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Blog From Nov-2016
Prologue – “Explorers of the Wild”
Day 1 – Mumbai – Indore (600 Kms)– “Passion is in the Eyes”
Day 2 – Indore – Jhansi (540 Kms) – “Dreams: You gotta wait some more”
Day 3 – Jhansi – Lucknow – (280 kms) “Nawabi Evening”
Day 4 – Lucknow – Kushinagar (323 Kms)– “Sleeping Buddha”
Day 5 – Kushinagar – Siliguri (663 kms)– “Beautiful fear”
Day 6 – Siliguri – Darjeeling (70 kms) – “Pahadi soul”
Day 7 – Darjelling – Gangtok (100 kms) – “Overcoming obstacles”
Day 8 – Gangtok – “Rest day” – “No waste Day”
Day 9 – Gangtok – Zuluk (100 Kms)– “Glorious 2”
Day 10 – Zuluk – Zuluk Thambi view point – Ravangla – Pelling (200 kms)– “The Pool of Tears”
Day 11 – Pelling – TukWar(Tukvar) Tea garden – Darjelling – (75 Kms) – “Roads, No roads – Adventure Next Level”
Day 12 – Darjelling – guwahati – Shillong – (600 kms) – “Wroomers Moonlight adventure”
Day 13 – Shillong – Krang suri waterfall – Dawki – Mawlynong – (160 kms) – “Slices of Heaven”
Day 14 – Mawlynong – Guwahati – (172 kms) – “Pursuit of Happyness”
Day 15 – Guwahati – Kamakhya temple – Bike transport – “Rolling in the deep”
Day 16 –- Guwahati – ` – Mumbai – By Flight – “Plan the Next Adventure”
Prologue – “Explorers of the Wild”
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
Life is an Adventurous journey!!
And so we stroked out one more dream from our dreamlist – It was Month of May when we first initialized our planning for our big ride. In order to execute this the most important thing was LEAVES as we are in IT world and of course a responsible employee.
“WE” – Let me introduce ourselves, Many of you know US but this is for those who don’t;
Myself – Kiran and I was riding Honda CBR 250 Repsol edition, I call him “J.A.R.V.I.S”
Sachin – My better half was riding Mahindra Mojo, He call him “Airavat”
Initially, when we started planning the very 1st name which we shortlisted was “BHUTAN” in fact not just shortlisted but finalised. We started with the route planning, requirement gathering and analysing (SDLC you know, you will know it if you are aware of IT world ) etc etc…
Since I wanted to upgrade my motorcycle to some sports bike because, I was riding Bajaj Avenger 220 for quite a sometime and also because I faced few problems during our Ladakh ride so the 1st thing which we thought was finalising which bike would suit me and my requirement and I dreadfully needed one so that “me and my bike” can get enough time to spend along before our big ride.
Finally after trying and testing various 2 wheels we finally settled with a suitable bike for me Honda CBR 250 it is !!
We were finding a pre-owned motorcycle which took 2 months of our time and dedication and then finally one day Sachin found him “August 15, 2016” was the day when we went to see him, Morning we saw him, afternoon we finalised a deal, Evening we bought him home – Something’s in your life is bound to happen and is so quick that you don’t even realize of what have just happened.
And here is how we started a full-fledged planning for our another grand adventure
We approached few companies for sponsorship 2 months ago our ride because like every time we did not wanted to rush on the last moments and miss any such opportunities like we did during our ladakh and Nanital ride so we shared our plans with them and paused…….(for positive revert)
Sachin had most of the things so his shopping list was very short and sweet but I wanted to upgrade my mesh riding jacket to textile one, get the riding pant for the 1st time so I was behaving too choosy in that context, new full gloves etc etc etc…
Till the time we could have started with the shopping thing, Diwali was all set to hit the planet earth which further delayed our work.
Now tell me how much preparations can an individual do when he is provided with just 2 days a week Saturday & Sundays especially when the work is related with government offices and Moreover when you are a travel freak kinda a person (Yes we even had a “Hampi” plan to execute before the big ride so few days were invested there)
Now one of the most important thing if you are travelling to some place like Bhutan where the documentation thing is very strict is transferring your bike from the previous owner name to yours and having a clean documentation and HERE IS HOW THE BIGGEST CHANGE IN PLAN HAPPENEND..
Basically my bike needed a name transfer thing, but we are a hopeful people somehow we thought that- in fact it was also said that we would be sponsored and will be provided by a different bike to ride for this adventure so we took things lightly related to our bikes and here is how we made a REAL BIG MISTAKE.
Fortunately unfortunately things did not turned out in our favour and we were just 2 weeks away from our ride with NO PREPRATIONS AT ALL.
We had to drop Bhutan plan because they are very strict with documents and so WE CHANGED OUR PLAN TO NORTH-EAST
In 4 days Sachin planned the new route, booked flight for return leg, Painted Tshirts, Completed editing a video for our YouTube channel, settled with the brand to shop for my riding pant – DONE AND DUSTED !!
The following week we went shopping and quickly purchased riding pant and gloves for me, unluckily we went to 3 shops and I did not get suitable textile jacket besides we did not had much time as well for searching it – so I managed with my old Cramster Mesh jacket with thermal liners..
The fun part is, it was just 5 days ago when Sachin ordered for Bluetooth device (the most important thing we needed for this ride). Thanks to Sena people they delivered it in just 1 day before our ride.
We thought that at least for this ride we would sail smooth with all preparation 2-3 weeks ago our ride but…..(Blame Us for being so hopeful people )
Demonetisation is a different story all together, standing in ATM queue for 2 hours every day for 1 week was insanely backbreaking.
Finally it was 18th November The Friday our last day to office before our long vacation so winding up every bits, I left office around 4 pm to clear up the last minutes work, We always like making stickers for our ride and even this time we planned to do it, but we did not planned it to do at the last moments.
All the shops where I was supposed to get the stickers done was unfortunately closed, I even wanted name and blood-group sticker on bike but…
Another huge task was installing Bluetooth on our helmets which took another couple of hours and then finally around 3.00 am we were all set to catch up some sleep. Yes we got only 2 hours of sleep that night but again even that 2 hours of sleep in the night feels refreshing…
5.30 A.M it was and yes the most awaited ride was about to get started…600 kms to go, 1st stop Indore…Lets do this!!
Wroommmm Wroooommmmm !!
CHAPTER 1 – “DAY 1” – Mumbai to Indore
“Passion is in the Eyes”
Day1 (Sat) – 19th Nov 2016
Route – Mumbai(Airoli) – Thane – NH3 – Nashik – Dhule (600 kms)
“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the Dreams in your eyes and Passion in your heart.”
So finally it was the day for which we were waiting for a real long time in fact even after getting just 2 hours of sleep I was feeling so refreshed and charged up – it was 5.30 am and it was not alarm that woke me up, having a mug full of green tea, I cleared my voice and was all ready to chirp (read it shout ) in Sachin’s ear to make him wide awake.
We were ready to load up our bikes when Mummy, Daddy surprised us, I wasn’t expecting them to come over. Mummy bought Vaishno deviji ka Prasad for us which we dreadfully needed for this trip “heaven blessings”
Every time when you start something new your mind is filled with fears, but your dreams and passion should be more powerful than your fears and this is the only way to turn a game into your favour.
It’s very hard to assure your parents about your safety, I don’t know But after seeing Mumma, Papa all my fears were dominating my dreams and somehow before assuring anything to them I was assuring myself that – no matter what, you have to be safe, you have to return home SAFELY at least for them..
Though they were smiling but I could sense that – Deep inside, my Mom was very afraid and tensed, it was just that she did not wanted anything to say while we were going and I was sure that daddy is gonna have a tough time dealing my Mom till the time we return.
Touching their feet and with all positive energy we rode off promising them to come back soon..
It was 7.30 am when we finally took off. It wasn’t so cold but after crossing Nashik it turned out to be a chilly weather.
We were very excited using our Bluetooth device (Sena SMH-10) for the 1st time. If you are a couple and riding on 2 different motorcycles believe me Bluetooth is a complete Paisa Vasool (Worth) item, It felt so connected (why we did not get this before I regret big time), but that’s okay.
After Kasara Ghat we took a break for our Morning fuel where Sachin told me that – “I still remember Mummy’s face she was tensed and my fear is increasing even more after that… Hope everything goes good, Ride slow, don’t get overconfident about anything” and what not he said and then I explained him what I wanted to explain to Mumma but I wasn’t able to express it to her. It goes like this –
It’s important that what thoughts you are feeding into your mind because your thoughts create your belief and experiences. You have positive thoughts and you have negative ones too. Nurture your mind with positive thoughts. The more you feed your mind with positive thoughts, the more you can attract great things into your life.
He gave me hopeful nod and we proceeded.
I noticed that since I woke up I had a mild headache which was gradually increasing, I thought it will go after a while but that never happened. Ignoring the same we proceeded ahead. We were on a good speed of 120kmph when suddenly I realized that my Bluetooth is making some weird beeps, Since, I was using Bluetooth for the 1st time I thought that’s the sign of a low battery. I took a peep in my rear view and Sachin was nowhere seen.
I located a roadside Dhaba and thought to wait for him, When I called him he said that he is still in Dhule (whereas I was atleast 20-25 kms ahead) and have faced some issues with exhaust so locating a service centre.
I ordered a Slice (Cold drink) since the weather was too hot, so was my mind and as I rotated my eyeballs everybody around Dhaba was looking at me in such a way as if I have robbed something very precious and today my photo has been printed in newspaper in WANTED list.. I mean seriously!! Hats off to all ladies riding solo in INDIA (BOW).
45 minutes later Sachin turned up with a story to say about his bike. Basically his bike’s Exhaust was moved bit backwards due to which it started making some loud weird noise, luckily he located a Mahindra Service center in Dhule who helped him fix the issue. (1st Day and the issue, Oh GOD!)
Around 4 in the evening we planned to have lunch, Because FOOD IS AN IMPORTANT INGREDIANT and we never miss out on that.
Some kurkuri bheendi and kulcha and Dal and Rice and Lassi…….(List will go on….) I finally had a tablet of Saridon to get rid of with a bad headache.
By 5 it was all dark and it was more 150 kms till Indore. Sachin booked a hotel from “Make My Trip” just 2 hours beforehand
We never book a hotel in advance, in fact we reach to a particular destination and then find a suitable shelter (Blame it to Demonetization thing) because while you are riding you can never do a pre booking of anything BECAUSE YOU ARE RIDING…you are prone to any unforeseen tragedy (bitter truth but the practicality”).
By 7.30 we reached our hotel “Atithi Satkar” it was not just a descent hotel but a fabulous place to stay in which treated us with an amazing rooftop restaurant serving some delicious continental food.
CHAPTER 2 – “DAY 2”
“Dreams: You gotta wait somemore”
Day2 (Sun) – 20th Nov 2016
Route – Indore – Dewas – Bhopal – Sanchi – Vidisha – GanjBasoda – Lalitpur – Jhansi (550 Kms)
Road conditions: Indore to Bopal 4 lane highway, dewas to Sehore you have to ride cautiously because lots of intersections and locals crossing the road on bike and car and they don’t even realize someone is coming in High speed.
After Bhopal till malthone double lane highway which eats up your time and energy and lots of road construction work going on.
Post lalitpur beautiful 4 lane highway appears but trucks and local people driving/riding on opposite direction on your fast lane, so better ride on second lane.
“However vague they are, dreams have a great kind of power in themselves which can leave us in no peace until they are translated into reality”
That morning when we woke up it was our 2nd day of ride and we were already so restless to reach that point which we were dreaming of since last few months – Well we gotta definitely wait for few more days.
We woke up at 7.30 and quickly went to rooftop restaurant to grab our free breakfast which was inclusive in our package. Need not to say that breakfast was delicious.
Filling up all the required energies in our stomach we left the place to meet our FB friend Kalyani, with whom Sachin was chatting for past few days enquiring about the place called “Dewas” and how safe it is to stay etc etc because initially we planned to stay in “Dewas” (Dewas is more 60 kms ahead of Indore)
She asked us to meet few of her friends in Indore from where we were supposed to ride till Dewas meet her and move ahead.
We had breakfast (AGAIN) with them and a small chat which was later turned into longgg chat..Lovely SuperBikers, Never felt like we were meeting for 1st time. Thank you guys for tagging along, in fact when you are travelling and you meet some people whom you can connect with, believe me it feels like “HOME” moreover I was already missing “Mom”.
