K2K Solo: 9000Km on a motorbike

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Life has a way to teach you not to smirk, mock or just make fun of certain things.

Like me catching a 0230 flight to Delhi two weeks after wondering in amusement who would take a domestic flight at this odd hours, or making fun of an HR intern who quoted the lines “people do not leave jobs, they leave their bosses”, or dis a rider for attempting a Kanyakumari to Kashmir bike ride.

Yet early morning of Oct 1st 2021, I found myself heading towards Kanyakumari to start a much awaited ride from the bottom of India to the top.

And what an eventful ride it would end you being. I went places I never thought I would and enjoyed moments which I never thought I would. And at the same time cleared an interview, got a job offer and resigned from the saddle of my bike.

But first, some nice pictures.



Starting the ride, early morning on Oct 2nd.




Beauty outside Kanyakumari




Climb up to Sach Pass




Illuminated houseboat at Srinagar




Beginning of autumn at Shalimar Bagh




Golden temple




Desert cliche




Biwi ka Maqbara
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Oct 1st 2021
Day 0: 707Km




So the D-Day was here. The first day was just to get to Kanyakumari. The K2K ride would start from there.

Woke up early, got ready and was all packed to go around 0520. The weather had been unpredictable for last few days. I was happy the morning was dry though cloudy. I was hoping for a pretty sunset, but that was not to be. The clouds took care of that.



Till it was dark, the going was slow. Steadily I went on. Took my first break after Krishnagiri. An apple standing by the side of road and a few leg stretches to accompany that.



The apple could not quench the thirst for a hot cup of tea. So a few Km before Salem, I took another break at a bakery. In the South we take these bakeries for granted. A place where you’ll get tea, freshly bakery items and other items for a quick snack.

A few days later as I would head North of Bangalore, I would start missing these.

So a quick breakfast of jam bread, cake, chips and tea helped satiate my hunger needs. The break also was welcoming.



The Kanyakumari highway is amazing. Excellent conditions and very well maintained. The only gripe I have with the new crop of highways being build in India is the lack of shady trees on the side. The older undivided highways were unparalleled in the densely lined canopy of trees on their borders.

A little before Dindugal, I felt the need for another break. I was feeling sleepy.

The joy of riding solo is that one is master of his time and plan. Finding a grassy knoll on the service road, I laid down to rest. Before I knew it, I was sleeping, probably snoring too. I don’t know how long I slept, but I woke up pretty refreshed.

Lying there I opened up my eyes to blue skies peering through a spread of leaves. The rustle of the leaves disturbed by occasional whoosh of passing vehicles. Life seemed all it was meant to be.



A little while later I was hungry again. I also wanted a good cup of coffee. Spotting a small shop with large brass kettle I stopped. I was expecting the Tamil Nadu style tea. Fortunately, they were serving coffee too. And the icing on the cake was fresh bhaji being made. So that was to be my lunch.



Two cups of coffee and a few bhaji under the belt and I made good time. The road was as good as it could be. I drove continuously for couple and a half hour. Time for another break.

Searched for a while but could not find a patch of shady trees. So took a side road a drove a little in to find a nice peepal tree. And below it were slabs of rock to make a nice sitting area. Perfect place to lie down for a while.

Lying here, I also booked a hotel online at Kanyakumari.



Couple of hours later, I was at the gates of Kanyakumari. Before that I tried to capture some videos of windmills. But that did not turn out so good. The next day I would have better luck at capturing some stills.

Reaching Kanyakumari, I drove by the shore and then checked in to Hotel Ocean Heritage. Fairly decent hotel and quite well located. The restaurant was closed but the bell boy got tea and bhaji from outside for me.



Around sunset time I stepped out. The sky was mostly cloudy. I waited for my luck to turn but it did not. As it started turning dark, I drove to the “Our Lady of Ransom Shrine” church to see it illuminated in the dark.

Later I returned to the hotel to rest a little.



After an hour of rest, I walked down to the edge of India. Both the islands – Vivekananda Rock and Thiruvalluvar Statue are visible from here. At night the lighting is nice. Typically this place is very crowded, but owning to the pandemic, there weren’t many tourists. Hung around a little enjoying the cool breeze and watching the two islands illuminated.



Wanting to pick up something for the kids, I spotted a person carving out names and figurines on sandalwood. Asked him to make two with kids names. While he got started cutting the wood, struck up a conversation. Haneef was from Mysore. While reserved at first, hearing that I drove from Bangalore, he opened up a little. He worked at a sandal factory in Mysore. When the sandalwood supplies dwindles, he had to leave his work and look for some other. And he ended up at Kanyakumari, making trinkets for tourists using the art he learned in Mysore.

This was one of the many conversations, I would have with people with whom I typically would never have a chance to converse with.

Haneef also recommended a place to eat Kothu Parotta, which is one of the delicacies of Kanyakumari.



Soon I was at the recommended place. I was glad I asked Haneef. This was one of the best Kothu Parotta I have eaten. The banana leaf added to the rustic looks.

All in all a great day and a perfect start for the long upcoming ride.

The K2K or Kanyakumari to Kashmir/ Kargil / KhardungLa would start the next day.
 
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