Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Made the newspapers in India, again!

Pushkar Ranjan was kind enough to mail me an article that appeared in Jamshedpur. It is such a nice gesture from him to mail this to me, because I would have missed out on it otherwise, as I left Jamshedpur very early in the morning and did not get a chance to check to papers. So here thanks to Pushkar the latest news on me:

Swiss biker on world tour
- Jamshedpur, a one-night home, for 42-year-old engineer
Swiss biker Cecilia Rojas. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Jamshedpur, March 12: At first glance she looks like a foreign tourist taking refuge for the night at a city hotel. But she made enough heads turn the moment she rides her power machine.

Meet 42-year-old Cecilia Rojas, a Swiss national who arrived here after globe-trotting half way across the world.

An avid biker, Rojas was in the city as part of her world tour that began from Switzerland in October 2005. She stopped at a city hotel to avoid the night journey and left for Nepal early this morning.

"I started this journey in 2005. I have been in India for five months and it will be two more years before I go back home," said Rojas, who travelled along the Western coast and the Coromandel Coast to reach the steel city. In the past one-and-a-half years, Rojas has travelled through major parts of Europe, Egypt and Libya in Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Mongolia and Pakistan before coming to India on her BMW R100 GS.

But has this been a pleasurable journey? "Mostly, apart from a near-fatal accident in Pakistan," she quips. Her next destination, is Nepal from where she moves to Ladakh and China before moving to the Far East.

She managed to get some time to see the city. Rojas, who is a qualified system engineer designing high-level surface systems for leading banks in Switzerland, started riding 20 years ago.

"I do this completely out of passion and there is no sponsorship from any agency," added Rojas who along with her brother Khim, runs the Fernweh Adventures Club in Switzerland.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Made the newspapers in India

As a nice follow up to my newspaper post. We made the newspapers ourselves this time. For people who know us it will be easy to pick out everything that is not quite right in this article! That much for the quality of the news here in India. This article was done based on 2 minute talk I had with a reporter while a tire walla was changing the tires....

The Times of India, Bhubaneswar-National Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wanderlust drives them around the world.
Debabrata Mohapatra - TNN

Puri: They say when the travel bug bites, it makes you do the most craziest of things to satisfy your wanderlust.
Ask Cecilia and Kim Rojas of Switzerland, they have sold off all their belongings and are using their lifetime savings for a trip around the world on their giant motorcycles.
The couple in their late thirties, have traveled across 12 countries covering nearly 31,000 km on the road. They reached the shores of Puri last week after traveling to various places across the continent for the last five months.
"We chalked out out plan for a world tour on motor bikes in 2004. Since then we started saving money for the purpose. We also raised some money from our friends and relatives," says 35-year-old Cecilia. The couple began their journey on October 10, 2005 from Lucerne in Switzerland.
They entered India from Pakistan at Amritsar through the Wagah border.
"We chucked out jobs and sold our belongings before starting this adventure. It was a dream come true for us the day we set off on this daredevil journey on two motorbikes," says Cecilia, a computer engineer like her husband.
"We decided to take two bikes because one bike is not enough for two. There's hardly any space left for the pillion rider after all the stuff have been loaded.
We've brought everything required for us on the bike, which forced us to go for two bikes," says Kim.
The couple are clear about what they want from the journey and spreading any message or creating a record is not on their agenda, they just want to enjoy wandering across the globe.
"We want to cherish our dream of visiting around the world on a motorbike.
But during our we have got a chance to learn the art and culture of different places.
We are really enjoying that," says Cecilia.
Kim and Cecilia do their best to keep their two BMWs in shape for the journey.
"We ride for nearly eight hours a day.
If we ride harsh, then the bikes cannot fulfill our dream.
Till now we have managed to sort our whatever small technical faults we encountered on our own," she says.
Kim says they have not faced any hurdle so far while crossing the borders of various countries.
"We have all the valid documents like passport, identity card and motorbike papers with us.
We found India pretty safe, though we never ride after dark," says Kim.
He says their journey will continue for another two years, but did not divulge their future destinations.
Talking about their experience in India, the couple say the hospitality they got at various places speaks volumes of the kindness and generosity of Indian towards visitors.