Monday, 25 August 2014


There is an immediate change as you cross the border into India from Pakistan .. unlike Canada or Mexico borders with the USA. A nightly ceremony of the Pakistan / India borders flag lowering and border closing was a lot of fun... ( on the India side )
Indian women come to dance , sing, and celebrate ... where in Pakistan, I rarely saw a women in the month I traveled the country. Gates on either side of line zero are closed at exactly the same moment every night ... the border police take a lot of pride in defending this line to  keep the peace between  Pakistan / Indian . When I left the Moroccan border in 2011 into Mauritania it was separated by " No mans Land " where I followed trails in the dirt keeping a watch for rebels in the hills and hoping the trail I was on took me to the Mauritania border post.
Only one land border is open between Pakistan and India " Atari ". the border city in India is Amritsar . The must do for any tourist, or pilgrim, is to visit the Golden temple.
I am not really sure how I got a photo with clear blue sky's during monsoon season, but after dodging rain soaked streets for the better part of my first week in India, I decided to catch  a train and head south !
Over the course of my travels riding in big cities has become a necessity .. either in search of an embassy, or dealing with the motorcycle. Some of the worlds largest I have experienced are Cairo Egypt, Lagos Nigeria, Istanbul Turkey, Lahore Pakistan, Tehran Iran,  but NONE of these cities compares to Delhi India .... an estimated population exceeding 18 million. What is difficult is the complete lack of discipline for any road rules.. I truly find myself afraid to walk across the street at times..
A big part of what is India, are the trains.. they are well worn, and in need of some cleaning and updating. I loaded the motorcycle onto a baggage car and got myself a 1st class ticket to Bangalore.. Its a 45 hour ride south of Delhi and it puts some distance between me and the heavy rains of the north. The express was not exactly " express" but I was told not to miss the experience of a train in India and I am happy I took the opportunity. The chance to sit and chat , get used to the food, and relax looking out the window was a well needed change from the streets of Delhi. Hmm 1st class isn't really 1st class , but I did get a birth 6 feet long by 30 inches wide.. a window , privacy curtain, in an air conditioned rail car ..
While travelling Pakistan the movement of westerners is quite the opposite of India. The photo here is one of the many stops each day to record personal details. . Entering a district , or leaving requires a stop, at times only a few miles apart.. Name, passport number, visa number, expiry dates, nationalities, and so on... Taking a quick look thru the pages to see if any Canadians, or Americans had dared drive thru Iran and Pakistan was always a part of these stops every day.. None have , ( in recent years )  I am sure most are part of NGO's that fly in and out.. Showing up at the American embassy in Pakistan on the motorcycle more than surprised the Americans working there...A few left there desks to come outside and take photos of me and the motorcycle.   I needed an American notary to sort out banking in a sanctioned country.. As it turned, banking was restricted until I entered India..

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