Disclaimer: I have tried to recreate the events, locales, and conversations from my memories of them. The below-expressed views, opinions or analogies are personal and may not be in line with the widespread conceptions. Please go to Motorcycle Diaries -> India: Ocean To Mountains (or Click here) to check out the previous events.
Date: 5th August 2016; Intended Route: Mount Abu – Udaipur – Haldighati – Pali – Jodhpur
“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.”
It was not possible to wake up at 3 AM every day; it happened once, by accident, I knew it wouldn’t happen again. So we brought back things to its natural course and we woke up by 6 AM. I was so exhausted that I wanted to sleep for half an hour more but it was just a matter of crawling out of my bed. My nose was blocked; I had to clean it up so that I can breathe properly while riding. It took me some time to suck it out. Then we started our day. It was Friday; the first weekend had begun and it brought the best start we got so far. My prayers were answered, and that day had arrived when we had the perfect riding condition. It was not so hot, it was not so cold and it was definitely not raining. It looked like the hard rainy days were gone.
We explored Mount Abu in the morning, the only hill station in the desert state of India and we started riding towards Udaipur. The terrain which we were riding through was not the one we were expecting. We thought, it’s going to be a ride through some desert but surprisingly it was all green and cloudy. The rocks were cut out to make way for the roads and the signboards were saying “Savadhan chattane gir sakthi hai (Careful, rocks can fall)”. And I felt, yeah that’s the only thing left which can happen to us, a giant rock rolling over and crushing us like peanuts; what a way to die! Damn. If you are still reading this then you know it didn’t happen and the world is enduring it.
On our way, we met few folks from Gujarat who were also traveling to Udaipur. We spoke to them while having our lunch and thought of catching up in Udaipur as we had Kumbalgarh fort on our itinerary which they didn’t. We thought the fort would be on our way to Udaipur but we had to take an unexpected deviation of around 80 KMs from Udaipur highway to reach the fort. The roads were not that great but the landscape was beautiful, it was one of the best scenic routes I have seen.
When we were almost there, all of a sudden, my co-rider stopped his bike. He was pissed off at, god knows what! He wanted to go back to Udaipur when we were just 17 KMs away from Kumbalgarh. It was not a rational thing to do. There was no point in going back to those bad roads and ride towards Udaipur when Kumbalgarh was just a few KMs away. He wanted to explore Udaipur (which was on paper) but I realized that we won’t make it since we had taken a really long divergence from it. The only option left was to improvise the itinerary that means we had to skip Udaipur and Haldighati to reach Jodhpur on time. We had a disagreement which resulted in a heated exchange but we resolved it within few minutes and moved on to Kumbalgarh.
We reached Kumbalgarh in some time, parked our bikes and entered the fort. We generally don’t remove our riding gear throughout the day, even when we are exploring on our feet and I think, the riding gear makes me look muscular and terrifying (which is a good thing; people don’t mess with bad ass guys). While we were checking out the fort, a bunch of college kids were fooling around but as soon as they saw me coming, they whispered something and came to order. On the other hand, a 5-year-old kid walked up to me demanding my riding gear as if it already belonged to him. I had to convince the kid that it was mine and he can keep it when he grows up.
Since nothing bad had happened till now, it was time for WTF moment of the day. On our way out in the parking lot, we were talking to few people and I was concurrently moving my motorcycle out of the center stand. Unexpectedly the weight of my motorcycle shifted to the right side and I was not able to pull it back up due to the heavy luggage tied to it. She was knocked down on the bike parked beside her. And the scratch on the fuel tank left a scar on my heart. Oh, it was painful but the show had to go on.
The sun was setting in front of us when we left for Jodhpur. We called out a pit stop for dinner when we were few KMs away from Pali, we were able to spot the lightning on the horizon. A storm was coming and we didn’t want to get wet again. We asked the hotel guy for the whereabouts of any lodge in the nearby locality. He offered us to stay in the hotel itself but we politely declined (the world is not such a bad place after all, eh). We thought of halting at Pali and then ride on to Jodhpur in the morning.
On the contrary, we just went with the flow and reached Jodhpur by 11:30 PM. We saw a motel on the highway and decided to check in. While I was negotiating the room quotation, I apparently noticed an injury on the receptionist’s face. I asked him about it, he said, he had a bike accident a few days back, he had bumped into a horse at 90 KMpH. Into a horse! The only thing I figured out was, either the horse or the guy was crazy. I assume the guy was not crazy enough to ride on a lawn so it must be the horse. (What the heck was the horse doing in the middle of a road? I mean, this can happen only in India)
P.S. Ride safe so you can ride again 😀