Bidding adieu to all our biker buddies, We left the spot around 12.00 PM for our next destination “JHANSI”.
We were clearly aware of the fact that it’s going be a good fat night ride for us up till Jhansi. So moving on normal speed we crossed Sanchi which was complete 2 lane highway and equally tiring because no matter how the road condition is or how less the traffic is, it’s always pain to ride on double lanes.
Proceeding with not more than 100 kmph we took halt for lunch. Last time during our Nanital ride when we rode on Sanchi highway there were no good hotels for lunch, but this time to our surprise there was this hotel which was newly constructed which served us one delicious food, seriously mummy ki yaad ah gayi (reminded me of my mom).
Leaving from the spot and riding for some more time, we were welcomed with amazing 4 lanes highway but hold on hold on – This highway was more dangerous than the 2 lane because the trucks, cars, tractors and what not comes from the opposite direction that too in full speed.
We were continuously riding in second lane so that if anybody coming from fast lane or 3rd lane can be visible and we can save our a**….
Hilarious part was once when we were riding from middle lane, we saw 4 headlights flashing on us from opposite direction and we were not sure whether the vehicle is coming from right lane or left lane, we stood motionless in middle of road thinking that from wherever it is coming at least it will not be from middle lane and in a while 2 vehicles passed us one from left and another one from right – Damn that was so dangerous and hilarious (anybody riding on those highway!! please do take care of these things).
Though we were not tired but we took a short halt for tea because it was already dark and we did not wanted to strain our mind and eyes unnecessarily.
After having garma garam adrak ka chai we resumed back. Night ride on Jhansi highway is not only unsafe but also very dangerous and risky, the only added advantage was butter smooth concrete road which is again risky because you don’t feel like riding on 80-90 kmph on such a buttery roads.
Finally after too much alertness we reached Jhansi around 9 PM. It was 2nd day of ride and we were too excited as we were slowly proceeding ahead to the destination we wished for.
Getting good 8-9 hours of sleep was necessary to recharge our brains and get back on roads and welcome Day 3 with fresh mind.
Concluding the day with some light dinner – “Sandwich, Noodles and some desserts” we were all ready to doze up..
“Nawabo ka Sheher”
Day3 (Monday) — 21st Nov 2016
Route – Jhansi -Kanpur – Lucknow (280 kms)
Last night before shutting our day, we decided to wake up early since it was just 280 kilometers and reaching early in Lucknow would leave us with ample of time to explore the place.
Next morning when I woke up, I was filled with some amazing solid kind of energy, I was dancing, jumping and happy because finally we were about to ride on the route where we never rode and obviously new roads are always full of experiences and fun
When I saw the watch it was clocking 8.30 in the morning whereas we decided to wake up at 6.00 AM. We saw each other and laughed..
We could have fought, blamed each other about not setting up proper alarm and whatsoever but we chose to laugh. I read this somewhere Perfectionism is the enemy of happiness. Embrace being perfectly imperfect. Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself, you ill be happier. We make mistakes because we are imperfect. Learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, and keep moving forward and moreover its not important that everything should go according to plan…
We were ready by 9.30 am and had our breakfast which was inclusive in our package. Breakfast was filling and delicious.
We WrooMed from the spot without wasting a single second. We again laughed out loud on the breakfast table because I have habit of dropping food and somehow I always take precaution in front of Sachin to save it from dropping but I dont understand how I manage to drop it always right in front of him (You can also see the same in Day 3 video on our YouTube channel linked below and please laugh SLOWLY!)
Roads to Lucknow was in seriously bad condition which took toll on our back. It was continuous 100 kms of bad patch which forced us to be alert because we could not have afforded to bang our bikes inside any of the deep pot holes and hurt our motorbikes so we were very cautious while riding out there.
Finally after some bad patch we were welcomed by some better roads which made us reach Nawabo Ka Shehar around 2.30 in the afternoon. We already booked our hotel via Make my trip and now the real task was to search the exact location of it.
To our horror Lucknow was so so badly crowded that for a moment I thought why are we even taking a halt here, In fact we could have rode further and stayed in Kushinagar, But since it was our 1st visit to Lucknow we wanted to see few place which was very prominent out there.
Lucknow city was so chaotic that my 1st visit itself made me think that I am never gonna revisit this city EVER. It took us 1 hour 45 minutes to reach our hotel. No doubt hotel was very good but the people at the reception were looking at us in such a manner as if Flashing my Mangalsutra didn’t work as well, In fact this is not only in Lucknow where we faced this issue, its our Indian insecure mentality that a young man and a lady cannot be seen as a married couple and a normal nonsense questions Why are you guys not on same bike?, According to them a description of a married couple is somebody who is 40+, fat with grey hairs, loose cloths, lotss of kids etc etc(Well thats how it is, Can we do anything about It? )
Checking in and quickly getting refreshed we left for some sightseeing. We thought to take auto because riding our bike in such a chaotic place was unbearable.
Auto took us to ImamBara which was one of the main tourist attraction in Lucknow, unfortunately the place was closed because of some local function or something called as (Chellam)
Sadly when we were about to leave the place we saw Tanga(Horse cart) to lift up our mood. Obviously Nawabo ke shehar mein Nawabo ki sawaari karni tho banati ha. The person explained us lot of things related to Lucknow Chota ImamBara, Clock House which was made by britishers, the place where they prepare handmade embroidery on cloth(Chikan Clothes)etc
Now another important thing for which we visited Lucknow was THE BRIYANI which we heard too many times from too many people so we took battery auto as our next sawari to reach Ameena Bagh to try some mouthwatering authentic biryani. It took us 30 mints to reach the restaurant called The Tundey Kabab.
The place looked bit messy same somewhat like Mohammad ali road in Mumbai but when we saw the food which was kept on display forced us to sneak inside the restaurant and try some authentic items out there.
We ordered for Tangdi kabab, Tundey kabab with Paratha and Briyani. Tangdi kabab was so delicious that I wasnt satisfied with one, I demanded a repeat, about Tundey kabab i didnt like it much but Sachin was happy to have something different and about BRIYANI. It would be very controversial to say it here that I disliked Biryani, Yes I repeat I DISLIKED LUKNOWI BRIYANI and it wasnt one place because of which I am coming to an conclusion, I tried it at couple of additional places and everywhere same DRY BRIYANI. Where do we get dry biryani with no gravy at all or masala or whatsoever, it was like a yellow rice with dry boiled Chicken pieces, I MEAN SERIOUSLY We had to order Mutton Gravy to finish up those dry Biryanis. Seriously whoever say Lucknow ki Briyani badi famous ha, dont go on others thought, Try it and then conclude it… (Please anybody dont get offended, its my personal perception)
Later we took a Cycle auto up till hotel where we were staying and in that way it counts for the 5th Sawari of the day (Bikes, 8 Seater Auto, Horse cart, Battery auto, Cycle auto) and amongst all I would like to thank and appreciate that person who was riding a cycle auto (Hats off ) You want to learn hard work, LEARN FROM THEM
It feels good to end a day on a good note, initially after seeing Imambara closed we were feeling bit down, but then later we enjoyed of whatever we got to do. Clock house was one of the remarkable place we got to see and Tangdi kabab to eat. So all in all had a good time in Lucknow apart from bad stream of traffic which wasn’t expected (We have suffered too much in MUMBAI, cant take it anymore )
Day 4 is going be full of Adrenaline rush because hey we are about to enter BIHAR.
Day4 (Tuesday) – 22nd Nov 2016
Route – Lucknow – Faizabad – Basti – Gorakhpur- Kushinagar (330 kms)
Since the time we were in planning phase we were afraid of just one thing, it was not about mountains, or tough terrains or permits or freezing weather or any unexpected unforeseen situation with us or bikes or anything like that but it was the most silliest thing and that was Crossing Bihar and UP border.
Actually since the day we decided to ride we were very clear that we will have to ride through Bihar, UP and as per our friends experiences it was said that it was the most risky place to ride on, in fact even the policemen cannot be trusted.
Of course there was no other alternate route where we could have avoided riding through Bihar. So we thought to stay in Kushinagar which was situated on the Bihar border and the next day we would ride for 700+ kms and cross through Bihar and reach our next destination. Staying in Bihar itself gave us cold shiver across our body because of all those dangerous stories told by our friends.
Lord Buddha once said There are 2 meaning of FEAR, First is Forget Everything And Run and second one Face Everything And Rise. We chose SECOND option, Initially we thought to transport our bikes but then transporting was never so thrilling.
We woke up that day with a thought to reach Kushinagar before sunset. Finishing up with the breakfast we proceeded further. Breakfast was not so great but again its good to fuel up with whatever you get because later it saves up ample of time.
Roads to Kushinagar was in good condition so we were able to cover good kilometres in less time. The most hilarious moment of the day was when we took halt for refuelling our tank at the nearby petrol station where we also lubed and cleaned our bikes chain sprockets. It was such an funny sight where everybody out there were so amazed to see us of what exactly we are up to and the background song was added spice to it.hahahah (some random Bhojpuri song) I wanted to laugh out loud but I was strictly warned by Sachin to not let them know about my gender (hard to control laugh but I succeeded)
Later we laughed like insane beings after recollecting the whole incident..
Around 2.45 we stopped at the nearby Dhaba to have our lunch which was just beside the petrol pump. It was the local dhaba but the food which they served was delicious, moreover the person reminded us of the TV Ad who says all the dishes name in one breath, Like we asked him – What can we get for lunch? and he said
Aloo Gobi and 100 of dishes name in one go..OMG I was looking at him with my wide open eyes, in fact I was out of breath after seeing him talking in such a manner.
Concluding with lunch we decided to ride continuously till Kushinagar and reach as soon as possible.
By 4.30 we reached hotel called Rahi Pathik Niwas which was very near to highway, I was fearing that even today we would have to struggle in traffic since we were reaching early in a city but I was so relieved that this time we werent stuck in traffic at all like it happened in Lucknow.
Actually we read a Blog of Sachin Nair from where we got a hint of this government property (Infact he helped us assuring we will get rooms) where we can get a safe stay. The government property was huge with clean rooms and in just 900 bucks, additionally since it was highway connected we could easily make it to highway the next day and proceed our further journey.
In the blog we also read something about the temple where Lord Buddha is shown in a sleeping state, so we quickly got freshen up and left to see the temple which was just 5 mints walk from our hotel.
It was truly unexpected that the place where we were about to go would be so beautiful but there is no scarcity of cheap people in our India. When we were about to enter the Buddha temple there was 2 policemen, security kind of a people who makes entry into a register of every people entering the temple and they asked me the most frustrating, nerve wracking question anybody would have ever DARED to ask me.
First he asked :-
From where are you coming?
Then he asked – You guys are married? (Even if we are not married whats the deal)
-Do you have an ID proof (Of course we dont carry our marriage certificate everywhere, but yes we can show our license)
-Why have you came here all the way from Mumbai (So that I can answer all your nonsense questions)
-Why your license shows different surname Desai and Singh” ( Really!! Would you prefer a knockout or punch or both)
– If you guys are married, why no children’s”
And here is when I lost it – and I screamed, screamed till the time he dint apologized and begged me to be quiet and moreover he even got the guts to explain that its a normal interrogation we do from any tourist. Oh is it you ask every visitors about number of kids…Our Indian insecure mentality is never ever going to change. Sad but true
Sachin was busy in photography and I was making entry in register when this incident occurred. He immediately came to that policemen rescue because if he wouldn’t had come, I would have slapped that 2 bas**** making their cheeks swell big time…
When Sachin came to know about all this freaking incident, he was regretting to come to their rescue.. Hahaha
Finally after so many ungraceful incidents when we entered the place my mood winged from bad to good. There was something magical into the air of the temple.
When we entered inside the temple there was huge idol of Sleeping Lord Buddha, people out there says that “Kushinagar is the place where Buddhist believe Gautam Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death.
We were feeling so lucky and grateful to visit this place where such a great instance has taken place.
At the backside of the temple there was huge Golden Pagoda something similar to the one we have in Borivali Gorai (Mumbaikars might understand what I am addressing to)..We took a quick parikarma and came out to sit on a bench..
It was all dark when we finally thought that we got to leave the place and proceed to our hotel because we had a real big day tomorrow which we got to start very early. praying and wishing for our better journey ahead we left the place with heavy heart.
Obviously we were hungry after so many parikarmas 😛 so after exiting the temple we had a cup of tea and some yummy rasgullas from a local sweet shop..
