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Old 9th October 2018, 20:51   #31
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Day 26 (Visakhapatnam to Bangalore via Chennai – 1180kms)

So here it is, the last day of our 26 splendid days embarking on the journey of a lifetime. Today would be the longest distance we would be covering in this ride, almost close to 1200kms in a day. Looked like a daunting task but we had no other way out as we were already two days behind our schedule and taking another day extra was way beyond consideration. Ideally we should have started even earlier but then we both could wake up only around 5:30am in the morning. Immediately we took shower, got ready, geared up and packed our bags. All the check-out formalities were completed the previous night by Atul so once and for all, Atul and I took all our bags and came towards the parking lot to fasten all the bags with bungee cords, this was the last time we are loading the bike with the bags in this trip. Also, for one last time, we quickly lubed the chain, as the distance to cover today is too much. Tyres were all doing fine with good air inside both of them. It was 6am in the morning and Atul fired up Hulk, our last ride towards home began. It was a mixed feeling – happy to reach home after a gap of so many days and sad that these 26 days flew by just like that in the blink of an eye. However, we were carrying truckloads of memories with us to cherish forever.

There was slight shower all through the night hence all the roads were a bit damp and had water on the edge of the road. Sun was already up and the sky looked bright, blue and beautiful. Visakhapatnam is seriously a marvelous city with so much greenery, natural beauty and above all cleaner than most metros in India. It is so well planned with board roads within and outside the city limits as well. Being a bit early in the morning the traffic was quite sparse with just school buses and some heavy trucks plying on the road. We exited the city limits and entered the highway. Our aim today was to take less number of breaks and target to reach home at the earliest. We rode for some two hours straight and around 8am it was time to tank up Hulk. Just after a toll booth, there was this HP petrol bunk where we took petrol, in a nearby tea stall had some tea and biscuits.

Around 9:45am we reached the Rajahmundry town and this time we decided to continue on the highway itself rather than following Google Maps to take shortcuts and enter the town to face traffic (on our forward journey we followed GMaps blindly and got caught up in too much of city traffic inside Rajahmundry). Right after the town we stopped at a local restaurant and agreed to have our breakfast quickly. We had idly vada, onion dosa and tea. The food wasn’t really great but we somehow ate it to avoid stopping again in between and losing time. 10:15am we resumed our ride. By now the comfort of riding in the morning vanished and the Sun started to glow at its full potential. The heat wave started sipping in and it made the ride a bit uncomfortable. Apparently, someone mentioned to Atul that Andhra is getting massive heat waves this summer and it was highly likely we would encounter the same. Nonetheless, we had to keep moving so we tried to cover as much distance possible until we reached stages where we were totally exhausted and badly needed breaks. We did a quick stop at a shop along the highway and had some cold drink with water. Relaxed for some 10 mins, we resumed our ride once again.

Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!-366.jpg
Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!-367.jpg

As we moved further south the heat was just getting unbearable, somehow we tried to cope up and keep riding. The highway was highly boring, Atul and I kept talking to one another over Sena to kill the boredom and move ahead. Though our plan initially was to go via Tirupati (the same route taken while coming) but then based on the time calculation we would be crossing Chittoor, Mulbagal and Kolar only late in the evening and we were not sure how safe those roads will be at night. Also, the conditions of roads weren’t in very good shape to be ridden at night. Taking every aspect of safety & road condition into consideration, Atul checked with me if I’m ok to ride till Chennai and then take the Chennai-Bangalore highway, which is much safer, well-lit and had way better roads, the distance would however increase by some 100-150kms. I did agree to what Atul was proposing so now our way of return would be via Chennai.

By 12:30pm we entered the city of Vijayawada and the temperature would be anywhere in between 45-48°C. The heat was extremely unbearable and riding was getting too exhaustive with another 800kms left to reach home. We both knew we were way behind schedule and Google Maps was already predicting ETA as 1am. After some quick break, drank water, relaxed under a tree for a while, with a determined mind to finish off this last leg, we resumed our ride. We did face a lot of traffic in Vijayawada city and took some 30mins to exit and enter open highway. The highway was extremely well laid, a mix of four and six lane highway, we could cover distance quite fast. Heat waves could be felt as we moved ahead but we didn’t pay much heed and kept riding. With the course of passing time we crossed Guntur, Ongole and then reached Kavali around 3pm in the evening. It was time for refilling Hulk and energizing ourselves with food as well. Luckily there was a nice restaurant along the highway next to a petrol bunk. Took petrol first and then went inside the place to eat. They were serving only veg meals at a cost of Rs 120 per person. Ordered two meals and two cups of tea. After some 30mins we hit the highway once again.

Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!-369.jpg

We kept riding and covering distance, around 5pm crossed Nellore. With just occasional 5-6mins rest, most of the time we kept moving ahead. It was around 7pm that we entered the Tamil Nadu state via the place called Ramapuram and Elavur. Surprisingly we didn’t realize that we had covered a considerable amount of distance since our lunch break at Kavali. This was also a time for getting Hulk tanked up and for both of us for a short break. Stopped at a petrol bunk, took petrol, drank some water, used restroom and relaxed for some 5-10mins before hitting the tarmac once again.

Some 10kms before reaching Chennai outskirts the highway started becoming horribly bad along with heavy traffic flow. It took us time to cross signals, brave the rush and get connected to highway. By 8:30pm we felt a little relief to touch the much awaited Bangalore-Chennai highway and it felt like home was not far away. 340kms and we would be home, however, this wasn’t easy as it sounds. We both were already exhausted, sleepy and fatigued and wanted to reach home as soon as possible. Not sure why, but I think my body was the first to give up and all of a sudden I kept falling asleep. As a result, we had to take multiple breaks in between to have tea/coffee and some snacks to keep us awake. Dinner plan was already dropped as none of us had the hunger to eat anymore. Slowly and cautiously we kept moving ahead and the best part is the highway was fully live, had too many vehicles, well-lit and at no point of time we felt unsafe to ride at that particular point of time.

Kilometer by kilometer, we kept covering distance and eventually reached Krishnagiri toll gate at around 1:45am. Just when we were crossing the toll gate, Atul once again felt wobbling effect from the rear tyre. All I could hope was not another puncture but God had different plans for us. He didn’t want us to reach home early and without trouble. The rear tyre was completely worn out and had a puncture from which air was gushing out in full pressure. Both of us were equally frustrated and disappointed, this had to happen when home was just some distance away. Nonetheless, both of us got into action, poured water into the rear tyre, spotted the puncture and fixed it with the kit. All this took away 30mins and it was already 2:30am in the middle of night. A tea seller offered us two cups of tea, not free though, but after drinking the tea it really felt great and it refreshed our mind. Both of us got the much needed kick to resume our ride once again and finish the mere 80kms left out to reach home.

Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!-373.jpg
Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!-374.jpg

Another 90mins and we were calling the security guard of the apartment to open the gate for us. We were finally home, time was 3am and the ODO meter read, 9897kms. The guy was happy to see us after 26 days, asked us how the trip was. Both of us, replied in unison, SUPER AWESOME! For one last time, Atul unloaded the bags from the bike, thankfully no check in this time, just open the lock of our main door. In batch of two we took our luggage inside our home, kept them aside, as lot of cloth washing will happen in the next couple of days. Quickly both of us freshened up, I jumped into the hall couch, and Atul on the hall bed, both of us fell asleep. Office after 4-5 hours of sleep.

Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!-371.jpg

Hence, a wonderful journey of our life finally came to an end. So many memories, experiences, learnings and stories to cherish for lifetime. 26 days had given us millions and zillions of memories to relish till our last breath. Time to narrate all our stories during tea time gatherings…!!

Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!-364.jpg

“Life is only half lived if you have never got onto open roads, going where it takes you…”
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:25   #32
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Conclusion and what we learnt/felt…

(These views are our own and what we learnt over the journey of 26 days, not influenced by anyone or anything. I’m a native of Guwahati and with no intention to blindly promote NE region, our conclusions are completely unbiased).

