Tagged with cities

GallerySouth India Road Trip - Auroville to Karaikal

Matt looking at maps

The official start of our road trip we consider the morning of October 13, when we woke up in Auroville, got on the bike by 9am and really "hit the road." We were in sweltering traffic for an hour, then traveled along the breezy East Coast Road to the small city of Kairakal. The road meandered through small temple towns and villages built primarily of thatching. We followed the endless grids of rice paddies, few of them cultivating. But here and there would be a square patch of vibrant green in a expanse of overturned dirt. We met the people and conversed in the language of smiles and waves. Mostly, we felt foreign, like black Martians being propelled through these lands of rice and palm. Take a look. View Gallery »

Last rava dosa at Sangheetas, our local in Chennai.

I keep wanting to take photos of the mung dal and roti that was our diet over the last month. I remember while I'm waiting for the food to come. But once I see the waiter with his arms full coming towards our table, my mind goes blank. It goes blank like when someone shakes your hand and you don't process - not even one bit - when they said their name. I guess you can say every time I get that plate, I'm starving. Ahhh, the Indian vegetarian diet does keep you in survival mode.

Have Bike, Will Travel

Say hello to Agnes! After a week and a half search, we finally found her. She's a 2010 Royal Enfield Electra, and we're smitten. We named her after the shop where she resides. But more on that later.

Enjoy this little teaser and we'll tell you all about Chennai motorcycle mayhem from the fresh perspective of the road!

J. Hirudayaraj, a retired policeman in Pondicherry, who bought his 1971 Bullet new from the showroom over 40 years ago for 6,000 rupees.

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Chennai at the beach

Chick ken Paradise

We love Marina Beach in Chennai. It's a sprawling, uniformly flat patch of sand. Few people swim on beaches in India (except, maybe, in Goa), but plenty come out to take advantage of this mostly clean public area. At twilight yesterday, the coast was a wash of orangey yellow. We cruised slowly along with the other motorcyclists and passing buses, taking it all in.

In the nicer areas, little cart vendors stud the sand alongside the road, selling things like chaat and Chinese food and "American corn." Each section also usually includes a bunch of rather homemade kids rides and games, ranging from small carousels to merry-go-rounds to balloon popping. Large groups of teenage boys hang out in circles Indian-style or lounge on colored plastic chairs, smoking joints and calling out "Hello!" ... View Post »

Dry, dry Chennai

Alcohol is exorbitantly expensive in Tamil Nadu due to local regulations, basically heavy government taxes and strict licensing. This is good for the people of Tamil Nadu, as it does bring down the alcoholism. On the other hand, how bad was it if the government has had to intervene? The rules keep changing, but right now most places that say they used to sell don't. It's not a big deal, as we've been off the sauce basically since we arrived in India.

In any case, we've given ourselves the liberty of ordering one shot of whiskey on two different occasions since our classes ended. Whiskey, go figure, is cheaper than beer around here. It's more of a gesture, really, and at the local upscale hotel right near our house it comes with a little bowl of potato chips. At a local grocery store a ... View Post »

Check out our new trusty steed!

We finally found a bike! We'll be taking our new 80cc Scooty Pep+, aka "The Beast," through highways, mountain roads, across farmland, over potholes, riverbanks, and across beaches. Matt says of his new Scooty Pep+, "I finally feel like a real man." Don't look at me; he picked purple. For a closeup of her signature. View Post »


The bakers.

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Visiting one of Mumbai's slums was top on our list of things to do. We'd heard stories of hope and perseverance; of people building life from a few pieces of cardboard, corrugated steel and plastics. In fact, on our boat trip down the Amazon we met a Spaniard who had lived in a Mumbai slum and made a film about the fight over land. Over the course of his experience with the slum's inhabitants he ... View Essay »

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EssayDelhi and Rishikesh in Pictures

Part 1: Finding a yoga class in Rishikesh. Head down one of these.

We're still reeling from our three day tour of Delhi and the last few days in Rishikesh. While we take a little time out to plant our feet firmly on the ground, here's a visual look at our tour...