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-   -   Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390 (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travelogues/205267-ka-goes-bhutan-pack-wolves-ktm-duke-390-a.html)

unk9ja 2nd January 2019 17:49

Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
5 Attachment(s)
Let me start the thread with a picture which says a thousand words.

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And some thoughts shared from this ride which cannot be experienced by reading it alone:

A 6300 kms motorcycle trip from Bangalore to Bhutan and back, over 15 days, through 10 states and a new country. And hiking to the famed Tiger's nest at a height of around 10300 feet after a broken miniscoid in the knee.What did that teach me? What did I learn? Covering the seemingly impossible distances or difficult terrains, I realised that I can push myself harder and achieve more than what I perceive. When a bike malfunctioned or weather turned bad,, I learned to plan but keep an open mind for changes that come inmy way. Following another bie at high speeds, I learned to trust others's capabilities and intent, interacting with strangers on road, I discovered the inherent goodness of people even in states made notorious by media. Living out of a small sidebag and watching the simple lives of most people, I reflected on the excesses that I have left at home. Navigating through smog and perhaps a thousand trucks lined up in a day taught me trust my instincts and be judicious. When food turned quirky and hunger pangs troubled< i realised the value of home cooked meals. When friends made adjustments for me or another one used to remove her gloves in biting cold to take my pictures or when another one blabbered his heart out in a drink stutter, I learnt about friendship and looking out at each other. Thank you guys for this memorable journey. I have grown as a person, as a motorcyclist and as your friend.

And now starts the travelogue.
The Land Of The Thunder Dragon was on my radar since my travel to Ladakh four years ago. Link to the article here
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...uke-390-a.html
Seasons came and went by as I was bound in time trying to fix up something or other at home with VitM being used up and the ride was put on backburner with a heavy heart, always. Finally during 2018, I decided that I shall do it, as I found a little VitM to spare and time ripe for another ride.

The solo ride was planned sometime during end September to mid October and preparations started during April. During one of the rides with fellow TBhp guys here, Added_flavor and shikhmimran expressed their intentions on joining me. So the solo ride now turned into a company to a crowd. But nice to be a part of "This" crowd rather than some unknown ones. And out went my earlier plans in jiffy. Porschefire was also in contention in joining us, but had to drop out at the last moment.

The plans started with the creation of "BP 18" group on WhatsApp during the first week of October. By this time Added_flavor aka Suhas had taken the lead to pen down the route and hotels enroute where we planned to stay and all other details. I must say it was done precisely and judiciously. I took a backseat here as the bike(s) had taken centerstage and I no longer had the experience of choosing a hotel or route which these bikes can do or put up safely during the nights. During a conversation, Suhas asked if another friend of his who is as responsible as other riders can join in. Without any hesitation, we welcomed the idea and so the final tally was formed as under

Added_flavor and his wife, Sandhya on Wolf nr. 1 (CBR650)

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Dilip on Wolf nr. 2 (CBR650),

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Shikhmimran on Wolf nr. 3 (CBR250) and

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Me, unk9ja on Ka, the slithering snake (D390)

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unk9ja 4th January 2019 17:44

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
10 Attachment(s)
Preparations for the ride:

Pooling up all the experience, we had earlier, a small list of essentials were jotted down and we tried to pick what was essential for the ride we planned.

I am putting up the entire list here as a ready recokner. This is just for reference and please be judicious with what you carry. Carrying everything and duplicating will only increase your baggage weights.

Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Shaving kit
Comb
Soap, personal use
Soap, for clothes
Matchbox
Torch
Duct tape
Water bottle
Toilet paper
Camera
Tripod
Memory card
Dry fruits
Dates
Fevi Kwik
Insulation tape
Shampoo
Wet wipes
Power splitter
Pillow
Chilli
Dry snack
Flip flops
Shoes, casual
Shoes, riding
Shorts/ gel seat
Jacket, riding
Balaclava
Gloves, Riding
Gloves, Cotton
Saddle bags/ tailpack
Top case
Tankbag
Sena
Banian clothes
MF towels
Notebook
Pen
Pencil
Charger, camera
Charger, mobile
Charger, Sena
Hydration pack
Tiedowns
Nylon rope
Bungee chords
Knife
Lock with key
Engine oil, top up
Coolant
Spare fuses
Cable, ABC
Levers, hand/ rear brakes
Headlamp
Assorted nuts and bolts
Tool kit
Spanners
Adjustable spanner
Allen key set
Chain clean
Chain lube
ONR
Jerry cans
Cutting pliers
Puncture repair kit
Inflator
Socks
Spare key
Maps
Side stand bypass
Spark plug
Clutch cable, chetak
MEDICINE LIST
Paracetamol
Neospirin
Rantac
Citrezin
Lomofen
Bandage, cloth
Bandage, adhesive
Bandage, crepe
Burnol/ Soframycin
Dettol
Cotton gauge
Belladonna plaster
Band aid, round and strip
Scissors
Glucon D
Tang
Moov
Hajmola
Eye drops
Vaseline petroleum jelly
Suntan 25% + spf
Odomos
Pain balm/ spray
OTHERS
Walking stick
Bike

