The thrilling climb to the Bamboo Tree House (Day 24)

17th September

After the tiring ride from Shillong to Mawlynnong (Asia’s cleanest village), I woke up early the next day. Since I had reached this place late at night, I was awestruck to witness the beauty and cleanliness of this blessed place in the morning light. My first view after opening the door was greenery and real cleanliness all around. I was glad to be there.

I got ready to explore this exotic destination along with a friend and headed first to the Living Root Bridge. After riding a few hundred meters, we were at the parking lot of that tourist destination. We parked our bikes and walked. As I approached, I was blown away to witness first-hand the natural root bridge over a crystal clear fast flowing river.

 We locked our memories in photographs and spent some quiet time. We then headed to the Bamboo Tree House. We were the first to arrive there, which quite surprised the care-taker & owner of the Tree-house but nevertheless welcomed us with a broad smile. They opened the gates and I trotted ahead with excitement only to see a bunch of bamboos tangled, that was supposed to be the path to get to the view point. My excitement turned to nervousness because the only thing between me and a 300 meter drop were those tangled bamboo which suddenly in mind started to seem tattered. I could not calm my shivering legs so I opted to not look down and like a centipede I made it to the viewpoint. I had reached heaven as that Tree house is above the cliff overlooking a waterfall and the plains of Bangladesh. Conquering over fears gives a new perspective on life, in this case a new picturesque view for my camera.

Shillong, so much in a day! (Day 23)

 

 

 

16th September

I left guwahati quite early since I had a breakfast ride scheduled with the Assam bikers. They were going to ride with me for about 30kms. At 6 in the morning I met the group of 15 bikers at Pantaloons Downtown. The Guwahati to Shillong route is almost like a race track and since it was Sunday a lot of Superbikers were riding on that route. It is however not suggested to ride fast as there are many trucks that do not even show signals while turning. I even saw a Harley fall on one of the turns. We reached the dhaba had breakfast with some puris and channa masala and I said my good byes before proceeding to Shillong. These roads were the best so far that I saw in the north east and after riding for an hour and a half the weather started getting cooler the skies bluer and the trees thick and lush. I started to feel like I was riding in an Instagram filter. I finally did reach Shillong but I had to find a cyber cafe to apply for 2 more visas that I have been delaying for a while now, but after roaming in the city for half an hour I found none. What amazed me about Shillong was everything was shut and all the families were all dressed up in suits and dresses and they were either headed to church or finished church. It felt like home 😊

I reached out to a biker friend Samyntein in Shillong who invited me to his brother-in-law’s home to use his computer . So I said perfect. As I followed him to his place, I saw sign boards that said Scotland of the east and saw these colorful houses on the hill side almost all around. I noticed and liked how there were more women on the street than men. So much difference than the rest of India.

Anyways once I reached the house it took me 2 hours to get the visa work done and by that time it was already 3pm and I was supposed to ride to the cleanest village in Asia which would take me atleast 3 to 4 hours. My friend insisted that he come along with me as it is not very safe to ride in the dark. Even though I said no initially, I agreed as I thought it would be really nice for a local person to guide me. We quickly had some nice lunch and we left. After riding for 35kms we passed by the biggest village of Asia (sohryngkham), we took a few pictures and continued towards.

Samyntein suggested a short cut to which I wasn’t sure but still I followed. We passed through many tiny villages on the way with cows on the road and children staring as we passed by! They stared as if they hadn’t seen bikes before and there were also many young girls carrying their children around on their backs in a cloth tied around them. The roads kept getting worse and worse, from tiny stones to big rocky road. After riding For 200+ kms since 6am in the morning it just started taking a toll on me and we still had about 80 kms to go. We stopped for one last photo at sunset near a waterfall and met 6 other bikers from Shillong on Superbikes. We started riding again and in just a few kms it turned completely dark and there was a long way to go.

Riding through those curves and looking at the stars right ahead of us because of the clear skies was a good experience, but that was short lived because as we neared Dawki there were thousands of trucks parked on the side of the road which made the two laned road seem like a one laned road. The mining has been stopped in these areas but there is yet a lot of export of limestone. The only thing I was wondering was since thousand of trucks were loaded with limestone on just one day then how much are we destroying mother nature everyday.

