First ride in Manali/ Primera salida en bici en Manali

Before we begin this post we´d like to send out a special thank you to Joe Tonon at Destination Cycling (www.destinationcycling.com) for his continued support of our bicycle trip, Thanks Joe!!

Antes de empezar este post queríamos mandar nuestro agradecmiento a Joe Tonon de Destination Cycling (www.destinationcycling.com) por su continuo apoyo en nuestro viaje. Muchas gracias Joe!!

You´re probably wondering why we´re just getting on the bikes now, after more than a week since leaving Spain? Part of the reason could be the following travel last week:

Seguramente os estáis preguntando porqué hemos tardado más de una semana desde que salimos de España en subirnos a las bicis. Parte de la culpa la tiene seguramente nuestras idas y venidas en la última semana: 

– 8 hour boat ride from Palma, Mallorca to Barcelona

– 3 hour flight from Barcelona to Istanbul – spent day in Istanbul, with a bunch of rides on the metro…then…

– 5 hour flight Istanbul to Delhi, India

– 8 hours total travel to and from Agra, to see the famous Taj Mahal. It´s a pain to get to, but it is worth seeing!

– And the final kicker: 18 hours of white-knuckle bus ride from Delhi to Manali, where we are now. How white are my knuckles? Well, I think my hands are still glued to the seat in front of me, holding on for dear life. At three in the morning we were flying up and down mountain passes in a Volvo bus on a very bumpy road, passing truck after truck on both the outside and inside of curves. Never once did we have the slightest problem, but it was hair raising!

– 8 horas de barco de Palma, Mallorca a Barcelona

– 3 horas de vuelo de Barcelona a Estambul- día en Estambul con unas cuantas idas y venidas… después…

– 5 horas de vuelo de Estambul a Delhi, India

– 8 horas en total de viaje de ida y vuelta a Agra para ver el Taj Mahal. Es un rollo llegar allí, pero merece la pena!

– Y lo que nos remató: 18 horas de bus zigzagueante entre Delhi y Manali, en donde estamos ahora. Cómo están nuestras manos de agarrarse al asiento de delante? Bueno, todavía pegadas a la barra, agarrándose a la preciada vida. A las tres de la mañana volábamos arriba y abajo entre pasos de montaña en un “Volvo bus” por una carretera saltarina, mientras los camiones pasaban a un lado y a otro. No tuvimos ningún problema aunque nos mantuvo los pelos de punta!

– And the final kicker: 18 hours of white-knuckle bus ride from Delhi to Manali, where we are now. How white are our knuckles? Well, we think our hands are still glued to the seat in front of us, holding on for dear life. At three in the morning we were flying up and down mountain passes in a Volvo bus on a very bumpy road, passing truck after truck on both the outside and inside of curves. Never once did we have the slightest problem, but it was hair raising!

So here we are. First, a bit of tourism in Manali and Vashist:

Así que aquí estamos. Primero hicimos un poco de turismo en Manali y Vashist:

Any carpenter should appreciate this. Definitely NOT OSHA approved! But gets the job done.

Any carpenter should appreciate this. Definitely NOT OSHA approved! But gets the job done/ cualquier carpintero apreciará esto. Definitivamente no aprobado por la OSHA! Pero funciona!

These cows are just eating their lunch in front of some guys house. Cows are sacred in India. Actually, their lives seem to be worth more than the lives of many humans!

These cows are just eating their lunch in front of some guys house/ Estas vacas están comiendo el almuerzo justo frente a la casa de alguien en medio de la calle.

Cows are sacred in India. Monkeys are too. Elephants too. Rats…too. How wonderful. We live together here in peace and harmony. People feed these animals, and most eat better than the people.

Las vacas son sagradas en la India. Y los monos. Y los elefantes. Y… las ratas. Qué maravilla. Vivimos todos juntos en paz y harmonia. La gente da de comer a estos animales, que comen mejor que mucha de esa gente.

Always time for worship, and nice buildings to do it in.

Always time for worship, and nice buildings to do it in/ Siempre hay tiempo para rezar y buenos edificios en donde hacerlo

A woman, getting her stuff done.

A woman, deshelling almonds the traditional way/ Una mujer pelando almendras al estilo tradicional

Religion is taken seriously here. I wonder if isn´t smoking cigars in secret after he gets done praying?

Ascetic buddhist/ Asceta budista

Woman, trying to lure tourists into taking photos with them and their puffy rabbits. 1.3 billion people in the country is proof of the country´s love of this little animal!

Woman, trying to lure tourists into taking photos with them and their puffy rabbits/ Mujeres intentando atraer las cámaras de los turistas con sus enormes conejos esponjosos

View from our little hotel.

View from our little hotel. We changed the traffic noise from Delhi to the nice whisper of the river in Manali/ Vista desde nuestro pequeño hotel. Cambiamos el ruido del tráfico de Delhi por el dulce murmullo del río en Manali

Taping up the bikes with electrical tape, to make them less flashy.

