My Bike, and the art of zen-maintenance

The Dalai Lama was busy.McLeod Ganj
Understandably.Monks on the mountain
I didn’t like the atmosphere in McLeod Ganj, which now makes sence as I heard about the situation in Tibet.
So I got out of there quickly but not before hiking up to Triund where you get a brilliant view of the snow-capped mountains.the way upTriund

So there I found myself riding along the Himalayan foothills. yep, this is where Im riding...Still getting along with the bike and liking her more everyday.
It’s sad to think I’m gonna have to leave or sell her soon.angry little girl

I arrived in Chandigarh late in the afternoon. A strange city, designed by French architect Le Corbusier, straight lanes, good coffee(!) and no cows on the street. But many fancy cars and bikes.
While I tried finding a hotel I met Saira, A 19-year old modern Indian girl with who I ended up spending some time. Saira & SumitShe helped me find a place to stay, invited me to her home, dressed me up and took me out to trendy bars and clubs where we ‘hang out’ with her DJ-friends and talked about boys. As you do.
Again I was surprised, even though she and her friends do everything we do. They find it perfectly normal that at 21 (for girls) and 26 (for boys), They will get married to someone their parents will choose.I spend all night trying that, then I got dizzy

Also in Chandigarh you find the Nek Chand Fantasy Rock Garden. Nek Chand Fantasy Rock GardenFull of weird statues little alleyways, big swings, Indian tourists wanting to take pics of me, 'can we take a picture with you'and one guy called Sean with who I ended up spending the next two weeks.2 is more fun then 1

As Sean jumped on a bus I took my bike to Rishekesh, the ‘yoga-capital of the world’. And the place the beatles spend a few months in an ashram in the 60’s.
So one morning I dragged myself out of bed early to give it a go. Couldn’t help feeling just a bit silly tying myself in a knot and falling over while others seemed very ‘Om Shanti’ indeed.
We, Vanessa (USA) Charlie (UK) Sean (USA) and me, also had a go at rafting. Now THAT was fun! Rafting on the Ganges river and having a guide telling you; “next rapid is called ‘Bodysurf’ guess what that means…” So there we all jumped overboard and indeed bodysurfed, feet first, down the Ganges. Couldn’t help swallowing about half a liter in the process. But got through relatively unscattered unlike the others who came out with either a mysterious rash, leech on the tongue or just feeling sick…the Holy Ganga at Hardiwar

Days where spend wondering from cafe to cafe, playing backgammon, eating ‘Hello to the queens’ (a brilliant ice-cream, cookie, banana, chocolatesauce-dessert..) and drinking coffee.
We did celebrate St. Patricksday in style, even though no one was actually Irish, Charlie did do a very convincing accent. Because Rishekesh is holy we drove out 20km to find a bottleshop and had to bribe a policemen into coming in with us to get a fair price. But it turned out just like most paddys days in Derry 😉

As the festival of Holi was coming up we moved to Hardiwar, Holy Cowanother holy city. ShopIn the evening down at the Ganges there’s hundreds of pilgrims putting offerings of flower baskets and candles down the river.Hardiwar
Holi, or ‘festival of colours’ is celebrated at the beginning of spring and people throw water and paint over each other.Sadhu
We found out after coming down a cable car.cable car As we walked through the streets people on balconies threw water balloons and paint on us. Safely back at the hotel we joined some others on our balcony and did exactly the same to all passers-by. That was great fun!Sean at Holi
A little less funny I thought it was when we walked around the next morning and became a main-target. colours for HoliIt’s the tradition someone put some paint on your face and wishes you happy Holi. But gangs of boys and men see it as a change to grab you and just touch woman… A bit uncomfortable and I was happy not to be there by myself.Holi...

Before I had to get back to Nepal we decided to visit the Corbett national park, where apparently you can see tigers.Corbett
The first time I rode the bike with 2 people and full luggage a whole day. It’s different. Good fun though! The road that I choose and looked very good on the map, wasn’t really a road at all but a lot off sand and rocks…
But great, and very different scenery. beautiful forest, or jungle even. And more fun being with two people singing ‘country roads’ then alone… 😀 Corbett national park

So there we were on a proper safari, including a car, a driver and binoculars. Going around on a park road that dubbed as bus route between two towns. Together with about 20 other jeeps… Funny enough we didn’t spot a tiger, although we did find some footprints and scratchmarks on trees. Many deer and birds as well…pots

The day came to head for Nepal again. Sean returned to Rishikesh and I was on my own again.
I had no clue, ignorant as I am, about the upcoming elections and the trouble involved.election coming up
First thing I noticed where the flags on every car, bus, bike and bicycle passing. Then, coming down a mountain into town I stumbled upon a roadblock. First I figured there must have been an accident, but after getting off the bike for closer inspection it just seemed like thousands of people standing on the road with busses, trucks and cars unable to pass. So I climbed back on the bike and with my thumb on the horn made myself a way through the crowds. Later I heard it was a ‘Banda’ or Maoist roadblock…. And it’s not uncommon for them to set fire to vehicles passing their roadblock.
Oops.on the way to Pokhara

Only a few days ago some trucks with ‘election materials’ where stopped and found full of guns coming from India.
The elections themself start the 10th. The whole country is gonna shut down, schools closed, roads blocked and borders shut…Nepal
There is about 67 parties and 601 people will get elected to write the constitution…. when that’s done they will choose a parliament.
The Maoist, who already killed 3 opponents and keep beating people up and burning down houses, have as slogan;
“IF WE WIN, THE GUNS LOOSE. IF WE LOOSE, THE GUNS WIN…”
It promises to be an interesting time here in Nepal.

