Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10th April 2017, 13:06   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 194
Thanked: 235 Times
Default A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-snap1.jpg



After finishing a project that lasted three months, when my boss actually approved a week’s leave, it was already rather late to do a solo ride toward the West of India. It wasn’t February any longer, and the midday heat of March can be unforgiving, but I lapped it up without any protest. I thanked her on my way out, and when she asked where I am headed, I said I had no clue.

This was my only window, and I just had to head out of this daily drudgery and routine. Somewhere. So I packed my bare essentials into a rucksack and tied it to my bike, with no particular destination in mind. Should I head toward Calcutta? I have been on that route five times from Bangalore, so if measuring the roads is the objective, it would have me seriously bored. Should I go to Delhi? The friends who are ready to put me up have children appearing for their boards, so that’s ruled out. Bombay then? Whatever it was, I knew this ride will help me find an answer to the question that had been troubling me. “What’s my purpose in life?” Riding solo had all the answers, I was sure.

DAY 1 (Bangalore to Thane 1010 km)

So Bombay it was. I left Bangalore on March 4, a Saturday, in the general direction of Bombay.
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-3.jpg


A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-2.jpg
At the start of the journey the odometer read 14910 kms.

The idea was to do the Rann, the vast sand desert of Gujarat, for serious bragging rights. It took me about 11.5 hours to reach Pune with lots of stops for pics and lunch, etc. and about 13 hours to reach Panvel. But from Panvel to Thane took me about 2 hours, a distance of only 32 kms. A friendly biker on a Royal Enfield (with whom I rode on the Pune-Bombay highway) showed me the way to Thane. The road between Pune and Bombay is a riddle. There are two hundred entries into the expressway, which doesn’t allow bikes, and I made the mistake 201 times, because of Google maps showing that as the only road. With luggage tied to the back and the heat getting to me, it was quite an ordeal trying to turn the bike around and come back on the old highway.

I had started the day at 4.00 a.m. and had a lot of doubts in my mind about the ride in general.

It was cold, the mesh jacket wasn’t enough to stop me from shivering, and the darkness kind of gets to me if I am riding alone. When my legs started shaking in the cold and banging against the tank, I stopped to have some water and was desperately waiting for the sun. Why on earth am I doing this, was a nagging question on my mind.

Luckily, right then one biker passed me at a very high speed, making me forget the cold and start again. The ER can do serious highway speeds, so I was confident of catching up with the other biker, but it wasn’t before another twenty minutes that I could finally catch up with him. It was a Bajaj Pulsar 200, locked throttle at 135 kmph, and the guy was literally smoking the engine. I realized chasing him will only make him abuse the bike further, so I slowed down. It was time for the first refuel, and the sun came up on my rear view mirror. Now, there’s this Murphy’s law of highways, which states that if you are running out of fuel, there won’t be any petrol pumps in sight. The indicator had started blinking and I was getting worried. Someone told me this bike goes about 50 kms after the blinking starts, but I wasn’t ready to test it. Finally, exasperated with the absence of petrol pumps on the left, I had to go to the first one I found on the other side to tank up. And believe me, right after that there were huge petrol pumps one after the other. I don’t want to digress and talk about the Murphy’s Law of traffic signals, but you generally get the idea, am sure. I had been on this road in 2005, on my way to RiderMania 05 in Panvel, and the first day’s ride to Pune on my Royal Enfield AVL 350 had taken me 17 hours. But that was when the GQ was still being made, and the AVL 350 could manage max speeds of 100 kph.

The roads are much better now, and on the ER6n, the highway was gobbled up at free will, with Hubli/Dharwad arriving before it was 10.00 a.m. I stopped for breakfast at Kamat Upachar near Ranebennur and had my first Red Bull there. I generally avoid all sorts of caffeine, but to stay awake during rides and long drives, I keep some Red Bull handy. The four cans I carried were still reasonably cold, although not for long.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-4.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-5.jpg
Before one of the tunnels on the Bangalore-Pune highway.

