a video compilation to give you a taste of the sights & especially the sounds of driving through india.
can’t view the video? click here to watch.
“our spots” and the sky blue seat covers made for a cozy ride in the tata.
The first thing you’ll notice in India is the incessant sound of car horns. It. Is. Non. Stop. Driving in this country is absolutely insane and not recommend for non-locals. The roads are torn up, there aren’t any lines on the pavement making two-lane highways four-lane, dogs, cows, camels & goats dodging in and out of traffic and just general chaos. On day one, our guide joked that you need three things if you’re going to drive in India:
- Good Horn
- Good Breaks
- Good Luck
India is pretty big. And there’s not a whole lot between each city except really rural villages. It’s kind of like constantly driving from Phoenix to San Diego – you see a couple little towns but for the most part, it’s desert until you’re at your next destination. Here’s the route we did via car, train & plane.
Delhi — Mandawa — Bikaner — Jaisalmer — Khuri & Sam Sand Dunes — Jodhpur — Ranakpur — Udaipur — Pushkar — Agra — Orccha — Khjuarho — Varanasi — Delhi
To help us get around efficiently and as safely as possible, we opted to hire a private driver (we aren’t swanky, this is very typical). Since day one in Delhi, we cruised with Mr. Bittu.
Albeit long days in the car, we loved the overland travel vs. flying / train everywhere. It gave us the chance to see tiny villages, stop when we wanted to explore something and to foster a relationship with a local. Bittu is our age (30), has never left Northern India and married his wife six-months ago. An arranged marriage, the wedding day was the first time they’d met each other and now she lives with his family in his village. As the sole provider for the family, Bittu only goes back to his village once every six or seven months. It’s almost incomprehensible for us, but completely normal for him. He loves music, is learning Spanish, can roll his “R’s” like nobody else and took a liking to Danny’s duty-free Skittles. We heart Bittu.
Bittu and our snazzy white ride… the “TATA” sedan. we estimate we spent 120+ hours with Bittu. together, we had so many good laughs, swapped stories, sang songs, shared snacks and got cranky. inevitable. and he knew to tell us 15 minutes before we actually needed to leave ;)
ting killing time during the pit-stop.
when i begged to pull over… eh, i think that’s the wo/men’s facility? regardless, i’ll hold it.
“Blow Horn” splashed across the back of every truck. like Indian drivers need any encouragement!
when the desert sun would get super intense, we made makeshift car curtains.
and when we couldn’t take the same indian-pop CD skipping and repeating for the 80th time, we asked Bittu to pull over at an electronics store so we could check on an auxiliary cord for our iPhones. this is D & Bittu at electronics store where we found a cord for 40 rupees (about 60 cents) that changed everything! having our own music for the second half of the trip made things so much better!
carpoolers! india really puts us to shame in the carpooling category.
going a little stir crazy in the backseat.
constantly dodging pot holes, horses, cows… you name is.
carseat, carshmeat… babies on the backs of motorcycles. we also found it laughable that the man driving had a helmet but never the women or children.
major freeway underpass.
all of the buses & service cars are super decorated. the black pom poms are to ward away evil. each of these buses has a distinct horn that sings a song!