Saturday, 17 July 2010

Incredible India

Just a brief catch up to let those who care know that im out of Afghanistan in one piece and super happy to be in India.

Wow right now I have the Himalaya's just outside my window, they are monstrous and so beautiful. They have this presence that with such power and awe. Im in a place called Manali right now and today is the exciting day where we go out and get ourselves a good deal to rent some enfields. Its a bit of a hassle and the paperwork and prices up here are all a bit to dodgy. Renting is the best option to head down to Paravati Valley and then up to Leh and across the highest motorable pass in the world. This is going to be one hell of an amazing experience and I cant wait to get out there.

Joining the team... I met Nick, Brould (Lochi) in Delhi at the airport. Man it was so good to see nick again, was almost to years since ive seen him. I snuck into they're fantastic hotel room and lived up like royalty for two nights with an enormously delicious buffet breakfast. Wow Dehli's something else.... After a a couple of days of sussing out the Indian vibe on the surface and getting to know the people, money and how everything interacts and functions, we decided not to get motorbikes in Delhi as for first time learning for Nick and Brould, its probably no the wisest decision.

We bought a nigh bus ticket for Manali and it was time to get out of the extremely humid city which is quite chaotic and crazy. Catching public transport now is great, you get such a different feel and quite intimately getting to know local as you share and swim in each others sweat. Some great experiences in Dehli.

So the bus ride was a killer and especially for Nick, he caught the "Dehli Belly" as they call it and got so sick. I luckily had a beautiful Amsterdam woman called Q sit next to me on the bus, we had great conversations all night. She really loved the idea of what our plan was and she wants to learn how to ride a motorbike too, so she will join me on the back for a week before she has to head back home. Im hoping ill be able to enjoy the back seat ride for the first time as im sure she will learn how to ride pretty quickly... well i hope so.

Nick has picked up from his sickness and his appetite has grown greatly, we'll just have to take it easy and sooth the belly's with slippery elm. I got sick from some Afghan water but slowly slowly everyday my bowels are getting better and better!

So the mission is on today to get the bikes, to tech 3 people how to ride, pack the bikes and head off... Thats the idea anyway, I dont know how far we will get....

So Im out of beautiful Afghanistan in one piece and in Incredible India. I could stay here for months I think.

Much Love to ye all

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Its a sad day for me and my dragonfly

So with the little choice I have and the expense of other options like shipping and flying my motorbike with money I don't have to India. I have found an Afghani to buy my Dragonfly and then I shall now fly from Herat to Kabul and then Kabul to India. Hopefully with the cash I get I can afford to buy an old Enfield and join the great Mr Cassey and continue the wild adventures of this overland travel experience in India.

Afghanistan is amazing, I am having such a good time, apart from not being able to head into the Mountains due to the Taliban or even traveling out of Herat. But the people and their smiles and curiosity and hospitality is great. We are camped in a dust bowl on the river south of Herat, its a great spot apart from the winds which constantly cover everything in dust and sand. We have the Spanish Military looking after us too and they are trying to find out all options possible to get the Spanish crew out of Afghanistan.

Every now and then you hear a bomb blast or some firring but we are pretty safe here. However its time to leave as you never know who is and where the Taliban are. Its been a fantastic experience here but in a day or two I fly to Delhi. I'm really looking forward to it.

I hope I haven't worried to many people about entering Afghanistan, I'm kind of happy they didn't let us into Pakistan, because where I wanted to go I could have easily have disappeared. Afghanistan is actually safer that Pakistan right now and all the boarders.... who knows what could have happened.

So I'm safe and well but its sad to part with my dragonfly.... very sad, I may have a wee cry now but to be honest its not the materialistic connection, its all the travels we have shared together and great experiences we have shared.

Farewell my dragonfly..... I'm going to miss you.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Blowing in the dust of the 16th century

Ok Afghanistan is very interesting and very amazing at the same time. Were back in the 16th century but the heart of Herat is a pearl. Pakistan visa in Afghanistan is still impossible to obtain. Tomorrow we risk crossing Taliban country from Herat to Kabul. There are three choices but really only one. And still that one road to the south passes through the homelands of the Taliban's capital Qandahar. The other two routs take two to three weeks to cross as the roads are gravel and cross the monstrous arid mountain ranges where alot of the Taliban rule in certain areas. We spoke to Spanish Military yesterday for up to date info. Its all very interesting and quite crazy, and very hot and dusty. I hope we live to tell the tail. Much love.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Afganistan ......

So its been impossible to get my Pakistan visa from Iran, Iran has been great but the desert and the hot winds blow alot of energy out of you. Changing a tyre in the heat of the sun costs your body about 3 liters of that very precious stuff were full of... water! Its crazy, but traveling with these new Spanish friends and their 4WD truck is great, we now enter Afghanistan and try to get into Pakistan from that way. Its proving to be a mission but we all want to get there, well especially in the north and away from the troubled regions. So now Amparlo, Davod, Husain, Manu and I travel further east from Mushad in Iran and enter the lands of Afghanistan. We are all trying our best to get across as safe as possible and have done and are doing research into the no go areas. It'll be ok, im a little nervous but I feel quite excited at the same time. We enter on Monday.

Ill try and keep in contact as much as possible.

Much love to ye all!!!
Marty and the Dragonfly