We returned to our hotel and ordered for some food for our dinner from government canteen which was in our hotel premises it self. it was too cold to go outside and search for a better restaurant so on safer side we ordered for Jeera rice, dal fry, 2 papads, and some desi french fries to add up the spice to our restless taste buds..
We started snoring at around 8.30 sharp because next day its a long long day, 650 plus kms till our next destination…
Alarm was set…5.30 a.m it is…
And something Tragic things were awaiting us.
CHAPTER 5 – “Beautiful fear”
Day5 (Wed) – 23rd Nov 2016
Route – “Kushinagar – Gopalganj – Mujaffarpur – Darbhanga – Kishanganj – – Purnea – Siliguri 600 Kms
“Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men’s blood and will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble and logical plan never dies”.
Making plans and executing the same, is one story but making plans and everything goes exactly according to plan is an another story altogether. We planned for 600+ kms on our Day 5 where we were supposed to cross Bihar, UP and reach Siliguri directly from Kushinagar. Yes it was kind of an impossible task because the route was completely new for us and we were supposed to ride through Bihar which was a task in itself, moreover we were completely unaware that something tragic is about to happen. Here we go…
According to our plan we woke up at 5.30 AM sharp because leaving early was the only option to reach Siliguri atleast by 8.00 pm because we did not wanted to ride in Bihar highways during night.
The weather was very very cold, all the warm clothes were out and was functional now after 4 long days. It was still all dark when we connected to highway proceeding to our destination. To our horror the weather was so foggy that we could not even see the vehicle which was parked or in running state or whatsoever even 10 meters ahead of us. It was really a very boring task to follow any vehicle which was running ahead of us but that was the only option left so that we keep moving and cover miles. When it became really unbearable we took a halt for some garma garam tea because riding on 20 kmph in early morning when you are already feeling sleepy is not an easy task.
We met few truck drivers at nearby dhaba where we took a first tea break, they were obviously surprised to see me riding and here is when they asked the funniest question “From Where – AM-RI-KA?” We both laughed in such a way that our eye balls were popped out hahaha
We said “Hum log Bihari hu, India ke hi ha” haha(We are biharis, from India only) and then their award winning expressions “Dunu log alag alag bikewa pe kiha ja rahe ho, aur ee tho Maharastra ka gadi lagat ha” (Both of you on 2 different motorcycle, where are you going? And this bike is of Maharashtra) and this way we answered few of their funny question, Later we said that we are from Mumbai and they also taught us few bhojpuri words – Funny it was
We proceeded back to our bikes because fogs were not ready to get clear up at all. We were tensed because it was 8.30 in the morning and since morning we hardly rode for 50-60 kms.
Later around 10.00 the weather turned to be better and Sun god was clearly visible which gave us chance to ride on 100 + kmph continuously to cover up as much as distance as possible.
Not to forget the High way of Bihar was Superbly SUPER but the sad part was there was sudden big deep potholes even on fast lane which force you to dump into it because when you are on 100 kmph how much brake would you be able to apply?
We were on good speed and also we covered good kilometers because around 2.00 pm we covered almost 400 kms which wasn’t bad at all.
We carried few bananas and apples and oranges and dry fruits and biscuits and……many things with us in fact even Sachin was mentally Prepared ki “AAJ Khana NAHE milne wala” (“No Food Today”).
So far Bihar treated us really very well with just few egoistic Bolero and TATA Sumo Drivers who were hurt whenever we overtook them. We made sure we don’t overtake them but in some cases we had to overtake, just be sure that you fly away like a Rocket so that they cannot rashly overtake you again. <Zip-Zap-Zoom>
It was 3.00 pm in the evening and “Siliguri” was just 250 kms more around Kishanganj, we were relaxed that we would easily make it to Siliguri least by 8.00 pm but we have never ever got anything in our life so easily.
We took a halt to have some bananas and dry fruits because it was too monotonous to ride on straight smooth roads, I was relaxing my back on roads and Meantime Sachin was clicking the pics. Suddenly Sachin’s tensed voice made me jump out of my sleep. He said that my bike Rim has bend and the air pressure looks less in the rear tyre.
He asked me to recollect where this tragedy would have occurred and I clearly remember it was the spot where Sachin was riding ahead of me and we were on 110 plus kmph, suddenly after very smooth buttery road there was just one huge and deep pothole on the fast lane where I wasn’t able to stop my bike and there was no other way then to collide into it, Sachin somehow saved himself but till the time I could have realized I was already in it.. my bike went in such a manner which impacted my right hand side rim, if it would have gone straight into the dump it wouldn’t have impacted my rim, but a serious Thanks to Jarvis to save me otherwise I was so imbalanced that I thought I would have bumped into a divider or crashed or something….
Now the biggest Question how do we fix this? Sachin called his friend Bhojraj who also looks out for our bikes wellbeing; he suggested us to put 110 or 100/17 size Tube inside our tubeless tyre which would help us to atleast complete our journey further
Day 5 and Rim bend!! Oh God I was so disheartened, discouraged but we got to find a way out.
We were somewhere near Kishnaganj and luckily located a mechanic. we asked him about the tube which would fit 140 sized CBR’s tyre, bhojraj told us that it would easily fit in CBR 250 but the mechanic said that he does not have 120 sized tube but the lesser mm tube would also not create problem. The mechanic was such an As***** when we told him the story about how all this happened he started advising that “You should ride slow how can it go into pothole, I will put the tube but only god can save you”
In short that idiot was trying to say that I should have rode on 50kmph on butter smooth highway and I got a dream that there is some bad pothole in the first lane, and what god will save you, Can’t you fix the thing, who is mechanic? I mean seriously had he lost it?….
I was so angry that I asked him to step away from Jarvis and better shut down your shop because even god can’t help you.
Sachin and I left from that place immediately to reach Kishnaganj which was another 20 kms from the spot. Enquiring and struggling when we entered the market of Kishnaganj, the road was so smaller in size widthwise with traffic flowing from both sides, so chaotic and full of rush made my controlled tears to flow out. Moreover we were unable to find the 120/17 tube which would fit in CBR tyre (somewhat). We had to compromise on Apache RTR’s tube which would work as an alternative.
Thanks to local guy who helped us to locate the shop and get the tube. Another task was to find an eligible person who can remove the rear tyre tactfully, luckily we found one mechanic, but he wasn’t skilled to fit in the tube in tubeless tyre, Moreover he didn’t even knew how to remove the tyre from Rim. So we found a different mechanic who was skilled in puncture stuffs, he effortlessly removed the tyre from rim, properly fitted the tube, then we took the tyre back to previous mechanic who fixed up the tyre back to bike making it able, up and running.
Damn running from one mechanic to another and so on we were too tired but the issue of our bike was rectified, thanking the people who helped us we resumed our ride, fighting the hassle we made our way to highway (the open road) and took a deep breathe.
The place “Bihar” where we wanted no problems, especially “Kishnaganj” the place about which we heard numerous unsafe things from n number of people, exactly at the same place all these incident occurred and everybody was so helpful and kind…different people have different views..
We thought that we are so much on track and that we would reach Siliguri by 7.00 etc etc but… Man proposes, God Disposes
It was all sun set when we resumed our ride and Sachin was completely exhausted because of no food. We decided that it’s of no use rushing now since it was already dark so stopping somewhere and filling up our stomach was the only wise decision we thought to take.
We did not wanted to stop at any Hotel or Dhaba because we were done for the day <No more unexpected tragedies needed> We stopped at nearby chai tapri (Tea Corner) on the junction of Purnea from where we were supposed to take a left turn to reach siliguri, where we also saw some eggs, bread and bajiyas eatables. We were literally having our food like poor people (Sweet fruity Bread, Egg, bajiyas, 3 cups ginger tea) we ate so much and was so satisfied after having everything especially the refreshing tea made us all charged up to ride for more 200 kms and reach Siliguri.
<FOOD it is an essential part of human life, whoever think that skipping food can make them active or alert or slim or whatsoever ….My friend you are Wrong!!)
Initially we were bit skeptical to ride in dusk but after confirming from few of our friends about the safety and all we decided to ride ahead since everybody said that it’s a safe route…
When we resumed our ride after eating we were so tensed and worried of riding on unknown route of Bihar where initially we decided not to ride during nights and now we were in such a situation that we had to take such risky decision which we never planned to. So is in life sometimes you have to do things which you never planned of but what’s the fun of such things where everything goes according to plan…Unplanned things are more thrilling and exciting…Like that night of Bihar…
We were so fearful and thrilled and cautious that after every 15 minutes Sachin used to ask me to stop and then check my rear tyre and then we used to proceed. In fact I was so much in terror that even the slightest pot hole made my blood flow faster throughout my body. Because if anything would have gone wrong that night we would have got no help from anywhere.
Around 10.30 we reached Siliguri SAFELY!! Ordered Chicken masala, Jeera Rice and then the most awaited heavenly sleep.
The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude about the problem. Never panic, Never get disheartened every thing happens for a reason to make you more proficient, Everything is a Learning and after so many rides this is one thing which we can proudly say that no matter whatever problems we face during rides, we do not PANIC and we make sure we find a solution and come out of the problems, holding and supporting each other
Not everyday is a good day, Live anyway
Mountains the wait is OVER !! We are about to see each other !! Darjeeling it is..
CHAPTER 6 – DAY 6
Day6 (Thursday) 24th Nov 2016
Route – Siliguri – Pankhabari – Ghum – Darjeeling (65 kms)
Stay : Pahari Soul
A new day is always so refreshing and bright that you normally tend to forget how horrifying your yesterday was
The morning in Siliguri was full of anxiety because finally it was the day when we were about to start our journey towards mountains for which we were riding for 5 long days.
We quickly got ready and came downstairs to grab some yummy paranthas and hot coffee. Sachin was into some hotel formalities, Till the time I loaded up the saddle bags. The Hotel where we stayed was good, neat and reasonable which we booked via Make my Trip.
We planned to leave early from Siliguri so that we could reach Darjeeling early and do some sightseeing. Siliguri treated us with some real bad traffic until we entered the ghats of Darjeeling. I was wondering what scenario it would had been, if we would have reached Siliguri earlier yesterday. (Lucknow part recollected)
The ghats of Darjeeling was bit risky because of slippery railway tracks but you will do it good if you ride tactfully. The weather started turning icier as we were proceeding upwards, overall Darjeeling was situated at 6000 FT. above the sea level.
By 3.30 we reached our hotel named PAHARI SOUL where we did a pre booking, it was a good home stay away from city hassle. Suddenly after a normal weather we were put into a freezing refrigerator. Obviously our body werent used to freezing temperature which would take few more days to get immune.
We checked in our hotel and without even refreshing up we left to grab some lunch in a nearby restaurant where they served some yummy Veg Momos, Noodles and some kadak Darjeeling tea. We came back to our hotel and quickly got ready for some sightseeing. It was so damn cold that even dipping an inch of your finger in water was a hard task.
Our hotel was bit far from main market, Darjeeling station was some 10 kms away from our hotel. We reached Darjeeling station, obviously some lovely photography was must. In fact the day when I watched Barfi Movie since then I was so fond to see Darjeeling and finally it was the day when we were here having our time
We actually wanted to go to mall road but we landed somewhere else called Chaurasta and oh boy what a lovely and happening place it was. I would like to give a long elaboration of this place..please bear with me
It was one such place where there was no vehicles allowed at all. There was an entry gate where you have to park your vehicle and enter inside. It was huge place with benches placed in the corners of the road, people walking and chilling, tea vendors serving you hot Darjeeling tea, lots of good restaurants to serve your taste buds, huge stage kinda thing where the gigantic projector were hanged which was showing some very interesting adventurous stuffs with lovely light music all around which made the place more happening and interesting.
We sat there for an hour without regretting to go to Mall road which we thought to do during our return leg so we came back to our hotel because next day we planned to enter Sikkim (Gangtok) and work on our permit stuffs.
When we entered our hotel without any expectancy we got a grand welcome from all the hotel staffs especially the Hotel manager whose name was Amrit played a lovely guitar and sang for us. Actually they were very overwhelmed and happy to see us riding to Darjeeling all the way from Mumbai on two different Bikes. Amrit told us number of times that they have seen many people coming in there hotel from a motorcycle but that they have never seen anybody like us as a husband and wife who are commuting on 2 different bikes.