At around Kolhapur I stopped to lube the chain, and reached Pune around 3.00 p.m. In between there was lunch, some pics, and the compulsory FB selfies :-P. When I had stopped to lube the chain, some people painting the median abandoned their work and came and flocked around me in their orange fluorescent jackets. They were curious about where I was headed and asked me a lot of questions in Kannada. I maintained a straight face and informed them that there's been an infiltration at the Gujarat border and we are the special forces rushing there to ward off the terrorists. Gosh how I love to mess with nice gullible people. Me? Am from the Gurkha Regiment, as you can tell. They seemed satisfied with my answers and generally dispersed.

At Thane, I met my nephew after almost 20 years and he regaled me with stories about his African safaris. He's an ace photographer whose work has been featured in NatGeo more than a dozen times, with also a cover to his credit.


DAY 2 (Thane to Ahmedabad)

The next morning my nephew and his wife escorted me to the Thane-Ahmedabad highway in their car. He was kind enough to click a pic of me, the only one in the entire trip of me riding.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-7.jpg
That's me, the circus bear

On NH 48, there's this longish bridge over Vasai Creek where the Western Express Highway meets. I stopped to take some pics. I was horrified to find that the traffic there is regulated at either end, allowing either oncoming or ongoing traffic. When I was done taking pics, there was a mad rush of cars approaching me from the other side. I could barely manage to get on to the highway unscathed.


A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-6.jpg
(The Bridge Over Vasai Creek)


It was a Sunday, and the number of superbikes on the highway amazed me. There must have been at least 500 of them between Bombay and Daman, a distance of 150 km. Although my destination was Ahmedabad, I stopped over at Daman for some pics, but the dry sea without any waves lashing on the beach, made for a dismal sight. Daman reminded me of Goa, only cleaner and quieter, with colonial houses and silent roads.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-8.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-9.jpg

Although the road was nicely laid and there were expansive eateries all along the highway, the rising heat constantly reminded me that I was in the west, and I had to make frequent rehydration stops. I was pleasantly surprised to find Red Bull at these places, for my highway dose of caffeine. LJ and Tana had agreed to host me in Ahmedabad, and they informed that I should be careful between Baroda and Ahmedabad about the two-wheeler traffic. However, the entire highway was rather clear. I want to attribute it to the midday heat, but it worked in my favor.

Reached Ahmedabad in the afternoon, and the lawless traffic inside the city had me zapped. Even if I stopped at a signal, the traffic cops said, carry on, carry on, why on earth are you stopping? Finding LJ's place wasn't difficult because he stays near the Sandesh Press.

LJ and his Tana are biker friends who were earlier in Bangalore, and now they have a beautiful daughter Kiara and a golden retriever Spike. They advised me against the Rann, in this heat. “Stay with us for two nights, and go to Udaipur instead, you will fall in love with the road,” LJ said. He has done Bangalore to Ladakh and back to Ahmedabad on his RE T-bird, so I thought it’s best to listen to a seasoned biker. So I stayed over at their place and roamed around Ahmedabad, eating lovely Gujarati dishes. What about tomorrow? Oh you can go in and around Ahmedabad, if you want, many places to see.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-10.jpg
With Spike

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-11.jpg
Kiki loved this new uncle

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-12.jpg
Gujju and Parsi dishes, never tasted any other veg dish that can hold a candle to these delicacies

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-14.jpg
Belting Dabeli with LJ


DAY 3 (Ahmedabad and around)

On the third day I did the Modhera Sun Temple, about 100 km from Ahmedabad. It is a temple built in 1066 AD, and the state highway that leads to Mehsana is a beautiful dual carriageway with not much traffic.

A funny incident on the way gave me my morning chuckle. Around Mehsana, I suddenly saw one car coming back on the highway, having taken a U-turn. Very soon, I saw many other cars and bikes following suit. There was a big ditch between the service road and the main highway, but bikes could somehow manage to cross it. There were some adventurous cars which were trying to go over to the service road, and funnily enough, I found two Innova Crystas dangling between the two roads, wheels freely spinning in mid-air. After I reached the toll booth and asked what happened, they had no clue. “The road is not blocked,” the surprised security guard informed me. Apparently, it was a case of a herd following the guard dog. That one car which took a U-turn for some reason apparently made everybody else turn around and try to get on the service road.

