Published: May 20th 2011May 20th 2011
Royal Enfield 350s
The bikes arrive at last, the silver one is an Electra and the black one a Classic. They've both seen some action but they ride well, sound great and turn heads wherever we go
Today didn't really go to plan, not that I had much of a plan. The basic idea was to catch a bus into the city and try to find a road map and a pencil sharpener, however on getting to the bus stop I couldn't remember which number bus to get and as it was such a nice morning (the overnight rain had cooled everything down) I decided to go exploring instead. After following my nose for a couple of hours through the muddy streets of the Whitefields district of Bangalore I noticed that the temperature was rising sharply and the sun had burned through the hazy morning clouds so turned around and headed back. The pavements on the outskirts of Bangalore are pretty appalling so it had been a bit of a trek getting to where I was and I was fairly hot already. The rain had turned some areas of the pavement into deep, wet, red mud and in others the storm drains had been cleared out straight onto the path, so in these areas you had to walk on the road (!?!). These storm drains run along the side of the roads and contain a pretty lethal mixture
Alex and me looking really pleased that the bikes are here and we are just about ready to roll
of mud, litter, stagnant water, human excrement and engine oil, so the smell in these places was a bit on the ripe side. Turning back I was heading towards the sun which had now come up with a vengeance, luckily I was wearing my trusty hat (cheers Tone (getting the emails but unable to reply for some reason)) so my head was covered (I have a tendency to sunstroke so my hat is a constant companion) but the heat was pretty relentless. After another hour and a bit of trudging over what had become dried out mud-hills I was knackered and soaked through with sweat so was really pleased to see the Zuri loom into sight, thank goodness for air conditioning and cold running water. That was the morning and early afternoon.
Later on this afternoon when Alex finished work we jumped into the hotel taxi and headed down to the bike hire place. Friday afternoon heading anywhere in Bangalore is a nightmare, there is just so much traffic. It took an hour to get 15km, despite our driver knowing what he was doing. The bikes were ready and waiting at Pankaj's place, we filled in the paperwork, parted with
Friendly guy from reception
This chap loves his bikes and is riding his up to Chennai shortly about 600km. His bike is only 10 days old (aaaah!)
our Rupees and rode straight back into the rush hour traffic. This was a bit of an eye-opener for me as I've never ridden anywhere where cars, buses and other bikes, overtake, undertake, weave around violently, cut you up and all this with a constant cacophony of honking horns. After about 45 mins we were back at the Zuri, we rode straight into the underground garage, being saluted by the security staff.
That's it. Tomorrow first thing we head off the 300km to Kalpetta.
We can't wait!