The owner of hotel also welcomed us and joined in to cheer up the guy who was playing and singing lovely songs for us. We were so overwhelmed by there every word and lovely gesture and what a wonderful time we had listening and dancing to all lovely song sang by the gentlemen what an amazing guitarist he is
We came back to our room since we were frozen up too badly dancing over the rooftop. We went inside the blanket promising each other to wake up and go for dinner in 30 minutes because shops and restaurants in Darjeeling shuts up by 8.30 pm sharp.
We just slept for a while and when we woke we saw that it was 9.15 PM the hotel guys woke us up to go and grab some food. We went downstairs and saw a restaurant open where we had our lunch initially.
They served us some Aloo Tomato vegetable, dal, chapatti and some rice and papad. The food was so filling in the cold weather. (Thandi mein bhook bahut lagti ha )
By the time we came back, it was so so so freezing cold that we sneaked inside the blanket to snatch some sleep. Damn we were numb, Thank god we had bed heater to save our bones.
Overall a content full and relaxing day Day 7 Sikkim It is !! FINALLY!!
CHAPTER 7 – “DAY 7”
Day 7 (Friday) – 25th Nov 2016
Route – “Darjeeling – Ghum – Kalimpong – Rangpo – Ranipool – Gangtok (100Kms)
Stay : Hotel Fortuna Delight(900 rupees Booked via MMT)
And the epic day is here “The 25th November” when One of the most important ride was about to get started. Since the day we were in planning phase my mom was always excited about Sikkim and she always asked – you guys travelling to Sikkim it is one of the most beautiful place in INDIA, she also shared all her stories when she visited Sikkim 10 -11 years back and how enthusiastically she was saying the every bit of her journey.
Finally it was the day when we were about to ride ahead and enter “Sikkim and reach Gangtok”. That morning we woke up early and by early I mean 8.30 am, infact waking up even around 8.30 is a tough task in a Freezing weather. We concluded with our breakfast (bread, Cheese omelets, Coffee) and waving good bye to all amazing people of Pahadi Soul we took a leave from Darjeeling
It is too obvious to say that roads to Gangtok was completely ghat section with narrow roads and too many traffic. But the beautiful view around the corners was so mesmerizing that we were enjoying all the adrenaline going inside us.
The beautiful blue Teesta river followed us throughout our journey. We stopped at few places to click photos of lush greenery which was covering us from all the sides.
The most adorable thing which I would like to share is the drivers in North east – They don’t honk unnecessarily No matter what, from truck drivers to tempo drivers to Audi/BMW drivers every single being. If somebody is in rush they will give a right indicator, stop their vehicle and ask others to pass on.
They are full of patience with no egos. Moreover they are so understanding and well educated about driving skill that they very well know that they are driving 4 wheelers which takes more time and judgment on roads in comparison with 2 wheelers and in this case they grant 2 wheelers the 1st priority and allow them to go ahead because even they understand that why bikes should slow down because of huge vehicle. I mean we were so impressed by this that end of day we were tired of giving them a thumbs up!!
Racing on the sexy curves of Sikkim we came across a valley where many vehicles were parked. When we climbed few steps upwards to view what other people were viewing we were stunned to see beautiful Teesta river from some 200 to 300 Mtrs height. The view was truly spectacular, so clicking some lovely shots was undisputable. While leaving from the spot, I was stunned to see some shops hawking beer pints along with sprite, limca etc etc, infact you can’t even call it shops, it was like small shops on roads with roof covering their head. North-East truly has a free culture. <Imagine if these things happening in metro cities like Mumbai > No no we don’t drink and drive 😛
Riding for some more kms we were welcomed by the giant gate, the gate was beautifully carved with golden borders and SIKKIM was more beautifully carved on the gate.
Some officers were doing the basic check of all the vehicles (passengers + Drivers) passing the Sikkim gate like their identity proof etc. Seeing us excited and clicking and posing for photographs they didn’t ask for our documents and allowed us in. They would be seeing loads of such crazy animals crossing that gate, might be because of that they thought of not checking us.
We entered the giant gate and rode for some more 40 kms taking loads of break in fact we were forced to halt at many places because of mesmerizing beauty of Sikkim and lovely teesta river which was following us throughout our journey till Gangtok. We had cakes sitting beside the lovely river and appreciating its beauty. We were also encountered with our 1st landslide “WELCOME TO SIKKIM GUYS” unexpected weather, landslides, gravels and everything will be tackled now, but lucky we bikers are who can easily make their way through the landslides and move ahead with little efforts. As we were proceeding we saw lots of cars in queue waiting for things to get clear and move ahead.
We stopped at couple of more places since we were too much enjoying the feel of being in mountains moreover it was just 100 plus kms of ride today..
We always book a hotel which is very much away from city hassle, Quiet, and so we booked Hotel Delight fortuna which was something 10 kms outskirts of Gangtok city.
We checked into our hotel and to our surprise the room was lovely with huge balcony which had wonderful view to feed our eyes just in 900 bucks. It was our 6th day and till now it was our cheapest hotel with beautiful ambience.
We stood in our balcony looking at the sunset and thanking almighty and our bikes to allow us for showing so much gorgeousness that exist in our own Motherearth
We quickly took off all our riding gears and became a decent tourist from a Counter Strike Players wearing jeans and Tshirts we moved off to view Gangtok Bazar.
As we went downstairs the hotel guys were too curious and interested to know about our story of riding from Mumbai to Gangtok on 2 different vehicle since we were in a rush we just left them with their curiosity promising them to be back and help with all their questions.
We took a Sachin’s bike till Gangtok bazar, on the way we also viewed a micro mini waterfall..haha where different sports were conducted like rock climbing and valley crossing etc etc it was too hilarious to see that because there was nothing called adrenaline in those adventures which they were conducting but good for people who had never done it.
We clicked couple of shots and proceeded. We also treated our taste buds with Gangtok ka special chat item which was so spicy that our ears started emitting fire when we asked about the spicy stuff the lady said “itni thand mein rehna ha tho teekha khana padega” <if you want to survive the cold you have to eat loads of spicy food> We Mumbaikars damn we are not used to have such spicy ingredient inside our stomach.
We reached Gangtok market (MG Road) and again it was as usual very happening like Darjeeling market “Chaurasta” or “Mall Road” the best thing no vehicles allowed. We were just roaming around the market when we saw a Xerox shop and to enquire about what time it gets open since we might require the shop for photo copying our documents. We casually entered the shop and asked the person about the shop opening time. The shopkeeper questioned us few things because he easily understood that we are not from Gangtok and when he understood that we are here for permits and riding 2 different motorcycle he was too impressed in fact he also said that I am the 1st lady riding to “Gangtok” .
We answered few of his questions and there is when he gave us one of the most heart breaking shock, basically we were aware about this formerly since our friends also told us about it.
The shopkeeper said that we would require a “LETTER OF AUTHORISATION” if the motorcycle is on someone else’s name. As I mentioned before in prologue section that something went wrong with the transfer thing and so we could not do the bike transfer formalities.
We were aware that we need a “Letter of Authorization” but we were not aware with the fact that we need it on stamp paper with Notary done on it. The shopkeeper who were explaining us about the documentation thing also said that home ministry people are very stringent about documentation and in case if you do not carry even 1 document they do not compromise with it and do not issue permit.
In short The notary thing was must!!!
We did carry the authorization letter but it was written on a plane white paper with the previous owner’s signature but now the biggest Question and problem was “How do we get the Notary stuff and the stamp paper thing sorted” Moreover the stamp paper should have the notary of same place where your motorcycle belongs i.e notary needs to be done in Mumbai. We asked few more queries to the shopkeeper who was also the agent who does permit work for those who do not want to waste their time and energy after dropping in Gangtok (well we did not even knew about this..)
We stepped out of the shop and was very shocked to listen all these procedures. Before travelling to North east we even tried reading it in few blogs but everywhere we got the incomplete information. Infact even when we asked the hotel guys where we were staying in Gangtok gave us very less and incomplete information about the permits. 10 different people had 100 different things and information’s to share about permits documentation’s we were so so confused about what to do and what not to do. Somehow I thought the person in Xerox center was giving us the correct information but we are human beings when we hear 100 different things from so many different people how do we trust him.
When your life is in disguise the 1st number which you dial in your phone is either of Mom or Dad or your close friends. I called my Dad and asked him to visit some advocate and get the Notary thing done on Letter of Authorization. He quickly left his office and travelled to the 1st advocate to get the things done. Unluckily the senior advocate who was supposed to sign on stamp paper and do notary wasn’t available and would not be available for next 2-3 days, then he went to another advocate and then another and then another. At last he called me and said that the notary will be done but not before tomorrow evening, that means Friday was already finished, the home ministry offices closes by 5.00 PM in that case Saturday was also wasted and Sunday the office remains closed…So the permits procedures could be done on Monday directly…..F***** SERIOUSLY !!!
I asked my daddy to hold up until we try calling and asking some of the advocates we personally know. By no means could we afford to waste our 3 days BY NO MEANS!!
We called an advocate but he declined to do so because he said that he needed a concerned person present in front of him because he cannot take a risk <well he was correct> when we said that the owner of vehicle can call you and talk over the phone because he cannot travel, he declined <Now I felt like slapping him>
Suddenly the Gangtok market which appeared to be so happening place to us turned into the one of ugliest place on planet earth because we were sitting in middle of market and struggling to get the thing which was impossible to get because we were 1500 kms away from our home. It wasn’t the thing to blame the place but it usually tend to happen that when your mood and life is not running smooth you will hate every piece near you no matter how beautiful it is !
It was so cold that we were literally shivering and so we decided to move back to our room and plot the remaining script.
We came back to our hotel and ordered some French fries and chicken chilly. There was no other way then to have a sip of rum to overcome the dropping temperature. Sachin called few of his friends and asked if anything could be done.
I asked Sachin to leave everything and relax – Let’s see what my destiny has to say because we were completely helpless and when you really can’t do anything you should leave everything and just relax. Leaving on god and doing nothing is wrong but when you really can’t do anything then at that time its only heaven who can pull you out from a situation
Yes riding to “Zuluk” was my dream and today after 6 days when we have reached till Gangtok returning back was not even an OPTION.
It was 8.30 in the evening we closed our eyes to mediate and relax our mind from all the stress we were going through and later when we came into our senses it was 12.30 am…DAMN did we fell asleep?
We did not had our dinner and we did not wanted to repeat “Khardung LA” episode ever again in our life, so we called reception and asked the hotel guy if he can serve us something to eat just the basic dal rice would also do. Hopelessly hanging up the phone Sachin asked me to have some biscuits and sleep.
15 minutes later the doorbell echoed making us jump out of our cozy blanket when Sachin unlocked the door our room was filled with heavenly aroma of dal tadka , Jeera rice and papad.
Thanks to Hotel delight fortuna staff…
The permit thought encircled me again but I shooked it off my head and continued with my peaceful sleep. Something’s should be just left on time to decide.
WILL OUR DREAM TO RIDE ON ZULUK LOOP SHATTERED OR CONCLUDED? Day 8 STRUGGLE cont………
CHAPTER 8 – “DAY 8”
“Rest day – “No wasteDay” – Permit process
Day8 (Sat) – 26th Nov 2016
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting but still DREAMING, Dreaming to turn my most awaited dreams into reality. But somehow I wasn’t able to keep hold on my dreams and somebodies screaming “Hold fast on your dreams for if dreams die, your hope towards life would die”
“Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long? As there’s a dream, there is hope, and as long? As there is hope, there is joy in living.”
When I unzipped my eyes, I was still inside my blanket, Sachin beside me snoring, I peeked to see the time, it was 7.30 in the morning. Aahhhh what a bad dream to start your day with…I am sure that somebody who was screaming and saying to keep hold on your dreams would be none other than “Sachin” No matter what happens but I am sure one person would always be there for me. I smiled and went towards the balcony where I stood for few minutes thinking about the permits and what if we don’t get one?
Completing the basic routine we went downstairs to grab some breakfast and from there we were supposed to go directly to home ministry office. We filled up the form with our basic details which was provided to us from the person at Xerox center whom we met at Gangtok Market, attaching all the documents, we Wroomed our bikes to the desired location.
When we reached home ministry office, we were asked to make a pass and wear an identity card and then we were allowed to step in the office.
My heart beats were thumping so hard that for a moment I thought that it will pop out and ask me to calm down. Consoling myself that everything is going to be ok we entered in the office.
After asking and enquiring we reached a cabin and met the concerned person who were supposed to process our permits.