You can find more details about the Sun Temple here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Temple,_Modhera

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-17.jpg
the Modhera Sun temple

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-18.jpg
Letter box

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-19.jpg
the road is filled with these trees with yellow leaves/flowers

After Modhera, I came back to Ahmedabad and went to look for Adalaj Ni Vav, which is a stepwell built in the 1500s. Walking down the steps of the well, I could feel the temperature dip. So I spent some time there, cooling down, and wondering if we should all go underground during summer.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-13.jpg
happy at the cool depths of the well

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-15.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-16.jpg
Someone asked me what that bowl of milk was for. Anybody's guess. For spirits?

The evening was spent yapping away with LJ and Tana, and listening to stories of the Jalahallli Air Force Base from LJ's dad, Mr Ranjeet Joshi.

DAY 4, March 7 (Ahmedabad to Udaipur and Chittorgarh)

On the fourth day, I started around 4.45 a.m. and proceeded toward Udaipur. Tana made some strong Brazilian coffee to wake me up and set me off.

Again, the cold got to me. After Gandhinagar, I had to stop and ask for directions, and there were truckers and auto drivers that early in the morning sipping tea and groggily giving directions. I had just stopped to take a picture of a milestone when two bikers thundered past with blue LED lights blinking on their tails.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-20.jpg
Stopped near Gandhinagar to take pics

The khujli of catching up with other bikers got to me again, and I started riding. It was rather dark, and am anyway half blind, so I couldn’t do good speeds. After a while I caught up with the two Enfield riders, going from Ahmedabad towards Udaipur/Jaipur/Delhi, I can’t tell. I rode with them for a while, and by then had woken up properly. After the customary thumbs up, I overtook them and kept riding. The sunrise after I entered Rajasthan was surprisingly beautiful, between two hills, and I took a longish break just trying to capture it on my phone.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-21.jpg
Sunrise in Rajasthan

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-22.jpg
my perched viewpoint


Udaipur came very early, perhaps around 10.00 a.m., but I must thank LJ for suggesting this road. It is beautiful, with hills and jungles all around, lovely corners, and sparse traffic. Some of the hills seemed to have Mohawk haircuts. But from close I could see that the vegetation was manicured, perhaps to mark boundaries. It made for a pretty sight though.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-23.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-24.jpg
road through the hills of Gambhoi

I went around in Udaipur on the bike, looking for the Lake Palace. There was one big palace with an entry fee of Rs 280, but they weren't ready to safeguard my bike or luggage, so I dropped the idea and went near the lake to click some pics.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-25.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-26.jpg
Octopussy pics of the bike. Thinking of Roger Moore, Kabir Bedi, and Vijay Amritraj.

Although LJ's dad suggested I stay at Udaipur, I thought I will proceed to Chittorgarh because the next day's ride to Panchmarhi will only be around 670 kms. If I stop at Udaipur, I will have to do about 850 kms through Rajasthan and MP the next day, to Panchmarhi. Given the roads are unknown, and with no idea if google maps will work in those areas, I decided to proceed to Chittorgarh after filling up. The attendant there told me to go through the city and avoid the highway. He said the road will join the highway at a point where there’s no traffic jam. While entering Udaipur, I hadn’t seen any jam on the highway, so I didn’t pay heed to the advice and came back the way I had entered. Turning left toward Chittor, I realized what a fool I was to not listen to him. The road had a ten-km jam of trucks and buses, and I had to do a fair amount of off-roading here, something the ER6n doesn’t like much. But after this block the roads were empty again, and I could reach Chittor by 12.30 p.m.

