Home Top

Archive | South Asia

Go Go Goa!

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


About a year and a half ago we got an email from someone in Pakistan inviting us to Islamabad when we passed through the Middle East. He was with the VW club of Pakistan, and had been following our trip through the Americas. When we got to Islamabad, he said, there would be a big community of friends waiting. We…

Cowboys and Indians

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


At last we arrived in Mumbai, the planned termination of our Indian adventure. Lo and behold, as we wound our way into town, we were pulled over by a cop. Indian cops are nothing more than common criminals, and this one fit the stereotype to a T. After pulling us over in thick Mumbai traffic he got off of his…

Trouble on the Pakistani Border

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


After the Indian wedding we skipped town and headed for the deserts of Rajasthan. We made a pit stop at the Taj Mahal near Agra, a building said to be the most impressive ever built. It was impressive, I will say, and the attention to detail and scale were remarkable, but to say it is the most impressive building in…

The Big Fat Indian Wedding

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


The Big Fat Indian Wedding

As seems to happen to us from time to time, we have fallen grossly behind on our blog. As the days and weeks pass, the interesting things keep piling up and eventually we become as we are now, struggling to catch up to the present. So much happened in Nepal that we couldn’t get ourselves…

Welcome to the Jungle

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


We stood at the water’s edge in our shorts and flip flops along with a horde of other Western and Asian tourists. Six massive elephants rested on their sides in the cool river water of the Rapti. Every day the elephant’s masters, or mahouts, brought them out to the water to be washed, and we were invited to help.
Claire stood before…

Langtang Phooey

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


A while ago in the Andes mountains of Argentina we passed through a place called Uspallata, and thereafter began our ill-fated international food smuggling debacle, which saw us retreating to Uspallata. Uspallata, as it turned out, was the home base for the filming of the movie Seven Years in Tibet, turning the surrounding Andes into the surrogate Himalayas. As we drove from…

The Maoist Revolt

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


You may recall a reference that I made a short time ago regarding Nepal’s turbulent recent history involving the fall of the monarchy, the rise of the Republic, and the persistent problem with those rebellious and violent communists, the Maoists. You may also recall my mentioning that the country is still plagued by periodic Maoist assaults. It should come as no surprise…

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


It was harvest season in Pokhara Valley. During our trek of the Annapurna circuit the rice fields surrounding our camp had changed from neon green to gold. Harvest season was the most time critical event of the year and everyone was cutting down the rice paddies with their sickles, beating the rice off the ends, and stacking the dried grass in heaping…

Around Annapurna, Part 3: Little Tibet

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


<< Read Part 2
We stood atop the roof on the edge of Muktinath and hung our laundry from the lines, glad to have put the grueling Thorong La behind us. A chilly wind cascaded down the canyon from the direction of the pass, stirred our hanging socks, and then swept into the canyon below. Behind us the Himalayas towered…

Around Annapurna, Part 2: Snowbound

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


<< Read Part 1
For the second consecutive day in Braga the rain continued to fall. Plan A had been to make a three day diversion to Tilicho Lake, the highest lake in the world at over 16,000 feet. The mountain shelf on which Tilicho sits was visible from the dining room of our lodge, and it wasn’t looking good.…

01/26/2014 – 206 days/18725 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


Here’s just a couple more photos from my last couple days in Kathmandu…and I’m off to Bangkok in the morning!
Himalayas from a plane…
           
That’s Everest

           
Boudhanath Temple…one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world

           
       …

Around Annapurna, Part 1: Into the Wild

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


Before we left on our trip I met exactly one person who had hiked in the Himalayas.  That happened to be Baroon, our dear friend whose family we had just spent a week with in Kathmandu. I was green with envy when he told me about his adventure; just imagine! The person sitting in front of me had trekked around…

The Kingdom in the Clouds

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


Crossing India had consisted of two thousand kilometers of pancake flat driving on the worst roads in the world. Now the roads were well maintained, and within a few miles of crossing the border we began winding through foothills, and then climbing into the mountains. The terrain rapidly transitioned from low, hot plains to grassy valleys, to alpine meadows with crystal…

01/24/2014 – 204 days/18725 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


I’ve been in Kathmandu for almost a week now, and it’s been a very welcome change…everything is a bit more laid back than what I experienced in India. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get very far outside the city, which I think would be the best part of Nepal. Because of how much there is left to do and…

Pit Stop Varanasi

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


We reached Varanasi terribly late on the fourth day of our drive to Nepal. Varanasi was to be our much needed intermission point; a place to stretch our legs, build back our endurance, and wash off the caked dirt plastered on our skin. At some point in the evening the plan was to reconnect with Regina and David at a…

01/18/2013 – 198 days/18644 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


Here’s some video clips from my time in India…some while riding, others not.