First Sachin gave his document where he took 15 minutes to scrutinize all the documents and then he asked for my document, my heart beats was about to stop when he said everything looks ok but the insurance copy do not look legitimate, it doesn’t have the logo of the insurance company and something something which I did not even hear because at that time I was busy thinking that why he did not say anything about authorization letter which is written in a normal sheet? Is it legitimate according to him?
In spite of doing further argument we called our friend “Eshan” who did our bike insurance formalities and asked him to mail a proper insurance copy with proper logo. He immediately mailed us the document and now another task was to get the printout of it.
When we went to the same person and asked him to get the printout which is in our mailbox, he clearly denied and asked us to walk out till the shop and get the printout since they cannot provide any such help. We came out of his cabin and sat on the bench thinking now how far we would have to go to just get a printout and already we have so less time with us – what if the home department closes today?
As we were sitting on the bench there was this person’s cabin named “Dilip Kumar”. I knocked the door and went inside requesting him to help us with the printout because we are new and don’t know how far we would have to go to get a printout. Listening to us very patiently he agreed to help us. If there are bad people around you, there are also good people, you just need to understand the good amongst the bunch.
Collecting the printout we went back to the person, he started seeing all the documents again and my heart beats in similar situation as before and now comes the award winning question – He saw RC book and he asked whose name is this on RC book? Where is authorization letter? Everything was going exactly according to the script which my mind was visualizing since long. And then he said that he cannot process the permit because we do not have the proper authorization letter. As usual we begged him like poor to get the permits done. He said that he would not be able to help us in any ways and asked us to take the case to the higher authorities.
When we went inside the cabin a beautiful lady was sitting calmly asking us what’s the matter? We explained her everything about our situation, without even thinking and understanding a bit about my condition she asked us to get the notary stuff done otherwise by no means they can provide us permits.
I don’t know why and how, but I literally started crying like a small kid, have you ever realized how it feels when you see your dream breaking up brick by brick in front of your own naked eyes…IT HURTS BELIEVE ME…
She was consoling me that you guys are getting permit for 1 bike so don’t be disheartened and carry on with your ride on a similar bike. I started crying more loudly in fact I wanted to scream and say it loud that I did not rode my bike till here to hear this kind of shit. We tried every possible ways to beg and get the permits but she wasn’t ready to listen anything. Moreover it wasn’t her mistake because there were lot of higher authorities involved above her. She even had a word with her boss about our situation but “NOTARY” was needed. In short they wanted their documentation to be complete by hook or by crook.
We came out of the home ministry office teary and sad with blank mind of what to do next. It’s very painful when you see your efforts wasted, so many bad thoughts surrounded my mind – that’s what if we have to go back from Gangtok without riding on Zuluk loops? What if notary thing is not done till 2.00 because ministry offices closes by 4.00?
We called again our friend “Eshan” and asked him if he could help us with the notary stuff, he is the same person who also fixed the luggage box and panniers on Sachin’s bike and who also did the insurance for our bikes. He said that he would try and call back, meantime I also called one of my close friend whose father is also a builder and they normally keep meeting advocates for their day today documentation.
We came upstairs, packed our luggage, wore our riding gears and completed the checkout formalities because I don’t know somehow we were very hopeful. No matter what, we are going up there in mountains. We sat at hotel reception waiting for somebody to call and give us a good news of the notary stuffs because we called 4-5 people for the same task and to help us in this time of disguise.
It was clocking 12.30 P.M then 12.45….1.00……1.15…..1.30…..1.45…..F**** by every passing time I was seeing my dream breaking into minute pieces. We buzzed Eshaan at least thousand times to ask him if the things were going up or not. Thank you gentlemen for picking up our call every time whenever we called otherwise most of people loses there calm if somebody keeps calling them every second.
Finally at around 2.30 our phone rang and we got to hear the thing for which we were waiting for hell long. Eshaan called us and said that the work has been done and that he mailed the document which can be printed out. Go, Run, complete your documentation and get the permit is what he said…
We pounced on hotel manager and asked him to help us with the print out thing. A serious thanks to all the hotel staffs who helped us in our hard times and got us everything whatever whenever asked. The manager helped us to get all the required printouts. We already loaded our bike with the stuffs so we just left from the hotel and rushed to the home minister office which was about to get closed in next 45 minutes.
When we rushed inside the office the higher authority person who was supposed to sign on our permits was attending a meeting, in fact we were grateful to know that he asked about us multiple times to the officers that when are we going to come. <might be he was too positive about our visit again :-)> we sat there for 45 minutes when he finally came out and smiled on us. He congratulated us to get all the documents and all the best for our further ride, signing our permits he went back to his meeting.
When we were sitting on the bench waiting for the person to sign on our permits. The receptionist who gave us the identity card and allowed us to enter inside the office smiled to me and said “someone was crying in the morning” hahaha <lovely lady she was> Damn everybody came to know about us that there is this crazy insane couple who are riding from Mumbai and crying for permit now : D just to ride on some stupid loops <What kind of passion is this : D>
When we finally got the signed document, I wept again but this time it was due to happiness and excitement of winning the battle and moving on – giving up is never the answer of any of your questions SO BETTER DONT GIVE UP and try until you achieve it.
Well our day was wasted but we were happy that we are finally going to ride on our dream loops tomorrow. Actually after receiving the permits we were supposed to go to another office where we have to show our permits and get the passes to ride further which got closed by 4.00 PM so waiting and controlling our emotions until tomorrow was only the options left with us.
We booked the same hotel Via MMT and went back to hotel with happy, smiling faces, checked in and rested our spine which was severely in pain due to continuous running since morning. Your back and head never hurts when you ride for 700 kms but little stress and your mind goes on toss. This is what stress does to you and your body.
We closed our eyes and thanked almighty to heal everything. Later I called my Mom, Dad and few friends who were also trying to get us the document, I called everybody and gave them all the wonderful news…
“DON’T FORGET THAT YOU ARE HUMAN, ITS OKAY TO HAVE A MELTDOWN, JUST DON’T UNPACK AND LIVE THERE. CRY IT OUT AND MAKE THINGS HAPPEN IN YOUR FAVOUR” that’s exactly what we did…
ZULUK we are coming….WUHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU….But who knows the bad luck is gonna follow us for few more miles.
For detailed permit formalities you can visit below video on our YouTube channel and help yourselves
For permit procedures please click the below link
CHAPTER 9 – “DAY 9”
Day 9 (Sunday) – 27th Nov 2016
Route – Gangtok – Tsongmo Lake – Nathu La(Only checkpost) – Gnathang Valley – Thambi View Point – Zuluk
Kms – 100 kms
We were so excited about getting the permits that we struggled big time to get the proper sleep last night. We were literally waiting for sun to rise so that we start our Zuluk ride ASAP.
In the morning when we woke up we were excited, nervous, happy, anxious all those feelings which you get when your dreams are about to get accomplished. Always choose such thoughts that give you the emotions of being alive and excited about life. We were happy to find that one thing which seriously gave us so much flow of excitements.
I just recollected the last morning and all the negative thoughts I woke up with and when the permit thing was far away from us and today’s morning, there was so much difference between these 2 mornings.
If you always attach positive emotions to the things you want, and never attach negative emotions to the things you dream and desire for, then one day it will invariably come your way. Wuhuuuu it was the lovely positive filled morning.
We grabbed our breakfast, loaded our bikes, thanked the hotel staffs for all their help and Wroomed our bikes leaving some dust in the air
By 8.30 we reached the office where we were supposed to show our permits and get the passes done. It was highly important to reach that office before 10 because then the officials go and sit in some other office which was far away from Gangtok city and today we were in no mood to waste any of our valuable time.
The office was crowded with all the tourist vehicle folks fighting for permits. Thanks to the officer who considered our application 1st and made our passes quickly. He asked us to take few Xerox copies because we would require to submit those in multiple check post on the way to Zuluk.
Finally after all the formalities we proceeded towards our dream. Riding for some 20 kms we came across 1st check post and my heart beat started thumping again…haha I don’t know why but I was still under terror that whether we will be allowed in <So negative I was> the officials started checking our permits, passes and all related documents and then he said that “why just one pass? Where is the pass for other bike?” Sachin answered to the officer that the person made a single pass for both the bikes and mentioned the name of both the riders since we were riding together. He started arguing saying that we need 2 passes this is invalid.
Now I lost my patience and I shouted – “Sir, listen to me very carefully, you have to allow us in because we have wasted a day yesterday because of all these formalities and we don’t want to visit the office again riding 20 kms to and fro and get you this piece of paper and talk respectfully? What do you mean ki Miya, biwi ho toh ek bike par chalo, doh bike kiu chayiye <if you are husband wife travel on similar bike why do you need a different bike for you> if people like you can think this way what would we expect from other people <Sad but true this is the kind of people and mentality we face in INDIA <Bitter truth>.
He gave our documents back and fires and dialogue saying “if you guys are genuine mortals your ride would be a successful one otherwise “apke sapne chakna chur ho jayege <your dream will get shattered> we were riding from Mumbai to Gangtok on motorcycle to hear this enhanced level of F**** BULLSHIT….Wow.
I snatched our remaining documents from him and proceeded our ride with all the bad and sad thoughts said by him. But just within few minutes my mind and mood was changed because we were welcomed with mesmerizing mountains and dramatic clouds everywhere, roads started getting narrower and narrower and it was the happy realization that we were finally and successfully proceeding towards our dream destination. Bas babaji ab koi problem na ho <please god let us sail smooth now. No more hard waves >
Riding for few more kilometers the roads started disappearing and we were welcomed with the bad and stony roads <What a strange kind of fun it is to ride on such roads> We stopped to click some lovely memories near the flying, colourful prayer flags and of course to drink some water because we were at 10000 Ft height above the sea level. So many times my eyes automatically got filled up, seriously when you ride on those terrains you understand how emotional you actually are
Our 1st stop was beautiful Changu lake also known as Tsongmo Lake where we stopped for some photography and then we rode till Baba mandir which was made in remembrance of a soldier who lost his life serving for our country and people have believe his spirit protects every soldier in the inhospitable high altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas. As with most saints, the Baba is said to also grant favors presumably to those who revere and worship him. We sat there for few minutes and proceeded as we had long long way to conclude ahead.
It was so beautiful all around, I have never seen so beautiful clouds ever in my life. Why do we travel overseas to see the beauty of nature? Why don’t we travel at such places? Why it has become a status symbol that I visited Vegas, Mauritius, US and what not…increase tourism of our country guys and then travel overseas wherever you want, travel every corner of India 1st and you will be mesmerized by the beauty it has got to serve your eyes. <It’s my personal opinion, please do not get offended by my words>
As we were proceeding upwards the temperature started dropping tremendously. Suddenly the clouds which we were seeing from far away and enjoying, started covering us from every sides and weather started turning freezing cold and foggy. By foggy I mean REAL BAD FOGS. I wasn’t able to even keep track of Sachin who was riding ahead of me. Heartfelt thanks to Bluetooth device who kept us connected where we were unable to view anything even 500 mtrs ahead of us.
We mutually decided to stop wherever we find a shelter because riding in such a heavy fogs and moreover on Ghats is suicidal. Sachin located a place in Gnathang Valley which was completely covered in fogs, I don’t understand how do he find such places because when I saw I wasn’t able to find anything in fact even the hotel which he located wasn’t visible to me at all. We entered the hotel and asked the ladies to serve us something because it was lunch time and obviously we were too hungry.
They served us some coffee and garma garam egg noodles, believe me it’s a bliss to have hot Maggie in such weather. Our appetite was at rest after finishing the bowlful Maggie. We rested there for some more time, we purchased a Sikkim magnet for our refrigerator because we were sure that going forward we would not get much time to do any shopping’s and we kinda like to buy magnets for our fridge wherever we travel
We decided to take a leave because it was 3.00 in the afternoon and sun was about to set. We promised each other to be very careful because the cliff wasn’t visible at all due to fog and the roads were too dangerous to ride on.
Sachin was ahead of me riding slowly steadily carefully when suddenly his rear trye gave a bad skid. I was terrified seeing him when he alarmed me of piles of small stones scattered all over the roads. The things were turning real scary now.
Again I don’t understand how Sachin discover every possible minute things no matter how badly and deeply it is covered in fogs. Somehow he located the board of “Thambi view Point” from where the Zuluk loops looks beautiful with all its loops aligned one after another. We were shattered after seeing the fogs covering the complete Zuluk loops without allowing us to view anything but the white dusty fogs
We sat there adamantly that mountains you have to reveal us the beauty of loops and we are not going to move from here without seeing it. We sat there for an hour when we finally realized that Zuluk is testing our patience and its going to keep us unsatisfied for some more time.
