We met Tom early in the morning to head towards Delhi and see how far we could get. As we left the city and squeezed around the traffic I passed a white car through what I perceived to be a big enough gap. Next thing I knew I got a bump to the right pannier and the bike went over pretty hard. There was no way I could save it so I bailed as the bike rolled onto the left side and I landed on my right shoulder (no big deal with the gear on). I hit the kill switch and got up to yell at the driver. I held my hands out in a “what was that all about“ manner when I realised there was a sticker on the front bumper. Slowly my mind processed the letters, still partly in shock = P-O-L-I-C-E. Fan-dooby-dastic. 30km into India and I had been run over by the cops. Things were not shaping up good for the driving standards here.
Along the road we stopped for something to eat at an ‘Authentic‘ roadside cafe. A young boy was working there and played around with us for a while. He thought I was wearing contact lenses because my eyes were blue. Tom asked him about school and found that he didn’t go because he could not afford the 300 rupees it would be (about 4 quid). We were unable to figure out if that was per day or week or whatever but it was still pretty depressing. He seemed to command the respect of everyone working there, even the older guys, but I wondered what the future held.
As we continued a local man and woman on a small 125cc type bike nudged another bike. They lost control, and ended up in a low side crash directly in front of me. I narrowly managed to avoid hitting them square on but it really shook up my already shattered nerves. I felt depressed about being here, basically taking a holiday in a situation which is hard for so many. I could not help but be profoundly affected by it all. When we left on the trip I expected it to change me but I never really expected how. I doubted I would come back the same person, but hopefully somehow for the better.
We made about 200km to Rajpura when we decided to stop. This was much less than the average we had been doing so far but was entirely due to the driving. We were burnt out but happy to enjoy a beer. In the morning Tom left to meet up with Hanna, who was flying in to meet him.
We stayed as Helen got ill again and it got a little worse the following day. Eventually I dragged her to the doctor which the hotel staff were nice enough to arrange for us. The driver took us round in some Crystler SUV type thing, dodging the traffic at Mach 3. We were ushered into a little side room where the doctor came in. After 2 minutes he diagnosed a particular type of stomach bug which would not have responded to antibiotics Helen had already taken and wrote out a prescription for some new ones. This was all particularly interesting since he managed to deduce it all from taking blood pressure and a short chat with no further examination. Definitely nothing like doctors work at home.
Helen was impressed by the combination drugs which were prescribed, containing things like anti sickness and pain relief all in one pill and 2 types of antibiotic in another. I looked at the packaging and saw that everything was made in India and recalled that India is the capital of drug copying so it all made sense. Either way another day of rest and the problems seemed to be getting better, hopefully not to crop up again so we headed to Delhi.