With the avdent of March, the smell of spring and the warmth of the sun feels good… also the weather is just about right to kick start the Black Beauty and head out into the mountains… although the time for the dream ride (Trans Himalayan Expedition) is way too far, I just can’t stop my mind from wandering off and visualizing the route, the ride and the feeling. so here I go…
June 16th 2008
Its 0400 Hrs and its time to kickstart the iron steed and head off into bliss.
But before I can attain Nirvana, there is this huge task of getting through the plains and the traffic before I hit the mountains.
3 hours of easy riding sees me on the NH 1 at Oasis in Pipli, and I park the bike and go inside to relieve the hunger pangs. 30 minutes later, I start off and head out towards Zirakpur. 2 hours later, I arrive there and take the mandatory left and then a U turn for Panchkula and ride on, negotiating the maddening traffic which is ever present on the roads. But this pain is not gonna last long, I tell myself… coz the Kalka stretch is gonna be over in about 30 minutes (if I don’t get a downed railway crossing gate… ) and then i would be on the home stretch. Luckily, the gate is open and I whiz past it.
Pretty soon the Kalka stretch is over and I can see the boundary of the state of Himachal Pradesh beckoning me and urging me to venture inside and be at peace with my inner self. I don’t think twice and zoom inside, hitting the first turn @ 40KMPH and start enjoying the feeling of freedom which riding in the mountains gives me. 104 Kms of riding @ a comfortable pace later, I have about 15 kms more to go before I can call it a day.
Those 15 Kms are as breath taking as they can be. Riding through the Lakkar bazaar of shimla leaves you with a heady and woody scent of freshly lumbered pine, and the eye candy dotting the road from the girls college to the turn point for Mashobra is an added bonus ;-)
as all good things come to an end, I ride along and get on the Shimla – Naldehra road, heading out to Mashobra. Post a ride thru jam packed roads, Black Beauty and I reach the link road to Baikalty and I take that uphill road, twisting and turning my way to the campsite. 6 Kms later, I am at the down ramp for the parking lot, which can be as hair raising as ever. Rocks on the surface and the bike trundling o in 1st gear, I manage not to take a stumble and successfully negotiate the surface and now I am home for the day.
Its 1730 Hrs and its time to relax and enjoy the serence settings of the campsite with a cup of tea and some yummy pakoras rustled up by the ever helpful Ramu, the chef of the campsite.
As the sun sets, the time is right to crack open that bottle of alcohol and enjoy the drink in peace and Mother nature to give you company. Food happens soon and then its time to say good night and knock myself out as i have to start out early the next day for Sangla.
Will continue the write/thought up later as it can get really long and boring to be read in one go… I will have mercy on your soul and call it an end… but this is not going to be an ever lasting respite as I will be back as I ride from Mashobra to Sangla and then to Kaza and onwards to Leh…