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Old 15th February 2010, 22:14   #31
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They say..Human spirit is the ultimate. that is the reason we humans are way behind the abilities of the other inhabitants of this earth, have succeeded in surviving, evolving and going places literaly.

Your thread is very inspiring and amazing. I do not know whether your wife trusts and depends on you or you derive strength from her, but both of you together are simply amazing.

the courage, fitness, willingness, planning needed for the bike trip of this magnitude is simply different than a 4 wheeler trip.
hats off to you

wanted to rate your thread 7 star, but it is not there, so rating it 5 star.
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Old 16th February 2010, 14:24   #32
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great show! 100+ with a pillion rider sounds mind-boggling. But please do take care as in remote areas, in case of emergencies, help is far far away.
Thanks for the concern. Yes, I realized checking top speed was not the best thought in the remote areas, but the adrenaline rush was sure addictive!

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Keep posting, pal.
Thank you for your encouragement! I'll keep posting

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hats off to you

wanted to rate your thread 7 star, but it is not there, so rating it 5 star.
Thanks for your kind words! We are just making the best of 'now', and now worrying about tomorrow. Glad you appreciate that!

Posting Day 9.
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Old 16th February 2010, 14:26   #33
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Attending unfinished business - Day 9

We were supposed to be in Jodhpur by day end today. In Maharashtra, I would have planned this 300km ride over the day, but Rajasthan roads have given me enough confidence to first see the rest of Jaisalmer and then after lunch start for Jodhpur.

The bike had gone to reserve, which showed the mileage figure was around 40-43 KMPL, and not 50 as I had expected. While this was the result of high speed riding, the reason I was concerned about the mileage was, I wanted as least petrol in the bike as possible before giving it to Jodhpur railway station a day later. That’s why, I was keeping an eye on the odometer to keep the perfect balance between having least amount of petrol balance verses getting stranded on roads with no petrol!

We decided to visit Sam desert. Sam is almost as famous as Jaisalmer, and is a major tourist spot nowadays. Simply the prospectus of getting to ride 100 kms more (to and fro Sam) made me say yes to this plan.

The path is same as yesterday’s one, but we take a right for Lodhruva some 12 kms further. There is some place named Amarsagar on way, which houses a lake. But seeing the dried lake from the road, we decided to skip it and head straight to Lodhruva. It was as if a style to name dried lakes as ‘Sagar’!.

Lodhruva has Jain temples dating from 1500s, with detailed carvings. There is said to be a cobra living in the campus!

Outside the temple, we found a seller selling stones. Upon close inspection, we found these stones were famous for forming curd out of milk, without any addition. You just need to stir the stone in milk and wait for the curd to form. We bought a few such stones, and nicked a few as part of the bargain! I was bit skeptical and was planning to mount these stones to some small trophy as a memorial of how even educated people get fooled, but the stone actually formed curd at home!

After Lodhruva, we rode further, and took a left for Sam. These inner roads are in fair condition, but not as good as the butter smooth main roads. While riding, we noticed a board ‘parasailing’, and saw a parachute and a jeep in middle of a plain land. A car was just turning towards it, so we followed suit.

The parasailing here was actually motorsailing, where you are tied with the blown up parachute at the back of the jeep, and as the jeep gathers speed, you get airborne. The cost of 5 minutes of such flying was 500 bucks, and when we saw the other people doing this, it was actually lasting for only a minute or so. 500 bucks for staying in air for a minute didn’t seem much value for money for both of us, so just clicked a few snaps of Vesta resting in the field, and moved on.





We reached Sam at around 11.00 a.m. The moment we entered the border of Sam Dunes (which is actually 4kms before Sam village), two people started running with the bike, holding my hand! Damn! I had to stop the bike for the fear of falling with those two!

