Motoring

So, it’s my first post in this section and for petrol-heads across the country and beyond British borders today is the day Top Gear Broadcast their Christmas special from India. But, what exactly does India offer a travelling motor enthusiast? Having been to India, many years ago, my memories of the roads are somewhat dire – dusty roads with no sense of organisation seems like my idea of motoring hell than heaven! And to be frank, India has always been better able to cope with motorbikes and the iconic “rickshaw” than with its four-wheel-counterparts! But, we all know times have changed, much of India is now tarmac! Don’t be fooled though, the best bits of driving through India is still rural. Once you drive beyond the dust and get used to organised chaos you are guaranteed to have a drive to remember. The 200km journey from northern Gujarat to the world famous Gir National Park was eventful to say the least. Setting off in a far from vehicle you are dazzled by the beauty of ancient local temples and the heart warming sights of poverty-stricken locals feeding the birds of the temple. It’s not quite the time to get excited about the drive though, the density of the motorbikes and pedestrians means you’ll still be pottering around at no more than 20-30 miles an hour, though it will feel a lot faster! As you leave the villages and towns behind the journey spices up a little. I don’t think I’m talented enough to describe the philosophical feelings as you drive on these mountainous roads, with nothing to stop you from hurtling to your death but the skill of the driver and the little capabilities of a small-engine now 3-wheel-drive off-road car. But you forget that as you look at the beautiful sights, for such a hot country the greenery is breathtaking! The Gir was disappointing, no lions to be seen and wardens strolling through the lions nesting area without any weapons made us doubtful whether the lions may have fled the den! – but the drive there made up for it! I assure you, the journey back in the night, with no scenery to be seen and no lighting beyond the cars tea-light-like headlights, ambivalence is replaced with sheer fear! I look forward to the antics of the Top Gear Team tonight!

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