Of all the mentioned above, the group can conclude and vote vehemently for that one part mentioned amogst the above that proved to be THE savior for us and it is DUCT TAPE. Keep your eyes glued and you will soon realise why it was. At the end of the ride, Imran was so convinced, that he has made it a point to carry one from his next breakfast ride.

Bike and accessories
Well actually I did not have much time as I had for ladakh preparation this time. Added to this, laziness crept once I shelved my solo ride and since Suhas had taken all the control, I just followed it. I got my bike serviced from IndiMotard and took it back home 2 days prior to the ride. Well I could not perform a shakedown ride this time and this got me into all sorts of troubles later on which will be known as it unfolds here. For lubing chain, I picked up a Grand Pitstop roller from a friend who had put it up for sale. This along with one Suhas got, proved to be time saving during the maintenance with the CBR650's sharing one and me and Imran sharing the other.

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Gear:

I got a Cramster jacket, a Fly helmet and a Sena from a friend who was relocating abroad and my riding pants were showing it's age. A month before the ride when I was pouring over all sorts of riding pants reviews, I got a message from black12rr about the Scorpion Exo pants which he ordered a size less and was put on block. I wasted no time and tried it out the following weekend and loved it. Picked it up right away and my riding gear was complete. A week before the ride, I visited Decathlon and picked up a couple of tees, hydration bladder and cycling shorts with gel pads. And with the Team Bhp store offering a new range of tees, I picked up two from the shop for casual wear. That's me, my son and my nephew flaunting off the tees.

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Luggage:

The luggage were from the earlier ride. A Rynox Nomad saddle bag, a Rynox tankbag and Dirtsack tailpack. The packing started on 06/12 and ended on the day to ride with list which was compiled along with Suhas being helpful.

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The packing experience had made me jittery as everyone else posted their setup a week before I started.

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The day preceding the ride was a classic case of Murphy's law with me making it home at 2000hrs and packing which went past midnight. Had a couple of winks of sleep before the alarm rang.

unk9ja 4th January 2019 18:53

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
15 Attachment(s)
Before all the above happened, Suhas was in overdrive with the plan for the route and stops. Dhanush Menon's and Black Pearl's travelogue proved to be a talking point and we had our itenary woven around it. Here was our rough itenary.

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Initially we had thought of going to Vizag at the end of day 1, but with Sandhya riding pillion with Suhas, we made a wise decision of doing Rajahmundry and spread the kms over the next couple of days.

With the information to places for sightseeing

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A cousin of Suhas who travelled with the KNOG group sent some good inputs, one among them was the use of currency with lower value as 2000INR notes were not in use. My dad made a quick dash to the bank and got some much needed cash in lower denominations.

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And finally our one and only meeting in person took place at Udupi Park on the airport road on 18/11/2012. Since we all were on the same plane, there were no hiccups or surprises. Met Dilip, wannabe Tbhpian here for the first time and knew he was a perfect match to the group. Loved the way he handled the traffic and smooth takeoff. Suhas is absolutely opposite with his ability to takeoff now and then and riding off into the sunset with us puffing behind him trying to catch up.
With the stage set, we all waited with a bated breath for the D-Day.

0230 hrs on 08/12/2018: I find myself waking to a lullaby. And then I realise THIS is the day and the lullaby was the alarm from the phone. Got up and finished my mornign chores. And ended with a plate of Neer Dose (Dosa made of coconut).

