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In Pushkar time flies. I love this place and I love the people I meet here.

Way back to Delhi is not so nice because I suffer from the side effects of antibiotics I have to take because of a bad burn wound on my leg. (2 days after governmental hospital it looked a little like rotting off but my well known private doctor in Pushkar fixed it.)

Parvati whom I wanted to meet in Delhi unfortunately doesnt make it in time from Nepal. First 36 hours in Delhi I stay in bed to recover from the bus ride so I couldnt have done much anyway. Second day in Delhi I met my old friend Karan whom I met at Wagah border when my car was being seized – Karan is the KTM rider! We both where surprised about the other being in Delhi! Sometimes facebook is not that bad! We had a real nice time together even though i still was a little sick and way too soon I had to leave to the airport. Flight to Austria was ok and fortunately they even took my new guitar – for free in the hand luggage! I love Austrian Airlines!

Pushkar

March 5. – march 10.

Pushkar has changed a lot in the last 2 years – though I am happy some things here did not and will not change so quickly. Enigma Café has become a supermarket! After only a few days I have a pretty fixed daily routine which starts with chai at honey dew at around 8.30, getting fresh rose buds next to share them in the market with people who are about to open there shops or just passing by. Its an incredible pleasure just to see so many people smiling every morning. When most of the roses are given away (I always save some for my room) I would have another chai and a little breakfast a ghopals chaishop at the mainsquare before eventually going to Sonu fruit shop to get one of those amazing mueslis.

By then its lunch time most of the days because I spend a lot of time meeting beautiful people. Pushkar seems to be full of brothers, sisters and twins in mind. I become furniture at honey dew from afternoon until late evening, watching the people on the street and having wonderful times with fellow travelers. For sunset I am mostly at Chandra ghat which is the more peaceful alternative to sunset ghat.

Doing meditation and making some music in the sunset at Pushkar lake feels so familiar like I have never done something else at sunset time in my life. I meet unique and very color- and powerful people in every age and from around the world every day making me feel a lot of love and sharing their smiles and their happiness. I fall in love all the time over and over again with nearly every person I see. I don’t know why and how, if it’s the place, the beautiful smiles or just me… I am in love! Pushkar sunset, surrounded by colors and feeling the gentle warmth of the sun on my skin – Nagara drums and Brahmin chanting mantras, incense smell and a well known and beloved place.

Going home

March 3. & 4.

Bus is leaving early evening so I go to Rishikesh during the day making a little walk and doing a little shopping. After having just being arrived to India Rishikesh is a little too much of holy tourists for me but still I enjoy a lot. The landscape looks amazing with all the huge lakes on the street being left from the rain. After a beautiful day I take a Rickshaw back to Haridwar just to be in time to catch the bus home. And, comparing it to the sleeper bus I had from Laos to Vietnam I feel like in heaven with my very own and private double compartment under the roof of the bus. I have internet, an ashtray, food, water… all I need for a very long journey. I am busy eating, drinking and surfing until Delhi and then fall asleep.

When I wake up the next morning we have already passed Kishangarh and are of the highway. Short stop for toilet and breakfast and a little later we approach an amazing little town in Rajasthan in the desert. It is two days before the color play of the Holi Festival – most busy time around the year. Being a little worried about finding a place to sleep the second friend I stop at to say hello offers me one of the staff rooms in his hotel. Well not in his hotel – Doctor alone has move to a much bigger place at Jyoti Basti so I get a room at his old hotel where some of his long time customers stay. I know most of them for years and am very happy to get this room. I spend the day drinking chai with old friends who are very happy to see me again after two years.

I am at home again – my living room being the honey dew restaurant. 3 tables at 5 square meters, 2 ashtrays and no wifi but up to 20 people sharing the space and enjoying Nizams amazing food and hospitality. I enjoy the sunset at the lake and meeting so many people I haven’t seen for such a long time. Probably the best decision was to come here after the south east asia experience. Cant stop smiling here….

