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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
Learn English in September

Another road trip - Sri Lanka and India

1246

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    Booking transport these days is always more complicated now it can be done online. I renewed my rail discount card that gives me half price travel between Ventigmilia and Marseille, nominating the former as a place that I wanted to get a 25% discount for my train tickets.

    But I need to be quick to book my tickets to Savona on Saturday as the closer to the date of travel, the more expensive it gets.

    @Hermine have you checked your email? I need to book some bus tickets!
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    filauzio said:


    However, when it comes to road safety, it's probably better now that scooterists are required to take a specific exam and also practice riding such vehicles before starting off among daily traffic.

    Do you mean by the word "scooter" mopeds (which have the engine capacity 50cc or below) or larger scooters as well , @filazio ? The latter are legally classified here as motorcycles.
    I looked the word ' moped ' up the dictionary, because I've never heard it before, @Practical_Severard, and I came to the conclusion that maybe the mopeds were more common here in Italy in the 80s.

    I recall riding one of them: as you wrote, their engines were mainly 50cc, although they were commonly modified whenever someone in the company happened to have some mechanical expertise.

    They generally reached a maximum speed of about 40 Km per hour ... sigh, and we all were keen to get a better performance in speed to feel the wind flowing through the hair... the helmet wasn't mandatory yet.

    Nowadays the mopeds are no longer manufactured, being totally replaced by the scooters. I suppose they differ mainly relative to the material they are assembled with.

    Mopeds were mainly made of metal, whereas the scooters are a plastic thriumph.

    Their engines' power range from 50cc ( as the mopeds ) to 600 and further.

    They are motorcycles under many respects, apart from they are plastic-clad, therefore lighter, handy and more nimble to ride in dense traffic.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,055 ✭✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    Fair point @Practical_Severard. As I recall - though I may be totally out of date - 50cc did not need a driving test. At least this was the case when I was a student and very briefly had a moped.

    I seem to recall the same @mheredge: here in Italy you just needed to turn 14 years old. The mopeds were generally the prize awarded by parents to children passing secondary school ( three years long course ) exam ( in Italy taken by 15 years old pupils ).
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    @filauzio thanks for the clarification. I think maybe something like a moped is still manufactured in Asia as it is more like a very light-weight motorbike, and not quite the same as a scooter. In Asia bikes rule the roads.

    I was all of about 20 when I got a secondhand moped but I hated riding it in Manchester. I very quickly sold it to my landlord's son who was more than happy with it. I just grit my teeth and carried on with a bicycle. I found motorists gave far more space to a cyclist on the road (not cycle lanes back then) than when I was on a moped.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Booking transport these days is always more complicated now it can be done online. I renewed my rail discount card that gives me half price travel between Ventigmilia and Marseille, nominating the former as a place that I wanted to get a 25% discount for my train tickets.

    But I need to be quick to book my tickets to Savona on Saturday as the closer to the date of travel, the more expensive it gets.

    @Hermine have you checked your email? I need to book some bus tickets!

    Do you think booking online makes things harder? I'm of the opinion that it's easier, particularly on the website I use, as you can also see which are the cheapest times to travel.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    In the old days, you either rocked up to the station and bought your tickets over the counter @GemmaRowlands. Or you got a travel agent to take the sweat out of finding the best deal. Doing it yourself, if you really want the cheapest fares, you have to do a lot of research and navigate through increasingly complicated websites that offer you everything apart from the kitchen sink in addition to your ticket. You need to check in several locations as the same ticket can cost up to 20% or more less in some places. Whatever you do, don't go away and make a cup of tea or check your calendar that the dates are really the ones you want because the price will change or you might even find your ticket has gone. When you travel a lot, you can find it takes an incredible amount of time.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    In the old days, you either rocked up to the station and bought your tickets over the counter @GemmaRowlands. Or you got a travel agent to take the sweat out of finding the best deal. Doing it yourself, if you really want the cheapest fares, you have to do a lot of research and navigate through increasingly complicated websites that offer you everything apart from the kitchen sink in addition to your ticket. You need to check in several locations as the same ticket can cost up to 20% or more less in some places. Whatever you do, don't go away and make a cup of tea or check your calendar that the dates are really the ones you want because the price will change or you might even find your ticket has gone. When you travel a lot, you can find it takes an incredible amount of time.

