Day 1 Delhi to Chandigarh

On the road again...... 

The sun was bright; spirits up and cars at the ready. We left the garden gates of the Imperial Hotel shortly after 10am.....after each crew member and each car received the appropriate blessing. 

Plunging into Delhi’s morning traffic quickly reminded us of the human chaos that Delhi can become. After a few kilometers you get the rhythm of the city and become a Delhi driver as a means of surviving. 

As we approached the outskirts of the city all sorts of vehicles began to tractors, horse carts, brightly colored buses and motorbikes everywhere. 

The Royal Enfield and the Hero bikes are very popular rides in India. Signs on the roads suggest that it is dangerous to have more than two people on a motorcycle, but it is common to see three and four people on one bike. Brant even spotted one bike with 5 persons, including several children riding one bike. 

From time to time, I’m asked whether we see or follow other competitors on the Rally. 

This morning we had a 3 hour drive to a Passage Control and we drove virtually the entire distance without seeing another car associated with the Rally. 

Our Passage Control (a place where we need to get our Roadbook stamped) was located in a modern building that contained a Subway Sandwich joint, an upscale coffee bar and Baskin Robins ice cream parlor, among other small shops. Brant and I grabbed some soft drinks and a candy bar and we were back on the road. 

Our afternoon drive was equally uneventful as was our morning drive and we arrived at our new home for the night, the Taj Hotel in Chandigarh, early enough for a shower and nap before dinner. 

It appears that most of the competitors arrived without problems, but a few of the cars struggled in the heat.....they’re being attended to now by their crews. 

Chandigarh is at the very base of the Himalayas where the mountain range meets the great Indian plains. We did not go up much in altitude today, but just getting closer to the mountains has caused the temperature to drop a bit...... and it has given us a late afternoon shower, so both drivers and cars will be cleaned by dinner time.