Biking has always been a passion for me, that is to drive aimlessly or visit new towns and cities. There is a tickle produced with the thought of knowing new places or people. I can contribute this gallivanting behaviour to my dad as being in the Forces, we were always on the move.
In early 2008, I had an epiphany, that I would leave my cushy life in Pune and pursue MBA in Delhi, away from home & friends. BUT before that, I had to do a Mother of all Trips.
One fine August morning, Devdhar & Luke my two close friends alongwith me decided to do the road trip of our life. As we wanted the trip to begin with sumptuous biryani, we decided our route somewhat in this structure. Starting from Hyderabad and entering to Nagpur followed up to Reva - Jabalpur - Allahabad – Varanasi, then reaching towards Gorakhpur and then Nepal.
We halted at Nepal, went till Jhiri, the last motor-able village en-route to Everest Base camp. We finally exited Nepal and entered India through Kokrajhar Border following the route from Jalpaiguri - Karsioyung - Kalimpong - Darjeeling - Gangtok- CoochBehar - Guwahati - Shillong reaching back to Kolkata.
If I recall my experience, it was a thought mesmerizing journey not only for the three of us but every reader or listener to the journey of this trip. We stayed at the best of hotels and resorts at peanut prices and at the same time we also paid a king’s ransom in shanty hotels. We would eat at the roadside dhabas and also every delicious dishes that would come across our path of the journey. We also visited a National Forest Reserve in Nepal (again on our bikes- that is not to be mentioned).
This entire journey took 27 days and we covered almost around 5800 kms. It was definitely a memory now that owes to be cherished forever. Different places and cities taught me to live my life in the way I had never thought of. Different cuisine culture, the standard of living in different cities, different languages are spoken in different parts of the nation inculcated unity and strength in me. It was not that I wasn’t aware earlier but a first-time experience is always a built-in imprint. Sleeping under the open sky at night was not only fun and cherishable but also a certain amount of fear was always at the back of the mind. Our bikes, belongings, cash and everything was kept beside us while we laid there asleep till dawn woke us up.
While returning from Shillong, we traversed the entire West Bengal, as we had to board different trains to reach back home and our bikes had to be loaded on the train. While departing the three of us made a future plan about trailing the country again after 40 years from then maybe not on a bike but in a car possibly!
As a personal travel experience, I would suggest that it is always better to be careful, alert and ready to face and fight every battle that comes your way. Be wise and safe to protect yourself during the journey. Safety is in our own hands, thus, every essential safety product must be handy with you. Barring biker helmets, backpacks, caps, sunglasses, water bottles there are other gadget protectors, gloves, masks, jackets, flashlights, lotions and many more that need to be carried along the journey. For women, pepper spray or personal hygiene items like PeeBuddy or PeeSafe, hand sanitizer should be kept inside the purse. A good size of backpack is important when you plan for a trip. It should store in all essential items inside giving you a comfortable load free experience.
Drive slow to enjoy more!
Image Courtesy: (Wheelstreet)
This has been written by Debashish Mukherjee and was published in Jan 2015 on Safetykart.com