We had a cup of coffee at the nearby shop where we had a small conversation with coffee shopkeeper who asked us to stay in Zuluk village which was more 10-15 kms. We started our decline back again and decided to stay in Zuluk and ride back tomorrow morning and visit Zuluk again and see the loops. We were stubborn enough and was in no mood to go back with bad memory of not seeing our dream loops.
We rode for 15 kms more to reach Zuluk village we sang few songs which broke the monotony of not able to see anything due to bad fogs. Soon we were able to see the village and the home stay option. The home stay was too expensive we had to reject few proposals and proceed ahead without any knowledge of what we would face next.
Another task was searching a reasonable home stay for us but due to heavy fogs we were unable to locate anything. Somehow I managed to see a lady in a shop to whom we enquired about the home stay option and she said that she has her own home to serve us. She quoted 800 per person including the dinner (Rice + Chicken) but again this was way too high amount to pay so we bargained a bit and then we paid 800 for 2 person and immediately took a shelter under the roof.
Another thing you have to keep in mind while riding is you have to adjust and stay wherever the situation permits. Always it’s not going to happen to get a wonderful stay and lovely rooms, sometimes you have to adjust with just 4 walls and roof above your head
The temperature was dropping and dipping making the cold unbearable. The ladies served us some hot chai and kanda bajiyas(Onion pakodas) to fight the freezing temperature.
Sachin had to take tablets because he was facing unbearable head ache may be it was due to high altitude sickness. Concluding our day with not so good dinner and not so fulfilling, satisfactory day we went to catch up some sleep.
The bed was so big to accommodate 2 fat creatures that next morning when I woke up I was suffering with unbearable neck pain
Zuluk we are not going to spare you, we are coming AGAIN….
To be cont……..
CHAPTER 10 – DAY 10
“The Pool Of Tears”
Day 10 (Monday) 28th Nov 2016
Route Zuluk Village Zuluk Thambi view point Lingtam – Ravangla Pelling (200 kms)
It was such a frizzy weather that waking up in morning around 6.00 am was a tough task to achieve but since we have a long day today we somehow managed to wake up and dress up. You know whats the worst part of such minus temperature is brushing your teeth <Damn!! I hate it from bottom of my heart> as I dipped my fingers in water to splash some water on my face. My fingers and every part of my face turned numb and red in color as if somebody has punched me real hard right on my cheeks.
Another thing is even if you are not trapped with cough and cold, your nose will automatically turn watery and throat would start behaving as if you are a TB patient. In short waking up at 6.00 and gearing up was insanely difficult.
Somehow by 7.00 we were all set and ready to view Zuluk as we stepped out, the roads were completely wet because it poured heavily last night. We loaded the saddle bag, waved good bye to lovely ladies and left to meet our dream.
As we started the incline, I started feeling some kind of nausea I dont know what was wrong but I wanted to puke. High altitude, less water intake, freezing weather, height phobia, no breakfast everything started to show up its sign on me one by one. I wanted to stop but I thought not to inform anything to Sachin and better not stop because if we would have stopped at one particular place I wouldnt have gathered strength to resume the ride. Damn the pain was unbearable making my body weaker and weaker, for a moment I thought I cannot see anything and was about to collapse but Sachin was continuously talking over the Bluetooth that really helped me to be up and going. He understood that something is not good with me because I wasnt talking much today. He asked to take a stop and drink some water. But I decided not to stop until we reach Thambi View Point
The pain was unbearable some strange kinda problem I was facing, maybe I wouldnt be able to explain it now but my eyes turned red and unstoppable water started flowing and I just wanted to sit in the corner and relax when Sachins voice made me realize that we have reached the point and thanks to our good luck that the weather was clear.
I parked my bike in the corner and without taking down the side stand I collapsed in the ground and my bike dropped over me. Sachin somehow picked up the bike and then me. He quickly got the hot water which we filled in our thermos before starting our journey <thanks to ladies who filled the hot liquid for us> I drank some water and had few slices of vanilla cake <thank god we had something to eat>, I drank some more water and started feeling bit better, I asked Sachin to go and proceed with his photography J because he was too curious and happy to view Zuluk.
The place for which we were so impatient and wanted to visit ASAP and see so desperately, today I was in such a situation where I was not able to even get up and view that place. I sat there numb for some 20 minutes and then finally when I started feeling bit better I stood up and peeped down the valley. OH BOY WHAT A LOVELY VIEW it was… HERE IS THIS LOOPS for which we cried, fought, and struggled big time
Becoming emotional after all these happiness is obvious and that is why Sachin did not asked me to control my tears rather he hugged me and celebrated the victory
AAj ye lines ki samaj ah gayi thi that – Always believe in yourself and always stretch yourself beyond your limits. Your life is worth a lot more than you think because you are capable of accomplishing more than you know. You have more potential than you think, but you will never know your full potential unless you keep challenging yourself and pushing beyond your own self-imposed limits.
Standing there and seeing down the valley all the thoughts and struggle encircled my mind about how we cried in front of home ministry people, how our friends helped us to get our documents, how helpless we were because we were some 2000 kms away from our place to get all those documents, how we begged in front of heaven, and all those scenario which stopped us from standing there in front of our dream and how we fought everything so bravely
Sachin was jumping from here and there, clicking photos, adjusting bikes in a frame to get a good click and I was so happy seeing him so excited and LIVE, Damn last 2 days was bad REALLY BAD, my man suffered a lot L being lady I can cry but being Man he cannot even cry and had to be strong because he had to support me.
We clicked all the possible poses with Zuluk loops as background and left to grab some breakfast because we were damn damn hungry. While declining we were very careful of the black ice on roads because that was one thing which was told by many people to us to be careful of.
Today our plan was to reach Pelling Via Ravangla we also had updates about the roads to Pelling is not in so good conditions. So we were supposed to be extra careful way to reach our destinations successfully.
We successfully declined Zuluk and was in process of riding ahead when suddenly on one of the turn I lost my balance and dropped my bike. Dont laugh but I am still unclear about that fall, in fact Sachin told me very clearly on Bluetooth that roads are bit curvy be careful and it was one of the most most most simplest curve to ride on but.Actually since the day I had a rim bend I was extra cautious of not bumping my bikes into potholes and on the curve where I had a fall there was this huge pothole right in the middle of the road so I tried saving my bike and somehow I messed up taking a left turn instead I went in extreme right and then what DhaDHaMmmmm !! In the ground. My left leg was trapped inside the bike, I tried removing it but was not able to, Sachin quickly came to my rescue and helped me. Thanks to riding shoes otherwise I would have faced a broken ankle.
Its ok sometimes it happens Sachin whispered but he was equally was tensed about the foot pegs and Clutch lever because for it might break in case you face any incident thankfully everything was alright. We laughed hard and proceeded ahead <Girna Jaroori ha> Crashing is important Now I became more cautious and Sachin became more more cautious instead of looking on roads he was looking in his rear view mirror more…
Riding on some really bad roads we reached Ravangla at around 4.30 where we were supposed to visit Buddha temple in Buddha Park. When we decided to visit the place I thought it would be like a normal temple but I went out of my words when I saw the huge Buddha statue from far away. It was so peaceful and one of the lovely place to visit <highly recommended> We walked for some 10 mints and entered the temple, We took blessing and did Parikarma. We thought to leave the place ASAP since it was already 4.30 and in an hour sun was about to set but when we entered inside the temple we literally forgot what time it was, the place was so scenic that we were sitting and gazing the stunning nature god had planned so beautifully.
There was giant pot filled with water which was placed outside the temple the motive of that pot was you can take a coin, make a wish and drop in water. We followed the ritual and wished for our safe journey ahead <I dropped 5 coins in the water greedy me
We came out of temple and because we did not had our lunch in the afternoon. We sat at the nearby caf to grab some chowmein, soup, momos and fried rice <Freak we were so hungry>
Resuming our ride to Pelling from Ravangla which was more 50 kms is the real content of this blog
It was already dark when we rushed to reach pelling where we booked a hotel for our night stay. Why we rode to Pelling is still a mystery for us.
What happened was during our planning phase we read a blog where a group of people travel from gangtok to pelling via Ravangla but we failed to analyze that there was nothing, absolutely nothing to see out there. We could have stayed in Ravangla and from there we could have proceeded to Darjeeling Via Tukwar tea garden.
I have a suggestion for everybody whoever is reading my blog that never follow any bodys blog blindly. Do a good amount of RnD before visiting any place. We did a mistake I dont want anybody else to repeat the same.
Travelling to Pelling was completely messed up backbreaking story
Lets hear this…
So it was already dark when we started to ride to Pelling, finding the correct way to Pelling was another challenging task because generally we see loads of local people during the day time but the frequency of people goes on decreasing when the sun sets. So we asked few shopkeepers on the way about the correct route and they directed us accordingly.
As we always do during night hours that we try following some car which is ahead of us of course keeping a safe distance from them which helps us to maintain our pace and it also helps us to slow down whenever there is some sudden bad roads. In the same way we were following a Innova which was ahead of us, We were so impressed with his driving skills and all the safety measure he was taking and how responsibly he was driving, TRULY WE WERE OEVRWEHLMED!! As I already mentioned this before that NORTH-EAST drivers are the best.
After few kilometers we thought to ask the driver the route to Pelling because he was the only one whom we could have asked for the help and moreover after following him for 15 kms he shouldnt think that we are some kinda of Goons following his Car for so long
We asked the driver about the route and to our surprise and happiness he replied us saying that he was going to Pelling too, So we asked him that Can we follow your car? since we guys are also going towards Pelling. The driver agreed without thinking anything and so was the family sitting in the Car, in fact they were so excited and happy to see us and know that we are too going towards Pelling. So in this way we started to follow those people.
Roads to Pelling started getting worst by every passing kms, by worst I mean suicidal worst. Minor water crossing at multiple places, huge pebbles all over the road, steep ghats with extremelyyyyyy bad roads. Thanks to the responsible driver who was driving superbly good and helping us to safeguard us and apply brake only when required. Damn he saved us soooooooo many times because suddenly after better roads we used to face extremely bad stony roads.
Continuously after riding for few kms we stopped to refill our tank and so did the car whom we were following. The family who were sitting inside the car (Uncle, Aunty, and their 2 lovely daughters) pounced on us and started hugging me and I was stunned seeing their act. They were so happy to see me riding in fact uncle also said that Beta badi himmat wali baat kar dikhaya ha aapne <Lady you hold too much guts>.
The young ladies said that they saw us at the Buddha temple and they were discussing about us, they were stunned to hear that Sachin is my husband and we are married since last 4 years <they thought that we are friends and study in some college, The surprising thing was they were from Mumbai too and that Is the reason for their happiness when they saw MH number plate. We clicked couple of photographs, thanked the driver by giving him some token of appreciation which he wasnt accepting. Serious heartfelt thank you it wouldnt have been easy to ride on such a dangerous ghat and bad roads without any savior.
After refilling our tank and resuming back with our ride, the roads started turning into a nightmare which nobody would like to face. We were moving bit by bit and desperately waiting to reach Pelling because the things were getting deteriorated by every passing kms and back of mind I was also concerned of rim bend and the tube which was inside my tubeless tyre and what impact it would have because of such horrible roads L I was so ultra-cautious because of all these things
Finally after continuously riding for 50 kms on 40 kmph and on worst roads we reached Pelling, bid adieu to lovely family and checked in our hotel. The weather was cooler than expected and bathing in such a cool weather is always a bad hard task but since we were completely drenched into soil because of bad off roads so bathing assignment was very important at least for hygiene sake.
Later in the evening we ordered huge meal to serve our appetite which also highly boosted our motivation to keep riding miles and miles
We thought that our offroading ride is done and now there will be no more off roads but You should read DAY 11
CHAPTER 11 – “DAY 11”
“Roads, No roads – Adventure Next Level”
Day 11 (Tuesday) – 29th Nov 2016
Route – Pelling – Tukwar Tea garden – Darjeeling
Kms – 80kms
We woke up with very very bad body ache, all signs of off roads were showing up, each and every bones and muscles were painfully crying. We woke up with hope of not facing anymore off roads going forward.
Somehow, we woke up and went downstairs for some breakfast <Puri baji, bread butter Jam, upma, coffee> and from there on we planned to visit a Buddha temple which was just 5 kms from our hotel.
We rode up till the temple and sat there for 15 minutes, somehow i always feel that Buddha temples are way too peaceful then other temples which I have visited since childhood <my personal opinion>. No chaos, No fight, No security. It was all so peaceful..
