I never quite expected I’d be able to ride a motorcycle across northern India,especially when I thought of the poor road conditions and the descriptions I’d heard of the chaos of traffic – cows, rickshaws, beggars. But when I was offered a second-hand Royal Enfield Bullet for a pretty reasonable price, I couldn’t resist the temptation to give it a try.
I was living in the Himalayan foothills in a village just outside of Almora at the time, and each evening as the sun went down I would look out over the vast expanse of rolling greens and purples and wonder how I could see it all.
Most of the time, as a tourist, you travel India by bus or taxi, as they are the most available and relatively reliable ways to get around a country of such a size. But I found this kind of travel a little counterproductive, because although I was getting from place to place, I was in fact missing everything in between.
The motorcycle came at just the moment I was willing to sacrifice caution and security for adventure, and to see the country as it is meant to be seen. It needed a bit of love and attention before it was road worthy (at least by standards used in that part of the world) and after several trips to the local mechanic and many hours tinkering in the tool shed, the bike started first kick and ran smoothly.