I went straight to the fort and parked at the RTDC restaurant in front of Rana Kumbha’s Vijay Stambh. The people there were very friendly and were ready to look after my jacket and other luggage, while I rode around the fort to see all the spots.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-28.jpg
climbing up to the fort

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-27.jpg
Rana Kumbh's Vijay Stambh

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-29.jpg
FB pic for bragging


I still hadn’t found a place to sleep that night, and some people suggested a dharamshala where one can stay for Rs 200 per night. I didn’t want to try that option, and went down to the city and checked into Hotel Padmini, which looks like a palace itself. I was finally out of veg Gujarat, so I happily asked them to send some chicken curry to my room, but these guys very gravely informed me that they are “shudhh Shakahari.” I didn’t want to get lynched, so I admitted to being a shakahari myself (haha, was just joking about the chicken), so why don’t you send up some aloo mutter and daal fry? The pretty girl at the reception informed me that the light-and-sound show at the fort is a must watch, and I must reach before 6.00 p.m. to be able to catch it.

The light and sound at Chittorgarh fort had me in tears. It is superbly narrated, and I could recognize SRK and Shabana Azmi doing the voice-overs. Although kind of lengthy, it is a must watch. The tales of war and sacrifice of the Rajputs will make your heart bleed, though, so let this serve as a fair warning.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-30.jpg
Light and sound show at Chittorgarh fort

I had managed to impress a typical Bengali couple at the café in the morning with stories of my ride, and the wife in saree and sun hat seemed almost ready to abandon the hapless husband and hop on to my pillion seat. Really, really? And then? Your wife let you go? What a courageous lady. I won’t let him go anywhere out of my sight, she added, pointing at her husband, much to his rising chagrin. What bliss, I tell you. May there always be impressionable tourists everywhere for wholesome bragging opportunities. They were at the light-and-sound show too, and the lady announced that she was at Hotel Padmini as well. Really? You're there too? Well...some other time maybe. Right now I was worried about my trip to Panchmarhi the next day.

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th April 2017 at 11:06. Reason: Adding spaces between consecutive pics with captions :)
Oreen is offline   (29) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th April 2017, 13:08   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 194
Thanked: 235 Times
Default re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

DAY 5 (Chittorgarh to Panchmarhi?)

I started off from Chittorgarh a little after daybreak, because I knew it would be hard to find roads in Rajasthan and MP. There aren’t properly marked milestones, and the google map I downloaded for offline usage came in really handy. The only problem was, I don’t have a handlebar mounted GPS, which slowed me down quite a bit. Every now and then I would have to stop and check my phone. The breakfast was aloo paratha at a roadside eatery, and I would suggest one never to try parathas anywhere outside Punjab. I had parathas in Gujarat (YUCK), Rajasthan (YUCKER), and MP (WAKKTHHOOOO), and decided I would ask for sausages and bread wherever I go. Or maybe munch on energy bars. Have fruits even, although Bengalis are forbidden from having fruits of any kind by birth. But Confucius say, no have paratha if not in Punjab.

I took the Nimbahera > Mandsaur > Ujjain route, and somewhere along the way I came across a couple of girls riding their bicycles from one city to another. They were struggling in the heat, and one was waiting for the other to catch up. I couldn’t see any backup vehicle or anybody else, so it is awfully brave of two young Indian girls to be riding by themselves across the heart of India in the March heat. Kudos to them, whoever they are.

The bike went on without a whimper, and needed one chain lubing every 500-600 kms. The chain was getting a little loose, and I didn’t know how to tighten it. Maybe if you are planning a long ride on a Kawa, you need to carry the necessary tools (and knowhow in your mind) to tighten your chain every 2000 kms.

Because of the bad roads and frequent stops to check directions, I could reach Bhopal only around 3.30 p.m.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-31.jpg
Bhojtal or the Upper Lake, Bhopal

The road to Hoshangabad from Bhopal is single carriageway and full of potholes, with a lot of traffic, so I was gradually slowing down and my energy was dwindling. One very handsome chap on a blue Harley caught up with me and asked me where I was going. I could tell he is handsome because he didn’t have a helmet on. He insisted on riding beside me and having a conversation at the same time, so I just kept nodding my head and mumbled. He kept asking, "What? What?" and gave up on me, wheelied on to the footpath, and vanished out of sight.