    It annoys me the way that people who still go to the station to buy their tickets are penalised for doing so, as you never get the best deals by doing things that way.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    If you are getting the ticket at the last minute, it will be just as expensive however you book. Similarly at the station, you can book ahead and get a cheaper price. I don't think it has anything to do with how but more to do with when you book.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm arranging to go on another road trip when I get to Nepal. This time I'm willing to bet that other than maybe Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbini, no one here will have ever heard of the places on my itinerary. Not even Google seems to know most of the places I intent visiting, so it is going to be quite an adventure.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    There is a chance that I might be going on a road trip soon. My brass band are planning a trip around the UK, to play pieces in the places that they are written about. The logistics will be incredibly difficult, but it is certainly something that I would love to do!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    That should be fun @GemmaRowlands. Where will you be going?
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Well there are some famous marches called Kennilworth, Castell Coch and Padstow Lifeboat - so the places in those names. There are also pieces written about Saddleworth, so we will be paying a visit, but we still have some more planning to do to think of others!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm on the road again and this time will be visiting Innsbruck for the weekend.
  • VokVok Posts: 2,143 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge I visited Innsbruck in spring this year. I'm sure you'll like it there too. Have a nice trip.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    I have only ever been to Vienna before @Vok. The last visit there was only a couple of months ago. It had changed beyond recognition from my first visit almost forty years ago. I'm not sure, but I do believe my mother had an old flame who came from Innsbruck. I remember as a kid he visited us a few times.
  • VokVok Posts: 2,143 ✭✭✭✭
    wow! forty years ago and you still remeber what Vienna was like back then @mheredge .
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    Everywhere was so much less crowded with tourists @Vok. Most places now seem much cleaner and in tourist centres, more free from traffic.

    I spent a few hours in Istanbul on Tuesday. Turkish Airlines took those of us who had long layovers on a city tour. We visited the mosques in Sultanamet and again I saw how much this area has changed in the twenty years since I last visited. Much of the area was pedestrianised, much cleaner and tidier and the pavements were in good condition.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Rather than start a new topic, I have updated my next adventures. Tomorrow I am taking a bus to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Pokhara is Nepal's second city, very popular for its proximity to the Annapurnas and a good base for trekking. I will be visiting a hotel (work) and then continuing the road trip to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Lord Buddha. I then will visit a couple of homestays, before staying a few days with friends near Bardia National Park where if I'm very lucky, I might get to see a tiger.

    Continuing via another homestay I start a little expedition into the unknown, taking a guide to help hiring private vehicles in some places as we try to find a route between two little visited national parks in the far western side of Nepal. Finishing at Rara Lake, I hope to then fly back to Kathmandu, probably getting back at the beginning of the last week in September when I should have a couple of weeks in Kathmandu before flying back to France.

    I'm a glutton for punishment as I will be travelling on local buses most of the way (at least 1300km on roads I can find information about, and another few hundred kilometres across dirt roads, with a few days of walking.

    I know a few you enjoy following my travels. Please ask questions if you want to know more. And please excuse me if there are periods when I will be silent or typos as I will be trying to keep in contact with a mobile and dodgy signals in rural areas.

    Here is a map of where I will be exploring (Banke, Bardia, Khaptad and Rara National Parks).

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@28.832283,81.6943906,9z/data=!4m2!10m1!1e2

    Rara Lake

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    Today started with a soggy paddle to catch an equally soggy bus. There were more buses than passengers lined up. And even fewer foreign visitors. The half dozen passengers on my bus and I were transferred to another bus and it was still only half full. And half these people got off only halfway to my destination, Pokhara.

