Our last stop was the enchanting city of Mumbai. The busy city of over 20 million offered diverse architecture and beautiful sea views. The city is also home to Antilia, the skyscraper that is the world's most expensive home costing 2 billion USD.
We drove into the night and safely arrived in Ahmedabad!
We arrived at our southern midway point of Hyderabad, Telangana, before continuing to the West Coast City of Mumbai. The sprawling city of Hyderabad is the fourth most populous city in India with approximately 11 million residents. The city's rapid construction was meshed with the existing rock covered hills and greenery.
We departed for Mumbai and drove into the night encountering another lightning storm. We arrived in Mumbai at 2 AM after navigating the congested roads.
We departed Kolkata for the east coast city of Puri, Odisha. The road conditions remained favorable as we continued down the coastal highway onto Hyderabad, Telangana.
After spending the night in Puri we continued to Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The city was picturesque and the beach was world class. The beach featured the Indian Submarine the INS Kursura which served in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.
We arrived in Hyderabad after dark as we encountered heavy rain and lightning, and even got a glimpse of lightning coming out of the clouds!
We arrived in Kolkata and explored the city's interior parks. The city has a heavy colonial influence from the British Raj. The green spaces of the city were impressive and featured roaming horses that made for great contrast with the city skyline.
We are now heading south to Hyderbad to continue onto Mumbai!
We departed Kathmandu driving through the eastern half of Nepal back towards India. We slowly snaked down the mountains only to enter farm checkered wetlands which led to the Indian border.
We stayed in the valley town of Kamalamai, Nepal, which was very rural and made for one of our best morning views.
After driving overnight through the mountains we arrived in Kathmandu, the capitol of Nepal with a population of 1 million.
After arriving in Kathmandu we drove to a repair shop to have our brush guard repaired. The mechanics did not have the hardware to repair the guard, so we tied it to our roof rack.
Kathmandu felt very different from India with an extremely diverse culture that seemed more Asian influenced. There was more graffiti/street art and even skateboarders which displayed an American influence as well.
Off to Kolkata!
Over the past two days we drove between New Delhi and Kathmandu. As we departed north from Delhi we passed through the vast industrial sector of the capitol. The road then led through farm land to the border of Nepal. We arrived at the border around sunset and crossed after dark.
We woke in the city of Bhimdatta on the west border of Nepal. We drove for 15.5 hours to Kathmandu, Nepal for a total distance of 721 kilometers (448 miles).
As the sun set we drove through the mountains to Kathmandu. The roads were not marked and we proceeded by asking the men at police check points for directions. The road was under construction and had no guard rails defending against the 100 to 1900 meter drop offs. We climbed to a maximum altitude of 1,919 meters (6,295 feet) and it took about three hours to traverse the mountain. The rough road conditions beat our brush guard lose, forcing us to reattach it with Conrad's boot laces.
Our next destination is New Delhi, the capitol of India. It's current population is around 17 million making it the largest city in India. We visited our good friend Sathya we met through Dr. Mitra.
As we drove towards Delhi from Rajastan we encountered a sand storm which led to thunder storms as he temperature quickly dropped from 45(113F) to 25(77F) degrees.
Our friend Sathya stays in a classic 50's era flat in the beautiful neighborhood of Greater Kailash II with parks and world class food nearby. Only blocks away was the North Korean embassy which was quite a surprise to us! We visited India gate which was constructed to commemorate the fallen Indian soldiers of World War I, and the neighboring Indian parlement building.
Next stop Nepal!
Our next destination was Jaipur, 400 kilometers north of Udaipur.
Jaipur forms the “golden triangle” with the Capital New Delhi, and home of the Taj Mahal, Agra since they are all under 300 kilometers from each other.
It is common in India for a Google Map/GPS location to be inaccurate; this was the case for our intended camp in Pushkar, Rajasthan.
We were routed through a single lane road paved through rural Rajasthan across farm land and through villages.
This is the only road in the area and there are no tourist attractions which allowed us to view isolated rural life in India. After hours of searching for our intended camp, we decided to continue onto Jaipur.
After arriving in Jaipur we visited the Nahargarh Fort which was built in 1734. The view included Jantar Mantar, the world's largest sun dial.
Next stop Delhi!
Today we are starting our trip! We departed Ahmedabad around noon, heading north through Gandhinagar. We drove 259 kilometers to Udaipur, Rajastan, to stay at the Aravali Tent Camp.
The road conditions were favorable with smooth roads. Slow moving semi-trucks and cows were the only obstacles. The landscape quickly changed to desert and mountains as we entered Rajastan; but it still retained greenery.
Once we arrived in Udaipur we had lunch at the City Palace, and then visited the Monsoon Palace overlooking the city. We then went to the Aravali tent camp for the night.
The route encompasses the Heart of India and the entire length of Nepal. The trip will take three weeks and pass through many of the nation's greatest landmarks. Joseph & Conrad will be posting on the India 2016 Blog (www.Expedition75.com) with daily updates.
Joseph and Conrad's vehicle, the 2015 Toyota Innova