India_2






Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
01 Jan 2017
18477 km

Today we got a reply from the biker and he is still interested in forming a group to transit China. He told us that he also has been in contact with a German overlander couple who is looking to group up with someone. We sent them an e-mail to check if they still were interested in doing this and to introduce ourselves.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
02 Jan 2017
18477 km

We rented a scoter today to go in to Chaudi, were we had to do some shopping for food and other stuff. We also needed to find a present for Bert mother, she turns 85 today. We found a small Ganesh a perfect match for her miniature elephant collection. We took a photo of Ganesh and sent it to her. The real one she will get when we come home to Sweden.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
03 Jan 2017
18477 km

Now we have made contact with the German couple, and they too interested in forming a group. We sent them our plan for entering China April 20th. This is about the same time as the MC-guy plan to enter. The Germans plan is to enter late April or beginning of May. This means we all have to give and take same to get it all together. But this feels really great. A fantastic start to try to get something togheter.

Last but not least; we got in contact with MaoLe today he was our guide in China in 2007. He told us about an agent he knew of in Kashgar and he gave us the name of his former boss that was the agent for our previous trip in China.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
04 Jan 2017
18477 km

The doctors visit today was the smoothest and cheapest ever. We went to the local hospital in Chaudi to see if an Ayurveda doctor could help Catharina with the cramps in her legs that she has had at nighttime for several years.

We got to see the doctor strain away. After some questions and taking the pulse he said that Catharina had a pitta imbalance. Strait away he took out a bottle of liquid medicine and two kind of pills - all herbal based of course.

The doctors appointment ended with advice about breathing exercises, mediation and what and what not to eat. When Catharina asked how much to pay he said, no you dont have to pay anything. This is a Government Hospital, and it is free for all including the medicine.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
05 Jan 2017
18477 km

Now the China transit is starting to take form and now we are in total five vehicles; a guy from Singapore on a motorbike, two overander cars from Germany and one from Holland and us.

Today we have set the dates for entry and exit, how many days we stay in China and what border crossings to enter and exit. It feels great! Now we need to get the exact prices for the group from the most interesting agents so that we can choose one to move forward with.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
06 Jan 2017
18477 km

Bert has been at the hairdresser today to get his hair dyed with red henna. It turned out great! He also got one of his very rare haircuts, no really a cut it was more like a trim.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
07 Jan 2017
18477 km

We borrowed old fashioned map of paper from our neighbors from England. Our GPS tricks us in to travel strange and small roads here in India. It is difficult to tell the status of the roads in the GPS. When we leave Goa we want to cross India in fast phase and make sure that we travel the expressways as much as possible. Today we outlined a route from here up to Sikkim.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
08 Jan 2017
18477 km

Catharina made another visit to the Ayurveda doctor today, this time at his private practice and pharmacy. To make the pitta imbalance go away more quickly he recommended a Virechan therapy, this is a laxative therapy of gee spiced with 24 different herbals and full body massage for 3 days in a row. After that the body has to rest for a day before taking the final laxative pill when it all is supposed to come out.

Today was the first day of the treatment. Took 40 mg gee before breakfast, mixed it with warm milk to be able to eat it. After that it was time for a full body massage. This means you get covered in oil from scalp to your toes. The massage is kind of rough, but the purpose is to get the processes going to get all poison out of the system.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
09 Jan 2017
18477 km

Day two of the treatment. The gee mixed milk really tastes terrible. Today the dose has increased to 60 ml. But it will get worse tomorrow, then Catharina have to eat a hole can of 100 ml.

In the evening it was a outdoor movie at Fusion. Sully, with Tom Hanks was on. The movie is about the passenger plane that had an emergency landing in the Hudson river.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
10 Jan 2017
18477 km

Third day of the treatment. Catharina is tired and feels a bit nauseous now. Today the massage treatment finished off with a steam treatment to escalate the benefits of the massage.

The steam treatment works like this; you climb in to a big wooden box and you stick out your head though a hole on top. To keep the steam inside they put a towel around your neck. Then they turn on the hot steam. I stayed there sweating for 5 minutes.














Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
11 Jan 2017
18477 km

Today we moved to a hut at Sonho Do Mar Resort, since Catharina need access to a toilet all day tomorrow when the flushing out part of the treatment is happening. Catharina also took a Yin Yoga Class i at the beach in the sunset.

It is great to have access to internet all the time here at the resort. Now we are nearly finished with the research and planning for the seven visas we have to get in the next five months. That is a relief! It is a lot of work to research it and make a plan for where to apply for them. The only visa we have left to work out is the Russian visa.










Agonda, India
N 015 02.698 E 073 59.072 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
12 Jan 2017
18477 km

At 6 AM the alarm rang and Catharina got up to take THE PILL. After 45 minutes it all started. Bert had to get take away breakfast to Catharina since she was unable to even leave the hut.

It carried on like this most of the day. As soon as Catharina ate or drank something it just passed right though her. Bert took the scooter to Palolem Beach to search for a Geo Cash.












Agonda, India
N 015 02.698 E 073 59.072 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
13 Jan 2017
18477 km

We took an extra night at the resort to spend the day reading up on visa to Russia. Now we have a plan for that too. Today we also took a final decision about which agent to use for transiting China. The Adventutourchina.com had by far the best price. And Mathias, in our group had used them before and was pleased with them. That feels great, since there are so many things that can go wrong. Now when we are four cars and one motorcycle in the group we only have to pay 900 Euro per vehicle for a four day transit.

Then Danielle and Richard in their Land rover rolled in, they have been staying at the beach with us for a week. Tomorrow Danielle is going back home so she wanted to spend the last day at a resort for a change. We took the opportunity to ask them about what to do and where to stay in the Stan countries. They were there in september and october.












Agonda, India
N 015 02.698 E 073 59.072 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
14 Jan 2017
18477 km

Today we moved back to our home at the beach - home sweet home. We got a film clip by e-mail from a tourist that had seen our car at the beach Yes, it is more comfortable at a resort but it is so much nicer here at the beach.

In the afternoon we went to Cola Beach. On one side of the thin beach strip there is sea water and on the other side it is sweet water. We stayed here five years ago in an old colonial style tent. The tents are furnished with real beds, electricity, bathroom with shower and a water toilet. Super cool! But now there are only a few tents left. They are building a lot of expensive bungalows here. Too bad it used to be a nice place.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
15 Jan 2017
18477 km

Sunday again. This means the full Indian experience as usual here at the end of the beach - party all day long. To escape it all we took the scooter to Butterfly Beach instead.

Today we saw a really cool Royal Enfield, an off road version. It is a new model called Himalayan. They started to manufacture this one in 2015. It is a 410 cc and the price is about 2 150 Euro.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
16 Jan 2017
18477 km

We went in to Chaudi today to do some shopping. Catharina also had a doctors appointment. No more treatments were needed now, only medication and to leave it all to work its magic. Catharina got some more medicines; calcium pills, and a liquid that is supposed to be taken with another pill twice a day. Lots of pills and fluids now... but not much coffee or beer non actually for 12 days.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
17 Jan 2017
18477 km

Richard is the hero of the day. He has been cleaning and burning rubbish all day at the end of the beach where we live. Now it looks much nicer. But soon it is weekend again and the Indians are back throwing rubbish all over the place again

Today we also have made a plan for our Pakistan visit to come with exact dates and hotels. This we need to get an LOI (Letter of invitation) from the agent speedy Kamal in Pakistan. The LOI we need to be able to apply for a Pakistani visa in Sweden.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
18 Jan 2017
18477 km

All the countries have different ideas of what a picture for a visa should look like. To cover it all we have deck of different passport pictures with us. Pictures were we look strait in to camera, look left, look right, dark background, white background, in black and white, in color, different sizes etc. But none of them are good enough for the Chinese visa application. Take a look at the instruction we got from them. We had to make new ones and Alex van got to be the white backdrop for them.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
19 Jan 2017
18477 km

The visa application for China is now prepared, the only thing that is missing now is the LOI (Letter of invitation) that the agent in China will send us hopefully soon. Tomorrow we are going to take care of the Pakistani visa; also here we are waiting for the LOI from Pakistan. Apart from all this we are doing some small things from our shit list.














Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
20 Jan 2017
18477 km

In a couple of trees close to the beach there are a lot of bats. And we mean a lot, probably 1 000 bats and they are huge the size of a cat with a wingspan of close to 1 meter.

We go there now and then to check them out, they are so very cute. During the day they are sleeping in the tree and in the night time they are out eating mango and bananas.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
21 Jan 2017
18477 km

Finally it feels like the money issue is not a problem anymore. The banks has increased the limit per withdrawal to 10 000 rupees, about 130 Euro. Jippiee! This also means that the lines to the ATMs are much shorter too. Great!

In the evening we were invited to Alex for dinner. He cooked a shrimp curry for us. Delicious! Alex who lives at the beach with us is an experienced traveler. Already as a four year old he was traveling to as an overlander with his parents.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
22 Jan 2017
18477 km

Pekka and Anna is a couple from Sweden that we met here in Agonda. They were actually on an adventure like ours in the late seventies when they traveled to India in a VW bus. When Anna and Pekka go back to Sweden in late January they take an envelope with our visa applications for Pakistan and China with them. And in Sweden they post them to our friend John in Stockholm who will take the applications to embassies.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
23 Jan 2017
18477 km

Today Catharina tried another Ayurveda treatment called Sirohara - warm oil is slowly poured in the forehead for 45 minutes to the sound of relaxing Indian music and incense. It is a very relaxing experience. Especially for the brain. After a while it feels like Catharina is floating away in space. This was the first treatment of three and already looking forward to the next one.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
24 Jan 2017
18477 km

To get our passports with the visas to Pakistan and China sent to us we again need to use DHL. To make the process smooth we wanted to really get ahead of all eventual problems that could occur. We know it was not an option to have the passports sent to India. It is illegal and the customs can take them. Instead we wanted to have them sent to us in Nepal. When we contacted DHL about it we were informed that is also illegal to send passports to Nepal.

Then we contacted the Swedish embassy in Delhi. We had heard that it could be an option to send them with embassy post. But we got a really stupid answer from the administrator at the embassy. Tomorrow we will try to contact the embassadour instead.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
25 Jan 2017
18477 km

Bert called the embassy today. We didnt manage to get the ambassador on the line, but we got Max, the first ambassador secretary instead. He was both nice and helpful. After some research he came to the conclusion that we could send our passports via embassy post from Foreign Affairs in Sweden to the Swedish Embassy in New Delhi. And that we could pick them up there.

He pointed out that this is only possible in very special cases. If someone else would ask for the same thing they may not approve it. We have to pay 100 Euro for this, but that is the same amount as if we would have used DHL.

It feels lika a big relief to have found a fast, reliable and legal solution to the problem. Now we do not have to worry anymore about all this.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
26 Jan 2017
18477 km

To have good neighbors is always great - also here at the beach in Agonda. It makes it easy to pop over to borrow a cup of sugar for the teriyaki sauce or to find teak oil for our table.

Today it is the national day here in India, and to keep Indians who had too much to drink calm they also had guards here at the beach today.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
27 Jan 2017
18477 km

We run out of gas for our stove at breakfast and we had to go all the way to Margao to find a filling station, 40 kilometers away. We paid less than 3 Euro and now we can get by for about 2 months. Great!

It was Berts 59 th birthday today. Wow, how did that happen? Our neighbors dropped by to congratulate and Bert took a distance skl with his friend Tomas from work.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
28 Jan 2017
18477 km

Goan sausage is small, raw, spicy sausages. You can find them everywhere but you have to fry them for quite a while to get rid of the fat. They are super delicious!

In the evening we went to a restaurant with Perry, Ellen and Alex. They usually cook everything at home since they plan to stay out for as long as their money last. But we have only one year and we are once out twice a day here in India.










Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
29 Jan 2017
18477 km

A guy from England, an overlander who traveled here by motorbike, came by to ask us if we needed a really warm sleeping bag. He wanted to get rid of some bulky stuff since he was flying home in a few days. Yes, absolutely we said. We are going north in a few days and this is perfect for us. Especially for the trekking we are planning in Nepal. At high altitude it is freezing cold at night and not much heating.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
30 Jan 2017
18477 km

The last few days we have prepared us to get back on the road again. We have stored up on food, drinking water, cleaned the car on the inside and the outside, done laundry and got all the necessary documents for visas and stuff to Sweden and China.

Now we are ready to leave the beach and Goa tomorrow, the plan is to cross India and we aim for Sikkim. This leg will take about nine long days of driving. We are for sure going to spend a lot of time in the car, but we are planning some short stop along the way in Hampi, Varanasi and Darjeeling.












Agonda, India
N 015 01.886 E 073 59.443 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
31 Jan 2017
18477 km

Our neighbors and the cows came by to say good bye this morning. We are so sad to leave this place. The overlander parking at Agonda beach is one of the great places to stay for overlanders in the world. It is so great to be able to park right at the beach and it is still close to restaurants with wifi, supermarkets, grocery stores and to get acsess to a shower and fresh water and to get home delivery of drinking water right at the beach.

We drove all the way to Hampi today before it got dark, it was 360 kilometers and it took 9 hours with only a very short lunch break. The roads have been quite good and not too much traffic, but still it takes such a long time to travel in India.














Hampi, India
N 015 20.411 E 076 27.739 ->
Today: 95 °F ( +35 °C)
01 Feb 2017
18849 km

Hampi used to be the biggest Hindu emporium in India. It is a vast area of 36 square kilometers with 3 700 monuments. Virupaksha Temple is the only temple that is still used. In the temple lives the 29 year old temple elephant Lakshmi. For a few rupees you can get blessed by her. She put her heavy and a little moistly trunk very carefully on Catharinas head.

We are staying in the yard at a great place called Goan Corner. For only 2 Euro per person we get access to a shower, toilet and wifi. They have yoga in the morning and in the evening the always show a movie on the big screen outside. A lot of climbers stay here since it is real close to the boulder place here.












Hampi, India
N 015 20.411 E 076 27.739 ->
Today: 95 °F ( +35 °C)
02 Feb 2017
18849 km

Yesterday the elephant tender told us that Lakshmi usually takes her morning bath at 7.30-8 AM. We waited quite a while for her to show up this morning, but no Lakshmi. But while we were waiting we could get a breakfast dosa at least.

Before we headed north we dropped by to say hi to a Danish overlander couple who had arrived yesterday evening. This is the first time ever that we have met overlanders from Scandinavia over here. Then we jumped in our car to head for Hyderabad, 450 kilometers away. It took us 10 hours in +35 degrees Celsius without air-condition.












Wild camp Hyderabad, India
N 018 01.621 E 078 26.356 ->
Today: 95 °F ( +35 °C)
03 Feb 2017
19302 km

We wild camped at a field by a farm house. This place we found in Ioverlander, an app were you can find palces to stay overnnight for overlanders on the raod. It is not so many spots yet in the app. We have contributed with one in Agonoda. This app gets as good as we overlander makes it.

Today we have had quite a deal of really good roads Expressways, but this has been combined with some really shitty roads too, were you could only with great difficult drive a normal car. The 100 kilometers of shitty road took us five hours to drive - and this on a National highway!












Truck Stop north of Nagpur, India
N 021 54.832 E 079 31.428 ->
Today: 91.4 °F ( +33 °C)
04 Feb 2017
19844 km

We heard that the road was good going north, but ten hours to cover 540 kilometers tells something different, but now we are listening to an audio book and the kilometers runs a little easier for us.

It you have a high truck it is great to have a long stick to lift the low hanging electric cables with.

Found a nice place for wild camping right beside the road in a field and we could take a shower in the moonlight.














Wild Camp close to Mave, India
N 024 40.538 E 081 036.467 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
05 Feb 2017
20273 km

In the morning the locals discovered that they had guests parked in their field. The first thing we saw was one taking the morning shit under a tree 100 meters from our car. Then there were a steady stream of locals coming to check us out. It is like being a monkey in a cage.

