Chennai to Hampi to Delhi travel blog

March 11, 2015

Jeff’s cake day tomorrow [It’s only the 10th in Canada – pacific time].

Today India won. She beat me like a dirty carpet.

I was up at 5:00 AM packing gear, fixing my rear view mirror, I had to put on Suukyi’s rear brake line I bought her the other day and run to the ATM. I was 800 Rs. Short. When I returned to the hotel I drove out back to turn around because it’s tight near the lobby. The have this fucking drain that spills out on to the parking area. The water was soapy. We ended up on our asses even before we left the hotel. Fuck I was mad. I called the manager out to show him and complain. I don’t know why I would bother. I am going and because of this I doubt anything would get done. I don’t think I got out of there until 9:00 AM. It was already getting hot.

It took a long time to get out of Chennai. The traffic was stop and go for at least 30 KM’s. Fuck I was getting hot. So was Suukyi. I go the turn off out of town towards Kanchipuram. We had been on this highway/road/cluster fuck before so I where to turn. The turn off took so long to show it’s ass I was beginning to think I may have missed it. Now we are headed west on NH 5. NH5 reminds me of the national highways in Cambodia. Well maybe not that bad but still. I had to look out for the highway that was going north west to Tirupati. My plan was to set up camp there for a few days and see the sights. Apparently they are quite impressive in this smallish town. I don’t know how far it is from Chennai . I just I should have plotted it out on the map. Fuck it. I knew it would be a stretch. I knew I had to hit the turn off to Tirupati. It was the next largest town to my way to Tirupati and the sign post for the turn off would read Tirvallur. Once on that road it is really hard to fuck up. I missed the turn and did not realize it until I hit Siperumbuder 20 KM’s down the road. By this time I was already questioning myself as to whether or not I had the fight in me to get to Delhi. These roads.

Frustrated I stopped at what I thought to be a mid-range hotel with a restaurant. I stopped as I was hungry, thirsty and really wanted to stay the night, have a few beers and re-access. It was a shit hole dressed up as a mid-ranger. “Got a beer?” “No.” “Where is the closest bottle shop?” “3 KM’s on the right side” There’s no Hindi or English spoken here. I had all intentions of staying so I left my murse and dry bag. I tried to get one of the hotel kids to come with me but everyone was on duty. Fuck it. I am so hot. I sped off in search of the bottle shop. These places never have any signs and are conveniently tucked up an ally. As luck would have it I took the first exit and spoke to the first group of people and they pointed to an ally no more than 50m from where I was. I got six 5000’s to go. On the way in I was told by some drunk that I wasn’t allowed. I didn’t say anything – just pushed him aside. Sometimes I really question some people intelligence. They gave me a gunny sack to carry them back in. On the way back, while I was doing a u-turn some young fuck t-boned me on his scooty. We were going slow be he wasn’t. Suukyi outweighed the scooty five to one and me to the kid two to one. It knocked me off and Suukyi to her knees. Just one more fucking thing. Of course there is a crowd even before I can stand. They helped Suukyi to her feet and we were off to the three dressed up as a nine.

When we arrive back at the hotel the owner is there. He speaks English. This guy is such a fuck. First he’s all angry I have beers. I start yelling at the guy [day time manager] asking why in the fuck did he not tell me this in the first place. He doesn’t speak English but he fuck knew. Ok, I understand this but I wish the fuck had of told me. Then the owner, wearing a super frown told me I could have beers in my room. Where did this guy think I was going to have them? In the restaurant? “Sounds cool, how much for a room?” “1500 Rs.” You have got to be fucking kidding me. I packed up and left. All this AFTER I was questioning myself on whether or not I had it in me to ride the six weeks it’ll take to get to Delhi. I turned around and started back to Chennai. Fuck it, I can throw Suukyi on a transport to Delhi and I’ll fly back to Delhi. This is today.

Today I am disgusted that India beat me to this point. She’s beaten me many many times in the past. I have been thinking of ‘why’ she beat me like she did. This is India. What can I do. My conclusions are as follows, in no particular order. I have seen so much of her now that it’s stopped being travel and now its just a matter of survival. Reflecting upon other journeys she has beaten so much fiercer. I readily tell tales of these days. Today will be forgotten within a month. I am getting older. I have just arrived from Canada where the average day time temperature was four degrees, here it’s 33 – I have not have time to acclimatise. Finally I think my alcoholism has sapped so life out of me.

I drove about five KM’s down the road and saw what appeared to be a nicer hotel. I turned around and pulled in. ‘Secure parking’. I am suspect that these two words, next to one another is so sort of mother fucking bullshit story. I know for a fact that in some of the places I have stayed, the minute I get into the hotel the ‘security guard’ is calling up his buddies to come over and look at Suukyi. Her sleeping bag is off and they are all touching her and climbing all over her. Good thing she doesn’t have a vag because I know what would happen.

