Frank arrived in Rishikesh a few days after me, laden with Suzuki tyres and filters. I was
disappointed that his wife, Christina hadn’t come too but then was delighted to hear that the reason was that she is expecting twins. One of each, that’s German efficiency for you!
We repacked the bike for a 2-up trip
to the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, a couple of hundred kilometers to the south east. I let Frank ride as it was a rest for me and an experience for him!! He is well used to riding a BM in Africa but a Suzuki in India is
a different kettle of fish. He managed very well indeed but it took some days for his bottom to recover for, despite Larry, (the sheepskin seat cover) it is not a comfortable ride.
Taking the more interesting (unmade,
in some cases) back roads, it took us two days to get to the park. We had to leave the Suzy outside the park and go in by jeep and were only able to stay one night in a dormitory on the compound. With a bit of queue
jumping Frank managed to get us on the elephant ride which was great but made me feel very motion sick. The Indian driver didn’t know how close he was to having vomit down the back of his neck.
The only chance
you have of spotting a tiger is to stay silent while the elephant walks around, sniffing with his trunk. We were out for 2 hours in the evening and this is the song that I wrote: “The Elephant Walk”
After returning to the Suzuki Frank and I started the ride back, by another route, to Rishikesh.. Unfortunately, even the German Helles maps
are not accurate and we spent quite a lot of time stopping and asking the way. As people in this area don’t travel much we had some interesting estimates of distances. 100,150 and 50kms all for the same place in a
distance of approx 10 kms, left us thinking “Oh well we’ll get there sometime, if not tonight, then tomorrow” Which indeed it was.
There are many isolated villages on steep terraced slopes, amazingly clean
and well kept and almost all the roads, though narrow, are sealed and in good condition. The traffic in these areas was sparse but on the main trunk roads it is hectic and you just have to realize that a
motorcycle is way down in the importance chain and, if anything is bigger than you, just get out of the way. Our western road rules just are not appropriate. They may be there in theory but the practice is WATCH OUT!!
On our return into Rishikesh Frank spotted 2 Belgian bikes which, of course, were Elke and Chris, riding in for the festivities. Later that evening my sister Anne arrived from UK., so the troops were