Today we had only 200 kilometers left to Varanasi, but that took us all day. There is really no end to shitty roads in India. We have to travel both sides of the road and crisscross to pass by the big craters. Unfortunately is difficult to catch the bad state of the roads in a picture. Our poor Saab has to endure a lot of beating.

But one great thing happened when we passed a small village. A big elephant turned up on the small road right in front of our car. Not only Catharina has been blessed by a temple elephant - now our Saab and Toppola also has been blessed.


















Varanasi, India
N 025 17.114 E 083 00.480 ->
Today: 87.8 °F ( +31 °C)
06 Feb 2017
20463 km

What a nightmare, too fucking many mosquitoes here. We killed 200 mosquitoes in our car during the night. How is it possible to even have 200 mosquitoes in a small car like ours? We had all the windows closed and one mosquito net for the front door and one extra for our bed and still it didnt work. Exhausted we fell asleep 3-4 AM. When we woke up we were bitten all over our bodies and Bert had five mosquito bites on the forehead and one on the eye. We have to find a new strategy for surviving tonight.

The day we spent walking the 4 kilometer stretch along Ganges were all the Ghats are. Most of the Ghats are for swimming in the holy water or washing clothes, in Manikarnika Ghat they get married and in some of the other Ghats they cremate dead Hindus.












Varanasi, India
N 025 17.114 E 083 00.480 ->
Today: 87.8 °F ( +31 °C)
07 Feb 2017
20463 km

Now we have left Varanasi and continued to Bodgaya. We are staying at the Root Institute for Wisdom and Culture. It is a Buddhist center where you can study Buddhism. We are staying in Stupa Garden of Wisdom. It is a beautiful and calm place, and we have toilet and shower with hot water within 10 meters. Perfect!














Bodgaya, India
N 024 41.338 E 084 58.577 ->
Today: 82.4 °F ( +28 °C)
08 Feb 2017
20717 km

Catharina was up already up 6.45 AM to get to The Small Gumpa to attend the meditation class. Right now a Silent Retreat is on, and there is no talking allowed in the premises.

The small town of Bodgaya is to Buddhists what Mecca is to Muslims a very holy place. It was here Prince Siddhartha got enlightened sitting under a tree 2 600 years ago. Buddhists all over the world are coming here and there are a lot of Buddhist monks here. Where the holy tree used to be is now the Mahabodi Temple and next to the temple is a new big old tree were the pilgrims pray.












Bodgaya, India
N 024 41.338 E 084 58.577 ->
Today: 82.4 °F ( +28 °C)
09 Feb 2017
20717 km

We liked it here and we decided to stay for one more day and took the opportunity to get our laundry done. It got expensive as hell, 20 Euro for a set of sheets some towels and clothes. Outrageous! With prices like this they only need one customer a week.

Maria, the reporter at our local newspaper Sundsvalls Tidning contacted us to get a filmed interview with us today. It looks like it is to be published in the printed newspaper and on their website next week.












Bodgaya, India
N 024 41.338 E 084 58.577 ->
Today: 82.4 °F ( +28 °C)
10 Feb 2017
20717 km

Now we hit the road again. We have two days of driving ahead to Darjeeling. Drove all day and only stopped for the night at a petrol station when it got dark. But we didnt get as far as expected, 140 kilometers, due to poor roads, a gigantic 3 hour traffic jam to cross the Ganges River and yet another flat tire. It is great that we have our tire pressure meter; this means that we notice it right away.

We are really getting fed up with the rich Indian people driving their big fat SUVs. They behave like the shitty BMW owners. They think they own the roads and expect everyone else to get the hell out of their way. They are constantly honking their extra loud horns and force other cars of the road. On top of that they are exceptionally poor drivers too. Grrrrr!












Truck-stop, India
N 026 03.221 E 085 21.596 ->
Today: 82.4 °F ( +28 °C)
11 Feb 2017
20898 km

Today we have had the best day of driving in India, 500 kilometers in one day. This is a new record for us here in India! It has been a 4-lane Expressway along the east-west corridor and it is so nice for a change.