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My plan was to ride to the KTM SVC and meet Imran who would take the ORR. Took the bike out at 0315 and saddled up the luggage and made sure all was well tied. Bid good bye to my Dad, Mom and Wife and started at 0325. Imran came down at 0340 and set off to the next meeting point where Suhas, Sandhya and Dilip would meet us. We reached the Government Soap Factory a little before 0400.

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After greetings and a couple of pictures, we set off at 0410 towards Tirupati to mark the start of the Bhutan Ride.The day's itenary was to reach Rajahmundry by 1900 hrs with around 820 kms of tarmac to be covered.

We first stopped just before Kolar for a bio break. The next stop was at Palamaner for a tea break. By this time we encountered foggy conditions enroute. The numerous diversions on the highway for the widening work added to our woes with speeds reducing drastically. We tried to tag with a moderately moving car but soon let go after finding it difficult. This ensured we have a tea break and Charan Dhabha came up at this point.

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From the start to this point, Imran had a strange feel to his acceleration and the speed did not come down when he closed the throttle. SInce we had time, and a closer look revealed his new handle grips was a tad long and wound itself around the bar end weights when he left the throttle which ensured he was cruising at the same speed even though he tried to decelerate. A quick solution and we were ready to hit the road again.

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From Left to right: Uday, Imran, Dilip and Suhas.

unk9ja 5th January 2019 17:45

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
10 Attachment(s)
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And Sandhya was the mainstay of the group with lots of pictures taken during the ride which are being put up here.

For some strange reasons, the photos in the earlier post were reversed during the upload.
From Palamaner, we took it easy till we reached our breakfast spot at the Chitoor bypass. It was foggy all the way with lots of diversions for the road widening work. Had Idly, vada and pongal for the breakfast at Lemon Leaf.

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From here it was good going as the fog had cleared and the sun shined bright. A quick stop for fuel before Tirupati for the KTM and the 250 was made. Tirupati came and went in a jiffy, took another break for water before the Naidupete where we entered the GQ. The road from Chitoor bypass to Naidupete is good but bumpy. Lot of traffic in towns enroute ensures you don't twist the throttle hard. With GQ at our disposal, it was a breeze after this.

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By 1200, we had crossed Nellore and stopped for a regroup and a tea break and also decide on the place we have lunch. We delayed the lunch break to Ongole, but after crossing Ongole, we couldn't find a decent hotel and finally stopped at a place recommended by the pump attendant after refueling.

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Wrapped up the lunch by 1415 and it was non stop run till the toll plaza at the start of Vijayawada city. From here we stuck to each other within the city and came out unscatched. We were held up at couple of signals and were out of city in 30 minutes. By this time, the sun was about to set and we had a final regrouping and Suhas updated the route to Rajahmundry. I took the lead from here as the auxillary lights on my bike lit up the road ahead. We rumbled across the banks of the Godavari river and on the Doleshwaram bridge. The roads during the concluding part of the day was not great and had lots of bumps and potholes. It took us forever before we hit the halt for the day, Hotel Anand Regency. We took out the luggage, parked the bikes in a secured place and checked in. Refreshed up and ordered the room service for dinner. The rooms were clean and nice.

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Hit the bed at 2300 before we took stock of the day's proceedings and also what needed to be done for tomorrow.

Day's highlights:
Distance covered: 827 kms
Start time: 0315 from Girinagar, Bengaluru
End time: 1930 at Hotel Anand Regency, Rajahmundry.
Fuel expenses stood at 2230INR for the 827kms we covered. For reasons unknown to me, I did not make a note of how much I filled. This will be continued to the end.
Food, beverages and accommodation: 2196INR per head.

Day's Lowlights:
Imran's throttle issue.Well that was trivial issue and not so bad at all. We did not lose any time for this but still putting this up.
Fog and diversions from Mulbagal to Chitoor bypass
Road condition from Vizag to Rajahmundry.

unk9ja 5th January 2019 19:06

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
13 Attachment(s)
Day 2:
It was a bit foggy when I woke up at 0330. By the time I completed my morning chores, Dilip woke up and later Imran. We completed strapping up our gear by 0600. Took the luggage to the bikes and by the time we tied them, hot tea was served. We had some issues with our communicators and took this oppurtunity to pair. We started our day 2 ride from Rajahmundry with Bhubhaneshwar on our radar to end the day.
Tanked up first thing we hit the roads and started to move out of Rajahmundry by the time the city woke up.