Pushkar – Lunkaransar

N28°32’08”, E073°46’18”

Km counter: 35466

Km today: 350

I wake up early morning and get chai. After a little argument with the hotel owner close to my car park I leave quickly. The first 50km being no problem, the engine running very smooth and full power but then the light for the charging control lights up. I stop at a big TATA workshop and the guys say they don’t have the parts but they will do their best. I wait in the car while the temperature climbs up to 38°C – outside in the shadow. They removed the battery charger and I have to wait. The manager comes round and tells me to make myself comfortable – I am his guest! I get chai, food and everything I need. After food he offers me to take a shower. Hot water? I ask … YES! I take a shower in a nice hotel room and as the repairing takes longer (no power, coming after half hour) I also use the bed and take a little nap. 4 hours later the carbon inside the battery charger is replaced and they wake me up. Everybody wants to take a picture so I forget to take one myself… Never mind, I chalo.

10 km later the engine has no more power. I stop and call the guys again. Ten minutes later 2 of the mechanics arrive and fix the charger – it was loose and as the fan belt is connected to the cooler too the engine became hot. Done within 2 minutes so I can go on. A little later I stop at a petrol station and recognize that the tubeless tyre in which we put a tube in Pushkar doesn’t look good. Some of the stitching had broken, so the next thing I need is a tyre wallah. At sunset I stop in Nagaur to see the tyre wallah shaking his head: No possible! I could do it myself so I know it is possible. He asks me for tools to take down the tyre but they had disappeared – I hadn’t found them when cleaning the car in Pushkar. However what kind of tyre wallah is this who doesn’t have tools to do his work? I jump into the car and go 200m to the next tyre workshop. Guy there says no possible and brings me back to the first guy who is suddenly ready to help… 2 hours he says – No problem I reply and go to the chaishop to order chai. Suddenly the mechanic comes back and tells me to get a new tyre. I tell him this kind of tyre is not possible in inda as I had tried everything in Pushkar to get one. He insists so we have to go to a tyre shop where he finds out this kind of tyre is not possible in india… We buy an old tyre to use as a patch and go back to the car where I get my chai finally believing they will start to work now. When I come back to the car everything is like before and he again asks me for tools! I start getting a little pissed as he suggests to go to Bikaner where they have the right size nut to take down the tyre. I jump in the car and chalo. He was right this had taken exactly two hours! But I had expected the tyre to be fixed by then! What to do I will find a place where people can help and not only want to earn commission for selling me a new tyre. (And if I had bought a tyre there he still wouldn’t have been able to change the tyre).

A little later I relax and enjoy the street. 50km before Bikaner after overtaking a few trucks the engine has a sudden loss of power again. I stop, switch off, switch on again and no problem… My guess would be either petrol filter blocked or carburetor dirty. I have a spare petrol filter with me so I call a friend at home who is mechanic. He confirms my guess so I go on and decide to change the petrol filter tomorrow – no problem. I pass Bikaner and about an hour later I reach my daily target which is 4% of the way home. Finally at a chaishop I can take out my guitar and play one or two songs for the guys who roam the place. When I start writing the blog its well past 1 o clock. No problem I got a shady place so I can sleep a little longer tomorrow. Happy that only minor problems occurred on the first day driving after suryananda was standing in the dessert for a year I fall asleep soon.



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Hampi – Pushkar


≈2500km

I leave Hampi at saturday morning having no ideas about the day of the week. The train ride is joyful as the train is nearly empty. Unfortunately my phone does not get any connection even after leaving hampi so I believe the sim was switched of – would not be the first time. The train is late in Belgaum and before I arrive there I recognize its Saturday so I will have to stay one day before I get the bike. What to do. Sunday I move to another hotel closer at the enfield showroom and get a mobile device so I will have internet everywhere. I find out there will be a train to Delhi at Monday evening. As I am in a hurry to get my spare parts for the car from the custom in jaipur I take the train up to Gwalior.

