Sunday, 14 September 2008


We left Lahore with memories of the wonderfully chaotic Anarkali Market area where we stayed. We’d also visited giant- and beautifully-crafted mosques, as well as the Fort dating from Mogul times. I also left with the dreaded “Lahore Throat” due to the air pollution – the resultant snotty cold still persists. Only a short hop (or peddle) and we were into the Punjab province of India, which is relatively affluent compared to Pakistan (and the rest of India, I’m told). First stop was Amritsar where we stayed in the Golden Temple complex – this temple is the most holy place of the Sikh faith, with thousands of pilgrims constantly present. After a number of months in “dry” countries I was on another mission, and took a cycle-riksha in search of a cool beer. Upon my return to the dormitory the bearded turban-clad Sikh caretakers weren’t impressed (they are tee-totalling vegetarians). The following morning we shared the free simple vegetarian meal with hundreds of local pilgrims, sitting cross-legged on the floor (I’m still trying to untangle myself, as sitting cross-legged is not a natural thing for me). After damaging the rear-wheel-rim on my bike up in the Karakoram, I’ve been in search of a suitable replacement rim. Eventually my luck ran out, and after a number of flat tyres it was time to bury the offending part. Just past the town of Kurali I was stranded, but a local businessman named GPS Munday saw the predicament and came to my rescue. First he took me (and the rim) to Kurali on his schooter, but to no avail. He then organized a truck (with driver) to take both Leana and myself (and bikes) the 20 km to Chandigarh where we were dropped at a hotel and taken to a suitable bike shop (GPS had followed us all the way on his schooter, just to ensure that we got sorted). Surprisingly, here in Chandigarh I also found a replacement for my expired cycle computer, as well as “leak-sealant” for the tubes. Chandigarh is a modern planned city, unique to India (reminding one of Islamabad in Pakistan). We’ve visited the main attractions here such as the man-made Sukhna Lake, and the Rock Garden (created from stones and rubbish by Mr Nek Chand, since the 1950’s – quite impressive). I’m not sure where we’ll go from here, but we’ll probably leave tomorrow. Daily distances cycled since Lahore were:- Amritsar 67 km; Jalandhar 78 km; Rupnagar 115 km; Chandigarh 25 km.


David Gassner said...

hi e & l, great pics of the mountains and the camp site looks pretty good. still fascinated by the read so keep them coming. ct is wet and windy and i read in the saws about strange weather such as "busters" and high wave action hitting the shores. they measured 10m swells south of ct !! enjoy yourselves. regards. dave gassner

peterz said...

hi ernest + leana
great pictures u have . Must have many thousands more. Ernest , u still need to cut that beard off boet

Peter Z