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We started to munch miles fairly easy and stopped at Gokul Dhabha for breakfast of Idly and poori with saagu.

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The small dhabha had a stand with charging facility for mobiles. Very thoughtful of the owner as this is now a necessity during long hauls.

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The Gang in full view. We did not have this oppurtunity till now to have our entire team in a single frame. Thanks to a kind soul who captured this moment.

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From here, it was a fairly easy run to the Vizag bypass. G maps suggested the bypass instead of city and we took it. It is quite narrow at some places and with lot of traffic, overtaking is non existent on this bypass. Before we hit the NH again, we fuelled up and had some refreshments ourselves. The road from Vizag to the Odisha border has lot of diversions due to construction of flyovers and such. The diversions are too narrow on many of the parts.

For lunch, we stopped at a lovely rooftop place adjacent to a fuel pump. We tanked up and ordered food. The food was delicious too.

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It was 1545 when we exited Telangana and entered the Odisha. And we could feel the change right away, the hot, humid weather gave way to cool climate and made our ride a tad bit comfortable. But the famous Chilka lake did nothave enough water to lift our spirits and we gave it a pass and instead enjoyed the views of Mandakini river further down the road

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Mandakini river:

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The roads were fantastic and we reached Hotel Aryan in Bhubhaneshwar by 1845. Dumped the luggage in the room and armed ourselves with chain clean and lube and started the maintenance of our chains. Working in tandem, we finished off the work in half an hour. Freshened up and ordered dinner.

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Day's highlights:
Distance covered: 619kms
Start time: 0715 from Hotel Anand Regency, Rajahmundry
End time: 1845 at Hotel Aryan International.
Fuel expenses: 1555INR
Food, beverages and accommodation: 1089INR

Day's low-lights:
Road conditions in Telangana.
Imrans' and Dilips' conversation on snoring. It was funny to hear both of them take out each other in the duel. Sandhya, Suhas and Me had a whale of our lives listening to this. Might sound like one, but well it was not in bad taste at all.

unk9ja 6th January 2019 11:48

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
26 Attachment(s)
Day 3:

We were welcomed with a cup of hot tea when we landed at the reception to check out. We had intended to start a bit early today. Saddled up and bid goodbye to Bhubaneshwar. Our destination in sight was Asansol today, 510 kms from our start.

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The start was interrupted first for the way the luggage tilted on Dilips' bike. Then it was rain cover on Imran's bike and once again for the same reason. During the second halt and start, I noticed a peculiar sound from my bike. I asked Dilip to fall back and check for which he said the chain was a bit loose. Since we intended to stop for breakfast a bit later, we continued. After the third halt, the sound grew louder. This time I asked Suhas to fall back and check. Suhas confirmed my sprocket was running out wildly and asked me to stop immediately. We were on a flyover in Jajpur town at that point of time. After quick check, we decided to remove the wheel and check. I removed all the luggage and started to remove the rear wheel and Suhas went in search of a mechanic to have a look. Meanwhile Imran and DIlip who have moved ahead came back to join us.

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By the time I removed the rear wheel, Suhas got a mechanic along with him. The guy checked and said the rear sprocket bearing was damaged. This was what was left out from the bearing. The balls and the cage holding the balls had been powdered fully and only the inner and outer raceways were available in the assembly.


Attachment 1834071


This was replaced by Indimotard before my departure from Bangalore and it looked like a premature failure. The mechanic and I took the sprocket to his shop some 100 m away. The guys back thought of getting themselves some breakfast. Imran went around and got some piping hot Samosas and Channapoda, a local sweet.

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Back at the shop, the senior mechanic joined us and took out the outer raceway which was stuck in the sprocket with deft skills. A special mention has to be made the way he dealt with the situation. Next was to get a replacement bearing whose nomenclature was not known. I called up IndiMotard and was asked to call back after 1000. The other number was not reachable. At this point, black12rr came to my rescue. I called up Santhosh and Sebastian from KTM, Mekhri Circle for the details. Sebastian was on a holiday, but asked me wait for sometime before he could fetch the details. Both of them returned with the bearing nomenclature within a few minutes. My heartfelt gratitude to both of them for the great help. Coincidentally the bearing was available with the mechanic and it turned out to be a simple job. The wheel was put back and we were ready to roll once again, but the failure meant we were running behind by 2 hours.