Turned out they were some camel riders trying to lure us to get on the camels for ride. The sand was too hot to get in, and we both are not that crazy about camel ride, so bid goodbye to the two, and rode further. The Sam Dunes last for about half or so kms touching road, and are spread inwards. We couldn’t get any better photos, firstly because of scorching heat, and secondly because of camel owners trying to get in each and every frame!









We came back to Jaisalmer at 12.00, and were ready to depart at about 1.30 p.m. from Hotel Payal. The hotel’s checkout time was 10.00 a.m., so here too we had kept the luggage in reception room. We geared up in front of the hotel, gathering quite a number of spectators in the process, and rolled on for a fast ride towards Jodhpur.

At Pokhran









Vesta munched up kilometer after kilometer, soon each stop fell behind. At a village, I though I was seeing things, when I saw some peacocks on the roadside. Turns out there are actually many peacocks there, which are quite used to humans. Some even were spotted crossing the road slowly!



It turned dark soon, and Vesta started to go in reserve. I filled small quantities of petrol, while calculating the remaining distance by the milestones in way. In second such stop, when I filled only 30 rupees of petrol, the petrol disbursing person was surprised:

“Sir! Jodhpur is still far away, how come you are taking only 30 rupees of petrol?!”
“Don’t worry brother, this bike gives good mileage! Even 30 rupees petrol is too much!”

His mouth turned a round O, and had Nandinee not laughed at that particular moment giving out my lie, I am sure he would have a great story to tell his buddies for a long time!

We reached our hotel in Jodhpur at about 8.30 p.m. One incidence with the pigeons was enough for me to decide to find another parking. As it was late, I parked just in front of the hotel’s street, in the center of a three road junction! Prayed that may she be safe from any curious hand, we moved inside.

The hotel is very welcoming, and we were comfortable in no time. Had a dinner and crashed on bed. Nandinee was lost in sleep fast, I was caught up by some movie, when at 1’o clock I remembered I forgot the throttle lock on the bike! I ran outside to fetch it, when I heard someone approaching. I waited with held breath to let him pass, then saw a cow sleepwalking! Fetched the throttle lock, and decided that the movie can wait, let's sleep now!

...to be continued.

Last edited by ani_meher : 16th February 2010 at 14:27.
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Old 17th February 2010, 15:49   #34
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Lotus fort - Day 10

We were up and running by 10.00 a.m. Just last night, we spotted ‘Omlette Shop’ which was very near to our hotel. This shop is mentioned in almost every guide book, and says the person sells 100s of omlettes, and been doing this daily for over 30 years! Man, that is a huge opportunity loss for chicken populace! After having omlette here, we didn’t feel it is too extraordinary or anything. Just good breakfast at normal price!

The first stop of the day was Umaid Bhavan Palace. Head for museum entry, not palace entry, because the palace is now – you guessed it correct, a hotel! So only a portion of the palace is now open for public.









The palace is very huge and beautifully maintained. But we noticed they are constructing a large number of classic looking buildings around the palace. Guess for Taj the palace is not enough, and maybe we’ll soon have a ‘Umaid Bhavan Annexe’!

After the museum, we went to Jodhpur railway station for knowing the timing at which Vesta was to be handed over for journey to Pune tomorrow. The parcel office informed us to submit the bike in late evening. This was actually relieving that we would be accompanied by Vesta for full day, otherwise we would be at mercy of public transport and rickshawallas.

After lunch, we rushed to Mehrangarh fort, which was supposed to be very near to our guest house. But after going through a strangling maze of dirtiest roads we have seen and filthiest conditions people operate in, we were more than eager to finally reach someplace clean.

The road connecting Mehrangarh to the city was having some work, so people had to take long cut to reach there. In order to save our kilometers, the people themselves decided let them go through the narrowest and steepest ways possible to save petrol! After crossing that maze, we finally found ourselves on the Mehrangarh base.

We opted for audio tour for this fort, as Lonely planet said it was worth it. The person giving us the audio tour equipment was so fully charged, and the way he told us all the directions and instructions was really interesting!

