I’m on my way

Yesterday was a hectic day - both at office and home. KP helped me pack the bike into the box(thanks BOTS for that), and we also ensured that the panniers were OK. A stitch in time is supposed to save nine. I had only one bag to save. But stitch I did.

Harsha dropped me and the bike to the airport. But before that I said goodbyes to my sister, brother and aunts, and most importantly, to KP. As I was shaking hands with him, I realized that this would be the last I would see of him for quite some time. KP is moving to Singapore. At that moment, it dawned on me that I would miss him much. I shed a few tears unseen by the rest of the folks, much like I had when I bid goodbye to roommates during my engineering days. Who says men don't cry. We do, but we are experts at hiding them too...

Things went according to plan at the airport. I paid 500 rupees to Indigo to transport my bike. At the time of checkin, I was told that I would have to pay for 12 kgs as extra luggage. The had weighed my two bags and the bike box. This was unexpected, so I asked for a clarification. The extra charge was waived, but they said they would charge extra next time. So next time, plan on carrying some extra cash 😉 Bumped into Aneesh (former colleague) at the airport. A pleasant surprise.

My flight was on time. But so were the clouds. The weather in Bangalore was pleasant, but that whitewashed the view from the window seat. The clouds opened up after some to reveal nice views of the Sahyadris. Couldnt recognize any places though. Meanwhile, my mind was busy doing a few rounds of flashback. Naturally involving KP, or rather, our history together. I still remember the first time we met. We had only spoken once on the phone, exchanged maybe a couple of emails, all after he had left a comment on my first ride blog! KP had, by that time, ridden most of the konkan coast. I was throwing a pre-tour treat for my friends before I left for my Mangalore-Ahmedabad ride. For no particular reason except a chance to meet, I invited KP as well to the party. KP took only a mocktail at the party. He was taken aback by my spontaneous guesture, he confessed sometime! We did hit it off very well - indeed so well that the very next december we did our Tour of the North East together, and many more memorable rides. So my memories came flooding back. Only to be interrupted by the air hostess's voice, "the temperature at Ahmedbad is 32 degrees celsius". I hardly track these parameters, but I got an inkling that it could be hot.

I was out of the airport by 12:45 PM or so. Right away I started putting the bike back in order. Took a little more than half an hour to fix up most things. First problem: missing chain link lock. Quick consultation with KP, ending with deciding to knock off two links from the chain to compensate. The chain tool turned out to be a life saver. My clumsiness in dealing with the tool almost cost me a link, but the nose plier saved the day. One of the airport workers had, seeing me perspiring, gotten me a cool bottle of mineral water. He followed that up with a quick vanishing act, effectively robbing me an opprtunity to even thank him.

Started off from the airport at 3, heading in the direction of Sakhrej. I felt surprisingly happy, with no worries about where I would end up by evening. I was actually fancying a village stay, but the industrial activity all along the highway would soon sabotage my efforts. Many have asked me what think about during these rides. I have two large questions in my head, the answers to which I will attempt to find during this tour. I am aware I may not find an answers to these complex questions, but how do I prove that wrong without trying. Putting out the questions here would not be a good idea, and I can't say what parts of these I may let slip during the coming days. Not a good way of keeping a suspense, but hey, it's almost midnight as I type this.

The heat was getting to me. Man, it was hot, and all the way till 6:45! The water is hard in many of these areas, thus forcing me to buy a 1 rupee water packet. The heat reminds me of a ride we did to Salem(in tamil nadu). Every opportunity to drink water was taken, sometimes leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Nice lime sharbat, never mind where the ice comes from. I must have consumed liters of water today. If Gujarat is like this, then I wonder how Rajasthan would be 🙁 Nothing that I can't take though, or so me thinks...

Anyway, I ended the day at 8 PM at Baoli, 50km away from Ahmedabad. Thats where I am posting this from. Many towns claim mythological links, so what's Baoli's? Legend has it that Bakasura was slain here ! And wait there is more - one of the gurukuls from Ramayana is a mere 13 kms from here. Nothing there to catch my fancy; tomorrow I am off to Lothal. Will make it a point to leave this guest house early. Let me see how much of the heat I can escape...

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  1. An awesome start to ride & travel(bl)og 🙂

  2. Eager to see the photos and to hear your view on Gujarathi & Rajasthani Culture.

  3. Nice to see your here, Gauthaman. But you may not get any competition in terms of comments this time I think 🙂 (keep em coming however 🙂 ). I’ll try to post as much as possible. The GPRS connection here tends to be quite flaky, and that limits what I can do.

  4. Good start Shree. Yeah would wait for the questions to be revealed. 😉

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