Meanwhile Imran and Dilip patched up the snoring differences like this,

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From here on, we were back on our grooves and back to our normal riding. We hot the Odisha/ WB border around 1330 and stopped for lunch just after the last toll on the Odisha side.

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We had Fish thali and veg thali for the lunch.

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We met Suhas's friend and his partner who were on road for more than a month and returning. Had an exchange of information on what lays ahead for us from them. Bid good byes to them and we resumed our journey.

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The roads were lovely from then on.

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Stopped for a cup of tea at Baba Basant Roy hotel on the highway before our final assault for the day. And boy what a wonderful cup of tea it was, from a wood fired chulha.

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Meanwhile we spotted the Tilaknagar wheelie tractor,
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Around 20kms to Asanasol, Suhas came on the radio and told me that my sprocket seems to be wobbling again. The worst fear came back into my head now with this news. Although Suhas said it looked like a minor wobble, he recommended we ride slow to the destination and then take further action.
We reached our destination at 2000 and checked in. Freshened up. By this time, Suhas had made some calls and informed me about two options. One among the caller is Bishu Bannerjee, who went out of his way in getting the contact details and offering his help when we started tomorrow morning.
1. Turn back to Durgapur, around 100kms, get the bike checked/ corrected or
2. Start to Siliguri and do the checks at Dumka or in Siliguri.
Over the dinner, we pondered over the options and then took a decision to ridedown to Siliguri and then check. With this a wretched day came to an end. This was the first time my bike had given up on a ride and I felt bad for others whom I put up to difficulties. But Thank them for all the support they have lent me in the troubled times.

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Day's highlights
Distance covered: 517 kms
Start time: 0630 from Bhubaneshwar
End time: 2000 at Hotel Citi Residency, Asansol.
Fuel expenses: 1186INR
Food, beverages and accommodation: 1321INR
The way the Team held its fort for me in troubled times
Help From Santhosh and Sebastian during the above situation.
Deft skills from the mechanic at Jajpur putting back my bike on road in no time.
Imran for getting some awesome food and keeping the spirits high within the team during the breakdown.

Day's lowlights:
The breakdown of my bike and the IndiMotard's response to my calls.
News of another breakdown looming large in front of me.

unk9ja 6th January 2019 14:29

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
22 Attachment(s)
Day 4:
We had an early start to the day from Aasansol. Though the distance to be covered was around 400 odd kms, the closure of the Farakka barrage had trucks lined up for kms on our route today.

We started out by 0530 from Asansol. The weather was chilly and some fog was also encountered during the initial part of the ride. During this period, we crossed over to Jharkhand for a brief period of ride.

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We stopped for a chai break at 0700 as the weather got better of us.

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Preparations going on for Samosa.
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And Suhas wanted to try out Petrol for a greater Horsepower.
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Imran and Dilip were all geared up for this inclimate weather conditions.
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We then rode through some nice winding roads and entered the Bhaghalpur highway stretch. Around 60kms to Bhagalpur, the truck traffic started. There were kms of trucks parked on one side of the road. We rode on the other side of the single lane carriageway, down the shoulder, in between trucks and also had to stop to allow others to pass.

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During one such instance, my saddle bag got hit by a plate welded on the side of a truck and it ripped open. Duct tape to the rescue here. The ripped part was taped up and strengthed by additional rounds of tape over the bag. This took around 15 minutes.

Then we entered Bhagalpur and all the chaos broke loose. Traffic everywhere and not a place to go. In this melee, I followed Suhas through an intersection while Dilip and Imran were separated behind us. Suhas took instructions from a police further ahead of the road and got us to a safe place where he shared the location with others. By this time, Dilip was already on the Vikramshila Setu and could not turn back. So it was Imran, Suhas and me trying to catch up with Dilip. The initial part of Vikramshila Setu was fine but there was a massive traffic jam just as the descent ramp started. Since Suhas was ahead, he requested the vehicles to give some space through which we moved out. Meanwhile Imran slipped ahead of us and we missed him in the next turn. He will return back but that was with a vengeance. Soon we regrouped and started but found ourselves into another massive traffiv jam. This made us seperated till the next turn around 10 kms later. The road was treacherous and we rode only on the shoulder and off the road sometimes just to keep moving ahead. Our second regroup was at a small shop at the next turn. When Imran came up, he was all charged up as we had ditched him. Calming him down, we had soft drinks and started all over again.
Reached back on the NH and it was trucks on the other side for fewmore kms. FInally we broke free of this mess and started to Purnea. Suhas and Dilip rode ahead as we were expecting Sheel at Purnea.
Me and Imran after refueling, made it to Purnea where we were treated to a scrumptious lunch at Hotel Highway King. Sheel was there by our side giving us the tips and also to find someone in the KTM SVC for my bike to be inspected when we reach Siliguri. A quick check saw us making Siliguri at 1900 which ensured the bike can only be taken in tomorrow morning.

