Category Archives: Transport

Public Transport in North India: Part Two

The main reason I drifted from Rishikesh to Chandigarth is because I’d read somewhere that there’s an amazing train ride that ascends up into the Himalayan foothills from a place called Kalka.  Kalka is just a half hour by bus from Chandigarth.

Public Transport in North India: Part One

The three children standing in the back asked me to take this photo. Click on the picture to zoom in.

Upon leaving the hot but holy and laid-back city of Rishikesh, I took a local, one-hour bus ride along the Ganges to Haridwar

At the Rishikesh bus station there was one other foreigner,  a German who had been to India on numerous occasions.  He, like me, had a train ticket from Haridwar to Chandigarth.

Getting Out of a Megacity to Rishikesh

Big cities compared to smaller cities and towns are  different dimensions within the same land.  This holds true all over the vast earth, and it’s even truer when you’re comparing a megalopolis to a smaller city, town or rural area.

When I bought my train ticket at the Tourist Information Bureau at the New Delhi Railway station, they only had one seat left.  It was in first class.

Welcome to Delhi

Despite needing to hustle to catch my connecting flight at Heathrow, all went very smoothly on my three-flight hop across the earth. I hardly interacted with anyone as I miraculously managed to get three seats to myself on all three flights.

I do remember one  experience with turbulence. While  in the galley pouring a cup of water from a two-liter bottle, the plane started jumping. This caused me to miss the pour completely. The friendly flight attendant and I laughed simultaneously.

Riding Through the Clouds

The bus inched upward, until it was evident that we were in a colossal cloud forest. The driver sped up, twisting and turning. We slowed down before crossing over a lagoon to the right and a gorgeous gorge on the left. The bus then puttered up again.

Before I knew it we were flying along the highway once more.

Two Panamanian Hot Springs and an Ambiguously Marked Trekking Path

I had the pleasure of visiting Boquete’s Caldera hot springs which is 24km from the center of the picturesque and sleepy mountain town.

I thought I’d compare the hot springs of Boquete to the one I recently visited in El Valle, as the two are surprisingly very different.

Marooned on the Interamericana

Something happened that I never could have predicted. I was traveling from El Valle to David, a trip that takes about four and a half hours.

While scrupulously thinking two days in advance, I asked a minibus driver in El Valle about the best way to get to David, Panama’s second largest city.

David acts as an unavoidable hub for anyone traveling through western Panama. The modest man told me that I’d need to take a mini-bus to San Carlos, which lies on the Interamericana. From there, I’d easily flag down a bus bound for David.

Ascent to El Valle

After the bus pulled off the Panamericana and started its ascent, the mass array of ugly billboards was instantly left behind.

The nicely paved road instantly broke into two lanes.

The nature became lusher and more colorful. The smiling people that I saw out the window looked indigenous, not European and African like in Panama City.

By Foot, Taxi and a Bus Ride

Upon arriving in Panama City about a week ago, using the local buses appeared daunting. The city was entirely new. Getting anywhere accurately without a taxi  appeared virtually impossible.

I’ve done my share of drifting on foot for hours and kilometers.  During these jaunts, my legs have felt the tropical-heat-induced soreness.  I  usually end up falling asleep for a bit upon returning to my hospedaje.

Circumnavigating a Volcano

Mira, los frenos no funcione.”

I said to the man who gave me a daily bicycle rental rate of 100 Cordobas (less than $5).

We took the bike to his mechanic buddy next door.  He made some adjustments.  I tested the brakes and deemed them to be at about a 75% working order.  This felt like perfection in comparison to the 10% the rental man erroneously assumed that I’d venture out with.  I was a bit shocked that he thought I could make it with those brakes as he had helped me map my route.

I wasn’t asked for my name or for identification.  He just took the money and asked that I had the bike back by five or six pm.