The audio tour IS worth it. And importantly, the equipment has two audio slots (3.5mm jacks), though they give only one earset. If you have a spare one of your mp3 player, you can put it in the second one and two can listen. We had one with us, so both of us could enjoy the tour together.

The blue houses of Brahmins



Mehrangarh fort inside























View of Jaswant Thada from fort



View of Umaid Bhavan palace from fort



The fort is very beautiful, but at the same time, the approach roads go through the worst paths I have seen. It is as if a lotus has bloomed in a mud pond! Don’t mind the mud if you value the lotus!

Jaswant Thada, a monument constructed in carved sheets of marble ,is a traditional cremation ground of Jodhpur rulers located very near to the fort. But it gets closed at 5 p.m., so couldn’t see it. Maybe next time!

We went to the railway station for giving the bike. After getting the bike packed for 110 bucks (which I feel is perfect price, anything above Rs. 150 is not worth the service), we started to remove the petrol. Vesta’s huge belly has many spots for petrol to hide. After a tiring session of rolling and twisting the bike, we finally managed to dry up the petrol tank.

But soon the parcel office informed us, that for booking as luggage, we had to give the bike tomorrow only, and we couldn’t keep it in the premises for the night! We had to keep it in the nearby parking and come back early tomorrow morning. But after the removal of all petrol, Vesta had to be pushed to the parking lot, which was at quite some distance. So I put back around 1 liter of petrol back into her. Later I realized that I didn’t connect the petrol pipe below the tank back to the carburrator, meaning all the petrol had easy exit to the ground! But to my great surprise, not a single drop was dropped! Seemed Vesta gulped that 1 liter of petrol and not a drop fell out of the open fuel knob! Damn! So now I was looking forward for a morning exercise to pull out that 1 liter again!

We put the bike into the parking, and chose to walk back to hotel. Had ice creams in some shop, there was one named ‘Banaras Paan’, and it actually tasted like I was eating the Paan. In fact, it was so realistic, I got bored half way and switched the ice creams with Nandinee. Heym I am not Paan addict!

Further, we saw a Paanipuri shop, and went in with great expectations. That was, undisputedly, THE worst paanipuri in my living memory. Everything had come together in its worst form to create such a wonderful taste. Nandinee as usual backed off after tasting one, and I had to endure the rest of the plate.

We returned to the guest house for packing and dinner. We had planned to sleep early, as tomorrow we would have to wake up as early as possible, for Vesta’s check in. But packing stuff took a good deal of time, and finally we put our backs on the bed at 12.00 midnight.

...to be continued.
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Old 17th February 2010, 23:26   #35
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Return to base – Day 11

The train’s time from Jodhpur was 5.50 a.m. But we had to take the bike from the parking, submit it to luggage office and make sure it boards the train with us. So we left the hotel at 3.45 a.m. only. Paid the highest amount for least distance in my life! The rickshaw charge for around 1.5kms distance was 100 Rs! Guess we paid the rikshawala for his getting up early, and got the ride for free.

I woke up the fast asleep guard at the parking, and got hold of Vesta. I was bit worried how she would start; now that the kick was tied. Luckily, in 3-4 cranks of the starter, she roared to life and got on road. Me and Nandinee stationed ourselves in front of the luggage office, and started the tedious ritual of removing petrol from Vesta’s belly. This way turn, that way bend, this way tilt, that way push, after 20 agonizing minutes of heavy exercise that we finally stopped hearing the sound of petrol after the bike was shaken.

It was 4.30 a.m., and the luggage office which was supposed to open at 4.00 a.m. was still closed. The train was already warming itself up on the platform in front. Helped Nandinee board the train, and again got back to the office waiting for the staff. Finally found him sitting in the parcel office. Got the bike booked in real quick, and boarded on the train. The coolies on the station were haggling for some chai pani, so after a quick bargaining session at 5.15 a.m., paid them 60 bucks and finally settled in the train. Sleep had already taken control of me, and I don’t even remember when I climbed up the top rack and fell asleep!

