Beginnings

india_political

Hello. If you’re reading this you probably know me. If not, I’m Sam, a 26 year old Brit based in Dubai for the past three years. I used to travel a lot as a student, until the demands of professional life intervened. Now the stars have aligned in my favour and I have two months off before starting a new job back home in London.

From 10 June until 6 August, I will be taking a trip that combines my interests in adventure, languages, history, food, moustaches and motorcycles. With such a checklist, it just had to be India, even though it’s the monsoon season. The plan, then, is to buy a Royal Enfield motorcycle in Delhi and get it to Chennai, the scenic route. Then a friend will join me in Chennai and we’ll potter over the Western Ghats mountain range to Kerala.

Challenges will include Indian drivers, bureaucracy, monsoon madness, stomach bugs, more bureaucracy, the Enfield’s notorious unreliability, and my complete inexperience at dealing with any of the above. Plus, of course, any number of unexpected wildcards, for which India is so famous.

This being India, I also need a backup plan. I have heard that it can be very difficult for a foreigner to buy and register a bike, meaning I would need to rent. If that is the case, I won’t have time to see the south and get the bike all the way back to Delhi, so I would do a northern loop on one rented bike and a southern loop on another, taking a train between my two bases. But I’m going to try Plan A first, because nothing good was ever easy.

Speaking of which, several Indians have told me I’m mad to attempt the trip at this time, mostly because of the heat and the monsoon rains, which can cause flooding in the lowlands and landslides (leading to road closures) in the mountains. Then again, friends who have done similar say it’s not necessarily that bad. In any case, I don’t know when I’ll next have a two month break, so I have resolved to give it a shot despite the season.

Along the way I’ll be updating you with diary entries and photos. I hope it will be an entertaining read.

If you have any suggestions of places to visit or people to meet, then please do get in touch. I’m at samwilkin1605[AT]gmail[DOT]com. I’ll also get a local phone and post my number in a few days.

Thanks for reading!

Sam

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