North East India is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful regions in the country with its mountain ranges, clear water bodies, lush green fields, and culturally welded natives. A welcoming smiling face, friendly conversations, most of the time ‘mind their own business’ attitude of the inhabitants, and a broad mindset of people around makes this region extraordinarily beautiful and warming for tourists. Despite being the most neglected part of India, you will always feel at home, whether it is in Arunachal or in Assam or in Nagaland.

Some important things -

• Though we were not checked even once in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland for our ILPs but it is always better to carry one when you are exploring these two states
• It is always safe to follow the rules and regulations of the visiting land/state to avoid unwanted attention and hassles. People here are not yet used to travelers on bikes from far off places, it is still new for them. Explain them why you are there, traveling, give them time to understand and they will treat you like family and friends
• Never in our entire journey through North East India did we face any discrimination, problem from locals and harsh words. They were very welcoming and always greeted with a sweet smile
• Language is not at all a problem here, people are very well versed with English and Hindi. Some interior remote section might speak only local languages but one can totally survive on Hindi and English
• Food is not at all a problem here, neither for a vegetarian and absolutely not for a non-vegetarian. You will get everything starting from fresh vegetable sabjis, curries to chicken, mutton, beef and pork. And, no! They will not catch hold of anything from the forest and serve you on the plate, be it ants, snails, worms, snakes or even dogs. There are some special delicacies which the natives enjoy and I think we should respect their culture and habits.
• Road conditions in most section of North East India are not in very good shape. With major four lane construction happening in Upper as well as Lower Assam, also between Dimapur and Kohima, all the way up till Imphal, there might be lot of diversions and deviations. But once these roads are completely constructed, I am sure North East India will open up to a different level of tourism for all travel enthusiast.

Lastly, there are so many unexplored places in the entire North East India and 26 days were definitely not enough for us. Due to lack of time and leaves, we couldn’t cover Tripura and Mizoram. Well, this is not the last time we are coming to the NE and we will definitely cover them real soon. No one can settle down with just one trip to North East India.

Thanks for reading our experiences. Until I get back with yet another long ride/drive story, ride/drive safe, stay safe!!
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Old 10th October 2018, 14:51   #33
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Finally, thank you so much for this mega tlog!

Here are the videos from Day 1 to Day 6 which are already live on our YouTube channel:













I'll try and publish the remaining 21 videos ASAP.
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Old 10th October 2018, 14:53   #34
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Note from Mod

Moving to Travelogue section

Thanks for sharing this with us. Look forward to reading about your journey back!

Last edited by ajmat : 10th October 2018 at 23:55.
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Old 10th October 2018, 15:02   #35
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

All I have to say is WOW! AMAZING! I used to see the pictures on the VIR Whatsapp group - but such a HUGE travelogue - its seriously one of the best travelogues on the forum. I have only gone through the pictures - haven't read through the whole travelogue. Need to do it on a weekend.

Congratulations to you Atul and Nandiata on this trip. Amazing coverage on the Versys Atul and equally amazing coverage on Team-BHP Nandita. Keep it up!!!
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Old 10th October 2018, 15:58   #36
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Wonderful is the least I can say. An inspiring!! We did Kolkata-Bangalore a few months ago , but this pales in comparison. How did you capture the details? Did you jot down the details along the way? And yes, before i forget: fantastic pictures.
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Old 10th October 2018, 17:39   #37
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Wow, a month long ride! I have the same question as adg_andy above. Did you jot down what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday? Along with all the other little details that you have metioned throughout the travelogue? Great effort, excellent images capturing memories for a life time.

