “Gearing up for The Border” Our night in Ludhiana was mixed, but we decide to push on towards Amristar and Jalandar (next biggish town ahead of us)….We do observe some beautiful signs and people on our way out…

Wait a minute…That’s not our flag…

Ian Rush (ex Liverpool F.C great) was pretty impressed with our intended route into Pakistan

……as was Patrick Swayze

A pic of the wheat fields from the bike…The Punjab region is the bread basket of India

A Mosque on route to Jalander

We bed down in Jalandar for the night with our bodies still feeling weak….

 
Day 72: Jalandar – Amritsar (80km) -Distance travelled so far 3,613 km “The Golden Temple” We head to Amritsar today knowing that we will only have 25km kilometers or so remaining till The Wagha Border (Paskistan) and a brand new country. This will be our sixth. Another milestone awaits. We are timing our cycle to the Wagha border to coincide with the massive evening ceramony which sees The Indian Rangers/Army standing off (battle style) against the Pakistani Rangers. The ceramony which occurs daily at 4:30pm should be a great spectacle so we are really exited. Today we will head to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Its Festival season at the moment so throwing Paint at people (especially at cyclists) is common practice…

Brian suffers from a drive-by paint bomb attack from locals

Mr Culhane does not condone any form of road-side/drive-by attacks….

The Man with The Golden Trumpet

This guy followed Mike by bike…We stopped in for a drink and little did we know all he wanted to do was to play us some trumpet….Enjoy the sweet sounds from our mate Tony

Insert Trumpet Vid here Brian Culhane

We reach Amritsar and check into the cheapest hostel there….we then go walk for a change to The Golden Temple of Amritsar….

Paul staging an anti-walking protest…forcing an old man to cycle him to the Temple Gates

Rickshaw mechanics

…..you talkin to me?

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

Darbar Sahib informally referred to as The Golden Temple or Temple of God is culturally the most significant place of worship of the Sikhs and one of the oldest Sikh gurdwaras. It is located in the city ofAmritsar, which was established by Guru Ram Das Ji, the fourth guru of the Sikhs, and is, also due to the shrine, known as Guru Di Nagri meaning city of the Guru.

Another beautiful region of Amritsar…..close to the Golden Temple

Tomorrow we will head a small distance to the Pakistani Border in Wagha. We will stay for the ceramony/stand off between The Rangers of India and Rangers of Pakistan. Who will we shout for at this game…Stay tuned!!!

Slan agus Beannacht

Na Buachailli

Day 73:Amritsar – Wagha Border (27km) -Distance travelled so far 3,630 km “Wagha Border – Pakistani Rangers vrs Indian Rangers” We zip out of Amritsar at 12 noon to complete a leisurely 25/30km’s to the Border. The late start and rest is sweet. Border Control finishes at 4pm and the Border Ceremony commences at around 4:30/5pm, so it works well in our favour….

Leaving Amritsar for the Wagha Border

Beautiful friendship

Hello Pakistan..Thaireland are here!!

We reached our 6th country and again with ease. We decided to stay at the only hotel at the Border. It is a fine place with a monster room and 3 beds. We have hot showers and there is roast chicken and chips on the menu…..Life is good in Pakistan.

The Border is very high on security and we show our passports to officials about a dozen times. It is all friendly and the Pakistani Rangers are happy to welcome us. The Pakistani Rangers are possibly the biggest men we will ever see in our lives. We feel like children beside them. With the morale high we head get ready for this evenings ceramony. It promises to be something really special.

A view of the Indian Border gates from the Pakistani side with the crowds gathering for the ceremony

Panipat – Shahabad (110km)

Day 68: Panipat – Shahabad (110km) -Distance travelled so far 3,320 km “Noise..Noise and more noise”

These days on the roads and since we arrived in India, we have been plagued with many annoying things but the one that sticks in our guts as being the most perstering is truck “hooters”….Each one as lenghty and as annoying as the next….Everyone here uses them…from motorbikes to autorickshaws….If they horns ever make it onto bicycles it will be a sad day….We live in hope…


A truck which somehow managed to perch itself smack bang in the middle of a dual carriageway….


Here Paddy…Have you still got that Massey Ferguson of yours!!!!

This truck driver seemed like he wanted to cross over to the otherside of the road…but got stuck….Truck drivers are absolutely crazy here…..They have on numerous occasions tried to run us over coming on the wrong side of the road…..they have pinned us into hard shoulders and nudged off our bikes passing us out. The above pictures serve to illustrate how “Karma” will ordinarily catch up on someone….fortunatelty for us…it was these truck drivers who suffered…..


We past out these stone statues outside some of the many military camps on route to Pakistan


Nice shot of the bikes stopping up for the night in Shahabad….

We have been feeling a little tired since leaving Dehli….We figure that “Dehli belly” is finally catching up on us. Dehli belly is pure and simple a mixture of being bloated and tired with an spititty poop anxiousnous that aches heavily in your mind. Toilet roll is something which Inida is devoid of, so we now have our own supply, albeit “sandpaperesque” in texture…No Kitten soft for our bums ladies and gentlemen!!!!….