    Being a Saturday, there was little traffic. But I hadn't realised, it was also a festival. Trek is a festival when women celebrate their husbands by wearing red and fasting. Unmarried girls dress up in the hope they'll find a good husband. There's a lot of singing and dancing and after fasting, everyone has a party.

    Arriving in the afternoon I jumped on a local bus to Lakeside, the popular tourist area in Pokhara that stretches along the side of Lake Fewa. I met up with a lady who I hadn't met before but had asked for some recommendations a few weeks earlier on going to Bardia, an area I know well in western Nepal. She'd stayed there for several days and had a wonderful time. We'd arranged to meet up in Pokhara where our paths would cross for a few days.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    One last day in Pokhara and tomorrow I hit the road. I don't go very far however, just to visit a hotel on the outskirts of town where I have some work to do.

    It is set in a beautiful location, though I'm not holding my breath that I will get to see any views as it is still quite cloudy.



    The next day I will head down to the Terai and to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha where there are many monasteries.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumbini
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    Since leaving Lumbini I have had very little internet. I spent a night in a Korean monastery and then took a bus that interestingly did not know Nayagaon, the place I was supposed to get off. It took a few calls from the village homestay and Kathmandu to tell the driver where along the way I had to go. The village was right by the highway but very small.

    This morning I continued into the unknown. I knew I had to change buses at a junction about 17 kilometres from where I stayed last night, but it wasn't until I was on the next bus that I was told where I had to alight.

    This time it was very easy as it was Airport Chowk (place) which everyone knew.
  • takafromtokyotakafromtokyo Posts: 2,966 Inactive
    @mheredge
    Wow! You’re on such an adventure!
    Safe trip!!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    Taking a few days' rest with my Nepali friends in Bardia, the visit has been made all the nicer by meeting up with the French couple who I flew in with and a couple of French lads. We spent a very enjoyable day walking in the jungle looking for wildlife and even if we never saw a tiger, everyone seemed to have enjoyed the day.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,811 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    One last day in Pokhara and tomorrow I hit the road. I don't go very far however, just to visit a hotel on the outskirts of town where I have some work to do.

    That's a beautiful scenery, though the temple look quite like an industrial building, such as a power plant.

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm hoping that the rain isn't going to stop me continuing my trip. In a few days I am supposed to head across country on a new dirt road. If it rains like it is doing now, this might not be possible.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    So the bus is so far an hour late, no doubt because of the weather. But at least now it's not pouring.

    I'm taking advantage of WiFi in a restaurant while I'm waiting. My SIM works very erratically and I know won't work very well where I'm going. So you might not see me for a few days.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    There was no network connection until I reached Chainpur this morning. I'm able to use the last WiFi I expect to find for the next ten days or so.

    It's raining and so we've decided to delay our start until tomorrow. We have to get a jeep to our start point. The question will be if this will be possible.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    (Quote)
    That's a beautiful scenery, though the temple look quite like an industrial building, such as a power plant.

    You're right @Practical_Severard. It doesn't really look much like an ancient site where the Lord Buddha was born. Bethlehem is much better in terms of atmosphere.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,811 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
    mheredge said:


    You're right @Practical_Severard. It doesn't really look much like an ancient site where the Lord Buddha was born. Bethlehem is much better in terms of atmosphere.

    Well, indeed it is, but more than that, it doesn't look much like a place of worship, even a modern one. It might be good to hold crowds of pilgrims, though, and ablutions seem to be in the schedule too.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,838 ✭✭✭✭
    The final leg of this particular road trip is a flight from Nepalgunj, a city in western Nepal to Kathmandu, about an hour's flight. It would take about 16 hours by bus so obviously being able to fly instead saves a lot of time even taking into account waiting about five or six hours for the connecting flight. The plane is just landing now, so in about an hour I should be back in Kathmandu.
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