Halleluia, we have both made it to Delhi! Not without some drama along the way though…
Our bike also made it to India, but due to a huge back log at Mumbai port, the vessel was only able to berth yesterday and it will take “at least” another week to get it to Delhi. Note to people shipping bikes to India – aside from a shipping agent, you will also need a customs clearing agent to help you get the bike out. That is another lesson we learnt recently and will update you when we find one who doesn’t try to screw us on the price.
So in the meantime, we are going to rent a Royal Enfield to ride up to Ladakh and then fly back to Delhi to pick up our own bike. Check out this bike, apparently from the 1950′s, its hard to believe that this bike can travel up several 5000+ meter passes, but we hope to live to tell the tale next week!
Regarding other things that made it to India, all our stuff somehow made it too – jerry cans, new bike seat, sleeping bags, tents, new windscreen, first aid kit, helmets, motorcycle gear etc etc. Lots of cross-continental “schlepping” involved in all of this (MJo alone had 43kg of “hand luggage” with him on board). Through hours of trial and error, we’ve managed to pack most of the things onto the Royal Enfield.
And last but not least, there was much drama at the Delhi airport last night when Sabby flew in. As a Singaporean, she is entitled to apply for a visa on arrival. But she thought a Pakistan visa would be enough proof of intent to exit so she didn’t have a return air ticket, which of course in hindsight seems a little silly. So she spent three hours at the airport last night (12am-3am) buying a new ticket, changing money (another note: the visa-on-arrival counter only takes USD or Indian rupees, no euros nor pounds). She finally made it to the hotel at 4am, to be greeted by a rather inebriated MJo who also had an adventure of an evening, but let’s save that tale for another time.
And so here we are…off to Ladakh tomorrow!