Saturday, March 14, 2015
Visiting India: On the Road (Part 3 of 6)
The roads in India reminded me of Malaysia, but more chaotic and many in much poorer condition. In India, they drive on the left side of the road. This made crossing the street for me a bit of a challenge at first. I kept looking the wrong way and nearly getting run over. They also walk on the left side as well which caused me some hassle walking around the malls and cities as I nearly plowed into people; I was on the wrong side. Many of roads didn’t have lines painted on them. Lanes were created by the vehicles as needed. At first it confused me, but then I came to enjoy the freedom of no lines. Also like Malaysia, motorcycles make up at least 50% of the road users. Motorcycles everywhere!
From the stereotypes about India in the USA, I expected to see five or more people on every motorcycle and tons of royal enfields. Neither of those turned out to be correct for my journey. I only saw a few enfields. They are quite expensive there, so most folks ride cheaper motorcycles. The speeds are quite slow in India as well; I would guess an average of 30kph.
Here is the another enfield. I like to think this one is outfitted in India adventure travel mode. I like the umbrella on the back of his hiking backpack.
I only saw five people on a motorcycle twice in the three weeks I was there. I managed to capture this family on a scooter as we passed them in a car on the way to Munnar.
Most of the time there were only one or two people to each motorcycle or scooter. Many of the women rode on the back sideways as shown below. Most of the motorcycles I saw had a small platform for their feet to facilitate riding side-saddle. Two other common modifications can be seen on this bike below as well. Almost all had engine crash bars and a heel-toe shifter to help with riding in sandals.
Motorcycles can haul nearly anything in India. These guys below are hauling the windshield to car. They weren’t going very fast.
Lots of different delivery motorcycles too. I’m not sure what this guy was delivering though.
Another delivery motorcycle. This one with a much more substantial custom box strapped to the back.
Monkeys. Monkeys were all over outside of the cities. This one was part of a gang that was near the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu at the police checkpoint. When the car stopped, they would jump down and rush towards looking for snacks. We barely rolled up the windows in time before they started taking things out of the car.
One of my favorite road signs in India. I’m not sure of the exact meaning, but I think it means fun curvy road ahead!
Next up more street scenes!