So there’s been good news and bad news on the travel front this month. First the bad news. This came in late October / early November:
All of this was happening in the city I had a 6 day stopover in. There were other stories of police roadblocks, the army coming in and people trapped in various places. So I cancelled my trip to Ethiopia and purchased a direct flight to Delhi.
Now the good news: I get to spend more time in India. And with the lack of a stopover, finding a bicycle has just become so much easier. I will just bring one – and this one can actually stay in India for the various trips I hope to make there.
It’ll be my original touring bike – a Dahon Cadenza that not only carries my gear well, it folds up and fits in a large bag that I could put in the trunk of a car or under the berth in a train.
Everything I plan to bring to India will fit in those two bags. A few changes of cycling clothes, some clothes to wear when I’m not on the bike, a few spare parts and tools, and always a few snacks for when I’m on the road not near any store or restaurant to buy food.
For water, I’ll be bringing a couple of normal cycling bottles, and a third cycling bottle equipped with this:
Most homes and restaurants in India have a water filtration system, but when I am in rural areas, I may only have access to well water. This will allow me to fill the water bottle up there, and all of the water I drink will be filtered through a microbial filter. Magic!
Today I picked up the bike after its being boxed up. Now its wheels and pedals have been removed, the handlebars turned 90 degrees so they are parallel to the bike as well, and its tires deflated.
I will pack my two panniers and toss them in one cardboard box. I’ll bring the bike and my panniers to the airport and check them all in as baggage. When I get to India I’ll take them to my homestay, unpack everything, put the bike back together, put the panniers on and after a couple of days of adjustment to the time schedule, I’ll leave Delhi headed toward Rajasthan. Given the traffic will be a shock to me my plan is to leave early – just after sunrise and hopefully miss the worst of the traffic. Once I get out of the Delhi area it will be busy, different, but I expect a little less chaotic.
And then after that I have a few different routes planned for various possibilities: Everything from feeling strong and wanting to stay on the road for a long time to feeling like my knee isn’t up to a long ride and heading straight to Jaipur where my bike will live when I’m not riding it. While I’m there I’ll pick up a suitcase, maybe a few more clothes (as you can imagine I can’t bring much in those two small bags) and spend some time with friends and helping out at Saksham Centre for Child Education and Women Empowerment.
After that, it’ll be off to Chhattisgarh to visit my Rakhi sister and spend a little time there before we both head to Gujarat – a state I’ve never visited. And then, after we all see 2020 arrive, I’ll board another plane back and had home and back to the workaday grind again. It’s going to be a full month of excitement for sure!