About 50 kms from Bhopal I came across an MPTDC hotel at Bhimbhetka, and because it was already 4.30, I decided to stop there for the night.

Panchmarhi was still a good 150 km away, and I had no intention of going there just for the night, especially when I was barely managing 50 km/hour. Bhimbhetka turned out to be a good decision, because the manager of the hotel told me that the next 100-odd kms are through dense jungles and it is not advisable to ride a two-wheeler at night. Tiger country, apparently. This hotel is right next to a busy railway track, and I could see trains from Chennai and Bangalore going past.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-train-3.jpg

I also made time to go visit the prehistoric rock shelters of Bhimbhetka. "The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site of the Paleolithic Age, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian Subcontinent, and thus the beginning of the Indian Stone Age."

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-bhim-rocks-1.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-bhim-rocks-3.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-bhim-rocks.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-bhim-selfie.jpg

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-34.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-35.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-36.jpg

If you happen to love watching trains, you have quite a perch on the rocks from where you can see the trains passing by 2 kms down below. The Nepali manager was surprised that I wasn’t from Nepal myself, and I was surprised that he looked like a mustachioed North Indian and nothing like a Nepali. He managed to get me some egg curry for dinner, so my desire for some form of non-veg was satiated a little bit. Despite having asked for plain rice, I was served jeera rice. It made me wonder if it was to camouflage the bird-sized mosquitoes that lazily perched themselves on the food and refused to budge. Jeera = mosquitoes. I don't know, but I might have eaten some as well.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-rice.jpg

The whole evening was spent trying to click pictures of the trains that passed by, and am sure I dreamt of trains all night because of all the noise.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-train-1.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-train-2.jpg

The only book I carried on this journey was brought out from the inner recesses of my backpack, but it had flaxseeds smeared all over it, so was promptly shoved back in. The seeds had taken the title a little too seriously before considering to do anything to the book. It is called “Anything Considered” by Peter Mayle.


DAY 6 (Bhimbhetka to Hyderbad, via Nagpur)

Now I was getting a little anxious to get home, but I still had 1500 kms to go. My wife had helped me all through by finding me hotels and sending me images of maps, and although I initially thought I will stop at Tadoba for the night and then proceed to Hyderabad the next day, I carried on. The road through Hoshangabad all the way to Betul is through dense jungles, with spectacular sights. You can see hills in the distance, little blue trains passing through the forest, a lot of monkeys, and boards warning you of tigers and leopards. This entire stretch was about negotiating potholes, and the 810 km journey to Hyderabad was looking like quite an ordeal. Now the front suspension of the ER6n is short and sturdy. To negotiate potholes, you can’t really slow down or apply brakes. Applying brakes would make the suspension play even shorter, making the pothole seem more jarring than it is. So, the trick is to suddenly gas the potholes and make the front wheel skim over everything. This trick is also very handy while negotiating bad speed breakers. Just do a wheelie and you are covered. So here I was, doing a short wheelie over anything and everything, straining my shoulders and arms, and managing a very bad average speed. There was also the fear of encountering a tiger or a leopard, but fortunately they were probably laughing at my antics from the cover of the bushes.

I kept thinking of the conversation I had with my nephew the first night, in Bombay. “Why do people go for jungle safaris in open vehicles?” Apparently these cats can’t distinguish between the jeep and the inmates of the jeep, unless someone stands up or stretches out a hand to notify that he/she isn’t an integral part of the vehicle. The rhinos, elephants, and hippos are the most dangerous, because they charge at you unprovoked. He stays in Africa, hence hippos, but here in Betul, I didn’t want to confront a tiger and test this theory in real life. Plus he never said anything about being on a bike. Even if the tiger can’t distinguish between a bike and me, I wasn’t ready to collect any empirical evidence about it.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-betul.jpg

Somewhere before Betul

Suddenly after a turn near Betul, I couldn’t believe my eyes at what was spread across in front of me. A six lane highway, newly laid, with absolutely no traffic on it. Not a single car or truck to be seen, and there were lovely bends and corners. My speeds tripled and I was trying to make up for lost time. But I was again running out of fuel, and there were no petrol pumps to be seen. And Murphy has no laws for roads in MP, it seems, because there are very few fuel stations in reality, and none of them accept cards. “Yes, we have ordered for card machines” was the response everywhere. I had also run out of cash because both at Chittorgarh and Bhimbhetka, I had to pay cash at the hotels. Found a dhaba and tasted the MP paratha that I mentioned about earlier and the owner told me that there was a petrol pump around 10 kms from there.

