22 Nov 2008

The Long India Drive

So I guess it would be interesting to begin with a trip map for what I call the Long India Drive, that I took with a British friend in 2003. Over a period of 3 weeks, we drove from Delhi, up on to the edge of Ladakh, then down south through Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala

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Since my friend ran out of time, we decided to make a quick return to Bangalore from where he took the train back to Delhi and a flight back to London. I continued however and traveled to various places in South India, so much so, that by the time the first edition of '52 weekend breaks from Bangalore' was published, I'd already covered most potential 'weekend' destinations.

Anyway, driving is fun, and more so in India. The landscapes you cross, the different people you see, and things you stumble upon, are just too varied and too exciting to miss. There has not been a single day when I have driven through any part of India and not seen something totally strange and thought to myself, wtf!

I've seen a man walk a bear on a leash, had the most wonderful chilli pakoras on what I consider an inspiring stretch of road, seen two synchronized cyclists balance a room sized piece of plywood on their heads, seen a truck so full of hay it covered the entire road, but most of all, I've seen the India I always wanted to see. Not the poor India, or the rich India, but the quiet, peaceful and dramatic India.

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