My plan was to ride to Kathmandu tomorrow. My bike thinks about that differently.flat tyre
So she’s at the mechanic getting some much-needed care, and hopefully she’ll be good to go the 31st.
So we will be in time for my parents who arrive on the 1st of April! Together with friends they’re coming over for 3 weeks. If you like to know their side of the story check it out on
www.jancees.waarbenjij.nu.prayer flags

 

12 thoughts on “My Bike, and the art of zen-maintenance

  1. WEER HEEL WAT TE DOEN GEHAD,GA OP MIJN GEMAK JE VERHALEN EN BELEVENISSEN LEZEN NU NIET ZO VEEL TIJD, WAT FIJN DAT JE OUDERS KOMEN HÉ, ZAL HEEL WAT TE VERTELLEN HEBBEN EN TE LATEN ZIEN, IK HEB DE WEBSIDE VAN JE OUDERS AL GELEZEN EN ZE EEN FIJNE TIJD TOEGEWENST.
    GENIET ER VAN EN IK WENS JULLIE ALLE GOEDS. RIET SOUER.

  2. Nou, terwijl jij nog meer avontuur tegemoet gaat zit ik in Spanje! Ook heerlijk want het zonnetje schijnt 🙂

    Veel plezier met je ouders!

    Debby x

  3. Veel plezier met je ouders. En ik hoop dat de verkiezingen rustig verlopen. Gewoon zorgen dat je dan op de anapurnatrail loopt.
    En gezien de foto’s op de website van je ouders, gaan ze de weg vinden…. 🙂 🙂

  4. Wow I’ve just eaten the Dutch Knorr Wereldgerechten version of Chapati and it was delicious. Amazing to see how fast that Chapati man works 😉
    Great that your parents are coming over and that you can spend some time together.
    Watch yourself during the elections overthere, you never know what happends… :-S
    Overhere another sad rainy sunday…

  5. Lieve Mirjam,
    Geweldig weer om je verhalen te lezen en er via de foto’s een beetje meer beeld van te krijgen. Hopen dat alles rustig blijft rondom de verkiezingen en dat je een fijne tijd met je ouders kunt hebben!
    Veel plezier met elkaar, liefs van ons!

  6. lieve Mirjam,nog even een berichtje op de valreep nu zijn je ouders er en geniet er maar van.En we hopen dat je met elkaar een fijne tijd hebben.Maar je vader houd ons wel op de hoogte.voor allemaal veel lieve groeten van ons beiden opa en oma.

  7. Hej meis!
    Ai, dacht dat je dat wist van de verkiezingen, anders had ik ‘t je wel verteld… Weten je ouders dit eigenlijk? Hoorde dat de benzinecrisis daar ook nog niet geheel afgelopen is.. nog last van gehad? Raar he, om je motor te moeten verkopen! Hoop dat het jou net zo makkelijk af gaat als ons, binnen een dag waren we er van af. Heb Balu niet meer gezien na je berichtje maar daarvoor nog wel even. Het guesthouse is open en hebben er op het dakterras gezeten. Maaar nu ben ik thuis!! Mijn ticket was geupgrade naar 1e klas dus heb ‘n heerlijke vlucht gehad, alleen is mijn bagage in Heathrow blijven liggen. Verder heerlijk om weer thuis te zijn, stampot te eten;-) ) een schoon toilet te hebben, andere kleren aan te kunnen en mijn vrienden en fam weer zien, heeeeerlijk! Maar goed, jij bent voorlopig nog even op pad dus geniet er van, eerst even samen met je paps en mams.

    Groetjes, ook voor je ouders,

    Go

  8. Hey mir, lekker aan het genieten met pap, mam, hans & ali? zag net de foto’s van pap, leuk! hier immer slecht weer, gelukkig heb ik een huis.
    x
    Esther

  9. Hey!

    Hoz it going!Like the pics, those cow legs look tempting!! Just after coming back from Nepal, nice place up in the Annapurna’s, from KTM we hired motorbikes and went up to the Tibetan border to see what’s going on there, farely scenic drive check it out if you get a chance, generally a good road, except for a few landslides, nothing a gd Pulsar can’t handle.
    Might be a gd idea to wear to CCCP symbol on the heart will go down a treat with the Banda’s!!!
    Have a nice time……….
    Here we hope for summer to start someday…no change in the monkeyshow

  10. Aghhhh

    I see you up graded the wheels to an Enfield…..cool…I like your style…
    looks nice and comfie….bet there’s a lovely sound when its labouring…
    Ride on….

    Have a nice summer….

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