A solo biker attracts a lot of unwanted attention and uncomfortable questions, and I was thinking of playing the Major Eashwarappa trick, but didn’t have to. The men seemed tired themselves, and didn’t really flock around the bike. They asked me where I was from. One trucker tried chatting me up, and when he found out that I was from Bangalore, he quipped about how Bangalore roads are so dense with traffic, you could cut them with a butter knife. All this talk of knives was making me rather uncomfortable. All over the south and west, despite there being unwanted attention, you don’t feel very threatened. Central and North India are a different ball game altogether. What if they take the bike? What if they mug me? I can give them a key and suddenly run to the bike and start it with the spare key. Or I can talk to Major Eashwarappa on the phone with a straight face and detail the terrorists we have killed and what we plan to do with the bodies. I can also appear a little miffed with him about not putting the bodies in the lime pit like we had planned to. In extreme situations, this works like a charm. You just have to talk about what a murderer you are, and the onlookers slowly back off.

When he found out that I was originally from Calcutta, he was very happy.
“Sirji, kalkatta mein toh do hee cheej dekhne layak hai, nahin?” I had no clue which two places he was talking about in Calcutta, but all I could do was give him a wan nod. The abomination in the name of aloo parantha was sitting in front of me by then, and I was rather hungry.
“Kalighat and Sonagachhi, don’t you agree?”

Of course, of course. I agree. Am alone with ten strangers in remote Madhya Pradesh. Why in heaven's name will I disagree?

Now Kalighat is a famous temple area, which to me means nothing more than a train stop. Meet me at Kalighat metro station, I must have told one of my dates. And the only tryst with the Sonagachhi red light district I had as a teenager was part of a dare. I had to walk from Central Avenue to Chitpore through Sonagachhi to prove I can do it. It had left me troubled and sad. I didn’t look at the girls, most of whom were probably underage, and it being morning, people didn’t harass me either. So I agreed with this man. I didn’t even look at his face. The aloo stuffed inside the parantha was steaming hot.

“So, sir, you see, men are basically perverts.” (He used the term “janwaar.”) “They have a lot of lust in them. And these girls are the buffer that protects our society from these animals. They are like God, sir. Don't you agree, sir?"

I could feel my muscles relax, and I turned to look at him. He had light eyes and brown hair. His name was Mahendar. He goes home once in six months and has been to Sonagachhi and every other red light district in the country, he informed me. “But I touch her feet and show my respect before I sleep with her, sir. They are like God.” The singular and plural fused somewhere in his speech. And in his eyes wasn’t lust, but awe for her. The same “her” wherever he goes.


Petrol and cash sorted, I rushed towards Hyderabad, found a lot of traffic inside Nagpur (because of metro rail construction), and eventually reached Hyderabad by 5.30 p.m. I didn't stop much to click pics, and these pics taken just before Nagpur are the only ones.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-nagpur.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-near-nagpur-1.jpg

I entered Hyderabad from the Secundarabad side and checked into a hotel that I forget the name of. Fellow BHPian REVerberate was not free till 9.30 p.m., so I went to the Hussain Sagar Lake and from there to Charminar to make up for all the vegetarian food I had had all through the journey.

After REVerberate joined me, we ate at Rooman, very highly recommended by both my auto driver and his cabbie. We had talawa and biriyani of the forbidden kind, and downed it with Thumsup.
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-beef-talawa.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-38.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-charminar-2.jpg
A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-charminar-3.jpg

There was one extra plate of biriyani which we packed and gave to an old lady begging outside. Chewing paan at 11.30 p.m. on a busy Hyderabad street, burping out the soda, and picking the strands of meat from our teeth, we discussed what was going wrong with our beautiful country. The last bit of meat plucked from my teeth turned out to be a strand of saffron.

