Thursday, February 5, 2009

Looking Back

We were gone from home on our Butt Buster journey for a little over nine weeks and now have been back for about the same number of days, so it is time to look back on this trip of a lifetime.

I'll cut to the chase: Would we do a trip like this again? The loud and clear answer is
NO! Riding a motorcycle in India is a very dangerous proposition, interesting, but a severe test of physical endurance and riding skill, plus it uses up a huge bucket of luck.

"It is written" is the final frame of the current movie hit
Slumdog Millionaire and sums up what many in India believe will guide them through their lives.

India is certainly a fascinating place with a history that will make your head swim, but it is difficult to look past some of he current day to day sights and smells to see the heritage of India. To say that India is a land of contrasts is an understatement; when we were riding through the state of Bihar where many things are done as they have been for over a thousand years or more, the Indian government was landing a spacecraft on the moon! Granted, the USA has huge disparities in its social structure, but in India the contrasts are so much greater. Considering the caste system that does not officially exist today, maybe they have come a long way in a short period of time, but with the population and pollution explosion there, I wonder what the place will look like in fifty years.

All of that said, one can have a very different experience than ours. We know people who have been there several times and can't wait to go back. Throw lots of bucks at the trip, stay in five star hotels, travel in comfy a/c coaches, and things take on a very different aura. On the other hand, we know someone who went to visit friends there and threw away all of her clothes and shoes when she returned home!

As I mentioned earlier, we would not do another motorcycle trip there again, but would we go back to India? There are several places we would like to see: Ladakh, more of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Ajanta and Ellora, Darjeeling and Sikkim (maybe on a side trip from Bhutan).

We will be spending our retirement dollars else where in the foreseeable future, but will not rule out a return to the Indian subcontinent. Incredible India?....... yes it is!

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