I woke up to some pushing and prodding, to see Nandinee waking me up out of hunger.

“Aniruddha, there is no pantry car!”
“What?!”
“No pantry car!”

But this wasn’t a Garib Rath train not to have a pantry car! But the railway staff confirmed this, so we had to collect and accumulate food whenever opportunity arose. But later we realized that wasn’t actually necessary. The regulars on this train were used to this, and they had cards of hotels on the next stations. So they would just call the hotel and say “deliver 3 plates of lunch to coach B3 – seat 32-33 & 34 in Jodhur Pune express, which will arrive after 1.5 hours”, and the hotel would actually send the delivery boy with the packets!

The train waited a whooping 1 hour on Ahmedabad station. Had it been previously announced, we would see some spot or atleast go in some restaurant! When the train finally moved from Ahmadabad, we were convinced that we would reach Pune late, and not possible on scheduled time.

This was our last night outside home. Tomorrow we would finally sleep in our usual comfortable bed. The thought kept us warm and happy through the night.

…to be continued.
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Old 17th February 2010, 23:31   #36
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Return to base – Day 11

The train’s time from Jodhpur was 5.50 a.m. But we had to take the bike from the parking, submit it to luggage office and make sure it boards the train with us. So we left the hotel at 3.45 a.m. only. Paid the highest amount for least distance in my life! The rickshaw charge for around 1.5kms distance was 100 Rs! Guess we paid the rikshawala for his getting up early, and got the ride for free.

I woke up the fast asleep guard at the parking, and got hold of Vesta. I was bit worried how she would start; now that the kick was tied. Luckily, in 3-4 cranks of the starter, she roared to life and got on road. Me and Nandinee stationed ourselves in front of the luggage office, and started the tedious ritual of removing petrol from Vesta’s belly. This way turn, that way bend, this way tilt, that way push, after 20 agonizing minutes of heavy exercise that we finally stopped hearing the sound of petrol after the bike was shaken.

It was 4.30 a.m., and the luggage office which was supposed to open at 4.00 a.m. was still closed. The train was already warming itself up on the platform in front. Helped Nandinee board the train, and again got back to the office waiting for the staff. Finally found him sitting in the parcel office. Got the bike booked in real quick, and boarded on the train. The coolies on the station were haggling for some chai pani, so after a quick bargaining session at 5.15 a.m., paid them 60 bucks and finally settled in the train. Sleep had already taken control of me, and I don’t even remember when I climbed up the top rack and fell asleep!

I woke up to some pushing and prodding, to see Nandinee waking me up out of hunger.

“Aniruddha, there is no pantry car!”
“What?!”
“No pantry car!”

But this wasn’t a Garib Rath train not to have a pantry car! But the railway staff confirmed this, so we had to collect and accumulate food whenever opportunity arose. But later we realized that wasn’t actually necessary. The regulars on this train were used to this, and they had cards of hotels on the next stations. So they would just call the hotel and say “deliver 3 plates of lunch to coach B3 – seat 32-33 & 34 in Jodhur Pune express, which will arrive after 1.5 hours”, and the hotel would actually send the delivery boy with the packets!

The train waited a whooping 1 hour on Ahmedabad station. Had it been previously announced, we would see some spot or atleast go in some restaurant! When the train finally moved from Ahmadabad, we were convinced that we would reach Pune late, and not possible on scheduled time.

This was our last night outside home. Tomorrow we would finally sleep in our usual comfortable bed. The thought kept us warm and happy through the night.

...to be continued.
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Old 18th February 2010, 16:20   #37
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No place like home – Day 12

The train reached Pune unexpectedly at dot time, 5.00 a.m. Guess the 1 hour wait at Ahmadabad was planned after all!

I was prepared for some cheating and bribing at Pune, because of previous experiences of friends. The bike luckily was in good shape, without any visible damage or anything. I pushed the 150kg horse all the way on the platform to go to the parcel office. The person at the office released the bike really quick, surprising even himself I think!

