Got on a train to Bombay with bikes, fought at midnight with taxi drivers, stayed with two lovely lovely souls in Bombay (Kunal and Helen respect respect). Got on a big container ship in Bombay just as the disaster of the Tsunami in Japan was being broadcast. Port security official in Bombay invited Jet into his office for what he thought might be a bribe but in fact was the official showing Jet an Indian newspaper with news of the Tsunami “You want to go on the ship still. You sure this is safe?”
“Yes,” says Jet, “we’ve got strong hearts.”
“OK,” he says, as if giving us permission, “You are kind of adventurers.”
So we got on the container ship with our hearts somewhere in our chests and, after the normal India port chaos, found ourselves once again in the air conditioned world of International Freight. This time the crew were much more friendly and the Croatian captain and his wife made sure we were well looked after. Tsunamis weren’t really top of our worry list. We were heading through the Suez canal as every country nearby seemed to be in civil uproar. But for the crew the real threat was piracy. This was something we had dismissed as we were told on a previous voyage that the ships were too fast for Somali pirates. But the Captain and the crew took it very seriously and the atmosphere on board noticeably lightened after we’d got past the Gulf of Aden and Saudi. The Captain said there are 2000 sailors held captive on “mother ships” off the coast of Somalia. Some container boats now have snipers. Ours had fire hoses.
After two weeks we arrived in Malta to find roads littered with Ferraris, day glo racing bikes and the odd horse and cart. Beside the road were African refugees and economic migrants. Reverse culture shock set in again.
We then took a ferry to Italy and are currently cycling through Tuscanny. The weather is fantastic, blue skies, a spring breeze and daisys bobbing in the green grass. A blessed relief after the scorchio deserts of Iran and the humidity of India.
Jet in his usual language gatecrashing has been trying to speak Italian by adding “io” to the end of every word and scowling at poor Italian waiters because the average meal costs 15 pounds instead of the 50p for two thalis in India.
Jen has been indulging in Spring. Spring will be continually springing as we travel north and you don’t have to pay for bluebells bobbin by the roadside.
We will continue cycling until the Euros or time runs out and then take a train to North France and bob across the channel for the homeward jaunt.
(Photos to follow, this computer don’t like cameras being attached…)
Peddle through the daffodils for us wherever you are.
j n j
found a camera friendly computer in France!…