 

It was a slow ride as there were oncoming cars and bikes as well. We stopped after crossing the river to buy a packet of biscuits and everything was dark and people started to stare at us, it wasn’t a good feeling. My friend asked me choose between two routes a 20km road or 35 kms road. I said 35km since that was a good road but he suggested the shorter route and I followed him. But after a kilometre itself I knew it was a bad bad decision as the roads were merely loose gravel to big rocky roads and a dense jungle all around. I had never felt so scared in my life, but continued riding. Every 500meters we would pass by 2 armed men guarding the border. We were almost into Bangladesh and out most of the way. My respect for the army increased as it takes a lot of grit to stand many hours in the night in complete darkness and guard these border areas. The way was quite difficult steep climbs and here and there we would hear waterfall noises. Those 20kms just wasn’t ending. This started to feel like the longest day on the road. Finally after many cheackposts my light reflected on a board that said 20kms to the cleanest village in Asia. It was a sign of relief as well as anger 😠 but I said to myself that some days are just meant to be shitty but they may be good things waiting for me. So I took that last bit of energy left in me and rode that 20 kms until we reached a small tiny house in the woods where a lady and her 2 children were waiting for us. That’s when I knew that this was where I was staying for the night, in a wooden hut built by her husband. The moment I entered I realized that it was so tiny but yet so clean and perfect. I headed for a bath as soon as I got there, had a perfect simple veg food for dinner cooked on fire wood and called it a night. I was exhausted yet content that I made it to this place after that scary experience and I was glad I had company of my fellow biker friend 😁     

The living dollhouse in Guwahati (Day 22)

I was not ready to leave Bhutan, but the road beckoned. When I entered India, the broken paths welcomed me. After a tiring ride, the pit-stop in Guwahati was a refreshing change. I was hosted by a friend’s family and I also got to meet her in-laws who is quite well known in Guwahati for her vintage designer furniture. Apart from the delicious meals both the aunties fed me, I also had a beautiful ambience to enjoy it.

Her name is Korobi Das and she has the most exquisite taste in home decor. I never imagined one could build themselves a dollhouse in the city of Guwahati. What was more inspiring is that she built her furniture business all by herself whilst raising two children.

I spent an evening getting to know her and about how all of this came together and how she literally handcrafts most of her showpieces. It was also her birthday, so I snagged an interview too.

Conquering the Tiger’s nest (Day 18)

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been in Bhutan for couple of days but was avoiding going to the Tigers nest as I heard a lot about the difficulty of the trek. However today I gathered the courage and rode to it’s base camp. Once there I hired a stick and a horse. I rode with 6 other tourists. The trails were steep and the rains had made it slushy, so the ride started to seem scarier than walking specially when I saw a few horses sliding down the path. After a 45 minute of tensed ride, we reached a cafe, after which it’s a good 3 hours more of walking to reach the nest. My history of dislocated knee made my waIking slow but steadly I proceeded the view just got better and better. First it was of the thick green mountains and then a couple of streams, steep climbs, people who were hiking to the monastery and then suddenly we got close to the Tiger’s nest and oh my! the view was breathtaking. It was the toughest climb of my life and many times I thought I should turn back but what kept me motivated was the old folks who still managed to get up there. They were happy to be accomplishing such a big task and I knew if they can do it, I definitely can too. So I continued and came across this majestic waterfall along the way and once you cross the waterfall the nest is within vicinity. Only there I realised that I didn’t purchase a ticket from the base. I was nervous but when I explained my mistake they were kind enough to let me enter the monastery. I spent over 2 hours over there and never felt so much at peace. I soaked in the picturesque surroundings, the meditation and met people from different countries. As soon as I went into the last shrine it was time to leave. Slowly but steadily I started to climb back, this time joined by 2 doggies who accompanied me most of the way, which made me happy.
Ascending down the slopes was the biggest task for me as it puts a lot of pressure on my knees.But like a tortoise I kept on going and I told myself that there are days that will be the toughest but once I overcome them, there is immense joy and satisfaction.