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The roads after the lunch were good and without any further drama, we entered Siliguri. Google took us on a blind run to find the hotel and only after checking with the locals, we finally managed to find the hotel. Crashed onto the bed after a quick dinner.

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Day's highlights
Distance covered: 485kms
Start time: 0530 from Citi Residency, Asansol
End time:1945 at Geetanjali Inn, Siliguri
Fuel expenses: 1028INR
Food, beverages and accomodation: 1131INR
We managed to reach Siliguri after the chaos at Bhagalpur. It is now straight run to Bhutan from here.
Networking. Thanks to Sheel for all his expertise and guiding us through the turmoil

Day's lowlights
Bhagalpur traffic chaos and the sacrifice of my saddle bag to it.
Imrans' volcanic eruption.

unk9ja 7th January 2019 18:12

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
29 Attachment(s)
Day 5:
Everyone was exited about this day, the day when we will be entering the Land of The Thunder Dragon. Check the faces out,

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It was slightly foggy when we started to Jalgaon, the border town on Indian side.

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The roads were good throughout the ride except for some parts where road construction were going on.

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We passed the Coronation Bridge and continued further. Since an army convoy was behind us, we did not stop on the bridge.

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Breakfast time and Oodlabari had Blue Orchid restaurant serving some lip smacking Aloo Paranthas and omelette.

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Roads after the breakfast were excellent and it was breeze driving on those.

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Until we reached Jalgoan and got into another mini jam due to railway crossing.

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Finally after criss crossing many vehicles, we were in front of the Bhutan Gate. Thanks to Sandhya for this picture. Pity others were not as fortunate as I was on that day.

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The Bhutan Gate does not allow 2W traffic these days. We had to get back and take another route to enter. During this period, we realised we were running short of time for permits as it was lunch time and so we got an agent to help us out for a nominal fee.

We wrote the application forms for ourselves and the vehicles. Since getting permits for vehicles looked a bit concern, the agent went to the RSTA office while we went to the immigration office.

The entance to the Immigration

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After scrutiny of the application, we were asked to go to first floor where the application details were uploaded and photograph taken. I had ECIC as document for permit while others had Passport and a Visa was stamped on it. We soon received the permit and Visa.

Dilip with the Visa of others

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The team at the Immigration office

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Soon afterwards, the agent returned with the permits for the vehicles. Took the documents and hopped over to Hotel Bhutan Ga Me Ga which was nearby. The vehicles were parked in the basement and was secure. We had a Quad for company as well

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After check in, we came down to the bikes and cleaned and lubed the chains.

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unk9ja 7th January 2019 18:51

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
11 Attachment(s)
Continuing as only 30 photos can be uploaded in a post and I exceeded that in the earlier post.

Freshened up and then it occurred we did not have lunch running around for the permits and Visa. An early dinner was declared. We hopped around for sometime before we entered The Zen Restaurant which had very good reviews on Google. And rightly it was. The service was so poor that Suhas, Imran and Dilip took turns to get the waiter to the table while the food made up for the lapse.

Suja, the butter tea

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Veg Momo

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Chicken Thupka

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Emdashi

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Chicken Momo

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Veg Thupka

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After a hearty meal, went round the Zangdokpalri Temple in front of the restaurant and roamed around aimlessly.

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By the way, we all opted for ther B-mobile SIM which were available within the Immigration office, paying a sum of 110INR for a 100INR talktime/ Data. Calls to India were metered at about 4INR/minute.

Day's highlights
Distance covered: 154 kms
Start time: 0830 from Geetanjali Inn, Siliguri
End time:1515 at Bhutan Ga Me Ga at Phuentsholing
Fuel expenses: 575INR
Food, beverages and accomodation: 4406INR
Yipeee, we were in Bhutan as scheduled.
And sailed through the permits/visa on arrival.
Nice and clean rooms at Hotel Bhutan Ga Me Ga
Scrumptious dinner at Zen Restaurant

Day's lowlights:
I would say time keeping. We started late, arrived in Phuentsholing later than expected. Otherwise there was nothing to complain about.

