Sugar Coated Mountains
The beginning of my fourth trip to India is approaching fast. Recently I’ve got the Indian visa from Indian Embassy in Helsinki so I can travel to India as many times as I want during five years. That is a big deal in the sense of saving energy and money for not applying new e-visas each time and also it appeared to be rather rear case to get one for five years.
This time I’m travelling to the northern part of this vast country, to the mountains. I will meet Danish in Delhi’s railway station and we will be heading to Dehradun by train. It will be fun to see him and experience the Indian trains again. Dehradun is not just the gates to the Himalayas, but also I was studying and met Danish there more than four years ago. Our motorbikes should be waiting for us in the railway station custom house too. Danish has shipped them on rails from the south.
Also looking forward to see Pooja who is a part of the Dehradun gang I met in the short course studies in Dehradun. She is still polishing her studies there. She must be a doctor for now.
I'm a bit nervous about upcoming motorbike trip over the sugarcoated Himalayas. It will be bone breaking or rather ass killing struggle on the motorbike saddle. The terrain will be a long spaghetti type of gravel or poor condition asphalt mountain passes over the mountains and valleys. Also I’m expecting to see beautiful landscapes, breathtaking scenery of nature and meeting curious or even bit frightened villagers. The highest road we are planning to take is a bit over four thousand meters over the sea level. Actually this is the limit really, because higher mountain passes are still closed because of snow and landslides in June. The highest roads are only opened for a few weeks in July-August. Imagine living in a small village that is connected with the outside world like this?
I’m thrilled to have yet another trip to India. Why I go back there? Well, first India is just so vast for consuming by one go. Secondly I believe this country provides so many layers that I’m still learning. And in the end I think India has some kind of magic magnet dragging me back there.
Many people are going to India to find religion, meaning, inner peace or balance or healing. I’m not after any guru or any of this, I keep on going back because of friends and scenery. Of course I will observe and taste some of the previously mentioned, but as rather secondary and nice to haves.
I’m trying to experience India as it is and I’m zeroing all my expectations and prejudices. They are not helping to feel the land and it’s people with all the senses.
I will write the diary, as usual, in my phone every day and every moment I can in order to record all the action and experienced moments as quickly as possible. Previous diaries about my trips in India have been in Estonian language, but this time I will write in English and backtranslate it to Estonian in order to share the experience with more readers.
Additional to diary I’m equipped with Canon 6D camera and I’m carrying the heavy lenses like 70-200mm with me to have proper pictures. Also I will try to shoot some footage with GoPro action cameras and drone. Carrying the drone to India through the customs is very tricky business and therefor I try to get one from local friends. India's borderguard is obsessed about security because of neighbours in the region I’m going to. But maybe they are going too far and regulating just too much. Anyhow, let's see what kind of footage I will get for the blog.
I hope this diary will give interest to discover the real India, that is outside of Goa’s safe touristic environment.