Road to London – Week 9

We seem to attract the police a bit. This time, rightly so 😛 it was for speeding and a minor traffic offense. Then we had a bit of an event where our windshield got hit by a small pebble while driving causing a small hole. 

Worry not, we super-glued it with the help of a very friendly mechanic who went around Samara town with us till we found the right glue.

We were also hosted by the Indian embassy at Samara.

Samara is a pretty town with lots of natural and man-made beauty. This is a beach on the Volga river. Yep, a riverside beach. Amazing, isn’t it?

The local authorities of Samara have training facilities for various sports on the riverside beach. Here’s a gymnast practising her skill.

What is a roadtrip without some adjustments? We stayed at a hotel with shared bath. At other points there were toilets that were basically pits in the flooring.

If you had heard impressive things about Russian architecture and the beauty of Moscow, you were right.

You would think that we would have grand stories about the difficult terrain we drove through. Well, we have loads of those and some more. And we will share those once we are back. But, here’s a weird surprise. One of the most difficult ones was getting out of a parking lot in Moscow.


Video of parking lot

Every time we think we have accomplished something, life presents new inspirations. Meet Mr. Ulla who is cycling from from Germany to Philippines!

And on that note, we bid adieu to Asia and are off to Europe. Latvia marks the end of the penultimate week of our trip.

Just yesterday, the windshield had another episode. A stork flew into it when we were driving at 120 kmph.

All’s well. No one is hurt but it was a bit of a scare for sure.

We had a beautiful night in Lithuania.

Yep, we are almost done, crossing one European country after another. It is as exhilarating as it is saddening. It is soon going to be done with. Till then!

Road To London – Week 7

When you have a list of 250 items to pack, you might forget your moustache trimmer. The good thing is, India or Bhutan, Bhutan or China – every man needs a moustache trimmer. So, in Hami, China,  we were trying to cross a huge intersection to get to a store on the other side of the road. There was heavy traffic and crossing the road was confusing. Fortunately, we saw a couple of policemen at the corner who we reached out for help. Unfortunately, we didn’t speak each other’s language and we were swiftly taken to the police station. A couple of hours and intervention by our ever-helpful guide later, we were out of the police station. We are yet to understand the exact reason but what we know is any uncommon behaviour is treated with suspicion and the police play it safe. It is a rather sensitive area and they are extra careful there. Who knew a moustache trimmer would take me to the insides of a Chinese police station.

Anyway, on the road we were next morning.

Packed lunch because there is no restaurant for a 400 kilometer stretch! And off we went again at a speed of 120-170 km/hour.

The Police in China are friendly but they are very wary of strangers and foreigners. There is a lot of checking on the road and each major stop took about 30-45 minutes extending the day by that much longer. On Sunday, one of the cars in our group, found itself stuck on the road and we waited for it to be cleared. By then it was 10 PM, and we had a good couple hours to drive to our destination. The car was cleared but since it was night the police got stricter with its checking.

The roads became plainer and straighter and we took to speeds of 140 to 180 km/hour. As is possible with speed a bunch of us ran into the risk of meeting with a bad accident, after which we decided to restrict speed to a steady 120 km/hour.

And we stop for gas under surveillance.

This day, 10th May started at 8.30AM. We drove 12-13 hours and had a 8-hour stopover for exit from China and entry into Kyrgyzstan.  We reached our destination at 2AM local time (4AM China time!). But what a beautiful welcome it was. Not by hotels, but by mother nature!

And now we are enjoying a rest day!

Looking back at how far we have come! 47 of 72 days, 7 of 10+ weeks, 13,500 of 21,000 kilometers…

Road To London – Week 6

You would think the best thing after 9 days of driving 10-12 hours without break would be the “rest day”. No, sir! The best thing that can happen to a parent who is on a long, long drive is a surprise visit from the son!! We just stood there at the room door in the middle of the night, unable to believe it was him. Were we missing him so much that he is in our dreams? No! It was him!

Oh and look what Anand brought along. The much looked-forward to batch of theplas! We can’t remember the last time we ate a chapati. Who knew the Chinese for “thepla” is, “a bright ray of sunshine.”

The rest day took Pushpa and Nishi to panda park while Anand and I took Sohum out for servicing.

Meanwhile, along with Sohum, I went for an over-alling too.

Rest day done, we visited a park which exhibited the oldest irrigation system known.

This sight-seeing meant an additional 3 hours to our usual 12-hour drives. So, we reached 1 AM of the next calendar day, after having left at 8 AM. A lot of fun, challenge and thrill was added to the dark-night drive with winding roads … and … wait for it … snowfall!


This is what most days this week were like. Through a variety of landscapes …

through snow, snow, and more snow …

and did I mention winding roads? Not enough.

Some times a picture just isn’t enough.

10+ days in China and no “Great Wall of China”, you must wonder where did the wall disappear. It is there, alright!


Along the way we crossed the halfway distance mark, 10,500 kms up!

Equally mesmerizing is landscape of this area…

That’s most of what we have been upto this week. Let us leave you with this merriment on the road side. Our group was singing and soon enough we gathered some bystanders. And India or China, everyone needs just a little push to join in the fun. And join he did!

Oh, just in case you are wondering if all is going well. We had a little bit of an upset – I lost my phone. Just in case, anyone is trying to get in touch, that’s why I haven’t responded. Oh well…only a small hiccup!

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