Saturday, March 10, 2007

Puri, Orissa India, 10.03.2007 Part 2

Getting our tires changed in the middle of Puri, Orissa

Well, in due time our tires arrived and we had them mounted at a nice little tirewallah in the middle of Puri. We literally stopped traffic, and the police had to step in. In the end there were three police persons (2 female, 1 male), hitting the bystanders with cane sticks to get them to move. The police started to get irritated at us, and the tirewallah, and told him to work faster, and tried to get us to move. They left us alone once they noticed that the tire was off the bike, but they weren't very happy.
In the time we were there (about 1 hour), Cecilia gave three interviews, or what passed for an interview. Someone pointed a camera at her and asked where are you from, and for her name, that is about it. The result can be seen below.
The following day (today), we have been stopped three times already and asked if we were the Swiss people. Apparently not only did an article appear in the Times, but also in the local language paper, with a photo. I will scan this in and post it the next time I get a chance.

The Times of India, Bhubaneswar-National Saturday, March 10, 2007
Wanderlust drives them around the world.
Debabrata Mohapatra - TNN

Puri: They say when the travel bug bites, it makes you do the most craziest of things to satisfy your wanderlust.
Ask Cecilia and Kim Rojas of Switzerland, they have sold off all their belongings and are using their lifetime savings for a trip around the world on their giant motorcycles.
The couple in their late thirties, have traveled across 12 countries covering nearly 31,000 km on the road. They reached the shores of Puri last week after traveling to various places across the continent for the last five months.
"We chalked out out plan for a world tour on motor bikes in 2004. Since then we started saving money for the purpose. We also raised some money from our friends and relatives," says 35-year-old Cecilia. The couple began their journey on October 10, 2005 from Lucerne in Switzerland.
They entered India from Pakistan at Amritsar through the Wagah border.
"We chucked out jobs and sold our belongings before starting this adventure. It was a dream come true for us the day we set off on this daredevil journey on two motorbikes," says Cecilia, a computer engineer like her husband.
"We decided to take two bikes because one bike is not enough for two. There's hardly any space left for the pillion rider after all the stuff have been loaded.
We've brought everything required for us on the bike, which forced us to go for two bikes," says Kim.
The couple are clear about what they want from the journey and spreading any message or creating a record is not on their agenda, they just want to enjoy wandering across the globe.
"We want to cherish our dream of visiting around the world on a motorbike.
But during our we have got a chance to learn the art and culture of different places.
We are really enjoying that," says Cecilia.
Kim and Cecilia do their best to keep their two BMWs in shape for the journey.
"We ride for nearly eight hours a day.
If we ride harsh, then the bikes cannot fulfill our dream.
Till now we have managed to sort our whatever small technical faults we encountered on our own," she says.
Kim says they have not faced any hurdle so far while crossing the borders of various countries.
"We have all the valid documents like passport, identity card and motorbike papers with us.
We found India pretty safe, though we never ride after dark," says Kim.
He says their journey will continue for another two years, but did not divulge their future destinations.
Talking about their experience in India, the couple say the hospitality they got at various places speaks volumes of the kindness and generosity of Indian towards visitors.

For the record, I gave no quotes whatsoever. The whole time I was working with the tirewallah to get the tires changed. Fighting people off the bikes so that we could get the work done. I am not even going to go into the details like, the fact that we have covered 22 countries, and gone over 60,000km to get here. It was very nice of him to label us as mid 30's though! Oh, and for the relatives and friends, don't feel left out if you didn't contribute to our journey, as we have not raised any money from our friends or relatives (of course if you want to contribute...). Also, my name is Khim...

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