India – Statistics

Statistics

  • 4 people
  • 2 auto rickshaws
  • breakdowns: 29 (see list below)
  • 3.658 kilometers
  • top speed: 72.2 km/h (downhill)
  • lowest daily average speed: 17.8 km/h
  • highest daily average speed: 45.2 km/h
  • Longest daily distance: 334 kilometers
  • 8 rolls of toilet paper
  • lowest altitude: 0 meter
  • highest altitude: 1090 meter
  • cheapest hotel night: 1100 rupees (for four people)
  • most expensive hotel night: 10200 rupees (for four people)
  • hotels with hot shower: 4
  • busiest temple: 1 Lakh people (100,000)
  • quietest temple: 4 people (us)

Breakdowns

  • spark plug
  • 3x exhaust falling off
  • no brakes
  • wheel coming off
  • 2x wrong fuel mix, resulting in none starting rickshaw
  • accident causing in broken window and roof
  • 7x flat tyre
  • loose exhaust
  • 2x broken roof rack support beams
  • broken clutch cable
  • broken cable in the engine
  • front window falling out
  • lacking general maintenance
  • broken roof rack lid
  • 4x wrong carburetor configuration
  • broken head light

Route
Our final route

Hoogteprofiel India
Height profile 

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India – Day 28 – Back home

Our flight from Delhi to Moscow left at 4:15 at night. So sleeping during the flight is no problem. With, this time, a smooth and fast transfer in Moscow, we arrived on schedule around 12:15 in The Netherlands. The end of a great adventure.

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India – Day 27 – New Delhi

38 degrees Celsius and sunny

Souvenir shopping. We were looking for auto rickshaw wooden or metal souvenirs. This turned out very difficult. After walking around and many many shops, we ended up with a nice pile of souvenirs and only plastic auto rickshaws. Erik will paint them to match our blue rickshaws.

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In the evening we had our last dinner in India, this night and tomorrow we fly back home.

India – Day 26 – Old Delhi

35 degrees and quite some sun

In the middle of the night we had to wake up, to catch our 6 AM (ouch…) train from Agra to Delhi. The train seats were comfortable enough catch up some hours of sleep, but with such an early wake and not all stomachs feeling to well, this would become a lazy day.

After we checked into a hotel close to the railway station, we took a rickshaw taxi to the Red Fort in Old Delhi. Four people in the back of a rickshaw is not the most comfortable way of traveling, with body parts hanging out of the rickshaw in the busy Delhi traffic.

The Red Fort is Old Delhi is another World Heritage site. It was build in sixteen something.Directly after the is the souvenir shop trap. A couple of dozen shops sell all of the same type of souvenirs seen at local markets. Behind the souvenir shops the interesting part starts, with separate buildings for separate function. There are separating buildings for the emperor, his private office, his public office, his main wife, his other wifes, his bathroom, etc.

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In the evening we visited Hardrock Café New Delhi. Food was nice. Music was bad. They had a retro night. Retro seems to translate into ABBA, Enrique Iglesias, Beegees, Village People, the macarena (2 times), etc. Too bad we had to travel an hour (single trip) for this. We just as well could have gone to the bar next to our hotel for some food and lousy music.

India – Day 25 – Agra

Today: 12 km
Total: 3.658 km (final score)
One hundred million degrees Celsius and the sun is burning hotter than hell

At seven we left the hotel, for an early visit to one of the new seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Waking up early proved a very good idea. Without queues and all touts and souvenirs shops still closed, we entered the complex fast and easily. The only hump on the road were some forbidden items in our backpacks (pocket knifes, Hindu souvenir statues, GPS and some camera equipment), which we could store in the locker rooms and pick up after our visit.

Unfortunately one of the minarets was being restored. Walking around the enormous marble building, makes you wonder. How is it possible this building was built 400 year ago, with so much eye for detail, exactly the same from all sides and very beautiful and in current days it seems impossible to get a durable fix on a rickshaw? Anyway, a very nice start of the day.

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Back in the hotel we managed to sell the rickshaws, back to the seller in Chennai. From now on we are rickshaw-less, depending on local and government transport again. Feels quite touristy.

On our way to Agra Fort, we went by the train station. The plan: go to Varanasi tonight with the night train. Visit Varanasi on Friday and fly to Delhi on Saturday for a days visit and fly back to The Netherlands at night. After a bureaucratic session of filling in train tickets request the very unfriendly and very uncooperative (which almost never happens in India!) train station employee told us the train to Varanasi was fully booked. Delhi was possible tonight. After filling in paper work again, tonight was not possible, fully booked. So now we end up taking the 6 AM train tomorrow morning, resulting in a two day Delhi visit. Also OK, but Varanasi would have been nice. But eh… traveling means you need a very flexible plan.

Agra Fort is a red fort, overlooking the Taj Mahal. Sjah Jahan, who had the Taj build, was imprisoned in Agra Fort by his son, until his death. After his death he was put in the Taj. It was nice, but because we visited so many forts, there’s not much to tell.

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India – Day 24 – Agra

Today: 44 km
Total: 3.646
36 degrees and sunny

Today we split up in two groups. Tom stayed in the hotel with Delhi belly 😦

Armand, Erik and Mitch tried to sell the rickshaws. The final conclusion is that selling a rickshaw in Agra is difficult for two reasons:

  1. Our names are not in the ownership papers.
  2. Two strokes are not allowed in Agra, because that’s bad for the Taj Mahal.

We are trying to have them repurchased by the seller in Chennai.

In the evening, Tom by then recovered, we had dinner on a roof top restaurant with a view on the Taj. The service was bad, the food worse. Don’t ever go to Saniya Palace Hotel. The chicken burgers tasted like fish. The spaghetti bolognaise had more fat than tomatoes, drinks took 45 minutes, starters came after the mains.

taj

Tomorrow we are going to visit the Taj Mahal and Agra fort and try to arrange train tickets to Varanasi.

India – Day 23 – Jaipur to Agra

Today: 244 km
Total: 3.602 km
38 degrees Celsius, sun and one enormous rain shower at the end of the day

We made it!!! Across India, from Chennai, to Mumbai to Agra, 3.500+ km in our rickshaws 🙂

Yesterday when we were almost at Amber Fort the exhaust fell off. We screwed it back, but honestly… it needed welding. We decided to just try if we could make it to Agra. But almost out of Jaipur the exhaust fell off again. On the plus side, it fell off almost in front of a welder. So one hour later the exhaust was welded and we continued. Half an hour later the exhaust fell off again. The weld was still OK, but all the screws were missing. With no mechanic shops in sight we continued without the exhaust. It’s like driving with rickshaw speeds and jet fighter sounds. At a Tata factory the exhaust was screwed back.

Just before Agra we visited Fatehpur Sikri. It’s an ancient fortified city from the Mughal time. First we visited the mosque, with a mausoleum. Steep stairs with resting goats lead to the entrance. It was a sandstone building with towers and a great open area in the middle. A friendly employee showed us around, for free. But not without a long stop at a souvenir shop, where Armand bought a stone elephant.

They have annoyingly many touts hanging around, trying to sell you something, demanding your ticket after you visited the palace (so they can sell it illegally to the next tourist with a discount and the tourist will not get in with the ticket), offering to guide you, etc.

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Next we went to the palace. The second after we bought the tickets a strong monsoon shower started. Diving in a swimming pool gets you less wet. Like Armand said: “It’s a house, but empty and big”. Multiple courtyards, buildings and gardens. The rain stopped when the palace closed. Still a good visit.

Video link monsoon shower