India Tour 2011: A Retrospective

Hi Everybody

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to India as much as I did and the following are my thoughts having now made this trip twice.

I thought this trip was better than last year. We managed the distances better, and my impression was that we rode last year as a closer group whereas this time we spent more time pottering through the mountains more spread out which I personally enjoyed. Must be my love of riding with no helmet! I can’t think of anything that I found difficult this time or anything I would change, as I tend to treat every motorbike trip as an adventure and any problems which occur are all part the experience for me. The only comment I picked up from talking to everyone was that people liked to stop in the chai shops and see a little bit more of Indian life rater than a motorcycle ride that didn’t engage with the local population.

Two highlights of the trip for me – one was stopping at that chai shop where the lady made us endless cups of chai and fried bananas and Jef made friends with that lovely dog which was such a delight – had he been a stray I would have wanted to bring him home with me (the dog, not Jef). Another highlight which I enjoyed (but some of you may have found less enteraining and more irritating! ) was the bizarre breakfast we had in the hotel prior to the railway journey. Watching Sahib Kemp take over the running of the kitchen and organising the waiters with Steve knocking out the omelettes missing only a topee hat,a safari suit and the days of Empire to remind us what we used to do in India! I also enjoyed the look on the Indian guide’s face who looked very approvingly on what Gordon and Steve were doing. Not sure whether there’s a warrant out for our arrest following leaving without paying the bill, but if there is I’m sure it will get lost in Indian bureaucracy!

Thank you all for your company. I have to say I found the whole group charming and great value. I was particularly touched by Damien’s quiet looking after me without even mentioning what he was doing. So if Damien’s still wandering around India and gets to read this, he gets my personal thanks for quietly organising my luggage having spotted that I couldn’t do a damn thing until my painkillers had kicked in and I was taking every opportunity to rest up after the day’s ride. Before leaving for India I’d had to have injections in both my knees to kill the pain and increase my mobility – unfortunately I got the timing a bit wrong and they were wearing off during the last 5 -6 days!

Wish me luck for the operation in late March!

I’m looking forward to the photo from Steve of my impromptu inspection of the underneath of an Indian lorry and I still chuckle over Gary’s remark that he was impressed with my riding avoiding a kamakasi bus. When I asked if I was close his quote “if you put your tongue out you could have licked it!” was priceless.

Will I go again – emphatically yes, probably with two new knees that the surgeon promises me will perform better than real ones.

See you all soon and my thanks for your company which made it a great holiday.

Best regards


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