... can have many stories. And classic enthusiasts travel a bit. For the real bumps among the classic motorcyclists, the information below naturally comes as manna from heaven. Although: we do not know whether Shiva, Brahma and Ganesha are also in the manna business.
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But this bizarre story falls outside of all laws. Siem Edink and Dev Sahoo met when Siem was traveling through India. Siem likes India and classic motorcycles. That is why he likes the Enfields roaming all over India. He started talking with 'Dev' (Davidprasadat) Sahoo. And he was an ambitious travel organization on his own.
A pass of 5645 m high. On the motorcycle
Where we already dream about traveling to Zeeuws Vlaanderen or the Vosges, Dev and Siem got talking about Dev's dream project: An organized trip with not many participants through India at (recent) Royal Enfields. Including helicopter flight, excursions and things worth knowing such as a cremation along the river (Jeremy Wade told us about the huge catfish in the Ganges, we now understand that story).
The whole story was already ready, the first ride only had to be arranged
That first trip has since been driven. And the participants were stunned. Because what a world will open for you during a trip of over 3400 + kilometers? That is unique. The participants are on the road for 25 days in a country that seems to be in a different universe. If the weather permits, the highest pass in the world will be driven: the 5645 meter high Manapas. You better hope it is closed. Because motorcycling and almost guaranteed altitude sickness are a very challenging combination.
Is that expensive? India
The 3430 kilometer trip costs € 1200 pp for the guided trip in India, including motorcycle and some insurance. And then another € 1200 is added to fly to Delhi for visas and hotel and food costs (around € 25 per day). With the coming pension discounts, that should just be achievable.
Siem sees, back here in the Netherlands, his help in the process as a kind of active development cooperation with Dev Sahoo.
For the people who find it all a bit too much there is also the only 2700 kilometer long Chardam tour. The French Ardennes are also top.
Those who travel far can tell many stories
But we Dutch now see the world as a bit too self-evident. With these types of trips, and they are organized worldwide for all kinds of travelers, including classic fans, there are more risks than with a visit to Liège or Bastogne. In distant countries, food poisoning is more than a nuisance to us Westerners, but diseases such as malaria or amoebic dysentery can also destroy more than you would like. The often unique local traffic rules can be deadly surprising. Corruption is like change. Traffic regulations are at the most laughed off as funny suggestions. And in an emergency, 'the foreigner' is always to blame. For such a trip you must have good basic health and fitness, plus the necessary relevant vaccinations. Traveling there with a 'local' as a guide is the solution to combine adventure and well-being. And you have to be careful and listen to the guide. And be careful with street food.
As far as technology is concerned
The Enfield Thunder Birds of Bullets are recent and well maintained. There is technical support and a spare motorcycle is included. And oh well: what can now be destroyed by a classic British single-player? And damn it: do we go for the Adventure or the Efteling. Give us a message when you have made the journey.
Dev and Siem are on FB as Bikers For India
Siem can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org