DAY 7 (Hyderabad to Bangalore)

I woke up rather late and it was 7.40 by the time I could leave my Secundarabad Hotel. Finding my way out of Hyderabad was also quite an ordeal. When I finally located an expressway and was about to get on to it, I saw a signboard announcing bikes aren’t allowed on it. The option was to take the service road below and try to follow the elevated road. At times it would vanish from sight, making me panic, but I could somehow stick by its side until I reached the Kurnool-Bangalore highway after the airport. It was already 9.00 and the road ahead was like a dream.

I was doing about 125 kmph when I saw the LED DRLs of a red hatchback approaching fast on my rear view mirrors. It looked like a Baleno, so I thought I will speed up a little and see how far it goes. Strangely enough, the red car was gaining ground on me despite me going rather fast, so I left it behind a cluster of trucks and stopped for fuel immediately after. The red car went past like a rocket, honking like mad. It happened to be a Mercedes A-class, and not a Baleno after all! Am sure the driver would have put it up for sale by now. Imagine his frustration at not being able to catch up with me in the entire stretch?

The road was beautiful and boring. Near Kurnool there were terrible crosswinds that made riding rather difficult. I wonder how lighter bikes manage such crosswinds.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-windmill-2.jpg
Comparing for size

After a mutton biriyani lunch at Dolphin dhaba at Anantpur, I lazily reached Devanahalli airport around 3.00 p.m. and got stuck in Friday Bangalore traffic. The odometer read 19120 kms.

A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n-39.jpg


So, finally I had done my solo ride, got frozen in the morning cold, got roasted in the midday heat, wore out my new Pirelli Angel GT tyres, but didn’t find an answer to the existential question that had been troubling me all this while: “What’s my purpose in life?”

I guess another ride is on the cards very soon.

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th April 2017 at 16:39. Reason: Removing those 4-5 images at the end.
Oreen is offline   (49) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th April 2017, 14:15   #3
BHPian
 
Ry_der's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Ahmedabad
Posts: 65
Thanked: 136 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Just wow. Very informative and detailed travelogue.

I wonder how did you manage to get the much needed approval from your wife. Kindly share some tips as the Thunderbird is getting more frustrated with each passing day spent in Ahmedabad traffic. It has stopped throwing tantrums since I landed in Ahmedabad but I coudnt take her for any long ride. My wife never agrees with the idea of a ride. Laddakh seems impossible under these conditions.
Ry_der is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th April 2017, 09:35   #4
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 46,572
Thanked: 80,455 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th April 2017, 10:51   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Purnea(Bihar)
Posts: 5,025
Thanked: 4,456 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Beautiful narration, loved it. Please do ride more, at least that should be the purpose of life . And we get to read logs like this. Solo rides are always introspective and bring out the best in a rider.
Thanks for sharing
Sheel is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th April 2017, 12:03   #6
BHPian
 
justwheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 316
Thanked: 189 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

If the word "WOW" could just help me express my feelings to you. Amazing thread, for not just the long ride, beautiful places covered, long rides and a good travelogue, but more than anything else, the show of guts to do long distances all alone (that too after marriage.. ). In all honestly, thanks for sharing the experience.

I once had done Bangalore to Sagar (MP) in the peak summers (May) last year in my car. I can only imagine how it would have felt on the bike. But the feeling of fulfillment on completing your ride and the innumerable experiences en-route is just unparalleled.