We have been clocking up some serious mileage in the past weeks (especially from the Nepalese/Indian border of Banbassa) so we have decided to ensure that we are not passing too many cultural/fun spots on our daily routes and to enjoy much more along the way. We feel that we are currently running well according to a proposed return date of early July 2011 (Just kidding!!!) 2009..ha ha….so why not enjoy the fruits of some great countries ahead of us…Pakistan, Iran and Turkey….afterall, we can go to pretty much anywhere in Europe relatively easily and “Ryanair” style at the drop of a hat….

Day 69: Shahabad – Khanna(113km) -Distance travelled so far 3,433 km “The sneaky break in and camp at dusk”

We hit the road after a light breakfast of tea and eggs. We are very cautious these days and at the moment the stomachs are not inclined to the sights of traditional Indian cuisine…..


Paul gearing up for another mornings cycle…


This people told Paul not to travel to Pakistan….”India safe place..Pakistan..terrorists…bad people”…Slightly biased I suppose…


Road bridge to the front with with railway line behind leading all the way from Dehli to Amristar….


My name is Roger and I love being an Indian Buffalo!!!!….This buffalo wanders deep into a swamp….


The roadside is littered with fruit stalls….Great supply of fresh fruit here…Lovely!!!


This guys gave gave Mike and Paul oranges whilst we cycled…Fruit on the go…We are now masters peeling fruit on the bikes….


A possible life-line for some greasy, non Indian based food…Alas The Golden Arches….Behold its beauty!!!


Drive thru anyone???..The staff got a fair shock seeing us roll in….The food here was very palletable…Yummy!!


We met this Scottish man (Mikes right) at a Floating Restaurant outside Khanna…

The pollution here is ridiculous though….People toss rubbish into rivers without batting an eye-lid….We also find it very difficult to dispose of our own rubbish, and when we enquire about bins we are pointed/redirected to the ground…..Its an aweful sight to be honest…..

 
Up till now and as you all have been reading, we have been staying in ridulously inexpensive accomodation. India has not proved to be the case however, with hotel rooms costing close on quadrouple what we were normally used of paying. We also have the problem of Indian hotel owners telling us there is nothing cheaper for 50 miles and giving us delibertely inaccurate/misleading impressions of towns ahead of us….a ploy by them to force us to book into their hotel….Tonight we have had enough of this “crap” so we camped….by cycling into dusk, avoiding the hoards of people that would possibly chase us/watch us/stare at us etc etc….Basically we have to be as covert as possible to get a good peaceful night sleep…


We thus gently “opened” a gate to a industrial estate and camped at the back of a knitting factory….Tonight Brian is not feeling at all well and the mood is a “tired one”…..We didnt have much food in our bags..so we settle for some oranges and bread with peanut butter (our remaining stocks from New Dehli)….Our sleep was pretty crap…aside from Paul (he still has his luxurious blow up air-bed…such a clever fox is our Paul!!!)…

Slan,

The lads.

Delhi – Delhi suburbs (48km)

Day 67: Delhi – Delhi suburbs (48km) -Distance travelled so far 3,210 km “Not for amateurs”

The Delhi Cows


Proper Indian food, Tandoori chicken and chicken curry


A sacred Indian cow


Our street was littered with many fresh fruit and veg stalls such as this one


Mike tucks into his favourite dish, Malai Kofta


The cows own the streets here

I
A Indian gesture of friendship


Stuck in a traffic jam on our way to get our Pakistani visa’s


A dog finds the perfect rest spot


Sleeping on the job

Some people do not have any homes to go to after work, so their only alternative is to sleep outside the workplace until the morning.


An Indian Auto-Rickshaw


The cheeky cow (see vid)


Manpowered mobile Ferris Wheel


The picturesque side of Delhi only hundreds of meters away from the slums

The above picture doesn’t portray our true feelings towards New Dehli (India’s capital city). It was very sad to see the level of poverty in and also the extreme aversion people have towards keeping their city clean……We asked for rubbish bins on numerous occasions throughout our cycle down to Dehli only to be either told or signalled to toss it on the ground….Culture is a funny thing!!!


He was quite the character…so we gave hime some rupees after this snap….


Yes Please!!!

Saying farwell to all the staff in “Hotel Yes Please”….They laughed at us when we told them that we were tipping on to Pakistan (Lahore)….Good bunch of lads though….


Does anyone think that this guy looks like somebody from Killaloe?….Answers on a mail….sent to Thaireland@gmail.com


Leaving New Dehli….This would take a bloody long time too….Cycling is not fun today…..


Well thats just perfect isnt it!!…..

Ripped tyre and blowout…Dehli roads are scattered with broken glass….We had to put a repair patch on the inner tyre lining to get around this problem as our spare tyre was’nt up to scratch….All worked out fine….Phew!!


The sun goes down…still on the bikes….Better get a move on

The Taj Mahal

Day 62: The Taj Mahal

We got a car down to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Agra is a kip of a place and a stark contrast to the hugh temples and monuments surrounding it.


The Taj Mosque


A friendly monkey feeds its baby outside the Mosque


This is the dirt track we had to walk through to get to the Taj Mahal


You can get a Camel ride if you’re feeling lazy


The guesthouse beside the Taj….

 


The Taj itself…….


….and again


We asked this guy to take a pic of the three of us outside the Taj. He refused with a smile so we had to get a pic with him


Paul came up with a very original idea!