My last night in India, I stayed less than a mile from the border to Nepal, and when I arrived in the morning to get my passport and carnet stamped out, I was told that the official that does that wouldn’t show up for about an hour.…

Fork Me: A Drive Across India – Part 2

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


<< Click to read Part 1
Every morning on our trans-India drive started out the same way; we awoke from fitful sleep by our talking phone alarm clock to the suffocating weight of reality pressing down on our chests. It was a terrible feeling, as if we had accidentally burned down the house with the entire family inside. We were…

Fork Me: A Drive Across India – Part 1

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


The distance from Hampi, India, to the Nepalese border is 2,200 kilometers, approximately the distance from Phoenix to Seattle. The plan was to drive to Nepal for the short trekking season, and then return to India later to explore the North.
“It’s only 2,200 kilometers,” I reassuringly reported to Sheena. “We’ll be yodeling in the Himalayas in three days, tops.”…

01/17/2013 – 197 days/18525 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


It’s my last night in India, and although I’m ready to be leaving, I definitely hope to be back one day.
I’d mentioned the narrow alleys that I had to navigate through Varanasi…here’s some video of them as I was leaving this morning. Now just imagine the stress of when I arrived after a long day of riding and finding…

Hampi Campers

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


 
Hampi Campers

A few weeks back when we went to our friend Santhanam’s house for coffee I brought along my India map, and he offered his advice on the must-see destinations in South India. While we sipped on coffee in his bedroom we worked through the map. He highlighted several places on the map that I had never heard of.
“The…

01/16/2013 – 196 days/18275 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


On the bar above, you can see that I’ve added a video section.  I’ve put up a few videos I put together from earlier in the trip, and hope to continue adding more to it as I find time to edit more footage.
Varanasi has proven to be an interesting place…and also fairly crowded and noisy compared to my last…

01/13/2013 – 193 days/18275 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


Of the many unorganized traffic situations I’ve found myself in in India, I think the railroad crossings confuse me the most. When the barriers are down, I’m used to all the vehicles staying in their lane and forming a nice orderly line. In India, cars and motorcycles (and occasionally, buses) quickly fill the empty lane, meant for oncoming traffic. Shortly…

01/08/2014 – 188 days/17496 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


From Chandigarh, I had a full day of riding (on the roughest paved road I’ve ever seen) to get to Mcleodganj. First thing in the morning when I left, there was a very light fog…just enough to accumulate on my visor and blur my vision, but little did I know, it wasn’t enough to keep the dust down. So every…

The Onam Food Babies

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


 

Over the course of a few days we crossed the subcontinent from the Indian Ocean west to the Arabian Sea. We left Pondicherry, first stopping in Madurai to celebrate the birthday of the elephant god Ganesh, and then to the hill station of Munnar to escape South India’s heat. The ground rose from the desert plains like a strange…

12/31/2013 – 180 days/16643 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


Here’s how I spent the rest of my time in Jaipur…
Hawa Mahal. I’d say that the backside of this building provide the best photo

             
              
Jantar Mantar is a collection of massive astronomical instruments. Due to lacking astronomical knowledge, to me, it was mostly just an…

Nacho’s Ark

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


By the time we reached Pondicherry, we figured we had our system down. We’d drive into town and ask at the police station where it would be safe to camp. With all of the recent high profile rape cases here in India, this was no place to mess around. I’m squeamish, after all, and my worst nightmares revolve around me…

12/29/2013 – 178 days/16603 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


From Jaisalmer, I headed to Jodhpur, just for a one night stop.
I arrived in the afternoon and had time to take a stroll around the fort in the center of the city, and also get a glimpse of why they call it the “Blue City.”

           

           
In the…

12/24/2013 – 173 days/16162 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


I was about 30 minutes from Jaisalmer when I pulled off on a sandy dirt road leading to a hospital to take a few photos. By the time I got off my bike, pulled out my camera, and took a single photo, I saw a cloud of dust as a Hero Splendor was making it’s way up the dirt road.…

12/21/2013 – 170 days/15871 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


I found the Indian traffic that I was expecting…it required getting out of the cities and off the large divided highways. (No need to read any further, Mom)
In the cities, traffic is crazy and chaotic, but it’s so slow that it isn’t really scary. Minor collisions aren’t uncommon, but the consequences aren’t too serious, as can be seen here……

Santanam

Read the original post and follow Drive Nacho Drive's overland adventures on their website: Drive Nacho Drive.


It is no secret that India has given us stage fright. We’ve learned quickly that any sort of personal space or blending in with the masses is far from realistic. Over the last two years we’ve grown accustomed to being foreigners, but now for the first time we feel like E.T.
Chennai was a serious eye opener. It was a…