The name of the hotel is, ‘Dalsun Hotel’ and it is the strangest hotels I have ever come across in India. All Korean. Everything. Menu. Guests. Everything. Even the manager. The have a bar of soap that is thicker than my dick! Its gonna last me for the entire trip. Can finally get rid of the five or so tiny soaps I have been collecting along the way. And there’s a new tooth brush and new tooth paste. The shower has a bottle of shampoo!! When I checked in they brought up a plate of cut up watermelon. It’s pure mother fucking Korea!! Not that I have anything against Koreans – hells I lived and taught English there for six months.

They only have Budweiser!!!! Here is nothing Indian about this place. It’s as if entered Bizzaro World. What the hell do they do when they leave the hotel? This is India dude – ya ain’t gittin’ kimshi at the dabh!! Oh, one more thing, they have shit roll but no waste basket to put it!! These guys must be flushing it. BUT they do have my favorite old standby next to the shitter – the bum/hand rinser.

The sub-manager is Indian and speaks Hindi. All the service staff are from Mizoram and the cooks from Nepal. Which makes sense because all the best cooks come from Nepal and the best service staff Mizoram. But EVERYTHING ELSE IS KOREAN!! Ping pong table – check. Driving range on the top floor – check. The only thing they don’t have is neon. Everything is written in either English or Korean. I even have a bible on the nightstand!! Never in India have I seen this. I had kimchi as a side with lunch. I can’t even remember the last time I ate kimchi. It might have been when I was teaching English in Korea, a dozen years back!! It wasn’t very good. Only Koreans are staying here. I have not had a chance to speak with anyone yet but everyone is wearing slacks and button ups.

There is a lot of Korean heavy industry in the area. I am suspect that some guests are long termers. The whole restaurant came out to watch me park Suukyi after I got our gear off of her.

March 13, 2015

I did nothing yesterday except watch documentaries. The internet is quite good here.

Today is a great day to be alive.

I got up around 5:30 AM and pondered whether or not to return to Chennai and have Suukyi transported to Delhi. I would fly. Time to make the call. I can’t sit on the fence about this anymore. This is one of the biggest decisions in my personal life I have had to make in a long long time, as selfish as that may seem to some.

What the fuck am I going to do in Delhi until the end of May when I fly back to Canada? I am not going back to Canada early. I want to go to the Land Rover show in England and my current ticket is taking me there. I could join a gym, get a personal trainer and start going to AA meetings. This would be great. But there is are a few places in India that I have been aching to go for quite some time and I will get to visit these places if we ride to Delhi. But there is a lot of ground that we will be covering that I have seen before. AND, it’s going to be a long hot ride.

The average day time temperature in Tamil Nadu, the state we are currently in, at this time is 35 with night time lows of 22. But, according to Suukyi it only got to 33 the other day. Karnataka is a little better with 33 and 20. By the time I reach Maharashtra temperatures will be 35 and 25, in Madhya Pradesh 40 and 22 and Uttar Pradesh 40 and 23. We can go as fast as we want and it’s like riding in a blast furnace. If we get stuck in traffic with me wearing full gear it will be too much. I had two seizures riding in Mexico at temperatures lower than this. The hottest I have ever ridden in was with Annie through the Panamanian states of Los Santos and Herrera. I don’t know what it was, 35 -37. I love Panama too much.

I have not been in India this late in the tourist season. In 1997 I remember celebrating Holi with my brothers [India bhai’s] in Varanasi and thinking that it was mental hot. Holi was played [celebrated] March 23 of that year. We left India about a week later.

Before I could make a decision I first went for a walk to buy smokes and have a chai or two. Everything is closed at this hour but I knew the chai wallas would be open. It was surprisingly cool out!! I walked across the highway and down a little dirt trail leading to a village. I found a chai walla quite quickly. I had a bidi or two and two chai. It was great talking with the chai walla. He spoke Tamil, Hindi and English. I then realized what my conflict was. It was what I was missing – the people – the real India. The reason why I am here. I love the Indian peoples too much.

On the way back to the hotel the decision was easy. Carry on. I thought about the heat. I decided that we would be riding at 5:30 AM and finish by noon at the latest.

I went back to the room and immediately started packing. By the time I had our kit in order it was 7:00 AM and already beginning to get hot so I am postponing until tomorrow.

