After an amiable breakfast I set out for the third side of the golden triangle: Jaipur to Delhi, with a detour to the marvellous Amber fort.
I’ve been struck by how every water level looks low, especially the rivers which are dreadfully polluted.
As populations grow and lifestyles improve, the pressure on natural resources increases. India is modernising. On the outskirts of Delhi there are huge industrial buildings, but can the second largest population, nearly 4 times the size of the US’s , industrialise with current technologies, whilst sustaining resources? Delhi’s smog’s already so bad they’re trialling taking every other car off the road on any given day.
The other downer has been the awful highway between Jaipur and Delhi. It caused more than a couple of frights and something now clacks on the bike. You can’t afford to lapse concentration which is hard over 6 hours. Traffic slows and lanes narrow for no apparent reason, but the greatest hazards are the potholes and changes in road surface.
Prayers again figured: stray hubcaps make instant mandalas and dangle from trucks, the best ones are painted. For the bike, a little stuffed elephant hangs from the wobbly wing mirror.
But he didn’t prevent 3 “little kisses” to the back wheel today.
Entering Delhi at dusk, I played tag with another 500 Enfield. I knew when he was approaching from the beats caused by our similar exhausts. He was quick and competitive and it added interest to the rump end of a 200 mile ride.
As did night falling 40 miles from the end in the Delhi suburbs. Not being able to see the road and with about half the tuk tuks and motorbikes missing lights, added extra spice to finding Tony’s motorbike shop in the world’s second largest city. After today I figure I’ve earned my Indian riding ‘wings’ and to celebrate, splashed out £25 on a room. At last enough pillows to sleep on, and little bottles of soapy stuff to pinch.
Tomorrow I’ll ask Rajesh (Tony) to service the bike before heading North.