We headed straight for Tiger Hill, outside Darjeeling and parked for the night. Tomorrow morning we are going to see the sunrise over the Himalayas, at this place it is supposed to be something extra.




















Tiger Hill, India
N 026 59.698 E 088 17.124 ->
Today: 50 °F ( +10 °C)
12 Feb 2017
21406 km

When we got to bed last night we were alone the Tiger Hill view point, at 2 500 meters. When we woke up this morning we felt like we were parked right in the audience at a soccer stadium. The car was completely surrounded by 400-500 tourists watching the sunrise over the Himalayas. Unfortunately there was not much of a sun rice to talk about, since it was cloudy.

After that we went down to Darjeeling to check out the town and to find somewhere to stay. Darjeeling is built on a very steep slope and it is very difficult to find a place to stay with a parking lot.

The Darjeelings look like Nepali or Tibetan people and not at all like Indian people. This you also notice in their mentality, they are calm, smiling and very helpful.

In the afternoon we visited a Tibetan monastery, where 300 monks are living. We arrived at prayer time, and we asked if we could join them. No problem they said, and we sat down in the back of the room. There was a lot of drumming, sounding the horn and chanting. After a while they all became quiet and some other monks came serving Tibetan tea with salt and butter. Probably very nourishing, but it did not taste very good - we know, we also got to taste it. It was interesting to see all this but after 30 minutes we felt we had seen enough and left quietly.

Now it was already dark and we had not found a place to stay yet. We decided to go back to Tiger Hill to wild camp at a field we had seen earlier.
















Wild camp at Tiger Hill Darjeeling, India
N 026 59.752 E 088 16.817 ->
Today: 50 °F ( +10 °C)
13 Feb 2017
21439 km

This morning it was freezing, only +3C in the car and -3C outside. We did not feel like getting out of bed this morning, after all it was still quite okay under all out duvets and blankets. But it was nice to have a hot cup of tea, a lukewarm omelet and a roti to warm up our bodies from the inside.

We needed to make another try to find a place to stay since we badly needed a shower and to wash out hair today. After a while we found The Ivanhoe House, expensive 65 Euro per night, but they did have a parking for us.

We checked in and rushed off to The Ropeway, en cabin that runs between Darjeeling and the valley below. It took 20 minutes to ride the Ropeway. We passed over the green tea plantations and small villages. Darjeering is well known for its high quality tea.
















Darjeeling, India
N 027 02.880 E 088 15.963 ->
Today: 50 °F ( +10 °C)
14 Feb 2017
21453 km

We expected it to be nice and warm for a change since we were staying at a nice hotel. But so very NOT. When we arrived at the hotel in the evening it was +10C indoors and it did not get much better later on, even though they put in a heater and lit a fire in our room. The best way to keep reasonably warm was to stay dressed in a fleece sweater, down jacket and leave the shoes on.

One good thing with staying here is that they have a shower with hot water 24 hours a day. Very nice because we really need to wash our hair now and they also had a hair dryer. We like

When it was time to go to bed the staff came in with a hot water bottle to put in the bed to make it a little warmer. That felt good.

The Ivanhoe House is an Indian Heritage House, built in 1871. At that time it was owned by a tea plantation owner. Later the house was turned in to a hotel. We are staying in the Vivien Leigh room, she used to come to stay here along with other movie stars.

Today we also arranged a permit for Sikkim, it was an easy affair it took only a few minutes, but we had to go to two different offices to get it.
















Darjeeling, India
N 027 02.880 E 088 15.963 ->
Today: 50 °F ( +10 °C)
15 Feb 2017
21453 km

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was built by the British in 1881, and is still going strong. The carrages is pulled by the Iron Sherpa, the Whistle Queen and the Mountaineer huffing, puffin and smoking as they run from Darjeeling to Ghom.