We bought prayer flag from the nearby shop and proceeded back to our hotel since we planned to reach Darjeeling. Initially when we rode from Darjeeling to Gangtok we took a different route and now we were supposed to take a different route altogether that is from Tukwar tea garden. When Sachin first mentioned this name, I had some strange butterflies in my stomach the name itself sounds so adventurous “The Tukwar”
Riding to Pelling on broken roads, just to visit one place was not at all worth and still again we were about to repeat same mistake of riding from Pelling to Darjeeling via Tukvar tea garden. How? Read on…
I would like to repeat this again that don’t follow anybody’s travelogue blindly and why iam saying this? All your questions will be answered….
We came back to our hotel and quickly took a power nap, geared up and went downstairs to complete the checkout formalities. I loved the way hotel staffs treated us by putting up the white scarf around our neck and saying some prayer lines while doing so. We were overwhelmed by their lovely way of bidding adieu J we waved them good bye and proceeded.
We rode back on same off roads up to 20 kms which we rode the night before. My shoulders, neck and hands were badly in pain because of sitting posture of CBR. Seriously Honda CBR is not so good on off roads, it completely pressurizes your hand and shoulders. Somehow, I was hoping that just few more kms of off roads and then we will ride on better roads till Darjeeling but who knew that Day 11 is going to be worst day of our complete journey which will keep on giving nightmares till the time we are alive 😀
We thought that, as we will proceed ahead the roads will start getting better but to our horror the roads started disappearing with every passing kms. We started facing multiple landslides, muddy roads, stones all around and what not.
For a moment, we thought that we have lost our way but when we enquired we came to know that we are on correct path infact they said that roads are still better going forward we wouldn’t even find that. The truck walla said that better don’t go to Darjeeling via Tukwar tea garden because atleast here you have got just stones on roads to ride on but there you will find no roads at all, moreover it is too narrow and 70-degree uphill which will make your life and ride more tougher.
We are so stupid and hopeful that we thought that the truck wala was just kidding around and making us more horrified and since we already rode for some 100 kms of offroads from Pelling it’s not good to change the plan and return back to square zero. So we continued in hope of finding better roads which was never happening.
After listening to so much of negativity from all the local people who were asking us to not ride to Darjeeling Via Tukwar, we took a water halt to calm down our high Blood pressure. My body was already in bad pain because of yesterday’s offroads and I was also feeling bit feverish so Sachin asked me to take Crocin which would help me to ease my pain and we also decided that – “ab yaha tak ah gaye ha tho agge bi kar lenge” < Now since we have rode till here we will complete our ride further. Just be careful>
We prayed almighty to keep us safe and proceeded ahead, as we rode for some 15-20 kms I heard Sachin saying over the Bluetooth that his bike slipped on a muddy road and he had a fall, I quickly parked my bike and ran to his rescue but thanks to trucks drivers and tempo drivers they were already there to help Sachin and his bike. We saw each other and laughed hilariously. Sachin explained me about how everything happened and I was laughing uncontrollably, his saddle bag, bike was completely drenched in mud <thank god he was wearing helmets otherwise imagine his brown muddy face:-D>
Ride and life is all about unexpected things, infact I think that it is the unexpected things that spice up the life but sometimes it also gives shock..
We were anticipating that roads would get better and we would be able to ride peacefully but roads started getting more horrible after every passing kilometer. My body was already in bad pain because of bad off-road while going to Pelling and the same was happening today too which was more eviler than Pelling road.
We stopped for a water break, we claimed our stones and parked our butt, we had a packet of Good Day Biscuit and then I had a tablet of Crocin because I was also trapped with fever and body pain and I already started feeling uneasy because of bad roads, completely unaware of what’s going to happen with us going forward. But we were determined to reach our destination.
We asked couple of trucks drivers to confirm the route which goes to Darjeeling via Tukwar tea garden and they made their faces such as if we are asking them a suicide point. One driver was too happy to know that we are from Mumbai and that to from Navi-Mumbai because he initially stayed there for 5 years and then came back to his home town. We were actually very thankful to him because he dropped us till the spot from where the horrifying Tukwar tea garden roads start. The beginning of the road was itself very dangerous, the courteous man waved us bye and showed us thumps up to succeed this dangerous route.
The road was very very narrow with very dangerous uphill 70 degree sharp turns with extremely bad roads and loose soils. One mistake and your fall was definite. Moreover, when you have a bend rim and tube inside your rear tyre your mental state will be on toss.
When you ride uphill you must make sure that your bike doesn’t turns off and that was exactly why we were riding too cautiously continuously holding the half clutch. The sharp uphill turns were so dangerous that you have to be ready to pay a fall any moment moreover if there is some vehicle which is coming downwards you have to apply brakes and stand in 70-degree posture till the time vehicle doesn’t pass you, because ideally everybody is in hurry and somebody has to stop, so let it be you because you are riding 2 wheels and not mini bus because they won’t fall but you would.
The roads were turning into nightmare when the uphill started becoming more dangerous, every time I saw Sachin rear wheel skid my heart beat gave a skip and it use to make me more fearful to cross that patch. The roads were never-ending <khatam hone ka naam hi nahe le raha tha> I don’t know why were we riding on these suicidal roads?
A very important advice to all of you whose reading this travelogue – Never ever adhere to any bodies travelogue blindly or without any prior research because that can proof hazardous for you because something similar happened with us, never mind mistakes teaches you many things and this was one of it. But at least we want you guys to not repeat the same mistake as ours.
We read a TL where we saw people descending from Tukwar tea garden and not ascending. We thought that if we people are using this route it would be really interesting and here is how we made a mistake – they were descending which was way much easier to do on those roads rather than ascending on such a steep hill with extremely bad roads. Our half clutch is still weeping because of 3rd degree torture we did to them. Take a hint from whatever you read, ask questions on that TL if you don’t understand anything and do a thorough self-study before taking any decision.
Sun was about to set and Darjeeling were nowhere seen, I begged god to keep sun light for bit longer today because by no ways I was riding on those suicidal roads in dark, we enquired few local people about distance to reach Darjeeling and all of them were giving us a strange look because obviously we were the only bikers riding on those curls which was very unusual for them.
The strange thing which happened during this ride which made me feel more nearer to god was- I prayed god to keep the lights until we reach Darjeeling and to our surprise, it was 6.30 in the evening, sun normally sets at 5 or so but only that day it happened that sun was set but there were still some light in sky which made things clearly visible to us. Seems light was left just for us to complete our ride. Yes we completed our ride and reached Darjeeling in proper light. It may sound very unrealistic but this is what happened that day
We went to same hotel in Darjeeling where we did our breakfast, dinner and lunch previously, we ordered for some chowmein and hot tea. We booked same hotel “Pahadi soul” which was more expensive than our previous booking because we did not get online booking since all the apps “MMT, Goibibo etc” were showing us incorrect information of all rooms occupied which wasn’t the case. When we enquired from the hotel reception they said that all the rooms are available and there might be some glitch, anyways so the good thing was we reached Darjeeling safely without a single fall and our bikes were doing great too we just had to check the air pressure and we were good to go further tomorrow..
When we reached hotel we thought to take a power nap which went beyond just a power nap, when we woke up it was clocking 9.00 p.m. We planned to visit Mall road on our 2nd visit to Darjeeling and we even did that but by the time we reached that place it was already closed, entire Darjeeling shuts by 8.00 p.m. sharp you won’t find a single animal past this hour. Luckily, we found a Pizza shop open which helped us to fill our hungry stomach and also we found it safer than all the spicy food we were eating since so many days
It was 4th day of continuous riding on bad roads, our body was so much in pain that every part of body was demanding rest. We realized that it really requires lot and lot of strength in your body to do something like this. Thanks to our regular exercising which helped us a lot to succeed such painful situations.
Day 12 was our longest ride because we were about to enter mighty Meghalaya
CHAPTER 12 – “DAY 12”
“Wroomers Moonlight adventure”
Day 12 (Wednesday) – 30th Nov 2016
Route – Darjeeling – Guwahati – Shillong
Kms – 593 kms
Every part of body was in so much pain that waking up in the morning took us 30 mints to just get out of the bed. Darjeeling was as cold as before but on our 2nd visit we were not feeling so cold may be because our body was immune to cold weather now. We had our breakfast and left Darjeeling on happy note because we accomplished all those things which we dreamt of while going to Gangtok from Darjeeling and now coming back to Darjeeling and moving ahead with our next dream list.
Frankly for today we did not planned anything. We just wanted to go with the flow though we were very clear that our next destination is hitting Meghalaya.
Sachin loves tea garden, throughout our journey he was in search for same and that is exactly why we took Tukwar tea garden route but frankly Tukwar tea garden was not so satisfying, he did not even click any shots as well
To our surprise while descending from Darjeeling iam not sure which route we took but that route was one of the most beautiful scenic roads to sight, filled with tea garden at both the sides of roads. Sachin was finally satisfied seeing the roads and enjoying the view, yes we were regretting big time to have taken Tukwar garden route only because we wanted to view some tea garden. Iam not sure how we missed that beautiful tea garden route while ascending to Darjeeling previously, might be when we asked for a route to Darjeeling somebody would have misled us. Never mind we were glad to have atleast met those lovely route on our return leg.
We stopped to refill our tank at the nearby petrol pump where we also checked the air pressure of tyre because of off roading we did the day before, having 2 bananas we proceeded ahead with our journey. The roads to reach Guwahati was very picturesque with Tea garden throughout our journey but with single lane roads so being cautious was not optional.
We were talking over the Bluetooth about staying in Guwahati but then we also discussed that Shillong is just 100 kms from Guwahati with awesome roads, normally people call Shillong roads as a race track because of exquisite tar road. Now we were highly confused because according to stats we would reach Guwahati at around 12.00 a.m and reaching Shillong would take couple of hours more.
Descending Darjeeling ghat itself took 4 hours and then reaching Guwahati and then Shillong, it was impossible and stressful to do such a tedious ride after 4 days of offroading ride and Zuluk circuit without a single break but then we thought to just go with the flow and see weather our body was ready to take a beat.
We stopped after few kilometers again to check the air pressure of my bike tyres because I felt something wrong while applying brakes and to our horror the person at petrol pump who filled the air pressure was wrong and we doubted him at the same time when he said that our rear trye is having just 14 points <both the bikes>. I can understand about my bike because my rear wheel had a rim bend but Sachin rear tyre had nitrogen filled in it so how come his tyre have just 14 points which was so unlikely to happen, but somehow we thought that because of so much off-roading and bad roads it can be possible.
Later when we checked the pressure our front tyre was showing 42 points and rear tyre 57 points in it. Few people in our country is such that just for few bucks anybody can kill and ruin anybody else’s lives. If he would have asked us for 20 bucks we would have given him 30 but he shouldn’t have done anything like this which could have cost a life just for negligible amount.
By evening i.e. 8.00 p.m. We were still 150 kms away from Guwahati, we skipped our lunch because somewhere back of our mind we wanted to ride till Shillong which would make it easier for us to explore Meghalaya more the next day.
We stopped at some small shop at the highway for a tea and some snacks because we were not at all able to find any better place where we could have stopped and eat something. The shop was taken care by an Assami couple <i guessed it because of the attire of women she was wearing a saree in assami Style it was lovely >. When we reached there and asked them for a tea, they were so courteous that though they almost closed there shop and was all set to leave for their home, still the lady made a tea for us and also served some Noodles which they made for their dinner. They were so nice that they served us whatever they had us to serve, they could have said us “NO” but they opted to treat us, though Noodles were very spicy and we just had a spoon of it but still we were happy that at least these people treated us with whatever they had to serve us without saying NO.. 🙂 Its good to say YES rather then saying NO just for humanity sake..
Frankly in Mumbai if we visit any place during closing hours the shopkeeper will never entertain anybody, I don’t say that everybody are such but maximum people tend to say choose simple path of “NO”
After lovely mind opener tea we resumed our ride. Darkness started getting deeper and deeper as we were busy killing kilometers when finally we understood that it was 11.00 p.m and we were still 60-70 kms away from Guwahati.
We stopped for a quick dinner because I was fasting the next day <Thursday> and the new day was about to get started in few minutes. We stopped somewhere at dabba and ordered egg masala and rice since I did not wanted to have non veg food because of my fast, I ordered for veg fried rice.
