India On Bullet

A musical journey on the Silk Route

Category: Non classé (page 2 of 2)

First steps in Central Asia

After a 3h30 flight, here we are, in Kyrgyzstan !

Let’s have an overlook of the region before to hit the road…
In the heart of Central Asia, between China, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan and Tradjikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic is populated originally by nomads. Today there are 5,8 millions habitants.

Kyrgyzstan is an ex republic of the URSS that got indépendant in 1991. Two languages are spoken here, Kyrgyz and Russian, although, Russian is the most spoken in the capital. The main religion is Sunni Islam and the currency is the SOM.

As soon as out of the airport, we have a first look of Bishkek. Nicolas, a Canadian expatriate will host us for the first week.
Incredible to see that not any dog is roaming on the side walk, we don’t hear any horn, we don’t feel any dust in our eyes, people are very quiet. Huge feeling coming from India and Nepal, we feel like having crossed two worlds.

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Saturday 5th of March, we have a meeting at the Alliance Française in Bishkek where we share a workshop about our project with people studying french. That’s the Al Kapak national day, which the the day of the traditional Kyrgyz hat. The main square, Ala-Too is crowded of men wearing it.

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Time to reach Orlovka, a little countryside town at the eastern part of the country, about 100kms from the capital. The 35 children of the Nurmeaisa Orphanage warmly welcome us. We’re gonna record the third track of the album at the foot of the mountain by a wonderful blue sky, along with an old accordion player and Komouz, the traditional three string instrument. We spend two unforgettable days over there, a lot of fun and a lot of foods ! Oh ! That was also a surprise here. Kyrgyz people use to eat four times a day and always so much meat ! Breakfast, lunch, first dinner à 6PM, and a barbecue à 10PM…

photo groupe enregistrement - copie

gros plan fille - copie                                Komouz - copie

Back in bishkek. The mission is now to get back our motorbikes. Aibek, the Nicolas’s flatmate comes with us in order to make all this paperwork easier. English isn’t not that much spoken in Kyrgyzstan.

At the airport, we walk toward the Turkish Airlines desk where a friendly woman confirms that the bikes are well arrived. Ouf ! She shows us this green building where our Royal Enfield are waiting for us.

Desk after desk, office after office, we might have talked to more than fifty people, roaming is this large area. One of the custom agents ask Aibek some dollars from us if we want to pick up our goods. We answer straight away no!, explain him our project and our tight budget. This is 8 hours later that we are able to give a kick start on our two wheels, a pretty nice feeling of freedom ! Of course we ended up by paying some money. The bill is 250€ for a dangerous material storage… blablabla…

Everything goes fast, we have now a meeting in an indian restaurant to do an interview for a national TV program. We might get the podcast in april only.

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Currently waiting for our Turkmen visa which has been rejected in New Delhi. Fingers crossed..

After that we will finally start to hit the road, ride across mountains, lakes.. toward the West !

Mathieu & Sylvain

Some images of the second recording in Nepal !

We are flying on Thursday to Kyrgyzstan !

Stay tuned !

Good viewing !

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Second recording of the album

Sunday February 14th, we leave Katmandou to reach the little village called Katari, south east of Udayapur Valley.

Finally it’s 13 hours on the road… Our luggages are thrown on the roof, travelling hairs in the wind and the dust. Did we expect that 270kms journey would be a proper race… In high mountains, we are just worrying of our life. The rule is simple, never slow down. Curves, cliffs, cows, it doesn’t matter. A bit like in a video game that you have to get the best score. Anyway, a long night without closing one eye.

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We reach Katari at 5AM and welcomed by Saroj, our referent person for the recording organisation. We roam around the place in the morning and stop in a big spiritual program where we understand that people are waiting for us.

We are invited to come on the stage. The Guru take the microphone and tell to his crowd our project and the reason that we are here. We feel so little in front of this amount of people clapping in their hand for us.

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Time to go to the school “Katari Music Program” and meet the children that we will record the next day. We participate to the last training. About fifteen students are in that school supported by Playing For Chang Foundation in order to contribute to the community offering music classes.

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Next day is the D-day, the recording day. Indian or Nepali organisation is slightly the same story. A few hours to meet everbody and let’s go to the village where we found a super nice place in the morning. Ten artists on stage, eight singing, one playing madam and Saroj playing harmonium. All goes well and in an incredible good mood.

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The last day in the village, the children invited us to meet their friends at their academic school. Once more we explain the purpose that we are here, classroom by classroom. Photo shoot and autograph session for all of them, even the teachers ! We toke advantage of this beautiful moment to dedicate the first post cards promised for our donators.

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Writing from Pokhara, Western part of Nepal, we spend our day hand in grease. Matt and his wonderful team from the tour operator Hearts&Tears give us mechanic before we fly to Kyrgyzstan.

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What to do Kathmandu

Here we are, in Katmandu, after one and half year in India. A bit sad to quit India but the adrenaline of our project does the balance ! That’s also a good feeling to leave the madness of New-Delhi.

