Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Touch Down!

Arrived in New Delhi at 8:00PM after a 13 hours, 41 minutes, 55 seconds wheels up to wheels down according to our pilot, Steve. Flight was quite uneventful as we slept through most of it and arrived ready to drink Kingfishers. Had to negotiate for a taxi and ended up paying 310 rupees approx. $7.50 for all 4 plus bags and a 40 minute ride to our hotel. Staying at the White House, not George´s, which is spotless and included a wonderful full breakfast of eggs and Bhaji Puri, a spicy sauce with vegetables and fried bread. RA says we´ll probably look like that fat, round bread by the time we leave-if we´re lucky! Jean

The weather is hot, humid, but--so far--not impossible. The drive in from the airport was interesting. We were packed into an Ambassador--a local brand--
sort of like a Hillman--three in the back--Ross in the front--six of our eight bags
in the trunk--windows open and breathing in dust and diesel. But it was good because we were brought directly to the hotel and the reservations we had made Province-side were good. Now Steve and I have to snag some cash and we are going to try to get some cell phones to use here amongst the eight of us. So far, so good. Be good, FP--see you in Dec. ra

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On The Way

We are finally enroute; waiting for our plane in Green Bay. We'll have a five hour layover at O'Hare before meeting up with Jean and Ross who are coming from Toronto. The past few days have been quite busy winterizing the bikes, cars, and garden; that is a hard thing to do when the temps are in the 70s and 80s, but we will probably return to cold and snow on December 1st.

The flight from Chicago leaves at 7:15 this evening and we will be in Delhi about 15 hours after we take off; India is 10.5 hours ahead of us here in the midwest, Nepal +10:45.

The blog address has been widely distributed to friends and family--please feel free to comment--this will be a two way street.

Next stop: Injuh!!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Trial Packing Session

We attacked the mound of stuff in my office and started filling our packing cubes tonight. It appears that everything will fit quite well. We each have a waterproof 50 liter Ortlieb zip duffle that can be fastened to the passenger seat of the bike with Rok Straps. We have a couple simple cloth duffle bags that we will put everything in to lessen the possibility of puncturing the waterproof duffles in the cargo hold of the airplane. We also learned tonight that we will probably have a sag wagon, so that makes packing a little easier though we will stick with what we have done so far.

We took our first dose of Dukoral tonight (a live vaccine that you take orally to prevent diarrhea; we had to buy this in Canada and keep it cool while we transported it home) and will do the second dose next Friday. What fun Friday nights we are having!

We got $100 worth of Indian rupees this week; now, we have to move some money around to various accounts to cover expenses while we are gone and we will be ready to launch.

In the last week we have spent two evenings with two young Indian women who are working here in Green Bay. They were delightful company and gave us a bit of insight into Indian society and culture. The more we read and find out about India, the more amazing the place is. Who would have thouhgt that there were French speaking areas and pockets of Christian Syrians?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Visas in Chicago

RuthAnn and I drove to Chicago last Monday night-ended up staying out near O'Hare as there were a couple of conventions in town and not only were hotels scarce, they were expensive.

On Tuesday morning we dropped off our passports at Travisa, the third party that processes all the paperwork for the Indian Consulate. We wanted to get permission to enter Sikkim (a restricted area) and the receptionist said that we had to do that in Delhi on our arrival there. That was the last thing we wanted to do, so hoofed over to the consulate to see what we could find out. There we got the proper forms that had to be filled out in duplicate along with more passport pictures. Stops at Staples and AAA got us the copies and pictures; we got off our feet at a Starbuck's and filled out the forms. After a little shopping we heading back to Travisa to pick up our passports. We finally got out of there about 7 pm and drove back out to the hotel. The next morning we had to repeat the whole drill at the Nepalese Consulate, but not before making color copies of our passports and Indian visas. Back to the Indian Consulate where the Vice Consul said he would process the Slkkim foms that day, but we had to go back to Travisa to pay them first before they would process them. Once that was done and a nice lunch eaten we took a boat trip on the Chicago River to relax a bit. In the late afternoon we headed back to the Nepalese Consulate where we met a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who was going back to Nepal for the first time since he left in 1964! The passports finally appeared a little after 5 pm; back to Travisa to wait for the Sikkim permits. The permits finally showed up about 7 pm and we were very relieved to have accomplished all of our goals in Chicago. It was a long ride home; time to finish many last minute details before our departure on the 28th. sr

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Counting Down

The whole group finally got together on 9-2-08 in Tweed, ON, and had a good meeting going over some of the last minute planning. Everyone seems to have a handle on what they are bringing and how they will pack for two months on Royal-Enfields. Everyone seemed to contribute something new to the group and lots of notes were being taken. sr