Once our class was finished, we had the opportunity to tour the Northern region of India. We flew from Bangalore to Dehli and then drove to Agra, Jaipur, and back to Dehli. Of course, not without a few road bumps along the way…
Meet the bus:
I picked the back row so I would have the best room and the most space to spread out and lay down when I wanted to. I made a great decision! I also brought my converter multi-plug extension cord which everyone was very grateful to be able to use on the long 4-5-6-7 hour bus rides.
ROAD BUMP #1: Police Speed Trap
Just five minutes from the airport pick-up spot, the bus was pulled over on the highway for “speeding” –which he was not… AT ALL. In the image sequence below, you can see the officer walking into the 3rd lane of traffic to pull a woman over for speeding (even though you cannot see her in the first frame). Apparently, the police have quotas and will often pull people over and will charge a fee before they let the drivers back on the road with the threat of writing them a formal ticket… basically, they pull random people over who appear to be rich to get their money. A tourist bus filled with white people and a single woman in a nice Porsche seemed like great targets, However, we never got a full story from the bus drivers, the above information was told to us by our Indian student translators who were speculating based on past experiences.
ROAD BUMP #2: Flat Tire
A few hours away from Dehli we were on the highway completely surrounded by farmland when our tire burst. I had just woken up from my nap while everyone else was asleep. I had started looking out the windows and I saw a few ostrich, so I reached for my camera and started changing the lens when the right back tire (right underneath me) burst, making a loud pop and jumping the whole bus. The bus drivers got to work immediately to put the spare on (another old and beat up tire). We all ended up getting off the bus for a stretch break and I took it as an opportunity to brush my teeth after a long night and day of travel.
ROAD BUMP (or obstacle) #3: Flipped Lorry (truck)
As a part of my research for my class project, I learned a lot of statistics about road accidents in India. India has the most fatal accidents in the world. The worst part is that bystanders don’t stop to help because they are often afraid of having to pick up the medical bill or be a witness in a dragged out court case. As you can see, only one person is helping this victim.
Road Trip as a Whole
The rides were long and harsh, there are many tolls, tons of traffic and the days were long and exhausting. I would never imagine doing the Rickshaw Run Race across India.