Rocinante gets a checkup, the parting of the ways.

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
Trip End Oct 01, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Friday, May 26, 2006

In the morning, I installed the ignition switch, points, and the other parts that had been gotten from Citizen's automotive, as Linda scouted out another lodge, preferably cheaper than the deluxe accomodation Rocinante's problems had forced us to assume the night previous.
I put the points in, but with India having no such thing as a gapping tool, I just had to eye it up. Of course, with an Enfield shop around the corner, once I had her running, I decided it would be best to just go there and have the professionals do it for nominal price they charge at such places. Linda had found us a decent room for about half the price of the posh place, and it was withing walking distance, so we shot the bags over, then returned to place Rocinante in the shope for a complete checkup.
The men at the shop were glad to see us, and immediately started in on Rocinante with wrenches and screwdrivers, changing all the oils (three: engine, gearbox, and drive chain assembly) and gapped the points. Of a sudden, the man had the main crankshaft cover off, and was cleaning the timing gear and camshaft gears. . Well, perhaps a little too technical for you, but suffice it to say that they were being very thorough in the clean little shop, and these guys were no backyard mechanics with a tin-roofed garage. No, this was a bonafide Enfield shop, the men had uniforms, and there were new bikes everywhere.
Linda and I decided to take a rickshaw and see a sight or two in Hyderabad. There is a statue of buddha there, standing on a plinth in the middle of the lake, carved in the 80's and shipped to Hyderabad. While on the way across the river, the hauling barge sank, and the statue languished under the water for many years, until a salvage company from Goa, of all places, raised the 15 meter or so monument from the depths. It now stands in the lake, sort of a Liberty Island, but a little more like Spirituality Island.
So we went to see that, at least, 20 rupees for the ferry boat across from the park, which is more of an amusement park than a garden proper, with little cars that the kids can drive around the park and such.
There are no western tourists in Hyderabad, only Indian ones. During our three days there, we saw a total of two, and one of them might have been Indian. So we rode out with the Indian tourists, from places such as Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai to the statue, I didn't fail to notice that though the lake was filled with trash, there was none around the buddha, and the park had numerous rubbish bins that most people actually used. .
Not much to tell about the buddha, an impressive likeness with upraised hand, and with a a storied history. The picture will say it all, I think. .

Back to the Enfield shop for 27 rupees. The nice thing about cities with not much western tourism is that the rickshaw drivers actually use the meters, they haven't learned how to rip off unsuspecting tourists whose own currency is worth far more than the weak rupee. Almost everything is "indian price" and not "western price," they don't have that concept quite yet.
Also there are many less touts and beggars here, perhaps because the Indian tourist sees this kind of poverty every day, and knows how not to give to them all. Occasionally you do see someone who is so poverty stricken, perhaps even with horrible disfigurements or so skinny you can see they are starving, and the heart will tell you to give, but many times the beggars are organized into groups, as begging is it's own form of business here.

275 rupees later, and Rocinante was in top shape. Starting on the first kick, not running rich anymore, shifting smoothly, and the mechanic had actually managed to make the valve tick even less than before. A perfect machine. And ready to roll.
Linda and I were planning to stay one more day and see Golconda Fort, another of the main attractions here, though our attraction as travelling companions had waned somewhat. . She is in more of a hurry than I to get up north, and I am looking forward to travelling solo again, lighter, and with less responsibility, as I only have to worry about myself when going it alone.
An amicable split, and probably will meet again in Dharamshala, where the Dalai Lama lives.
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