The bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began, There was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of the bus to Nevereverland, says the song The Other One by the band Grateful Dead. And so say our Fathers and Sons who are on the road, falling off the maps and going by how they feel, in all possibilities loving it.
"It's not the leaving or the arriving, but the taste of what you went through", although the saying has been done to death, it still hits the right chord in all travellers known. So we decide to not let them rest in peace even when they are supposed to and bring to you their daily dose of adventures and more importantly the mis-adventures as they tread through various milestones. Here is Sanjeev, now the travelling writer (just for us!).
We started at 4.20 am on the 10th, lost Martin and James by 4.45 (while we still were in Delhi!), found them an hour later, and stopped for alu parathas at 7.30. Then we sped up to 90kmph - my bike seemed imbalanced, back brakes barely working - I was using my front brakes and gears to stop. Scary!
But it started to kick in again, an hour later I was back - 15 years of not driving enfields faded away.
The heat was killing - my arms burnt red - we stopped only for drinks - couldn't eat!
My bottom felt like someone had kicked it several times, my shoulders muscles were on fire when we finally arrived at Bilaspur to stop for the night, 5pm. Slow driving, we had to keep stopping, waiting for the jeep (the support car) to catch up.
Any mishaps - just one - almost. Took a bend to find two trucks neck to neck racing madly down on me. No time to brake - managed to squeeze by just a foot away from the edge of the 500ft khud.
Ashish loved it - just wanted to enjoy the ride. He drove a bit and handed it back when it got too much.
Talked a bit later and we dozed off tired and wiped out!
Set off at 8am- great fun on mountain roads all the 170km ride from Bilaspur to Manali. We lost each other often - we thought we had lost Stephen once and Rajan and Jeff in the jeep were trying frantically to figure out how to phone the uk for his number -we forgot to tell them we had found him, 30 kms ahead.
After breakfast at a roadside dhaba 11 kms off Mandi, I took off and crashed into another bike who was doing the normal Indian thing - to turn left, first turn right! He was ok after a fall scraped his foot and his bike handle dug into my belly.
My back brakes were almost non-existent by now - so we reached Manali the quickest.
Bikes needed fixing and tuning for the really tough grind ahead - that took 3 more hours and we found time for a quick shower to head off for dinner later
5 am tomorrow for kehlong -
Can't believe I'm doing this!
Keep up! There is much more to come.