It’s time for the second part of Marcelo Doffo’s journey to India! After a quick stop in London, Marcelo touched down at his destination. After meeting with his guide Manish, he picked up his bike: a beautiful blue Classic 500 Royal Enfield that he would be riding for the duration of his trip. Anxious to get to the gathering, Marcelo and his companions hopped on their bikes and made their way into town. Here’s what happened next, according to Marcelo himself.
“We woke up at the hotel at 6 a.m, dressed and finally got on the road by 6.45 am, trying to beat the traffic…the traffic as they called it was more like a nightmare! It was still dark outside, but already busy as we followed our guide Manish to the highway. For the first few hours it’s hard not to think you’re on the wrong side of the road, but after awhile we started to relax. The traffic was not bad at first, but by the time we made it 5 miles on our trip, the chaos began. Here is the list of what you have to negotiate your way around when you drive in India and their priorities according to size”–
1. Big trucks.
2. Tractors very very many.
3. Small trucks.
5. Millions of motorcycles.
8. Many, many cows.
12. Sheep herds.
“Enormous camels pulling small carts and they are very slow! As a consequence they create a big traffic problem and the bus drivers are extremely aggressive and pull in front of you. There are no rules, just survival.
You need to stay alert and I will say that it is even more intense than racing, since you have to be aware of everything going on in your surroundings. The landscape is still the same, trash and plastic all over the side of the road, but I’m beginning to understand that these people have never had an opportunity to see or learn anything different. The population out grows their resources, when you look into their eyes you can see the resentment. They travel piled up in these Tuc Tucs, and it’s surprising how much weight a small three wheeled vehicle can carry. These people’s reality has become a real eye opener for me”.
“There is definitely aggression in the way they drive, I think their fingers are attached to the horn switch. It seems mandatory as “Blow Horn” is written on ALL of the back panels of big trucks, trailers and anything that uses a public road and I admit it makes a lot of sense. Traveling here on a motorcycle you are so directly immersed in the diversity of odors, as well as the busy sound of many horns, blowing constantly the entire experience is a sensory overload. To add to that, all of the public restrooms are pretty much non-existent, people just have no choice”.
“Well it is 6.04 a.m. and I can hear the sound of the chanting that comes from a nearby Temple, it is another thing that adds to the fascination of this place- so unique and so left behind in time, I wish I could record it for you all to hear….until next time. Ciao”.