Day 71 through 75 in Pune

After recovering from our night out, we venture out into town.
Pune is home to a huge number of kites, which can be seen circling the city skies in flocks of 30+, throughout the day.

These are joined at dusk by hordes of fruit bats. Though it’s not easy to judge exactly, these bats are not much smaller than the kites. For those of you unfamiliar with these birds, their wingspan reaches over a meter.

At the heart of the old city lies the Shaniwar Wada, a large, stone fort, from 1736, where people sit in the gardens chatting and young lads play cricket. Behind it, narrow streets are filled with ancient, crooked houses, with wooden balconies, slowly becoming hidden behind swathes of advertising boards.
Pune Fort...

From the fort, we follow the river Mutha on its way to join the Mula river, where the riverside walk is lined with stalls selling anything from food to key cutting. On the opposite bank, the walls are lined with makeshift homes, made from tarps or tin or bits of wood or material, where scruffy children play harmlessly and happily by the roadside and adults busily get on with their lives, seemingly ignorant of how little they have.

Having spent many of our days catching up on the delays incurred in Germany, China and Pakistan, we have reached Pune ahead of schedule. We choose to take advantage of this to prepare ourselves for our time off as well as the return trip.

Anji insists on taking John to see the Orthopedic surgeon at the Surya Hospital. The doc takes more xrays and tels me the right hand joint in the pelvis is compacted and prescribes more pain killers and muscle relaxants.

Next port of call is a visit to the barbers. 140Rupees for both of us and our two hosts to have haircuts plus a full shave for Mick. Mick now looks like a snooker ball!

The first treat for the bikes is removal of luggage and panniers and a trip to the ‘bike-wash’. A gang of young lads set about the bike to remove the dirt, then degrease them, then soap them up before a final rinse and blow dry.

mick's new bike...

An hours work on each bike. They look cleaner than when we left.
The other luxury we have here is use of a washing machine. Clothes that have been on the road for 10 weeks are suddenly revitalised and remind us how things ought to smell. It took 3 washes to get the stink out of the jackets!
The helmets also reek but we will just have to live with that.
John's new bike...

Back to the bikes – being in a city brings the availability and facilities for an Oil change, where we expect the change of gear box, final drive & engine oils and filters will last us back to Europe. Though we had hoped for synthetic oil; at 780r (15euro) a litre, it’s a little too pricey.

As the facilities are here and the journey home is shorter, we choose now to replace our remaining tyres. These should comfortably last the distance home, punctures permitting.

Over the last couple of days we have been investigating the possibility/costings of shipping the bikes to Bandar Abbas in Iran so that we can forgo the return trip through Pakistan and all the problems that are brewing there. We have had a quote or 2 and are mulling it over.

A little shopping for some basic necessities and we are set for the last leg to Goa.

Tia cooked us a really nice and really hot Thai green curry for our last meal with them. Brill!

Our hosts in Pune, Anji, Asheesh & Tia run Venture on Wheels touring, (see Sponsors). Their hospitality, help and guidance has been second to none. Immense thanks to them for everything.

The next installment is here

Posted on 2. August 2007 by micki

Great site John just catching up on it all! Hope u and J r relaxing on beach chilling out with the rest of the gang. Looking forward to seeing/reading more!! Luv R

Rita | 5 August 07 | #

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