Kudos to the bike that held strong through out. Wishing you many more miles and many more to share with us.
justwheels is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th April 2017, 12:22   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
BlackPearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 2,182
Thanked: 3,295 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Wow Shuvo Dada what a trip and narration! Rated 5 stars. You are living the dream life that many of us crave for and still you say that you don't yet know the purpose of your life If not anything else, your purpose is to keep riding and write lovely travelogues for us
BlackPearl is online now   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th April 2017, 14:49   #8
BHPian
 
blackwasp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 548
Thanked: 951 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Awesome narration. Loved the way you went through all these places with no concrete plan in hand. Definitely keep posting more such rides and inspire us to go on a ride.
blackwasp is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th April 2017, 07:18   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 64
Thanked: 19 Times
Default

A beautiful piece of life you have shared Oreen 👍🏻. Has infested the itch in me to look for the purpose of life and on 2 wheels 😊
DieselDestiny is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th April 2017, 19:22   #10
Distinguished - BHPian
 
saket77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 3,076
Thanked: 3,668 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

There's something about these long rides. Really gives you time to think about yourself, purpose of life and other such philosophical stuff. You tend to forget about stuff like your job, etc which is a good thing to happen in a while.

Keep riding and do bring us these great logs of your journey. If I happen to ask any traveler about his journey and if he replies that he is off to the border to kill terrorists, I will be sure that's you.
saket77 is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th April 2017, 17:28   #11
Newbie
 
Teesta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 8
Thanked: 12 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Wow Shuvo Dada what a trip and narration! Rated 5 stars. You are living the dream life that many of us crave for and still you say that you don't yet know the purpose of your life If not anything else, your purpose is to keep riding and write lovely travelogues for us
BP was trying to show me this travelogue of yours when I was neck deep in work. I literally screamed at him for even attempting it, but now I realise why he was so desperate! It's absolutely brilliant and hats off to you for doing this trip! The heat must have been maddening, you get a straight 10 on 10 on endurance. Special note to Mou Didi for letting you do what you love the most. Wanted to rate you 100 but this app just lets me do 5. I am also waiting for your Bhutan travelogue, when are you publishing it?
Teesta is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th April 2017, 20:56   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
naveenroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,313
Thanked: 684 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oreen View Post
So, finally I had done my solo ride, got frozen in the morning cold, got roasted in the midday heat, wore out my new Pirelli Angel GT tyres, but didn’t find an answer to the existential question that had been troubling me all this while: “What’s my purpose in life?”

I guess another ride is on the cards very soon.
Awesome ride Orgy! Good writeup too. Glad you had a safe ride and returned back safe and sound. Good luck on the next ride.
naveenroy is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st April 2017, 00:13   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
maddy42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Phoenix, Coorg
Posts: 1,817
Thanked: 426 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Oreen: Amazing trip you did there, and you did touch on the unknowns pretty well. To be in a place without any known faces and chatting with strangers is scary sometimes with these situations.

Reminds me of a friend driving cross country in the US alone and she stopped at a gas station in alabama run by an indian. The indian tells my friend who is a local that she is in a very wrong area and leave as soon as possible. Irony but scary thing on humans!

Maddy
maddy42 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 21:26   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 194
Thanked: 235 Times
Default Re: A 4,200 km road-trip on my Kawasaki ER-6n

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teesta View Post
BP was trying to show me this travelogue of yours when I was neck deep in work. I literally screamed at him for even attempting it, but now I realise why he was so desperate! It's absolutely brilliant and hats off to you for doing this trip! The heat must have been maddening, you get a straight 10 on 10 on endurance. Special note to Mou Didi for letting you do what you love the most. Wanted to rate you 100 but this app just lets me do 5. I am also waiting for your Bhutan travelogue, when are you publishing it?
The Bangalore to Bhutan and Sikkim trip in our Duster never got written. It was for 21 days, and I still have all the details, but I guess am not BlackPearl to be able to sit down and pen everything when I still remember to. Too lazy.
Oreen is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kawasaki could assemble Z800 in India? EDIT: Kawasaki says no Aditya Superbikes & Imports 20 30th May 2016 01:41
How awesome can a road trip be? The Great Ocean Road Trip : Melbourne! champ27 Travelogues 31 17th July 2014 14:56
PICS : Team-BHP 200 Horsepower Drive GTO The Team-BHP Meet Section 89 27th March 2013 20:31
Road Reviews for a Round Road Trip through 6 states Mystic Nomad Route / Travel Queries 11 8th September 2010 07:04


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 14:04.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks