Just finished our buffet dinner in the Padang Lords Eco Inn in the beautiful city of Saputara (also known for its snakes…) and we were both shocked when we realized that already 6(!) days are passed since our last post. Time flies, especially in India.
Today we had a very nice track from Vyara to Saputara. The mountainous area and spectacular views made it a great day for biking. We decided to take the small roads and never regret our choice.
We had our breakfast at a street food “restaurant” using our rule “cook it, peal it or leave it” in order to minimize the chance of a Delhi Belly?.
The day before we were both still very tired as the alarm woke us at 8.00h. The cause of this tiredness was the traditional Indian wedding of Vikas, an engineer working for IWI-CryoGas, the night before.
We were presented as real celebrities dressed in traditional Indian clothing and could witness all the ceremonies, and there are a lot, from (very) nearby. It’s an unbelievable noisy and colorful event with nonstop dancing for hours, an outdoor dinner with > 500 guests and of course the actual deed of the wedding by a priest (in India this is enough to get married official as well).
We were lucky that Nayan brought us a gift for Vikas and his bride, as we have to be very careful with our cash. Prime Minister Modi decided overnight that all the 500 and 1000 notes are worthless in order to fight against black money (80% of the transactions in India are done in cash, even the purchase of real estate…). The results are huge queues for the working ATM’s (most of them don’t work at all) and you’re only allowed to take 2000 Rupees per day (approx. € 28,-).
We slept in the house of family Joshi and had a great time with them. The breakfast was delicious and we were not allowed to leave without taking some sweet and nuts with us. Thank you so much for your kind hospitality.
Along the street we were stopped several times by people who recognize us from the newspapers. We now start to understand the position of a celebrity and feel like true Bollywood stars!!
The initiator for all this publicity was Savir, another business friend of Ronald. We were kindly invited to stay in his house and we had a great time together with his wife Kavita. We had a great BBQ and some very interesting conversations about our future.
Sam was also joining and he is the “boss” of the Vadodara international Marathon organization.
They invited us the previous day for a meet & greet with approx 80 people and a lot of press. We had several interviews, were filmed and photographed 1000 times and found ourselves in a lot of newspapers the next day.
Mira Erda was also attending the meet & greet and she appeared to be the only female Gokart and F4 champion of India. With only 16 years, she dreams from a career like Max Verstappen. She and her father invited us for a Gokart demo on their own circuit and this was a great experience. We could drive as much as we wanted and got a private course in a twin-kart and the whole circuit was ours….
Before the Gokart event, we visited an Indian barber. Obviously there was a body language issue, because both Ronald and Maurice were cut much shorter then wanted.
If an Indian barber asks “should it be shorter”? Then don’t nod no, because this means yes…. do you follow?
In the two days before we visited the headquarters and production facilities of both CryoGas and INOXCVA, followed by photo sessions and a presentation of our trip to the employees.
A special remembrance was our visit to the King’s Palace, the kind invitation to witness a traditional dance lesson and performance from Ipsita, a Karaoke evening with some medicine and the reunion with the father from Nayan.
We like to thank Nayan & Alka and Savir & Kavita for the superb hospitality; you made our stay in Baroda/Vadodara an exceptional and unforgettable experience!!