When finally I saw the base camp in site I was relieved and the moment I sat on Skye I forgot my pain and I knew that this is what I’m meant to do. I can ride for 16 to 18 hours every day but I can never walk 🤣
When I finally got back to my hotel I realized how much of beating my legs have taken and I had to soothe them by taking a hot water tub bath. Good night ul

Rendevous with Bhutan (Day 15 & 16)

Day 15 : Country #2 : Bhutan the land of Happiness is a tiny nation nestled between powerhouses India and China. Bhutan is truly one of the most mysterious and mystical places I have ridden in. Because of government policies to protect the country’s heritage and environment, staying in bhutan is like stepping back in time. There are no high rises and all the buildings are built in the traditional style.
I spent my day riding 170kms and checked into a hotel that has a picturesque view of the city. Went shopping for groceries with the owner and his daughter and watched flights land at Paro Airport. So homely this place feels and what I’m wearing is the traditional dress Kira.

Day 16 : Skye and I have been exploring some amazing places for the last couple of days. But today was a delight riding to the Chalela pass, beauty at every corner and at every curve and it was so hard for Skye and I not to stop and capture these moments. It was also nice meeting and riding @dg_the_wanderer whose on his tour and has been on the road for over 90 days. Met an Insta friend from Pune who introduced me to his army friends, who I had lunch with and I’ve gotten to know so much more about this country from them. All together it has been a great day and like I always say. I do feel blessed😇

Goodbyes at NHRefuel & enroute Hyderabad (Day 1)

Here’s a continuation of what ensued after the flag off..
My friends and family escorted me up until NHRefuel where we assembled to have breakfast together. It was quite a turn around, more than what I had imagined. And the food was superb!
We gathered around to share stories about my past and how I got into riding. My aunt and my parents spoke words of encouragement which rendered me quite speechless. By the time it was my turn to speak I felt my heart swell up and tears came brimming to my eyes and I croaked my words! I never thought this endeavor to see the world on my motorcycle would be met with so much support and love and I felt so grateful.
I also made a video presentation of what I expect to do on my ride and we concluded the meet up with a prayer song. Yes I need all the blessings I can get.
With the morning slowing moving into noon I finally hit the road. Even though the day was hot my soul was calm.
And I watched a beautiful sunset from the highway as I made my way to Hyderabad

Flag Off to Australia #australasianodyssey

It was still dark out the window when I asked my family to go on and meet me at Vidhana Soudha. I needed those last 5 mins by myself to go through my checklist, say goodbye to my cats and also quieten my mind which would not stop thinking. There were a million things running through my head as I made my way to the flagging off point. Did I post the correct timing? Will anyone show up this early? In fact, will anyone show up at all? Just as when Vidhana Soudha came into my view I saw one motorcycle parked behind a car and then a fleet of motorcycles and several groups huddled, chattering and basking in the morning fog. At that moment I clicked a mental picture in my head because I never want to forget what I felt, I felt thankful.
For those of you who dont know, here’s my route
I will be starting from Bangalore covering the east coast of India towards the northeast. Then via Manipur to Myanmar – Thailand – Laos – Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand – Malaysia – Singapore – Indonesia – Australia. I’ll be doing two island hops, one from Malaysia to Indonesia and the other from Timor to Darwin. From Darwin I’ll be riding all the way to Sydney. Wish me luck folks!

The Wine Experience in India

“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

And here’s my story about the Wine capital of India.

I know that we learn a lot from books but I have come to realize that whilst travelling the knowledge that you acquire from the experience is embedded for a longer time. For example, I did not know that Nashik is called the Wine capital of India until I reached here and with the reception that I received and the impression that it left on me, I know I will remember it forever.

 

I was invited to this divine city by the club ‘Cruising Godz’. It was a short ride of 160 kms from Mumbai with only one stop, I choose McDonalds.

I am girl from the South, I strive on coffee.

When I reached Nashik I was quite mesmerized by the weather and the welcoming down to earth people. The early morning fog at the horizon is always a pleasant sight. I could spend ample time admiring that because everything else was taken care of by the ‘Cruising Godz’.

Some pictures from Mumbai before I could ride to Nashik..


I was put up at the Ginger Hotel by the Cruisin Godz. As soon as I reached I unpacked and made my way for lunch to ‘Players’ which is a restaurant owned by a fellow biker of the Godz. That place is a must visit I might add since the food there was scrumptious!

After the delicious meal with the hearty company I was escorted to “Puffs and Rolls Cafe” owned by Sagar and his wife. This cozy cafe also happens to be a boat club since it lies on the banks of a river. The view of the river became even more picturesque owing to the shimmering drizzle and I had a glimpse of the boys of Nashik rowing amidst these droplets dancing with the water.

