Couple with a sense of adventure

 Michael and Susan Peris.
Michael and Susan Peris are on a mission: To drive from Denmark to Bangalore in their Indian car, a Nissan X-Trail, covering a distance of 18,000 kms with a budget of Rs 15,000 a day. They left for Denmark on August 2. Before venturing on their journey, they spoke to Metrolife about the preparations they have had to make for their trip.

“Our friends think we are nuts, my mother had an anxiety attack and we are finally in the process of completing the reams of paperwork that bogged us down for the last couple of months,” say the adventurous couple, who are on a three-month long road trip across fourteen countries, a trip they have been planning for the last 25 years.

Born and brought up in Bangalore, Michael married Susan and lived with her in Denmark for 18 years before they moved back to Bangalore with their two sons. He is a coffee planter and she a qualified nurse, and now with their two sons back in Denmark they felt that this would be the perfect time to fulfil their dream adventure-cum-holiday which was put on hold once before in 2001 because of the 9/11 attacks.

“For the last two years we have been planning to drive from Bangalore to Denmark and back, but because of the unrest in Pakistan, we decided to ship the car to Denmark and start from there instead. When we reach Pakistan we will gauge at the situation and take a call,” they say.

After budgeting and planning, the most challenging step was getting the right ‘documentation’ for the car. The paper trail was endless. An NOC from the RTO and the police, an emission test certificate and a dicey document called Carnet de passage, which required a bank guarantee for three and a half times the value of the car (Rs 80 lakh) deposited with the Automobile Association of South India for three years. Apparently, this ensures that you not only bring the car back to India but grants you permission to drive through any country en route. In short, a car passport!

“The authorities are foxed by our travel plans as only one other person has ever shipped a car out of South India before. Our route takes us through Germany, the Czech Republic, Prague, Austria, Hungary, Gyor, Budapest, Serbia, Kosavo, Greece Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran and several other little countries along the way before arriving at the border of Pakistan where we will re-assess the situation once more.”

“Today, travel is about getting where you are going fast and missing the best parts of the experience! We want to  get out there and check out the backroads, the quaintness of the small towns, sample the cuisine, hang with the locals and experience a little of their lifestyles. For us, it is a trip to where we intend to savour and enjoy the journey, not merely the destination,” they say in unison even as they plan to set up a blog and keep other travel buffs posted on their experiences.

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