Thursday, February 20, 2020

Penultimate Day and a slow day

Sun at 0700 hrs
Next morning we woke up leisurely at approximately 0700 hours, yes we have turned into early birds by now. We were well aware the morning would be foggy and it would be risky to try and start out too early. Also the local news agency had contacted us asking for a meeting and the local councillor wanted to flag us off as we started back into the heartland of India.

Battery being jumped 

Zahr Bhai and Raja at work

But before the flag off, we had to figure out the issue with one of the bikes, its battery seemed ready to give up and we just wanted to see if we could get to Gorakhpur before we were forced to purchase a new battery (the border did not seem to have a battery shop open until 1100)
A candy sure gets their attention

We spent sometime with the kids at the local school where we had stayed for the night.
We walked over to the border to exchange our Nepali currency
 that we had left over. It seems with demonetization many Nepali traders suffered as they were left with Indian currency which couldn't be exchanged. 
These traders were not too keen to accept Indian currency. They preferred to accept Nepali currency and there was a general air of wariness against the Indian currency.

Strolling back to India
Back in India

Finally we were back in our country and time to get on with our day. We stuffed our self with freshly made samosa chaat, jalebi and ginger tea, post which we were ready to hit the road.

 Ginger tea is also a laxative sometimes I feel 

Our bikes were well adorned with Flowers by now as we started out from Sonauli, with the local councillor
Flagging off our entry into India, the crowded streets and roads were teeming with people who greeted us. We were in Uttar Pradesh, and the state has its own flavor.

A journalist took a short interview of the riders and he asked me why i rode a bike?
My answer to that was ,'' It teaches me respect and patience."

We did not manage to make it to Gorakhpur but had to stop and get a fresh battery by 1600 hours. A little before Gorakhpur we got stuck in traffic and as we entered Gorakhpur the traffic worsened and it was soon a nightmare! It took us 4 hours to cover 2 km of city roads! 
Sorry people of Gorakhpur who live here and have to deal with this situation on a daily basis. So bad was the traffic that a friend from Gorakhpur came to our rescue. He took us through some back roads and ally ways to get out of the city. 

It was already dark as we departed from Gorakhpur and the tummy was beginning to growl but we needed to put a few mile’s behind us and get away from that crazy city before we would stop for a late lunch / dinner.  We planned stop at Buxar in Bihar which  was approximately  200 km away .

It was an interesting ride. The roads were quiet and heavily foggy. 
I had a near miss of running into a Black-buck, as it cantered across the road. 
The roads were good, and we made good speed. It was hard to stop on the way as there was no place that we felt our bikes would be safe for the night. 
Especially since our luggage was on the bikes, we did not want to take it off the bike. 
Other than a stop at a dhaba for a lunch/dinner we rode through. 
We kept going right into the night and soon it was 2350 hours before we were at Buxar, the odometer read 20528.

We had only covered 350 km this day because of all the bike trouble that had happened. We had started the day hoping we would cover 500km on 27th January. 
Well seemed like the next day we would still have 550 km to cover, would be a full day of riding again... 

#biketaleswithrajat #rkmc  #bobmcrm2020 #bobmcrmnepal2020 #rajatghoshphotography #brspatna #inddiethumpers
#forenepal #michelin #loneranger #BOBMCRMNEPAL #RM #MOTULINDIA #GOLDENRIDERS

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Setting up a bathroom in a field and more

Moment to ponder

Shower stalls with warm water

Labyrinthh of pipes to stalls

I am always awed by the major work that goes on with setting up a place and making it comfortable and I think having running water (sometimes hot) in cold places are just a blessing, and to be able to figure it out and make it work is just amazing. Hats off to the FORE guys at Nepal... to work out the bathroom and running water scenario and keep it working all the way... right up to when the event got over,
is a major achievement in my books!!

We all remember Nagpur and get visions (called nightmares) of how not to run a event, and Nepal was just amazing in their water management. 

Breaking the fast

Blessed are these kids whose parents get them to these...what a great learning experience it must be for them..on how the world is, and what a great place the mountains are!
Rains predicted today 26th Jan

We spent the next two days in Pokhra and the weather Gods were with us. On 26ththere was prediction of rain and we were eager to put a few miles between us and the rains, so we were up early and saddled up. Breakfast done,  we were on our way back to Sonauli border, where we were to meet two more riders who had failed to make it to the event, but would join us on the way back to Jamshedpur.

Thank you FORE for the wonderful food and memories

Okay... before I get too sentimental and start crying, I started my journey back to India, to leave my friends behind but not before a wonderful breakfast.

1000 miles a 1000 miles to go
Yes I am still a 1000 miles away from home, according to GPS, and maybe some more adventure along the way will take us around some more. We are looking at 2 – 3 days more to reach home. We need to make it back within 3 days since a friends wedding is on the horizon, and 29th January we had vowed to be at the venue to help in the wedding.