It was still pouring when us adventurous souls decided to roll out a Thar to go off-roading and head off to the Sula Vineyards. We made a tour of the wine county and binged on all the wine and cheese possible.

My glorious day reached it zenith when I went meet the Cruisin Godz community. They received me with such warmth and felicitated my achievements with a Cruising Godz Club T-shirt that it really humbled me. It is always an honour to be appreciated by a fellow biker community, reminds me that I am on the right track, that I have the love and support and reinforces my belief in what I am out to achieve.

On day two Sagar, Charul and rode out to go explore the vineyards… On the way we came across this karting track so we stopped and couldn’t help ourselves, so we went karting and zip lining.

At the end of the day we headed out to the York suburb. It was a perfect culmination to the series of events. Watched some adorable little puppies chasing down a flock of peacocks into the sunset. Wine to dine with cheese. It was our very own Tuscan evening.

My legs maybe sore with all the walking but my heart is rejuvenated with yarns I can spin through this exposure.
And I cannot thank Cruising Godz enough for their hospitality and for making my stay so eventful. Cheers to you guys and cheers to the brotherhood.

Here I am… on the road again

Life is like a ride. It has its own ups and downs, its skids and slips and its discomforts and thrills. It is a rocky narrow passage at times and a smooth highway pass on others. At times, when one falls, the best thing to do is stand at the roadside and retrospect. That is what I was exactly going through for the past few days. Parked on the side of the road and watching the world pass by, healing my soul before I began another dash on the road. Today was the day. It didn’t seem to be the perfect moment but it did feel right. There was no push to go back on the road and yet there was nothing holding me back.

Blue seemed to be a reflection of me. It was covered in a layer of dust that I didn’t bother to wipe off. I hadn’t dusted off the rust on me, why should Blue look any different. The pings on the WhatsApp bikers group last night kept me informed where my fellow brethren were headed to. I informed them of my willingness to join them and as always our community of riders have nothing but love to offer.I joined them at the showroom where we decided to meet up and where the final arrangements were being made before we took off. While filling up the fuel tank at a petrol station, I remembered that I had changed my engine oil yesterday to the new Castrol POWER1 CRUISE which is specifically for cruiser bike engines like the one on Blue. Once the air pressure was checked and corrected, we hit the highway.

Our first pit stop was Nandi Upachaar which is a famous breakfast spot 40 kilometers from Bangalore, located right on the corner of the cross to Nandi Hills. The place lived up to its expectation once again. It never disappoints in curbing your hunger. 

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Once fueled by the delicacies on offer, the gang proceeded to partake in a small off-road adventure in the nearby areas. We climbed a little hillock on our bikes and I was surprised to see all the thrill of my previous rides returning to me and making me realise that I spent too long worrying about things and not doing what I love. It revved me to make the most of this day.

Amongst our company were these three Australian bikers with a mission to map the entire rural landscape of India and experience the life from this unique perspective. They are documenting this project and were really excited about the prospect of joining us on this ride.

After an hour of off-roading, we stopped at a Go-kart track and took our bikes on the track for a few fun laps.However, being a Sunday, this was just a breakfast ride. Even I was of the same opinion when I started from home. But as they say “Once you taste the blood, it is impossible to stop the craving”. While everyone started heading back towards the city, I wanted to ride away from it towards the places where I had placed pieces of my hearts since I found my heavens there. And this added another chapter to the journey.

As I blazed passed the sun scorched highways there was a sense of relief. The heat wave troubling everyone for the past few days was a factor I couldn’t even notice because I was heading towards the place where I am happy again. The joy of riding and the assurance of control and this amazing feeling called freedom was filling colours in the dark and rusty brain of mine and gradually I started feeling alive again.

I had just one worry; if Blue could make it. It has seen more than a couple of summers now and lately had started feeling sluggish during long rides. The hot weather was another concern since it alleviated the heat and friction which rendered Blue powerless when I needed her to accelerate. But I guess the new cruiser bike specialist engine oil from Castrol was working its magic considering the way Blue accelerated even after a couple of hours on the ride. Gradually my concerns faded and I could focus on the one thing that I liked most in life and the one thing that resembles life the most. The Ride.