One thing what I forgot to mention here is after much pondering on, I decided to ride to Bhutan with the bike in same condition without any preventive checks/ actions. Stopping for check meant we were wasting one day in Siligur and further delays. With some gut feeling and lots of confidence from Imran, Dilip and Suhas, decided to move on. And it paid off in the later part as there was no problems with the sprocket bearing.

unk9ja 8th January 2019 17:21

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
30 Attachment(s)
Day 6
Today we ride from Phuentsholing to Thimphu. Since this was around 5 hours drive and scenic route, we stayed back in Phuentsholing so that we could enjoy the drive in broad daylight.

Started from Hotel Bhutan Ga Me Ga at 0700. Enjoy the ride to Thimphu in the following pictures with no sub titles attached.

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unk9ja 8th January 2019 17:24

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
30 Attachment(s)
Continued as the maximum limit for the pictures allowed reached in the previous post.

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unk9ja 8th January 2019 17:36

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
23 Attachment(s)
Thanks to Sandhya for the above pictures.

Now for some random pictures from the gallery.

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Imran with the Toyota Hilux.


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Just no words to describe this stretch. It was awesome experience trying to find what lay ahead in the next turn and one turn led to another and a new panaroma exploded around us.

We reached Thimphu at 1330. Checked into Golden Roots hotel and dumped the luggage. Since it was lunch time, had a change of clothes and went around looking for a hotel. But to our surprise, there were no hotels open at that time. Finally managed to find one and ordered our lunch.

unk9ja 8th January 2019 18:01

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
17 Attachment(s)
Veg Chowmein

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Chicken Chowmein

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Chicken Thupka

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Cheese balls

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Green Tea

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The meal was not that great. After the lunch, we wandered around the market area and bought some souvenirs. By this time, the weather turned cold, very cold and we returned to the hotel by 1730.

While Sandhya, Suhas and Dilip chilled at the hotel, me and Imran went round the city trying to check out the various streets.

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We had the dinner out at a Bhutanese restaurant while the trio at the hotel ordered room service.

While the trio relished this,

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We had the following Bhutanese dishes


Suja, the butter tea. I still found the one in Phuentsholing to be better than this

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Red rice with Egg maroo

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Veg Chowmein

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Pakoda. It was just heavenly

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Tomorrow happens to be Sandhya's birthday. While we were out, we found a good place which baked cakes. A quick talk with Suhas and we ordered a Cheese cake to celebrate.

Trying to find hotels and planning our next moves was making Suhas frantic. Yes he had a lot of expectation riding on him and he had to fulfill. Here is a capture of him during lunch today.

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Day's highlights
Distance covered: 152 kms
Start time: 0700 from Bhutan Ga Me Ga, Phuentsholing
End time:1330 at Golden Roots Hotel in Thimphu
Fuel expenses: 440INR
Food, Beverages and accommodation: 448INR
AWESOME and no other words fall out of mouth.


Day's lowlights:
None.

unk9ja 9th January 2019 17:20

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
29 Attachment(s)
Day 7:
Yesterday during the walk in the city, we decided to take a taxi for Thimphu sightseeing and give the bikes a rest. A deal was done with the help of the hotel representative.

Woke up to a frosty morning. After the breakfast at the hotel, we had some fun with the vehicles parked out.

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And meanwhile our ride for the day arrived at the hotel. Mr. Passan was our host for the day and he took us around the city. Very nice gentleman who advised us what to see in Thimphu and what not.
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We decided to get our permits extended to other places first. SO off we went to the Immigration Office in Thimphu.

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With formalities over and a couple of hours at hand to get the permits stamped and signed, we set for sight seeing. First was the National Chorten.

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Entry fee is 300INR. We did not venture in as there was absolute negative feedback on the internet. We saw the structure from outside and made our way for the next, the Changangkha Lhakhang.

We took an hour to go through this place and enjoyed the views of Thimphu from the top of the Lhakhang. Some pictures form the place.

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unk9ja 9th January 2019 17:40

re: Ka goes to Bhutan with a pack of wolves - On a KTM Duke 390
 
30 Attachment(s)
Continued from the earlier post...


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