The day began earlier than yesterday, and even surprising ourselves we were ready around 8-8.30a.m. we met some of Pune university people who have come there on trip in large group, and chatted for a while. Seeing a Pune registered bike there itself was big enough a shock for few of them, and seeing us two gearing up for the ride pushed the curiosity to new highs. A quick bashing to all the youngsters in that group by their seniors was in order:
“See! They are riding on their own on new land! And you?! Tired of just a bus journey? Shameful!”
I suppressed the urge to ask them how many of them would permit their children for such rides, seeing at the faces of those youngsters. Clicked a photo instead with the group, and rode ahead.
The plan was to ride to Udaipur, while covering Pushkar and Ajmer on way. After some period, animals in our stomach started to sing, and we had to take halt, where we had surprisingly good parathas, the best we had in all Rajasthan trip.
The road till Ajmer bypass is smooth sailing. At Ajmer junction, you get a choice to bypass the city or to enter it. We chose to enter the city, and to see Pushkar Ajmer and again join the roads to Udaipur. It was around noon.
Pushkar road is very similar to Konkan roads, with ups and downs and bit patchy and bumpy roads. I was quite curious about Pushkar, but frankly got bit disappointed. The Brahma Mandir despite being the only one in the c0untry is not that visual delight, and the lake was all dried. The famous pandits at the lake tried to advertise their service, but my riding attire was enough to discourage them.
We took turns in visiting the temple and the lake, as we couldn’t leave the bike with its luggage unattended in the middle of a crowded city.
Vesta waiting in the streets while we took the Darshan of the lake
Finally left Pushkar at around 1.30p.m. the time was already running against us, and the hope of reaching Udaipur in daylight was diminishing each moment. We took Ajmer Darga’s entry gate darshan on bike only, and took U turn and got out of the crowded city.
Riding through Ajmer
Had lunch on some unnamed hotel, and started riding to Udaipur. This would prove as the toughest ride, as the distance seemed so far, and because of the ongoing road work around Rajsamand, the hourly distance crossed was hardly 50kms.
Had my first sand crossing today. Riding in sand is very different than riding on water or plain road. Each time, the bike gives latkas and jhatkas, and you have your heart in your throat all the time.
See the guy in the M80 almost slipping!
Vesta kept on churning kms one after another. After some period, it started getting boring frankly. So tried all sorts of tricks to keep myself interested, like counting seconds for each 0.1 kms, counting number of white vehicles etc. When the tricks stopped working, took a cold drink halt at a dhaba.
GS150R’s seat is usually soft, but now that we had saddle bag on the pillion’s seat, it wasn’t soft at all. Nandinee was having problem sitting for extended time. That’s when I noticed that we were carrying the gunny back for packing Vesta back home. Folded it to make an Asana for her highness, and that proved to be very useful. That time onwards, Nandinee might forget anything while on ride, but never the gunny bag seat!
Riding on the roads while sunset time was bit of a humbling experience. You can see large vehicles approaching you from a great distance, and the overall ride at that time was nothing but enchanted and humbling.
Soon night fell, and big vehicles with their bigger headlights started to blind us. I started tailgating a bus, but soon unannounced bad roads appeared and forced us to lose her. Later, I started following a jeep. As expected, once he spotted Vesta trying to follow, he started trying to shake us off. I sped up and caught him at a speedbraker, and requested him to lead us. He obliged, and then it was a fast persuit of some 60-70k.m.s, with the jeep heading the way. He bid goodbye at Shrinathji, around 50kms from Udaipur at 8.30p.m.. Vesta too was running on reserve. So took a small tea break, filled fuel in bike and prepared for the final one hour ride.
The kilometers kept on reducing one at a time, and after many twists and turns of the Aravali hills road, finally I saw the sign Udaipur 0 kms. But the city is still much away from this sign. We had the hotel ‘Dream heaven guest house’ located deep in the heart of the old city. We reached there at 10.30p.m. after asking a lot of help. The hotel is located at a steep 40degree climb hill. Poor Vesta had to climb this in order to rest for the night. Found the hotel caretaker and got the room. I ran upstairs to the rooftop hotel to order dinner, and returned to find Nandinee standing outside of the room with anger and fear in eyes. Immediately I recognized the feeling, it must be a lizard!
The poor hotel owner had to come down with its broom to shoo that big (any crawling thing above 2 inches is big for Nandinee) lizard out of the room. For some reason, he kept calling the ‘Chipkali’ as ‘Chipak-li’. It sure was funny to listen, but I had to suppress my laughter because I wanted to sleep in the same room, and not to be shooed away by Nandinee like the ‘chipakli’!
When we fell on the beds with sore bodies and full stomachs, whole ride kept flashing in front of my eyes. We rode with iron wills and iron butts, through traffic and clear ways, through muddy paths and perfect roads. Vesta rode like there was no stopping, like a rail engine, happily lugging us along.
The day’s total ride was 460k.m.s. A new personal record for longest ride in a day was made, both in terms of distance as well as time.
…to be continued.