Further ahead as I travelled along the roads, I reached this town named Kaiwara. Once you have travelled enough you seem to realise that the towns and roads and civilisations are pretty much the same no matter where you go. You realise that it is not the place or race or colour that divides us. One tends to forget the concept of boundaries and borders. Kaiwara was no exception to it and yet it held its unique identity. I passed through its roads soaking in the humanity that dwelled here. Around 2 kilometers ahead of the town is the Kaiwara Zoo. It is shut down and now serves the purpose of a park for people to visit. The sun, however, forced it to be empty at this hour.

I continued riding and a few meters ahead I came across this beautiful temple surrounded by greenery on all sides. It is the Gavi Temple.

I took the blessings from the Gods who resided here and roamed around only to find monkeys and sparrows to keep me company. There were a lot of sparrows here and there constant chirping wouldn’t let you feel alone.

After spending a few minutes of peace, I rode ahead towards Kailash Parbat. Don’t confuse this with “The Kailash Parbat”. This is a different one. The last stretch of 2 kilometers to this place is a patchy broken road which was another test for Blue, but I guess the new blood was taking good care of it. I could enjoy the slow ride along with the beautiful view on offer. There were these small water bodies like ponds along the foothills. The silence of the still water reflected the clouds flying over and I noticed that I finally had some friends to protect me from the unforgiving sun.

A few curves later I reached the parking lot of the Chintamani Cave Temple.

From here the temple is a short walk uphill. I was awestruck by the sheer size of the mighty hill.

While you climb up, you would find small plastic containers which contain the prayers, requests and other offerings from other devotees who visit this mesmerising spot.

Like all caves, this one too has a small opening. But when you enter you would witness the grandeur of the wonderful temple. Thankfully there were no bats here. Every word you speak loud enough echoed back. A perfect place for retrospection; me talking to myself. I came across priests and deities who all blessed me before I moved on. The view of the surrounding hills was breathtaking. I was lost in the beauty of it as I kept staring at the way nature had adorned itself here. The only thing that broke my session of peace was the gurgling sound of my empty tummy.

I descended down the hill to the parking lot to find a dining hall. I was delighted to come to the realisation that it was not just the hunger of my soul that would be taken care of.

The temple meals are served from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM and that too free of cost although one can make contributions towards the counter outside the hall for the food one eats. I stuffed my belly till my heart was full.

The meal energised me for the return journey and after a rest of a few minutes I could call it a successful day and started my journey back home.

The Indian Escapade!


I had found yet another reason for me to wander out onto the highways, away from the life in the city, its hustle bustle and this time, the reason was the iconic IMRG(Indian Motorcycle Riders Group) ride to Mahabaleshwar(Special thanks to Mr Anil Shankar and Mr Sukant Gupta who was kind enough to give me his bike). It was just the kind of break I had been looking for. And my excitement reached its zenith because I was going to be riding the Indian Scout, the bike that is in itself drool worthy.


At the start of every group ride, you got to Sign the waiver form

With a motive of finally getting the motorcycle up for a real long ride of approximately 2,000kms to and fro and even though Saji and Prashanth had just ridden 550kms from Cochin to Bangalore they still helped to get the bike checked for the next day’s ride. That just speaks of the honour code of the biking brotherhood.



I was staring at myself in the mirror. The water I splashed on my face left a trail of refreshing sensation. I was slowly getting aware of all my senses. I had fallen asleep before midnight and had woken up an hour before the meeting time. Eager to ride the Indian Scout, I opened the bedroom door and started walking past the hall when I suddenly realised that summer had already arrived and how hot it was inside. I went towards the balcony door and then went out. The cold fresh air of the dawn was a relief. The dark sky had still not faded to loose its colour. I stood there for a while, eyes closed, breathing in deep breaths. My rebooting was complete.