Before getting on the train I have the occasional fight about the price with the chai wallah at the station – “One chai fifteen rupees!” – “ You know that’s why I like Pakistan so much – In Pakistan people are welcome and in india only money”. People are suddenly silent around me and looking at me – I pay five rupee and leave. I have a general ticket and the train is overcrowded. The first night I manage to get a bed but then I spend 20 hours without even really a place to sit… At this day a guy who has been at the chaishop in Belgaum invites me for chai to prove not all Indians are greedy. A few hours before arriving I meet some Russian girls I had already seen in Hampi. I join them and the last hours on the train go by fast while chatting with them. I arrive in Gwalior which is about 300km from Jaipur at 1 in the morning and its freezing cold 1800 km further in the north. There is no way to get on the bike before sunrise. I do 10km and then I spend hours at a chaishop with the biggest rats I have ever seen in india. I got internet so no problem.
Sunrise I spend at the next chaishop already – I have a lot of fun with the very nice chai guy there. Then I take a short cut and the landscape becomes amazingly beautiful again. Somewhere out in the dessert suddenly I recognize a loss of power. My diagnosis is ignition which probably needs to be adjusted which needs a mechanic who knows enfields. I stop in the next village and soon a mechanic is found. Within minutes I am surrounded by people who ask me to play my guitar and make music. I order chai but before the chai is finished the bike is. My diagnosis in general was right but lucky enough only the spark plug needed to be changed. I sing a song for the people and in exchange I get chai and spark plug for free.

Well there are places with nice open hearted people in india still. But you will need to visit the countryside – like places where people have hardly ever seen foreigners before. I didn’t sleep last night so I stop a little later at a chaishop to take a nap. Waking up very late I don’t manage to reach Jaipur and sleep again in the same filthy guesthouse where I was a few weeks before on my way to Agra. Next day morning I go to my guesthouse in Jaipur and to the post office then. They need the receipt which was sent to Pushkar so I can prove to be the owner of the parcel. Takes another two days but Sunday evening a bus driver takes the paper for me from Pushkar. So I wait a few days in Jaipur and get the parts Monday afternoon. Nighttime I arrive in Pushkar. I sleep inside suryananda. The repairing takes a few days but after it is finished I am still kind of stuck in Pushkar. “Leaving day after tomorrow” I tell everyone until people are only laughing about it. When the car is repaired I take a room to clean her completely and after I take a place at sunset ghat – which is probably the most beautiful place to park in Pushkar.

A day in the life of….

December 30. & 31. 2012 Agra – Jaipur

Km done: 250

Prehistory:
On the way to Udaipur Omtatsat (my motorbike) had problems: the oilpump broke on the way so the engine broke a few km later. In Udaipur I got a new engine. Salim, the mechanic didn´t make me feel really good when he told me my mechanic in Pushkar is a very bad mechanic and more things like this. (I trust and love Bablu, he is the most honest mechanic I have ever seen and he solved all problems I ever had with the bike for really fair prices – even more he is just about to fix the problems with the engine of suryananda (the magic buzz)). However Salim finished his work more than a day late spending half an hour telling me he is the best mechanic for enfields ever before he would let us leave….

Valerie, a beautiful girl from California whom I met in Pushkar was with me at that time. “New engine, 2000km go slowly and make break after 50km for the first 500” he told us before we hit the road…. We really tried to do what he said but after 30km the engine was hot and stopped. We called him and he said something like “No problem, make break every 30km”. Now I was already pretty sure he had done bullshit but still we went on. That day we did about 100km making many breaks. Not fulfilling my expectation there were no problems on the next day so we arrived in Pushkar in the afternoon. I spent a few days in Pushkar trying to solve problems with suryanandas engine and tire before I left to Agra where I had to meet a doctor who can maybe heal my diabetes using stemcells.

This journey took me two days as I was still going very slowly. From Pushkar to Jaipur it’s a nice and dry dessert area so at daytime it was pretty warm and nice. After Jaipur there are many rivers and channels. Its agricultural and well irrigated area – you can also call it a swamp. So when leaving Dausa (little town with filthy overpriced hotels 50km behind Jaipur) it was foggy… and cold. 12° on the motor bike without handle heating, wind protection for the hands and gloves made me miss my KTM and my “Paneer” (motorbike suit in Austrian) a lot.