It took us 10 mints to explain that person about what veg food actually meansbecause Chicken and egg is just normal food for them which is part of every food. In 15 mints our food was done and served to us. Sachin was good with his food but when I saw my fried rice, the rice was covered with Sugar atleast 50 gms sugar was sprinkled over the fried rice.
We called the person and asked him about the sugar and he said its the normal custom they follow. I removed the layer of sugar and started eating, somehow the rice was stinking bad so just after having a spoon I left the entire rice. It was my fast tomorrow and having no dinner and no lunch made me feel too weak but at that moment I did not wanted to have anything and spoil my internal system so without any arguments we left from the spot to ride till Guwahati.
Sachin was convincing me to stay in Guwahati but anyhow I wanted to reach Shillong instead of staying in Guwahati because than we had to ride hard the next day too.
By 12:30 we reached Guwahati and we were surprised by the bad traffic of trucks covering all the roads without leaving any space for even bikes to move. It took us another 45 minutes to actually reach the race track of shillong.
We took a short halt at the toll naka from where the real fun was about to get started. We were feeling too tired and exhausted after the continue hectic riding for so many days including the off roading and all but still even at 12:30 am in the morning we were feeling excited to ride on superb tar of Shillong. We were also regretting of not riding on those roads during day time because race tracks can be enjoyed more when sun is up for better visibility, but again if we would have kept those 100 kms of patch for the next day we would have ruined our next day’s plan which we did not wanted to happen.
The roads to Shillong was superb but continuous curves and that too after hectic and long day made us feel too dizzy-vizzy. Iam sure if we would have rode there in morning we would have enjoyed it more with fresh mind.
We took some fruits from the fruit shop at highway, it was strange to find those shops still open even at 1.00 in the morning and lovely ladies selling those stuffs <Seems north east is really safest place in India>
We reached Shillong at 1.30 a.m. and checked in hotel which we booked via Ohio. Thanks to Google maps which helped us to locate the hotel because there was not even single person to help us with the location of hotel and whenever we waved some car to stop and asked them for help, they used to accelerate more harder and run away.
Obviously with all our gears and our attire we indeed look like Mangal daku <Some robbers on bike> 😀
Property which we booked via Ohio was really huge and good. I did not even wash my face and crashed on bed to get some kick on sleep.
We were very excited for Day 13 because finally we were about to see the Slices of heaven on planet earth 🙂
CHAPTER 13 – “DAY 13”
“Slices of Heaven”
Day 13 (Thursday) – 1st Dec 2016
Route – Shillong – Jowai – Krang suri waterfall – Dawki
Kms – 83 kms
“Who says you have to die to see heaven. Heaven is right here in front of your eyes, only thing you gotta do is TRAVEL ☺”
We woke up around 8.00 a.m. and completed our routine because last night when we reached Shillong we just collapsed as soon as we saw those spongy cushions. Sachin was very happy to get the free breakfast <Puri sabji, bread butter jam> he was teasing me every time he took a bite obviously I was tempted because yesterday i did not had my lunch nor dinner and not even evening snacks, I just survived on morning breakfast. Unfortunately the pineapples which we got from the Shillong highway from the ladies was so so bitter that I wasn’t even able to take a single bite of that as well so we threw all the nasty pineapples and left from Shillong to see some heavenly nature.
On our way we saw some fruit stalls and stopped to get some bananas because I was too hungry and I have a habit of having heavy breakfast every day. We took pineapples thinking that it will help me to fill my stomachs at least in morning while we reach to a certain point but……Anyways so we bought good bananas from shop but it was too expensive than the normal cost which we get in Mumbai and obviously the reason was clear that North east people get bananas from south which involves transportation and all which makes the stuff too costly for any common person to buy it.
The ladies who sold us fruits were too cute which you can view on our YouTube channel “https://www.youtube.com/c/wroomwithkiransachin“ we had a good chat with them, they described us different fruit which I never every heard about. It is so much fun to communicate with someone who is not from your place, their language, looks, culture seems so interesting and different. Thank you bikes for making us able enough to travel and meet different people from all over India.
I had 3 bananas which made my stomach happy for some time, we proceeded to our 1st destination for the day “KrangSuri Waterfall” frankly I never ever heard this name before infact it wasn’t even included in our plan but when we reached “Darjeeling” one of Sachin’ s friend mentioned him about this waterfall and sent few pics. When we 1st saw this waterfall we were stunned for a minute or 2 and we were wondering “do such place even exist in India” hope nobody is playing prank with us. We googled few things about this place and was surprised to see existence of such a beautiful place in India. The added advantage was this place was on the same route which we were supposed to take for Dawki.
When we decided to visit this place, I was happy to know that we were going to such a beautiful place, but somewhere I was still excited and anxious to see Dawki and not this waterfall.
Meghalaya is truly very very beautiful we stopped at multiple places to click photos. The curvy roads, Pink flowers trees at many places, dramatic clouds, and fresh cool breeze seriously what more a rider will ask for?
The roads to KrangSuri was very clear and simple we hardly asked few villagers to locate the correct path. After Jowai one roads directs to Left which goes to Waterfall and other directs goes to right which goes to Dawki. We hardly roads for 10 kms to reach the spot from where we had to hike and reach to view the waterfall.
We parked our bike and started our downhill walk. It was too tiring to walk even for a kilometer with all the helmets, tank bags and gears and to our horror we had to trek for more 2 kms. Ufffff!
We walked for some 15 minutes when we reached one of most mesmerizing spot which was 1st view point to witness KrangSuri waterfall. Frankly when initially Sachin asked me to the see the pic on google image, I wasn’t at all interested to see this place because google image shows Dawki more beautifully then Krangsuri but when I saw the blue water dropping from some 100 mtrs height which was covered with lush greenery from all the four sides I was stunned and speechless. Yes trust your eyes it will never disappoint you
There were few boys who were enjoying the view from that spot they started smirking on me after seeing my expression and admiration for that place. I smiled at them and they smiled back..They would be thinking “What so great in this place, we see this day in day out” This is exactly what I think when I see people who is not from Mumbai admiring “Marine Drive” <ofcourse there is no comparison of Krangsuri with Marine drive just an example sort of> but this is the fact the place which you can generally see and is reachable easily you never hold a value for such kind of places and the similar case was with those kids.
We shared a small conversation with them where we came to know that they are school going kids and live somewhere nearby to Krangsuri and that they often come there to spend some time in between the nature. How refreshed they would be feeling after the long day in school studying. Damn they are one lucky kids and I so very much envy them.
We further walked for 15 minutes to view the blue pearl in zoom format. We had to pay entry fee of 20 bucks per person, they should have charged more but then I thought about the normal middle class people ☺ maybe they should start charging more from foreigners because when we go out there they do the same, I don’t want to highlight something specific but this is the fact. Actually all the well-known places should do. Anyways we took the ticket and hopped inside the tiny gate. I was obviously excited as kid and Sachin in full swag, proud to get me there and happy about me that I liked the place.
We walked for couple of minutes and finally took the closeup look of the blue pearl falling from sky. Sachin hurriedly dumped all the stuffs at one giant rock and uncovered his camera and started clicking “kaach kaach kaach” he loves photography and when you are in front of such a mesmerizing beauty who wants to hold on.
I wanted to touch the pearl so I walked till the waterfall <the way was too slippery.. Be careful while walking up there> and touched the cold water. I jumped, danced enjoyed the moment and Sachin he was happy clicking my childish act with his zoom in feature. I think Traveling make that hidden child in you ALIVE ☺
I just wanted to sit there for whole my life, closing eyes and listening to the singing water fall but it was that sad realization that it’s time to leave. There are so many beautiful place in India don’t know when we were coming back there again because we wanted to visit each and every single bits and corner of India in this birth.
We left quickly as we wanted to reach Dawki before sunset because we read this somewhere that if the sun sets you will miss the clear water for which you would be fantasizing don’t know since when. Moreover there is no place to stay nearby to Dawki which means we had to ride till Cherrapunji in dusk and by no means we were in mood to night ride now consecutively for 4th day.
As we climbed up to our bikes we were panting and feeling weak after so many days of riding with not so proper diet. Oops and moreover it was my fast but after seeing Krangsuri bhook, pyaas sab mit gaya tha <After seeing Krangsuri, I was neither hungry nor thirsty, It was all gone>
We relaxed for some minutes and then geared up and took off from the spot to visit Dawki which was another 40 kms. As we started riding away from Krangsuri the thoughts of when we will visit this place again and how nature made this wonderful blue waterfall in between lush greenery. Indeed this is what happiness is – You don’t have to die for seeing heaven, Travel and you will keep watching such Slices of Heaven everywhere.
The way to Dawki was broken and not in good condition but after riding on Tukwar route such roads appears to be nothing. We were on time and was anticipating to reach Dawki before sunset but…my health gave up on me, I was having bad stomach ache since morning which I did not say to Sachin because I don’t wanted him to worry and I also did not wanted him to pressurise me about not keeping fast. The impact of yesterday where I got no lunch, dinner started showing the bad sign. When the pain started getting terrible I asked Sachin to stop for some minutes and take rest.
Since we just started riding he questioned me why do we need to stop? Because he very well know my riding capacity. I can ride continuously for 3 to 4 hours and since the roads were not so bad, stopping and taking rest was not even required.
We parked our bike and stopped in a corner for a minute and later I realized I was sleeping on road unconsciously don’t know since when. Sachin was staring at me completely lost and tensed, he gave me some water which made me relieved and I was back in my elements. He understood something was wrong but only because we wanted to reach Dawki before sunset I convinced him saying that everything is fine and left from the spot. We took some 30 minutes brake there which obviously delayed our plan and moreover Roads to Dawki was not in great condition we got few really bad patches before reaching the clear water river. The place was so crowded that we took another 10 minutes to find parking for our bikes. When we descended and reached the shore of river the sun was almost about to set however we still thought to go for boating because the sailor told that he would take us to the spot from where we will be able to see the clear water. The tourism at Dawki has increased so tremendously that he charged us 500 for 15 minutes boating. Make sure you bargain because that person he actually lootofied us falsely saying that he would show us the clear water.
The truth is you will only be able to see the clear water at around 8.00 in the morning when Sun is 90 degree above the river and when the sun light penetrates through water directly. But still we were happy that we got to see the most beautiful sunset at Dawki sailing on the boat. It was mesmerizing and equally a bliss for every photographer.
We were literally very disappointed since we were anticipating to see the clear water which unfortunately didn’t turn out to go according to plan. But again we had no option to resume our ride and ride till Cherrapunji which was our next destination. It was already dusk and Cherrapunji was more 60 kms of complete Ghat section so as per our estimate we would atleast take more 3-4 hours to ride up till Cherrapunji which doesn’t look like a great idea
Sometimes some filmy line like “To get something, you gotta lose something” goes just according to your situation. As we were proceeding with normal speed Sachin suddenly asked me to stop, since it was all Ghat section and very risky to stop anywhere, I went bit ahead and stopped by. Sachin intimated me on Bluetooth that there is some resort where we can get a stay for night since it was too risky to ride on those cherrapunji ghats on night. He has an eagle eye seriously I never understand how he finds hidden treasure.
The resort which was just 10 kms ahead of Dawki and which was not even unwrapped for customer to stay or hog, fortunately we got to stay there at the half cost after bargain. Frankly after riding continuously in night since last few days we did not wanted to ride in dusk today at all.
It was 7.00 pm and sun was already set so I thought to eat something and fulfill my fast, obviously I did not expected to get anything good since we were their 1st customer and they never cooked for anyone else we were in doubt but still thought to order something. They asked us to order the dinner and we asked them to get the best thing they can make.
To our surprise they cooked mixed vegetable, dal, chapatti, geera rice and some papad infact I never thought that I will open my fast with such a delicious dinner.
We were disappointed when we reached Dawki late and was not able to see the clear water but god would have really thought something before doing this to us What if we would have reached Dawki early? What if Sachin would have not spotted this resort? We would have been still riding in all darkness…EVERYTHING IS PREPLANNED IN YOUR LIFE you just need to go with the flow.
Iam still under confusion about how Sachin found this resort <ahkir uski nazar kaise padi jungle ke beech ish resort par..I was truly amazed>
Concluding our dinner with happy and satisfied soul we proceeded back to our cottage and rested our spine which was in terrible pain since last few days. Literally riding teaches you many thing like to make quick decision on the go☺ and altering the plan as and when needed which we did.
We dropped our plan of riding to “Cherrapunji”
Thanks & Regards,
Kiran & Sachin
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You can watch complete series of North East on below link –