I stepped back in and freshened up. I put on my jeans and knee guards, laced up my boots, wore my armoured jacket and my gloves and with my clothes and essentials already loaded up in the saddle bags the previous night I descended down to the basement in the elevator. I pulled out my phone to check the WhatsApp group if everyone had left their homes towards the start location. I approached the beast that awaited me in the basement. It lay still. Unlocking it, I switched its engine on and it sprang to life. I pulled the throttle and its roar echoed in the silence of the early hours. Letting it warm up, I cleaned up the bike. I climbed upon and shifted its gear from neutral to set it in motion. Coming out of the apartment and onto the road outside, I felt a breeze of fresh air greeting me. The road was decorated with the leaves fallen from the trees that stood on the sidewalk. I knew I was set for the long ride towards Mahabaleshwar. I knew just the road to take to meet the other riders on the Tumkur road. The Nice road has always been my point of exit out of the city to mainly avoid the traffic. Once on the Nice road, I could see the grey band of asphalt in front of me stretching till the horizon. I shifted gears and sped up.


There is something liberating about being in motion. No wonder man has an obsession with speed. At first, everything I could see zoomed past me, but as I pulled on the throttle, all of it started blurring into colours and the only thing clearly visible was the grey directly in front of me. Whilst this ride on the Indian beast, I felt it; the feeling that some people crave for – the rush of adrenaline, the sudden release of energy. I felt it; the realisation of being powerful. My heart beat quickened. I could feel its thumps as if banging on my chest. The surge of blood in my body was overwhelming. I was more alive and more aware than I ever was before. I had travelled at higher speeds than this. I had many thrilling moments and had several adventure rides in amusement parks to give me that rush of adrenaline. But yet, this was different. I realised why. It felt so much better because I controlled it. I was in charge. I could, with one twist of my wrist, slow down my momentum or soar it to levels way beyond. A familiar sign passed me by. Tumkur Road Exit Ahead. I straightened my twisted wrist to gradually see everything around coming back into existence from the blurry blend of hues and once on the main road I saw the other Indian rider parked and waiting. I stopped just ahead of him and opened my visor to get some air and then introduced myself. While we waited there for the rest of the riders, the horizon on the other side of the road was losing colour diluting into a blue tinge. It was beautiful! The sky was blue up above and orange at the side.

Soon enough the other riders passed by us and both of us quickly joined them. I was awe-struck riding behind 10 of these big beautifully crafted machines with oodles of Chrome and their incredible names definitely match their profile like The Roadmaster, Dark Horse Chieftan, Chieftan and the Scout. It not only left me awe-struck but also all the people around us that were magically in a trance not knowing what these machines were called. They could not take their eyes off them.

We road in sync to our first breakfast halt that was Kamat Upachaar.

Biker Swag 🙂

Like always I order my favourite the Pudi ghee roast dosa and some coffee, while the others had their share of breakfast too. It was time for briefing and getting to know the fellow riders, quick ice breaker before we got back up on the saddle.

Padded up and buckled up tight, keying it on and turning the throttle, the 11 riders (Anil, Saji, Suresh Nair, Prashanth, Rishan, Manish, Ranganath, Satish, Bernard) were all set to hit the highways, with their 1200cc and 1800cc machines thumping as they were all lined up together in a single strand, a hand waving to proceed and we were on the road again one behind the other, all at once onto the Linking road, what a tingle of Goosebumps I felt. A sight to wait and watch for when passerby’s in their cars gave way to the passing caravan of Indian Motorcycle Riders.

It was a typical morning, with the chill in the air and the surrounding hills and fields covered in mist. I should have stopped to take a picture, but I was enjoying the ride so much that I didn’t feel like stopping.


But we did finally stop for tender coconut water after which we rode continous for 150kms for a pee break at Apoorva Resorts. A photo session followed by some lime juice and we were off again.


Rode for another 150kms till Gabbur cross where we were greeted by the 99Cannons Motorcycle Club from Hubli. They were kind enough to get us some refreshments.

The guys sharing their ride experiences along with a drink

At the Ghar Dhaba. Hubli – Belgaum Highway

They suggested that we ride 30kms ahead and stop at Ghar Dhaba for Lunch. We were all exhausted and dehydrated as we got there, so we had a glass of butter milk and then roti’s paneer and dal.

After a hearty lunch and some biker talks, we were told that our next stop was the Mariott Hotel after Belgaum.Once we got there because of the amazing services offered by their friendly staff, what was supposed to be a coffee break turned into an overnight stay.