Taping up the bikes with electrical tape, to make them less flashy/ Envolviendo las bicis en cinta aislante para que llamen menos la atención

We spent the better part of the day taping up our bikes in order to disguise them a bit. Most people here have never seen bikes like this, and we want to be as subtle as possible. Of course, it´s still shocking for them to see cyclists with helmets and sunglasses!

Here is what the bikes look like now:

Nos pasamos casi un día entero enrollando cinta aislante a las bicis para disfrazarlas un poco. La mayoría de la gente aquí nunca ha visto una bici así y queremos pasar lo más desapercibidos posible. Por supuesto seguimos resultándoles chocantes, con nuestros cascos y gafas de sol!

Así han quedado las bicis: 

Elsa´s bike, covered in tape.

Elsa´s bike, covered in tape with a dog taking good care of it/ La bici de Elsa cubierta de cinta con un perrito guardándola

Our legs were in need of a warmup ride. We took a smaller rode south of town for a couple of hours. We felt like molasses, but it got better. The incessant horn honking is part of the culture here, but it´s quite infuriating to the western cyclist. For sure the worst thing about riding here, but it should get better as we ride away from town up the Rhotang La pass to the north of town.

A few pics from the ride today:

Nuestras piernas iban necesitando un poco de bici para calentar. Hoy pedaleamos hacia el sur de Manali durante un par de horas. Nos sentíamos bastante torpes, pero fuimos mejorando. Los incesantes pitidos de claxon es parte de la cultura aquí, pero resulta irritante para los occidentales. Es desde luego lo peor de ir en bici por aquí, pero seguramente mejorará a medida que nos vayamos alejando de la ciudad camino del paso de Rhotang La, hacia el norte.

Marc riding through a small town.

Marc riding through a small town/ Marc, atravesando un pequeño pueblecito

Why no flashy clothing? We try not to stick out. Leave the white shoes at home, although the helmet and shorts are bad enough…

Por qué no usar ropa muy llamativa? Intentanos que no se nos vea mucho. Dejamos los zapatos blancos en casa, los cascos y los shorts ya son suficientes…

Marc riding with the first high mountains of the Himalaya in the background.

Marc riding with the first high mountains of the Himalaya in the background/ Marc pedaleando con las primeras cimas del Himalaya de fondo

Elsa, stopping by a temple for a littl e prayer for a safe bike ride. Marc prayed too, hoping people would stop honking their horns!!!!!!

Elsa, stopping by a temple for a little prayer for a safe bike ride. Marc prayed too, hoping people would stop honking their horns!!!!!!/ Elsa parando en un templo para rezar un poco para que tengamos un viaje sin contratiempos. Marc también rezó, esperando que la gente deje de tocar el claxon!!!

Marc, a young fan and a "truckbus" full of people.

Marc, a young fan and a “truckbus” full of people/ Marc, un joven fan y un camión-bus lleno de gente

As we get used to life on the road and traveling by bike, one thing that has become a major issue is the washing of clothes. We do it in a pretty similar way as the Indians do.

A quick note about Marc´s socks. After much time in cycling socks and sweating in Delhi, Marc´s feet have started to reek! Thus the socks are now getting a good, hard scrubbing at the end of each day in order to facilitate harmony and neighborliness in the hotel and tent!

A medida que nos vamos acostumbrando a la vida en la carretera y al viajar en bici nos hemos dado cuenta de que uno de los mayores problemas es lavar la ropa. Lo hacemos de manera similar a cómo lo hacen los indios.

Una breve nota acerca de los calcetines de Marc. Después de mucho tiempo en calcetines de ciclista y sudando en Delhi, los pies de Marc han empezado a apestar! Así que ahora los calcetines reciben un lavado fuerte y contundente después de cada día, todo con tal de facilitar la harmonía y buena vecindad en el hotel y la tienda de campaña!

Elsa, washing Marc´s putrid socks!

Elsa’s way of washing!/ La manera de lavar de Elsa

Indian way of washing, Not that different.

Indian way of washing, Not that different/ Modo indio de lavar la ropa, no tan diferente!

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4 Responses to First ride in Manali/ Primera salida en bici en Manali

  1. Julie lanoue says:

    Just read your blog! So enjoyed the pictures and Elsa’s story telling. What a great idea! I hope you continue to write about your journey!! It already sounds like the most amazing opportunity. You are fortunate and blessed to do something like this! Not to mention crazy adventuress!
    Praying for safety for both!
    Love, auntie Julie

  2. stefan says:

    I love it, Marc! You guys are awesome. Safe travels. And keep writing!

  3. galdent says:

    Guys! Thank you so much for reading!!!! We are in Delhi, getting ready to take a flight to Santiago, Chile. We´ll update it more from there! Cheers!

  4. I am truly grateful to the owner of this web site who has shared this fantastic piece of writing
    at at this place.

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