When I started getting the bike outside, a watchman stopped me. As expected, he started to check the bike for petrol. When I showed the petrol pipe from below pulled out for removing petrol, poor fellow’s face was sunk. He started telling stories, sitting here from 7 p.m. yesterday, this and that, now pls give some money! Gave 20 bucks to him, and got out. Again poured the petrol I was carrying back into Vesta, and brought herself to life.

Nandinee was waiting outside station with the luggage. When I reached there, some rickshawalas started asking us to take the ride.

“How will you take this entire luggage on motorcycle? You will need a rickshaw!”

But after seeing each and everything getting nicely put back and tied on the bike, the awe on their faces was very much visible.

We reached home at 6.15 a.m., which was quite early than what I had anticipated. When I pulled the bike into the parking, our landlord woke up; completely surprised to see us after 15 days all geared up this early hour.

“Had a good trip?”
“Well, yes, you can say that again!”

...to be continued.
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Old 18th February 2010, 16:23   #38
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Epilogue

Got the luggage back into home, opened all the windows to let fresh air in, and quickly checked Vesta for any possible damage. I smelled a strong burning smell, which I feared was due to lack of oil. But it turned out the plastic thread used for tying the gunny bags was sticking with the engine, so when the engine turned hot, it burned.

With all things now back in place, and life all set to roll back on routine, we finally sat together in silence, having hot smoking cups of tea between us. Nobody felt the need to say any words, or start any conversation. In the 1851 kms of riding, the conversations no longer needed to be only verbal.

Finally Nandinee broke the silence.

“It was fun, isn’t it?
“Yeah.”
“We should do this again sometime.”
“Yep.”
“So where should we head the next time?”
“Hmm. How about Leh?”

————————————————————-The End————————————————————-

Last edited by ani_meher : 18th February 2010 at 16:27.
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Old 18th February 2010, 17:47   #39
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Congrats on the amazing trip and report. Thanks for sharing the pics
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Old 18th February 2010, 18:20   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
Epilogue

Nobody felt the need to say any words, or start any conversation. In the 1851 kms of riding, the conversations no longer needed to be only verbal.

Finally Nandinee broke the silence.

“It was fun, isn’t it?
“Yeah.”
“We should do this again sometime.”
“Yep.”
“So where should we head the next time?”
“Hmm. How about Leh?”

————————————————————-The End————————————————————-
A magical trip that's having a deep philosophical and emotional touch. Silence is golden.

And the excitement flows when you spoke of Leh!

The end? Guess you should change that as The Beginning!

I'm at loss of words. It's not a trip you had. It's life you lived! Something lesser mortals can only dream of. My heartiest congratulations to you and your wife.
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Old 18th February 2010, 18:37   #41
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Hi Aniruddha, Nandinee



did you hear all of us clapping for you ?

.....
.....

No !!!,


Silence is Golden

Fantastic travelogue, enjoyed every word, picture of it

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Old 18th February 2010, 19:18   #42
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Wonderfully written travelogue! Enjoyed reading every bit of the details!

So, When is the Leh travelogue coming?
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:35   #43
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Hi Aniruddha,

Excellent Narration ....Enjoyed reading each and every sentence .....Some of them really were kind ....

You had a wonderful, adventureous tour....Congrats to both of you !


Thanks,
Srini....
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Old 19th February 2010, 15:36   #44
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A beautiful travelogue. Distinctly different and an enjoyable read. Somewhat romantic and stirred up a lot of old memories for me.
I hope you enjoy many more such trips together.
"Hit it again"

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 19th February 2010, 22:30   #45
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ani_meher.. that surely was some trip, and fun too. I loved the way you described the things at each place. It could start imagining myself at those places.

The pics were also well composed and the editing highlighted the objects/buildings.

All I can say is, I hope someday I will be able to do such a trip.
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