Broke down and kicked out...
Had a tough couple of days here at the end of the india experience. Left nigel in Srinagar in Kashmir and headed to Amritsar. On the way down the Chariot was limping pretty bad. She squeaked, knocked, and grinded her way down the hill. To make things worse I had one semi truck back into me and crack my side mirror, then I plowed into the back of another one dodging a goat. The driver got out after the accident and demanded 3k rupies. I told him I could spare 1k but that wasn’t good enough so he called the cops. Police arrived and we couldn’t communicate until a construction worker came over and helped. He pretty much slapped me five and in perfect English said “this guy is low class and trying to screw you, get in your car and drive off.” It sounded like the right decision so I did and there was plenty of yells but C’est la vie.
Arrived in Amritsar late and by morning there was more bad news. China suddenly doesn’t know when I can enter (you need guides etc. to enter). Since my Pakistan visa is single entry and only for 20days this could suddenly be a problem. My india visa is also single entry so once I leave there is no coming back. Ive been battling this for a few days now.
In normal indian tradition everyone is very helpful. I managed to find a Toyota mechanic shop here in Amritsar that went above an beyond to get me back on the road. My friend Mr. Kanwar and his service team spent 8hrs working on the Chariot so she was road worthy again. It seemed like every time we took something apart, we would find more issues. This combined with the china issues made it a pretty stressful day. Half way though fixing the car I could feel my back starting to go out. I had a bulged disc from a few years back playing squash against my boss (complete novice) james pippard. The man doesn’t have an athletic bone in his body and I was still surprised he managed beat a gimp with a bulged disc. In any case I can hardly walk right now and sitting in the Chariot for extended periods of time is extremely worrisome.
I tried to cross the Pakistan border yesterday but was denied due to time restraints. Pakistan closes their border at 4pm sharp so they can do a military dance with India to show power. If you haven’t seen this youtube it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ0ue-XGl9c . Crazy.
So I will limp my way over to the border again today and see if I can be let in. Would attempt to join the peacock dance but pretty sure my beard with too weak. Been growing this thing for 4 weeks and I still look like an 9th grader…
Im avoiding posting about Northern India and Kashmir. My Copilot Nigel malloch will write that.