Day 2:


After a good nights rest at the Hotel, early morning swims for a fresh start and a scrumptious buffet breakfast. We were all set to ride from Belgaum to Mahabaleshwar from the Fairfield by Mariott and there was something special about today, I couldn’t control my excitement as I was getting to ride the Dark Horse Chieftan (Courtesy Saji)for the next 300kms. A quick petrol stop and off we went. I had a grin on my face the whole journey, listening to some country numbers on the very loud speakers of the bike. All the people in their cars catching up to me so that they can get a shot of the bike and maybe me 🙂 … this bike definitely gets all eyes on you. Also, it’s not only about the looks but the power of this beast that gets you all pumped, It’s like riding a black stallion all mighty and beastly.

More tender coconut water …
The mighty black stallion
Women at work, using this machine to cut sugarcane into small cubes, which are used for re-planting


We took a short butt break and after the left turn starts the climb up the Ambinadi ghats for 40km !!!to Mahabaleshwar. We took nearly an hour and a half to cross that 40km, because of the breathtaking views at every hairpin bend with superb roads.

The cold breeze found a way past the gaps in my helmet and grazed past my nose and cheek. Being a regular sufferer of the polluted city air I had not breathed in the air as pure as this. I inhaled as much as my lungs could hold and felt the cold oxygen channelling further in my veins and cleansing me from within. I felt the contents of the air healing me. I found its evidence in the goose bumps that covered my skin. Without raising my head, I lifted the visor that restricted the flow. I let the blast of freshness drench me with a sensation of peace and tranquillity. There were many sounds I could register. As I focused, I could hear a song. The low hum of the scenes of the nature passing by was the base. The trees walking past played the rhythm. There were several solo performances involving the chirping birds, the whistling winds. There were other sounds I could not decipher. A chatter, a hum, brays and barks, coos and moos, a cackle, a croak, a bellow and a squeak. I could not make it out but amidst all of this lay a symphony. How else could it be so soothing to the soul? And with the company of this melancholy, we made it to Mahabaleshwar.


There was a grand traditional welcome for all the riders by the Indian Motorcycle Team along with some refreshing Mapro drinks. The team also handed out our schedules for the next 2 days.
Whole lotta fun events and concert lined up for us
The Indian Motorcycle Team not only thought about the riders but also the children of Mahabaleshwar and organised a ride for us to a school over there. Where we met the children, interacted with them and distributed gifts  It felt good not just riding for ourselves but for a good cause. 

The children all happy with their new bags and toys



All along the way back from the school to the resort, I saw basket’s full of strawberries for sale at the side of the roads… Such temptation!

Soon as I reached the resort I went straight to the restaurant and got my very own bowl of strawberries and cream…Yummalicious!
After a short rest break, I walked upto the concert area where all the riders had gathered. We spent the night listening to the bands play some good music and dancing, ate and drank to our hearts content in such a friendly and joyous atmosphere.

Day 3:

You know you are in Mahabaleshwar when you have strawberries for breakfast 🙂
Quick breakfast buffet and then we all gathered for a group photo.


Then all of us set out on a ride to the Savitri viewpoint. The Indians all lined together rode on the narrow roads surrounded by forest and canopy of trees.


Spectacular view of the Canyons from the viewpoint


Back to the resort where we were free to either relax and use the facilities available at the resort or go out riding and explore more of Mahabaleshwar.

Spectacular view from the Brightland Resort and Spa where we were hosted.

Chilling by the pool

Everyone needs a relaxing spa treatment after all that riding…


Knights in shining armour

An energetic start to the evening by these talented girls on the drums/dhol, followed by bands playing these latest numbers to the prize distribution.


Wonderful three days spent with all the fun-loving and friendly Indians. But like they say all good things come to an end.. Until next time! 


Day 4:

I woke up at 5:00 am as we had an early start to the day and since we had to cover almost 900kms back to Bangalore. After a while when I was all packed and ready to meet the other riders for breakfast, I couldn’t find my riding boots and then I realised they were out on the balcony. 
While I sat there tying my laces, my eyes suddenly caught something magical. The rising sun with its orange and gold hue above a distant lake in sight. I could sit there for hours but I had to rush 🙁

Sunset in all its glory

Fuel, chai, lunch, coffee and after a couple of pee stops, we were back in Bangalore by 9:00 pm. Riding the Scout for 2,000kms I know now that “Sunsets are red, Baguette is just bread, this little Indian Pony, It’s a thoroughbred”.

No road is too long when you have good company!

Thank You Gaurav 🙂