The Hopeless Search for Organization

We do lots of walking around Delhi, trying to organize our trip. We spend a few hours trying to find, and a few hours talking to the "official" (ISTD?) government tour operators about jeep/bus/flight bookings, only to be told by various strangers on our exit, that the place we’ve been in is "not good" and "not real government agent". t’s dusty, it’s hot and it’s frustrating. "Hello! .. Where you going? .. Come here! .. What you want? You looking for tourist information? Hey! Excuse me, you looking for tourist office? Please sir, come with me you’re going the wrong way, I show you official ISTD office. Please, honest, I don’t want money, just help…" — Throughout the advice sessions with the various agents I can only think of one thing: getting my Enfield and making MY OWN way! – Bullshitters! We’re so sick of it that we return to PaharGanj in the evening not having booked anything.

I stop by an airtel outlet to get an Indian SIM card and phone number and by about 19:00 we’re making our way to Anjunta (?) road to find the BulletWallas office, a motorbike hire company with, I gather, a reasonable reputation. It’s run by two Australians (I didn’t actually ask whether is was Oz or NZ) Vivan and Chris. Their charges are higher, but being "westerners" instills the traveller some confidence that he’s talking to someone on his wavelength. (And somebody he’d recognize again were something to go wrong). We discuss our plans, the costs, the feasibility. Somewhere in-between, Chris gets up to go and beat a mouse to death.

It looks like we may take the bike for 30 days and tour everywhere by bike instead. We decide to mull over costs and the details for a day and contact them tomorrow with a confirmation. Tomorrow we will take a trip to see the Taj Mahal by bus.

We go for dinner at an apprently Lonely Planet recommended Hostel. It’s pleasant, we’re on the roof, food is ok, the beer mugs are chilled. We discuss our plans. measuring the route, I realize that our 30-day +- 3000km trip would actually be more around 5500km. It would involve about 23 days riding (at +- 250km per day) and possibly the Jaipur-Mumbai highway, which Chris Scott’s Adventure Motorcycling Handbook reports has the world’s highest accident statistic. It looks like we will have to reconsider. There’ll be plenty of time on the super-comfi bus tomorrow.

We book the Taj tickets at the Gold Regent hotel and head back to our room at New King. It’ll be an early start tomorrow.