Thanks for sharing and rated 5 stars. There should be a sixth star for sheer effort in putting together such a long and detailed travelogue.
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Old 10th October 2018, 18:11   #38
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by atul.ktm View Post
Finally, thank you so much for this mega tlog! Here are the videos from Day 1 to Day 6 which are already live on our YouTube channel: [/b]
Thanks for sharing the videos, Atul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Note from Mod.
Moving to Travelogue section
Thanks for shring this with us. Look forward to reading about your journey back!
Thanks for making this live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
All I have to say is WOW! AMAZING! I used to see the pictures on the VIR Whatsapp group - but such a HUGE travelogue - its seriously one of the best travelogues on the forum. I have only gone through the pictures - haven't read through the whole travelogue. Need to do it on a weekend. Congratulations to you Atul and Nandiata on this trip. Amazing coverage on the Versys Atul and equally amazing coverage on Team-BHP Nandita. Keep it up!!!
Thank you so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adg_andy View Post
Wonderful is the least I can say. An inspiring!! We did Kolkata-Bangalore a few months ago , but this pales in comparison. How did you capture the details? Did you jot down the details along the way? And yes, before i forget: fantastic pictures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Wow, a month long ride! I have the same question as adg_andy above. Did you jot down what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday? Along with all the other little details that you have metioned throughout the travelogue? Great effort, excellent images capturing memories for a life time. Thanks for sharing and rated 5 stars. There should be a sixth star for sheer effort in putting together such a long and detailed travelogue.
Thank you Andy and Stryker. I generally note down all important details and things I would need later while writing the travelogue. I feel even a simple information can help someone who is planning for similar ride/drives and reading my t-logs.
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Old 10th October 2018, 18:12   #39
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Congrats Atul and Nandita for completing this long trip safely and with wonderful memories.

The details you have penned down are amazing and wonder when did you find time to jot down everything in vivid details.

Indeed as you mentioned, India's North East is unexplored and far beautiful and safe than most of us believe.

I believe we discussed on private message some time back, on you possible plan to do a Europe tour in future.

If this happens do let me know if you are passing near Frankfurt, I would be wonderful to host you both and listen to your experiences.

Thanks,
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Old 10th October 2018, 19:04   #40
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Absolutely brilliant T-log!! So detailed and meticulous. Started reading it late in the afternoon, got hooked, ignored the office meeting, continued it through breaks, and just reached its end. Although I am sure I could cover only 70% of it.

Congratulations to Nandita, Atul and Hulk for achieving this feat. It takes immense passion, dedication, attention to detail, patience and may be a little bit of craziness to do something like this. You guys are inspiration to all. Keep it up!!
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Old 10th October 2018, 20:58   #41
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Amazing trip. Great to see that you travelled without any major hiccups, apart from the puncture.

Could not agree with v12 more, Just read the initial paragraphs and then went through the pictures. Need to allocate more time to finish this thread. I also had a NE trip but on the 4 wheel, would love to do it on my bike. You two are definitely an inspiration. Keep it going.

Atul, How do you pack so much into the bike. I think you should definitely put a video log, showing how to pack during a long bike trip. I find this aspect pretty tough in all my bike travels.

Congratulations once again. Rating this thread five stars.

Last edited by Vasuki : 10th October 2018 at 21:01.
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Old 10th October 2018, 22:04   #42
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Default re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

That's a mammoth trip. Meticulous attention to detail, Amazing.

Kudos to Atul for riding 10000+ km with a pillion and a double kudos to you to do the same as pillion.
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Old 11th October 2018, 08:35   #43
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Default Re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Been following your travelogues since the trip to Rameshwaram. Always a pleasure to read and this one is epic! Lot of lovely nighttime photos. NE India is a place too far for most people down south, so it's always nice to read about such trips. Just curious, where does the distinct change of landscape and culture begin on this route?
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Old 11th October 2018, 09:03   #44
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Default Re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Wow! Atul and Nandita, take a bow!

This is such a spectacular account of what seems to have been a terrific trip. Seriously, thank you for taking the time to document everything. This is going to be extremely beneficial to anyone who's considering visiting. More so, I think you've done wonders for NE tourism.

This is enough motivation for me to start planning a trip!

PS: I showed this TL to a colleague who is from Assam. She is in awe of your planning for the kind of places you have visited and the itinerary. Her eyes welled up looking at how beautifully you have captured the region.

Thank you!
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Old 11th October 2018, 09:22   #45
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Default Re: Amazingly magnificent & enchantingly awesome North East India - A 10,000 km Ride!

Really an amazing write up. A road trip from Bangalore to my home in Shillong and back to Bangalore is long pending on my end. Your travelogue has just got the flame rekindled in me again to undertake this trip soon enough.

Rated your thread with five stars. Thanks for sharing

Last edited by sub.g84 : 11th October 2018 at 09:22. Reason: Typo
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