We’ve got the visas of Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in our pocket, our motorbikes are ready to fly, and we’ve got our gears and spare parts from our sponsor Royal Enfield.

On monday we’ll go to a little village called Kateri in the eastern part of the country. It’s gonna be a pleasure to record in an institute supported by Playing For Change Foundation. The only concern in that is that there are nine hours on a bus to get there, and through the mountains… We’ll reach after that Pokhara, western part, where Heart & Tears, a travel agency offering “road trip” on Royal Enfield, provides us a three days mechanic course. We’ll be then, ready for any quirk of our beauties !

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Route modification

After the earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, the Zhangmu border post between Kathmandu  and Lhassa (Tibet) closed. The agencies were expecting an announcement of the (re)opening date for a few month already. Although, the Chinese government stay quiet.

The agencies are now quiet pessimistic about the (re)opening of the border post for this season. This earthquake is a good opportunity for the Chinese government to limit the access to Tibet for foreigners.

There are then, none way to get Tibet by land.

We had to think of a plan B, which is to export our two wheels in Kyrgyzstan from New-Delhi. During there journey to Bishkek, we’ll backpack to Nepal for a recording. Beginning of March, finally, we will be back with our well beloved…

Here is the map the see more clearly !

Route map

First recording of the album !

Wednesday 18th of December morning, we’ve been traveling to Karnataka, 200kms south of where live in South Goa.
We went to meet the children of Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya, which located  near Dharward city in South India.

 

record KSV3  record KSV4

 

Today more than 250 children from 6 to 25 years old are studying at KSV, from social and economics situations with difficulties. This allows them to get a free education through Hindustan Art classes, as music and dance.
The objective is to bring them to the level required to allow them to keep studying in university. KSV provides them accommodation, food and healthcare.

 

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We arrived before non, and we’ve been warmly welcome by the staff. A few hours to introduce each other and share some words, we started recording.

The children gave us for two hours by interpreting a traditional Hindustan song. The band was formed by nine artists, including Tablas, Harmonium, Tempura and Vocals.

 

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Such a wonderful that we spend there with the children, volunteers and fondators. Huge thanks to them to be part of our project !
We admire the work that they are doing for now some years in order to keep this center in a positive evolution. We realised how difficult it is to run this kind of institut with only little funding. Keep the trust of the locals also not the easiest.

 

Here is the short film that we’ve done during this day.

 

Crowd funding

HERE WE GO !!! Hop hop hop ! 54 days left to get 89% left before the deadline, then on your keyboards ! 😉 TANKS so much to all contributors and the futur ones.

What’s a crowd funding ?

A crowd funding is a kind of virtual pot, where whoever can give his donation. After set up a budget, the aim is to reach a certain amount of money within a precise period of time. If the objective is not reached, all contributors are refunded automatically. And if this objective is reached, the money goes then straight to the account of the organisation.

More than easy to participate… On the right side, you choose the amount of the donation that you wish to give and the reward that you wish to get. After clicking on your choice, you’ll be invited to create an account on Ulule, and enter you payment details on the secure page.

Now, we are on the way to the south, our bikes are more than healthy. We’ll be next week end on the Royal Enfield Rider Mania Festival in Goa. They invited us to share our experience and project on the the Long Travel Distance Forum !!

Great week to you !
Sylvain & Mathieu

Delhi, program : mechanic and paperworks

Here we are, back in New Delhi, exciting for some, annoying for others… More then 15 million habitants, crazy traffic, and huge pollution… Though, we can still smell the curry in the street !

The city is ready to celebrate Diwali. That is the light festival, one of the biggest in the hindou religion. Last year we were in Jodhpur (Rajasthan) at this time. What this festival reminds us is a lot of lights, a big amount of firecrackers and a din until the next morning. This year we don’t even want to have any expectation in Delhi. Currelty hosted by Kanupriya (couch surfing) we’ll celebrate Diwali with a good dinner, at home !

Before to talk about fiesta, we have a lot to do. A perfect service of the two bikes, and some paparworks. Visas and Carnet de Passage en Douane, have to be done while we are in the capital.

We spend these days at Joga Motors who cares of our two vehicles. Between two “chai” and a few chapatis, we keep our hand in sludge.

 

At Joga Motors

At Joga Motors – photo by motorcycletales

 

We’ve been welcomed by the Vintage Rides’s team when we arrived in Delhi, and thanks to them to gave us the right contacts. Vintage Rides is a travel agency which organize road trip on Royal Enfield in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mongolia… A team of french speaking guides, bikers and adventurers, who share their passion of motorbike, asian lands and  population.

If anyone is interested, go straight to their website !

Speak soon !

Sylvain & Mathieu

Welcome on board !

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You’re surfing on our website… But what to do ?

It’s here that you could follow our passed trip, all around India. But also, the next one along the Silk Route. You also get the chance ton contact us ! Youhou ! And for who is interested by participate to the project and wish support us, here you’ll find how to do…

See you tomorrow, or see you soon !

Mathieu & Sylvain

 

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