I took the opportunity of a ‘free’ day to take a second look at the map. I am now going to re-route myself to Bangalore and then north to Hampi. NH4 is as good and big as India’s NH2 and NH5. I was thinking of going this route before but decided against it because it goes south a little adding on KM’s and if there is no ring road around Bangalore I will be lead into the heart of yet another very large Indian city. Plus on these big highways the only thing I am going to is asphalt. As I was looking at maps a little closer I realized that I am going to get to do a shit load of secondary country driving further on. I better relish the four lanes while I got the chance. It will give me a chance to acclimatize to the heat. I have already shed several pounds. On the four lane NH’s I travel around 80 KPH and the two lane secondary roads the average is lower than 40. I hate the heat and so does she.

I still have no rear brakes. I need brake oil and petrol. I can get both with one stop. All I want to do tomorrow is wake up, load Suukyi and twist. I hope I can buy a smallish bottle of brake fluid today.

The other night while speaking to some Koreans I learned that everyone at this ‘hotel’ works for Hyundai. It dawned on me that this is a ‘camp’ for Korean expats ever though it states ‘Hotel’ on the sign board.

After my re-visitation of my maps and guide book I though on my gear I went to fill up and procured oil. With Suukyi full and 250ml of brake oil in my murse we went for a nice drive thought the country. It was still early so I thought this would be a great time to explore the villages in the area. I could not believe the size of some of the factories in the area. They were fucking huge. I should have taken some pictures. It seems like everything under the sun is made in this area. I would drive through the savana, turn a corner and there would be another one. In the middle of nowhere. It was mind blowing. The factories were manufacturing cars, car parts and motorcycle parts. As far as I could tell.

I was starting to get hot as we decided to return to the hotel. When we arrived I immediately went to work on Suukyi. I bleed the lines with the help of driver from one of the busses that ferry Koreas to Hyundai. I also tightened her chain and checked her oil. I should have checked her tyre pressure but the gauge and my pump were upstairs in the room. Sweat dripping off my nose. I know e pressure is fine. 10:30 AM.

India beat me the other day. After spending a little more than 1,000 days as her guest, 930 on a motorcycle, I NEED to be beat every so often. I cannot get too cocky. It’s was a reminder of where I am and who I am with . I am not from here. I wish I was but I am not. This is not the first time nor will it be the last. I am worried about it. Going north. In the excruciating heat. I will not forget this ride to Delhi.

India has beaten many many times before but the other day was something special. So fucking hot. No sign boards, secondary roads that ran through EVERY fucking village; and then there is the local buses. So many stops. The road construction didn’t help. Stop and go in the heat stuck behind a bus that runs on diesel and hasn’t had its injectors adjusted - EVER. It all started with dumping Suukyi at the hotel in Chennai because of the soapy water.

I ordered a medium plate of fried chicken for lunch. I got 15 fucking pieces!!, kimchi, deep fried potato wafers and a Japanese style spinach salad. I just stopped shitting blood for fuck sakes! I think I’ll give most of it to the service staff. Being from Mizoram they will eat meat. Some of it has a lot of rubbery fat. Factory chicken. Not free range chicken that one can get at a dabha. Regardless, I never eat chicken at a dabha. I did it once in Guatemala and it was HELL! I think it was worse for Cara having to sleep in a barn that night. She was all mad. But she survived and has a fucking great story. I am just glad there was a farm house where I collapsed. Plus we had mosquito nets.

I STILL haven’t called Mom and Dad. They must think that I don’t care for them. I’ll get to it.

Derek wants to do belt flooring at his place in Savona. Sooooo cool. He wants me to email Girish and get him to give me a price on about 1800 belts. Girish can get them. There is no doubt in my mind. In fact, he has told me on more than one occasion he can send me anything I want. Drugs excluded [he never said as much]. Even if I was into it Girish wouldn’t be my brother after I asked the question; I value our relationship. And if someone from Canada asked me to send them something I would go straight to the police. "Hey, this thing ain’t my bag – baby."

This hotel has a netted basket similar to the one that was in a hotel Susan and I stayed at in Vietnam. I forget the shit hole town - back then they were all fucking cheating shithole - maybe its different now.

We used this basket to hold all our loose shit. We went out sightseeing returning to see that the basket is missing. Fuck me. We go down to the lobby to inquire and the lady hands us our clothes washed and pressed!! I ain’t payin’ for this. I never asked for it to be done so I aint payin’!! I remember being so fucking mad because the Vietnamese can cheat as well as the Indian. I deemed this to be one more cheat. Back then [14 or 15 years ago] when checking into a hotel we had to leave our passports at the front desk. Something I would never ever do today. She had us by the short and curlies. I doubt I had them back then. “There's really nothing quite like a shorn scrotum. It's breathtaking ...” We paid.

Come out swinging - Offspring

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