Deogarh ride- TripsOnBonneville

Deogarh Ride- #TripsOnBonneville

Deogarh Ride was to a beautiful property in Rajasthan at about 540 kms from NCR, perfect distance for a day’s ride on a superbike. At the outset it is unfortunate that Deogargh ride got time stamped with chaos, as the law finally caught up with Gurmeet Singh aka the infamous Ram Rahim Singh of Sirsa. However the dates would be easy to recall in future 🙂

It was as if there were more than one rides happening at the same time, with only the Triumph bikes and stay venue being the common factor.

The earlier one-The Manali Ride was quite different in many aspects, the expected weather being foremost. This time the ride destination was in the Arravali hills, hence we expected heat, dust, humidity etc. Instead what we got was pouring rain, a good 100 plus kms ride in shivering cold as we doggedly pressed on to Deogargh! There was not a single moment when I didn’t regret not carrying rain protection gear and water proofing spray for bags etc.

The preparation for Deogargh ride had started a week before the day of departure. The departure & briefing time was a relaxed 0500 hrs on 25 August, so no drastic adjustment was required to be done in the daily routine. On 18th August there was a preparation ride for all from OT to Jewar Toll and back via Highway Masala, it was followed by breakfast at OT. We had some good time and good food! Good discussion and freezing of plans too, however they stayed fluid as did the names of guys on the ride manifest.

Deogarh ride- TripsOnBonneville

Day1 0430 hrs at DND Toll RV point

Since there was enough warning by Ride Captain Vineet-‘Smilin Hulk’ for all riders to carry luggage on person, so I decided to use a VaTerra mini (I hate spoiling profile of the bike- looks best to me minus any bags, panniers etc). I must acknowledge, it made my trip logistics very easy, it accommodated stuff for a trip of three days, a bottle of Old Monk …and there was still space left for more luggage!

DAY 1 of Deogarh Ride

The first day was about riding in the rains and sumptuous breakfast…NP Singh and self landed up at OT sharp 0500 hrs, we had planned 0430 RV at DND and as we roared off to OT showroom from there, a rider went past us on his Street Triple, we exchanged biker greetings…little did I know then that this lot of three would be enjoying their return from Deogarh, riding in a tight formation right till DND again! The third rider was Bivash Barua… I am sure there were more such small sub groups which formed and bonded as they rode together.
Rahul Roy had announced rain in his 3 am broadcast, but still no one carried rain gear! The three groups, segregated on the basis of riding pace were set off from OT as per schedule, well almost because the last group too was on road before 0600 hrs. They  were followed by the backup vehicle with Simranjit (capturing the moments), Mrs Mahua Barua as passenger with Udit at wheel. The two other couples in the ride who were on their bikes were Akash & Mrs Sirohi on Street Twin and Gautam and Mrs Mahi on their Storm. It was good to see Gautam after some 18-19 years & living life on his own terms. There were families of few riders in an Audi Q7 and another one which trailed group No 2. The lady rider of the group Sonia Jain was also in group No 2.

I had the unique opportunity of riding with two groups as I got separated from my group (No 3)! With a low battery phone (no Google map) I  pressed on to Deogarh in pouring rain, after sending a message to the group about my intent before the phone battery died. The solo ride was refreshing, amidst the beautiful Arravalis freshly turned green by the rains and gently winding rain washed roads reminded me of- The Scotland Ride I did in September 2016.  About 70 km short of Deogarh I was overtaken by group No 1, the fastest lot ! As it turned out I had overtaken every one…landing up ahead of group No 1 also  !!!! (it was because I did not stop for a solo lunch etc and made good speed). Rahul Roy spotted me and boy… was I happy to see The Rocket!!! So, from then on I got to ride with group No 1 comprising of Rajiv Thakur, Ishann, Rohit Kapoor, Prashant Khari and Rahul Roy . I got to do some good disciplined riding with them, the group (which was on Sena I Com system) started using hand signals to accommodate me as I was without any I Com System…appreciated.

DAY 2

9. The second day was a lazy one, as was expected also after the revelry of the previous evening. Some did wake up early enough to enjoy the sunrise while some surfaced at 1000 hrs!

Deogarh ride- TripsOnBonneville

Deogarh ride- TripsOnBonneville

Deogarh ride- TripsOnBonneville

Water fall pic from other group’s ride destination on Day 2

There were two plans that were to be executed, first was for a ride going to see a water fall/lake with Raja of Deogarh and trail riding and in second plan the rest were to use their discretion to either stay back or go to Kumbhalgarh. All had fun.

The plan was to have an early dinner to cater for the early ride out on Day 3; but boys will be boys!

Deogarh ride- TripsOnBonneville

Tiger on prowl !
Day 2 pic

Despite the late hours when we returned from Deogarh, the planned party itinerary was still followed! Some enthusiasts took a dip in the splash pool, some sat by the poolside enjoying their drinks and snacks (after some serious threats by NP Singh we managed two plates for 10-12 of us)…and it kept drizzling all this while 🙂

DAY 3

The day three started off well, we refuelled from a pump next to hotel and set course to our first halt-Highway King. The quad of Chand Uppal, Bivash Barua ,self and NP Singh in lead did some tight formation riding all the way to first point where we stopped on time (2 hrs) as Highway King was proving to be elusive.

Barring a scare from a truck which cut through our path suddenly and an occasional cow which decided to appear from the divider-shrubs, it was well controlled, disciplined and super enjoyable ride. That truck driver had a lucky escape! The other sub group was not as kind to a jeep driver which did a similar stunt. Highway King part II was again not traceable for lunch and we caught up with the other rider sub groups who were ahead of us as they took  a break at one roadside restaurant; they too had given up on finding the lunch RV point. After a lunch of ‘daal chawal’ we set course for a final RV at Mannat Dhaba – 70 km short of Delhi, where we had final group photograph and the ride broke off with fond goodbyes and auf weidersehns!