The train is going back and forth across the street that runs between the two towns. And to build some extra leverage they have built Batasia Loop, a kind cleaver of roundabout for the train. The rail are very close to the small shops and houses, and when the train passes the steam goes in to the houses. Halfway between the towns there is a water filling station for the train. It is only tourists riding the Steam train. The locals ride the diesel train insted.

In the afternoon we hit the road again. Now we are going further north to Sikkim. Hopefully it is not that cold there. The altitude of Gangtok is 1 000 meter lower than Darjeeling and 1 000 meter lower means about 10 degrees warmer, day and night. We like!


















Gangtok, India
N 027 02.500 E 088 37.262 ->
Today: 64.4 °F ( +18 °C)
16 Feb 2017
21562 km

People were nice, friendly and helpful in Darjeeling, and they are even more so here in Gangtok. There are a lot of policemen and military here, the tiny state of Sikkim border to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. We need a Special Permit to even enter Sikkim, and to go to certain areas especially those close to the border, we need another permit too.

We spent the night at the viewpoint at Ganesh Tok overlooking Gangtok. Started the day by dressing up in traditional clothes of Sikkim and we were not alone doing this.

Our poor Saab took a lot of beating when we crossed India to get here. We found a workshop where they could make a new rubber hanging and to fasten the exhaust pipe again.

The mechanic showed us that a friend of his had posted some pictures of our car yesterday. Now the mechanic did the same Look what I have in my garage right now!














Gangtok, India
N 027 02.500 E 088 37.262 ->
Today: 64.4 °F ( +18 °C)
17 Feb 2017
21562 km

We met the priest in Ganesh Tok. He noticed that we had a Ganesh in our car and we took the opportunity to ask if he could bless it for us in his Ganesh temple. No problem, he said and he blessed our Ganesh and us. This was the real deal, the ritual took 15 minutes. It was incense, flower pedals, coins, sweets, holy waters, oil lamps and prayers of course. We felt very blessed after all this. Now that our Ganesh is blessed in a proper way it will protect us and take away the obstacles on our trip and in our lives ahead.














Rumtek Gompa, India
N 027 17.065 E 088 33.753 ->
Today: 68 °F ( +20 °C)
18 Feb 2017
21630 km

Now we are in Rumtek 25 kilomters south of Gangtok. To enter the Rumtek monastery we have to show our passports and the Sikkim Permits. This monastery is guarded by the military due to previous difficulties. We are staying at the Old Rumtek Gompa. We asked the monks it we could stay there and they said okay. Here is so very nice and quiet. We havent slept this good in weeks.

About 50 monks are living here at Old Rumtek Gompa, but right now most of them are on a pilgrimage to Bodgaya - where we were just a couple of weeks ago. A monk showed us around the premises and he recommended a visit to the valley where all the prayer flags are. That is where they spread the ashes when someone dies. Now we finally have got an explanation for these small valleys full of prayer flags that we have seen every day up here.














Rumtek Gompa, India
N 027 17.065 E 088 33.753 ->
Today: 68 °F ( +20 °C)
19 Feb 2017
21630 km

Today the plan was to go to Yaksom in the south west part i Sikkim. It was only 120 kilometers to travel, but after six hours in the car and still 40 kilometers to go we were fed up with the crazy bad mountain rods. It was not worth it to take 2-3 days in the car back en forth to go Yaksom, and we decided to turn around and go south instead. We drove until it got dark and camped at the Sikkim check point. The border police was ever so nice and let us park there and use their shower.














Melli Bazaar, India
N 027 17.05.156 E 088 27.084 ->
Today: 68 °F ( +20 °C)
20 Feb 2017
21775 km

Early in the afternoon we entered Nepal. This was probably the fastest crossing this far even though we had to stamp our Carnet de Passage leaving India, entering Nepal and apply for a Nepali visa at the border, we paid 80 Euro per person for the visa.

We exchanged 20 Euro at the border to Nepali rupees so that we have some pocket money until we find an ATM. Next stop will be Katmandu, but it is 600 kilometers and this will probably take a couple of days. When it got dark we asked a policeman if he knew about a place where we could park. He said we could stay at the police station, and we did.