Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The incident of the curious mouse in the night

Is it a cow or is it Bambi?
I woke with a start (actually I jumped 3 feet in the air) as I felt a scraping on my foot and looked up to see said mouse at my feet on the bed! As I screamed, the mouse jumped off the bed and back in to its hiding place behind the cupboard. Poor thing was terrified no doubt. I found it on the chair next to the bed 20 minutes later and managed to finally get it out and in to the freedom of the corridor! 

I didn't sleep much after that. It was too late! I was awake!!  I tried counting cockroaches but it didn't help! I was also eaten alive by mosquitos and possibly flees!
I wont be recommending that hotel on Trip Advisor! 

Now I am in full swing and on a lovely tour up North and heading for the Himalayas. All my accommodation for the next 10 days has been arranged by Neeta from Destinations Unlimited and the first two have just been awesome by comparison! No roaches, no mice and air conditioning. Day 2 and I am at The Fern Hotel, Vadadora.  A welcome relief after a days riding through what can only be described as bedlam! 

Indian Traffic Mantra

Grant me the serenity to accept the traffic I cannot move
The courage to go for the smallest of gaps 
and the wisdom to use my horn!

I’m actually enjoying it! India is pretty cool. My fears get smaller every day. There is no wonder I was nervous though with all the emails and messages from people warning me that traffic was hell, and people were dangerous. For example. Here is an email from a guy in India which arrived a couple of days before I left Dubai....

Dear Steph

Please be careful in India. There are MURDERERS and RAPISTS walking around everywhere amongst the normal people.
Have a nice trip.


Have a nice trip? You have to laugh! 

This was not a one off though I can assure you! 

Now ask yourself - What am I supposed to do with that information? Is it really going to help? Perhaps not! There is no wonder people are scared to leave the safety of their own back yard! It was the same with Iran and actually all the way along in varying degrees! India definitely has the record for the most health warning messages so far though! 

Rest assured I will take every care as I normally would but for those who wish to warn me of impending doom, perhaps you could choose your words more carefully in future! In case we are not clear IT DOES NOT HELP!!!!! Advice is good. scare mongering is BAD. 

Drawing the crowds in Surat
Ok so we have strange looking cows in the road, dogs jumping out, grease, heat, humidity, trucks, Tuk Tuks, motorbikes and sheer volume of randomly moving traffic (and when I say volume, I mean VOLUME) but I must say it’s different and I am slowly settling in to the rhythm and shaking off the all those negative vibes (which I am sure where well meant if not a little misguided). Each country has its own flow. It's just a matter of sussing it out and getting with the program!

I feel like a Bollywood star with all this attention and the people I have met have been very welcoming if not sometimes a little overwhelming in numbers!!

The help from Neeta and the team has made all the difference to me and is now allowing me to rest well between rides and concentrate on the important job of navigating through the likeable chaos that is India. 

Khooram is still with me on his Enfield and is acting as translator and riding buddy! It's nice to have the company and someone to translate "Do you have Chocolate Milkshake?" in to Hindi.

Rhonda, once again is proving to be a great choice. Particularly in the city areas where the traffic is literally touching and you have to squeeze through the smallest of gaps. She still has the power to pull away quickly and get in front of the pack when the opportunity arises too and I am just loving having her back with me. She is perfect for India and the crowds go wild for her! 

I am actually starting to worry about how much of an emotional bond I have developed with her! Is it wrong to love a machine this much? 

Missing Alex and Vidya! 


  1. Fantastic, you are doing so well, never mind these silly people. Take care, enjoy, wish I was there.

  2. good luck steph, keep going, stay safe,looking forward to the next few reports

  3. Steph, the admiration factor just increases with every report: you have even overcome Indian bureaucracy. Below is what I wrote at the time, 1971:
    "Day 52

    Our 11th puncture.We lunched at Rawalpindi, Pakistan, having crossed the Indus out of the NW Territories and were on the way to the Punjab.

    Pakistan hits the senses like a sledgehammer. It’s not just the feel and the smell because in a way travelling overland has prepared you (when I landed in Bombay in ’77 by plane, the smell brought all those memories back) but it’s the noise, the sheer number of people everywhere, the activity, the colour, the animals, the happy children, the 3-wheeled Lambretta-type taxis."
    Does this agree with your experience!!
    Brilliantly done, keep it up.
    John Fletcher, Hereford

    1. Thanks John. Glad to know your still riding pillion xx

  4. So a bit like riding through North Wales on a Saturday Night xxxx Glad your still enjoying things and making friends with the local wildlife ..mice xxx Keep it shiny side up xx

  5. Steph,
    Girl, your unstoppable. the world is watching and we are all proud of you.
    your an amazing human being.
    Finish this.

    Don't forget to swing by Cali.
    your TT friend
    Ducky Dog

    1. Hey Ducky Dog.
      Cheers mate. See you in a few months.

  6. Steph, I've followed your amazing adventure since you left Ace Cafe.
    I was just a riding newbie with a 125 Vespa and a CBT back then. Now I'm on a full A licence and riding around West London on a CB500f.
    I too chose Honda for their legendary reliability and simplicity!
    I have to be honest though - I'm living vicariously through you. You're doing something I can only dream of doing and I'm more than a little envious!
    Be safe, have fun enjoying the world.

    Are you headed to Sri Lanka by any chance? Also, is there a plan to get from Australia to the USA?

    Best wishes, David

    1. Hi David
      Thanks and congrats on your licence!! Well done! Not sure about Sri Lanka yet. Watch this space. Flying from Sydney to Argentina in January.

  7. All the best Steph.. Lovely to read every time you post about your ride.. Ride safe and Godspeed...

    PS: India is a great country.. I am sure you'll love it.. It is flawed but which country isn't and we are trying on improving. Wishing you luck..

  8. Ignore the silly emails. I've never been on a bike in India but it's an amazing place and the people are lovely. They'll all want to touch you, have they're picture taken with you and be your friend but it's not sinister, it's just the way it is, even more so I would imagine for a girl on a bike :-)

  9. You are never alone in India. Wonderful country, wonderful people. Scary roads! But nothing you and Rhonda can't handle. Live it, love it x

  10. Very good to hear you enjoy India and the worries or gone... still didn't had that chocolate milkshake??? XXX Heidi and Dikke...

  11. Your trip to the lake video made me smile, they ought to put it into a driver awareness course "spot the hazards" or an alternate version of "spot which is not a hazard" which would be easier ! Yes ignore the silly scare mongering, they are obviously too scared to do anything remotely close to living a life !

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