FOOTNOTE
As you cruise on the highway safely ensconced in the company of your riding buddies (knowledge of a backup vehicle also perhaps) but ‘alone’ inside your helmet, you are set up for getting into a transcendental state of meditation…very easy to get addicted to. Even though in the physical act of riding, you would be as relaxed mentally as if you were chilling out in a steam room/sauna (no pun intended). You might even get some clarity on subjects which appeared complex till just before you had thumbed that starter. I for one look forward to being in that ‘zone’. Earlier I could experience it often while doing long boring repetitive legs of flying…not that I enjoyed those monotonous flying-legs, but loved the mental ‘jugaali’ I got to indulge in!

So until the next ride…ride safe!

A post by- @sportpilot68

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Lakshadweep Archipelago

The rhythmic sound of the waves, occasionally broken by the sound of distant seagulls, that’s all that was to be heard…no other sound, no crowd, no shops, no hawkers… just the gushing waves, touching my feet, as I lay on the silvery sand enjoying the lyrical  soundscape, wondering if heaven was this place on earth.

This is not any touristy beach, it’s a hideaway… away from the maddening cities, crowd, cell phones, internet, TV etc. No signal at all! Except the satellite phone. This is where we spent 10 days, exploring the Lakshadweep Archipelago, off the south western coast of India, in the Arabian Sea… actually just a little part of the 39 island chain.

To describe the experience as ‘Sheer Bliss’ would be an understatement! I can’t even begin to express the splendor of this place and the fact that none of us missed our cell phones, laptops, tabs, TV etc. So enthralling is every little wonder of natural beauty here that my perception of a beach holiday has changed forever…

And no, you will NOT miss the food shacks, the pubs, the discs and all other jing-bang that’s associated with a beach! I promise you that!

In those ten days we hopped three islands-  Minicoy, Kalpeni and Kadmat. Each one of the islands had a different story to tell, natural wonders to discover but one thing was common to all… the incredibly refreshing feel and the untainted fragrance of the sea breeze! I never knew the sea smelled this good! The vivid hues of emerald and azure sea made my senses rejoice at the marvel of experiencing something so inimitable and captivating.

We boarded our ship ‘Kavaratti’, in the afternoon from Kochi, to be dropped at Minicoy island the next morning.

A crescent shaped island, Minicoy, is heavily forested with indigenous tree species. A 10 min drive in an open jeep brought us to an expansive lagoon with its beach carpeted with lavender Morning Glories (or so I think), perfectly tempered with unperturbed peace of the surrounding forest.

We spent the day in the lagoon, literally.

The latter half of the day was dedicated to exploring the island on foot, enjoying the company of the natives.

The evening was reserved for watching the sunset, in a little dinghy, from deep in the sea! The scene was nothing less than poetic!

An experience to remember for a lifetime…followed by another long walk along the beach… we just had to take it all in, every waking moment of the place!

The second island on our itinerary was Kalpeni, unlike Minicoy, the terrain here was all dark and rocky surrounded by contrasting crystal clear shallow waters that could put the definition of glass to shame!

Kalpeni is essentially a haven for snorkeling, offering the most resplendent sights of colorful coral reefs. Actually, you don’t even need the snorkeling apparatus, one can see everything in HD clarity around one’s feet/legs even in waist deep waters… you just need to stand still for all the colorful fish to tickle your legs! While, my daughter and I couldn’t get enough of the HD underwater motion picture, hubby and sonny boy explored the smaller islands around in a canoe all day long…their arms were sore by the day end!

Oh! Did I mention I picked-up an underwater camera for this vacation… the best decision I ever took! It was worth every penny! I made loads of underwater scuba-diving videos!

Our final destination was Kadmat; a scuba diver and deep-sea divers’ paradise. This tiny, 1.5 kilometer long and 300 meter wide (that’s it!), island boasts of India’s best training centre for Deep Sea & Scuba Diving. We had a great time as under-trainees before they took us into the sea for the real experience.

Let me not even start, what it felt like to be swimming with the sea life, some scary and some astoundingly beautiful! Attempted my first-ever underwater selfie!

 

Till we came here, at the islands, I had only seen it in postcards and calendars…the riot of colors that shimmer across the sea’s surface, the pristine and sparkly white beaches…picture postcard, truly unbelievable! One has to see it to believe it!

This is where I felt I had to take it all home somehow… camera alone won’t do justice to the memories I wanted to capture. The only and ONLY way to take it all with me was to make sure I cater to all my senses!

So I took care of … Sight– via the four different cameras and many SD cards! Hear– made videos to capture the sound and motion of the waves and the tall swaying palms. Touch– collected sand, shells, twigs and pebbles from the beach.

Taste– bartered a couple of our t-shirts for some homemade ‘masala’ powder from the residents of the island (no shopping as I said!).

The only thing that I could not cater to was my sense of  Smell…I could not bring along the lingering fragrance of the beachy fauna and the refreshing sea breeze.

It has been two years since then; I am on a lookout… I have tested many fragrances… unfortunately I haven’t been able to find anything that comes close to what is captured in my olfaction. I wish my travel memoir inspires Godrej Aer to develop a fragrance which could bring alive the memories of the resplendent beach vacation into our home! Although nothing to beat the real experience but I am eager to see what they launch!

My travel memoir is a part of Indiblogger and Godrej Aer‘s #InspireAFragrance contest.

PS- Need more info on my vacation? Feel free to drop me a line in the comment box below. I’ll be happy to share my experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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