All said and done we started out by 1030 hours and a couple of hours of steady riding with just one break saw us at Mugling by 1445 hours. The roads were wonderful and we could make good speed. Thank you Nepal for being nice to us.

Along the way
We were at Dumkholi, the same dhaba where we had momo of Nepal while on our way into Katmandu; we once again stuffed our self with momos and bought some knick-knack for friends and family back home.
Bulls at the Temporary Pen

Interacting with locals 

A lovely Temple

Evening saw us encounter fog once more but we kept going and by 1930 hours we were once more at Somali, we would once again enjoy the wonderful hosting by Stuti's family, this time it was eve more enjoyable.
Riders at Sonauli exploring

We stepped out to try and explore the little outpost of Sonauli but fog and 26th January being a holiday saw us return home after a quick meal of biryani by the roadside. We spend a wonderful evening with our gracious hostess and her family.

There was delicious food, warm fire, and a guitar with a few who could sing really well. 
A wonderful evening which went on to 2300 hours before we trooped off to find a bed.

our ride indeed coming to an end, as we entered night in INDIA

#biketaleswithrajat #rkmc #silcharthumpers #bobmcrm2020 #bobmcrmnepal2020 #rajatghoshphotography #rmNAGPUR #bathroom #forenepal

Monday, February 17, 2020

Pokhra we are there

Phewa lake at POkhra

25th morning as usual I was up at 0530 hours and indeed it was cold!
It was approximately 1 degrees outside and would go on to be 9 degrees centigrade as the day rolled on...
PICT of thermo

Camp site at POkhra , Venue for RM 2020 on 25th morning

The nearby mountains were all shrouded in fog and it was cold enough to make one not want to touch water. But then brave bikers that we are, of course we did freeze our backside as we went about our morning rituals.

Red is My tent

The plastic that I had used on my summer tent had worked its wonder too, and had kept the cold out very effectively, thus keeping me quite warm. Though I must confess, at 0400 hours I had woken up and pulled another sleeping bag (yes I did carry a blanket and a sleeping bag) over me. If I was any colder, I would probably require to wear my leather jacket too in bed, but thankfully I was doing okay.

Pls don't ask what I am wearing 

There were some riders who had opted for dormitory accommodation that organizers of Riders Mania. The organizers had provided these riders with blankets and Swiss tents. They sure looked nice from outside. These tents couldaccommodate 4- 6 people at one time and I noticed quite a few were empty but then I chose to be in my own tent.

 KOGO is an app that let's riders tell their stories about their rides. The app is supposed to be very intuitive and user friendly but time alone will tell how very good it is. Until then it was the KOGO app hoarding that greeted us as we wandered at the venue  where we were headed for breakfast.

We also came across a totem that looked interesting and had a bunch of distances, to different places that I have ridden over the last couple of years.

Over breakfast I met up with Apu Kuttan, a Thumper from Mumbai that I had ridden with in Arunachal and parts of Assam with in 2018. Riders mania brings together friends from different parts of the country and we cherish and relive those wonderful moments spend together.

Where there are so many athletic guys there’s bound to be sports, and so we had 'Tyre throw' where we got to test our self and how far we can toss a tyre, or be high up in the sky, testing our flying skills... the adventure and thrills never stop for us.

Did I mention at the event we get to meet up with brothers that we don’t meet as often as we would like to. But on these 3 days of the event, it is great to catch up and create memories once more, till we meet on the road or at the next event again.
The Sanpada boys, Mumbai, RKMC Jamshedpur, Inddie Thumpers all seen together squeezing into a frame here, sans Motorbikes.

Few more of us, Shyamal - another wonderful Thumper who Introduced me to the addiction of North East Riders Mania, a very popular biker and Rahul Vidwan a fellow Inddie Thumper who is to be found more often on the hills than in the planes on his bikes and wonderful energy around him always, and My new friend from Bhutan.

The 2020 BOBMY event was held at the grounds just adjacent to the lake PHEWA

 Phewa is a freshwater lake situated inside and almost right in the middle of the city of Pokhra. It is an attraction not only to Pokhra but a major crowd puller to Nepal. Nature has been generous and the views around the lake are just heavenly.

Yes some times it is hard to know which is the lake and which is the reflection of the lake. The roads around the lake are not the best but good enough to let traffic flow.

The Machette

The lakeside does have a few places that offer a great view. One could indeed enjoy a drink and some good food while we sit around the lake and ponder about life, while stuffing our self with beer and chicken.

Though for the angler the lake holds the charm of going into the lake and spending quiet time by oneself.

The evening saw us at the campsite, having many an event, be it beer chugging, tug of war, and finally a rock show to end the night

It was a great evening of 25th January, that we spent together.
Before we retired, for the night, next day we disbanded and head back to where we came from or to explore other roads and parts of Nepal.

Sunrise next day and more to follow

#biketaleswithrajat #rkmc #silcharthumpers #bobmcrm2020 #bobmcrmnepal2020 #rajatghoshphotography #inddiethumpersatRM