A few kilometers before Agra a little ignition problem started. Sometimes I did not have full power for 2 seconds, then again power 3 seconds and again less power…. Salim had suggested to put some oil in the petrol not without giving me a spare spark plug. The problem appeared first about 30km before Agra so I just went on and changed the spark plug. When riding in town the next day there was no problem so I just put the bike to the mechanic to change the oil and put new bremsbeläge. I met the doctor because of whom I went to Agra and left again one day later. I had some really nice experiences in Agra again for example one rickshaw driver who showed me and my german friend Stefan around two years ago. He remembered me exactly crying at sunrise in front of Taj Mahal and after playing didgeridoo for a long time. Also I got free chai again for making music and many Indian people at the chai shop made a great audience.

So this brings us to the story. A classic blog day again as you will read. Crazy, exhausting, amazing, full of great experiences – the spice of my life!
I left Agra too late because being busy meeting people who never came in the morning. Sun came out at 11 but I left Taj Ganj not before 1pm. First 60km went quickly so I was pretty sure to arrive in Jaipur only little after sunset when suddenly I noticed the same loss of power again. Spark plug was changed so this was not the problem. I let the engine cool down for half an hour and then went on. 20 minutes later the same problem.

Again stop at the Chai shop meanwhile it was getting later and more foggy again so not only the engine needed to cool down but I needed to warm up. By now I was pretty sure that Salim had done bullshit on my beloved girl. When I had done around 100km since Agra, still 140 to go to jaipur I stopped again. Sun was setting and there was no chance to arrive in jaipur today. I think about searching a hotel or sleeping for free but very cold and very much in public at the chai shop. Then I have another idea… When the engine broke 80km before Udaipur we took a taxi taking us and the enfield. The imagination of the heating inside the taxi and the people at the chai shop starting to get drunk are making the decision for me. I ask the guys for a taxi and only two hours later they arrange a lift to Jaipur on a truck for me.

Awesome! I had never been inside of these amazing trucks and when I put my luggage in the cockpit I realize the cockpit is nearly nothing but a huge bed! We put the Bullet on the back of the truck: 6 indian guys and I lift up the bike to the height of my shoulders – their heads: no problem! Half an hour later we leave the chaishop direction jaipur. 3 hours they say which makes me calculate we will arrive in jaipur around half past 10pm. Not the best time for searching a hotel. At the first of many chai stops I get a bag of lays chips – my only food today. I enjoy the ride and when we arrive in jaipur its past 12 o clock.

Shitty time for searching a hotel I think when the driver suddenly makes a sharp left turn leaving the highway proceeding on a dusty road. “Interesting” I think as I had expected them to let me out somewhere close to the center of the city. When they see a wooden bed/table under a roof in front of a shop they stop the truck, sit together with me in the cockpit and smoke beedies. In the cockpit there is plenty of space for the three of us I think and start putting the luggage aside so we all can sleep there. “Kanha? – Food?” they ask… YES! At the last chai stop they had bought plenty for the three of us to eat so we leave the truck to sit on the bed/table to eat. After finishing the food we go back to the truck but the guys only take out a blanket and start making themselves comfortable at the bed/table outside. Seems like my private room for tonight is the cockpit of an Indian truck! YES! I sleep amazingly well until somebody knocks at the door around 5 am.

When I fell asleep it was warm but now again it is freezing cold. A chai shop just outside is already open so I go to get chai and warm at the fire they made there. Two hours to dawn I think while the drivers unload my bike. Engine starts on first kick so no problem now. However the first thing I will do in Jaipur is searching a good mechanic. Still one and a half hours to go to sunrise so I take out the guitar and start to make music for the crowd at chaishop. Very quickly, about only 5 chai later, the sun is rising and I leave the chai shop to go the last ten km to the pink city.
By the way, while writing this it becomes midnight – So happy New Year, blessings, peace, love, sun and happiness to you! Relax and enjoy! Be one! Good night!

Udaipur

too many things happening – I promise I write down some of them soon!

http://youtu.be/rpxmYWTD0aU