K2K Solo: 9000Km on a motorbike

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Oct 2nd 2021
Day 1: 714Km




Up at 0500 and out before 0600. This was to be my morning routine for many days. The morning was better than previous evening. There were a few clouds which would add color to the sunrise.

Stepping out of the hotel, I mounted my luggage and rode towards the beach road. I wanted to take a few pics of with the luggage mounted on the bike. That was to make an official ride start pic.

To my surprise the beach road was blocked by a large consignment of police. Apparently the area at the entrance of beach road and the temple were closed during weekends. The intent was to avoid crowds assembling to prevent COVID spread.

I requested a cop to let me go, pleading that I had come from Bangalore. He didn’t agree but recommended an alternate route to the beach road, which was perfectly fine with me.

Reaching the beach road, I found it quite crowded. Seemed like everyone knew the alternate route.



Since the day I thought of this ride, above picture is how I always wanted the ride to start. Fully loaded bike silhouetted against the morning sky with the Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock in the background.



Hung around the beach road enjoying the sunrise and gulping multiple cups of coffee.



Though the cloud cover slowly increased, the sunrise was beautiful throwing hues of orange all over. I sat there enjoying the sunrise while fending off the various vendors of shells, pearl necklaces, magnetic bands, sunglasses and watches.



Around 0645 I left the beach road and began the journey North which would abruptly turn around just a little ahead of Srinagar.

Kanyakumari is more than just the tip of India with its beaches and its temples/churches. Its a rural town with some beautiful landscapes.



Joining the NH44, I scouted around for a good place to take some pictures of windmills. The previous day I had tried to take some videos which did not go well. Today I focused on stills.

Windmills, water and cloudy sky. It couldn’t get better than that.




Few Km out of Kanyakumari, I met Vinayak. Vinayak was walking from Kanyakumari to Leh to create awareness about sexual assault. Chatted for a while and wished him good luck.



Around 0900, I took my first break and a standing breakfast. Tea, coconut cream bun and chips. Walked around a little to stretch my legs.

Met an auto loader driver who spoke fluent English. We got talking and he fondly recollected to me a trip in his younger days to Vizag from Tirunelveli, sleeping in the loader and using wood to cook. I was glad seeing me he was able to recall some good old memories.



Since after breakfast, dark clouds overhead threatened to pour. Anticipating rain, I hardly stopped anywhere and made good time. The threat finally caught up with me a little before Karur. I took shelter at a petrol pump, but not before getting drenched as the rain came so fast that I had no time to put on the rain gear. By the time rain slowed and I was on my way, it was 1330.



A little after Dharmapuri, I took my 2nd break of the day. Tea with couple of puff pasties. The going had been slow and I was aware that it would be dark by time I would get home.

Yes, I was going to stay at my home at Bangalore.



Post Krishnagiri, I made good time till Hosur. In between stopped once when I saw a milestone marker for Varanasi. For some reason, political I guess, almost till Jabalpur the markers for Varanasi would keep showing up, saying as if that I should go there.

At Hosur, I decided to avoid going through main city and instead take a circuitous route from the outskirts to my home. It was dark and a little beyond 1900 when I ended the day.
 

skysat2005

Super User
So the trip is home to kanyakumari to home and then home to up north :)
Going really good with detailed day wise updates coming in.
Keep up the momentum of updates.
Cheers...
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
So the trip is home to kanyakumari to home and then home to up north :)
Going really good with detailed day wise updates coming in.
Keep up the momentum of updates.
Cheers...
Correct. I was looking go to through Kerala, but the weather out there had other plans. Was forced to stick to NH44.
 

Tilak Francis

Well-Known Member
Oct 2nd 2021
Day 1: 714Km




Up at 0500 and out before 0600. This was to be my morning routine for many days. The morning was better than previous evening. There were a few clouds which would add color to the sunrise.

Stepping out of the hotel, I mounted my luggage and rode towards the beach road. I wanted to take a few pics of with the luggage mounted on the bike. That was to make an official ride start pic.

To my surprise the beach road was blocked by a large consignment of police. Apparently the area at the entrance of beach road and the temple were closed during weekends. The intent was to avoid crowds assembling to prevent COVID spread.

I requested a cop to let me go, pleading that I had come from Bangalore. He didn’t agree but recommended an alternate route to the beach road, which was perfectly fine with me.

Reaching the beach road, I found it quite crowded. Seemed like everyone knew the alternate route.



Since the day I thought of this ride, above picture is how I always wanted the ride to start. Fully loaded bike silhouetted against the morning sky with the Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock in the background.



Hung around the beach road enjoying the sunrise and gulping multiple cups of coffee.



Though the cloud cover slowly increased, the sunrise was beautiful throwing hues of orange all over. I sat there enjoying the sunrise while fending off the various vendors of shells, pearl necklaces, magnetic bands, sunglasses and watches.



Around 0645 I left the beach road and began the journey North which would abruptly turn around just a little ahead of Srinagar.

Kanyakumari is more than just the tip of India with its beaches and its temples/churches. Its a rural town with some beautiful landscapes.



Joining the NH44, I scouted around for a good place to take some pictures of windmills. The previous day I had tried to take some videos which did not go well. Today I focused on stills.

Windmills, water and cloudy sky. It couldn’t get better than that.




Few Km out of Kanyakumari, I met Vinayak. Vinayak was walking from Kanyakumari to Leh to create awareness about sexual assault. Chatted for a while and wished him good luck.



Around 0900, I took my first break and a standing breakfast. Tea, coconut cream bun and chips. Walked around a little to stretch my legs.

Met an auto loader driver who spoke fluent English. We got talking and he fondly recollected to me a trip in his younger days to Vizag from Tirunelveli, sleeping in the loader and using wood to cook. I was glad seeing me he was able to recall some good old memories.



Since after breakfast, dark clouds overhead threatened to pour. Anticipating rain, I hardly stopped anywhere and made good time. The threat finally caught up with me a little before Karur. I took shelter at a petrol pump, but not before getting drenched as the rain came so fast that I had no time to put on the rain gear. By the time rain slowed and I was on my way, it was 1330.



A little after Dharmapuri, I took my 2nd break of the day. Tea with couple of puff pasties. The going had been slow and I was aware that it would be dark by time I would get home.

Yes, I was going to stay at my home at Bangalore.



Post Krishnagiri, I made good time till Hosur. In between stopped once when I saw a milestone marker for Varanasi. For some reason, political I guess, almost till Jabalpur the markers for Varanasi would keep showing up, saying as if that I should go there.

At Hosur, I decided to avoid going through main city and instead take a circuitous route from the outskirts to my home. It was dark and a little beyond 1900 when I ended the day.
Nice Update. I too thought you would prefer a coastal ride. But better choice with rough weather to play it safe.
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Oct 3rd 2021
Day 2: 780Km




Ahh the pleasure of sleeping on one’s own bed. Slept quite well and was on my way by 0540. As usual, getting out of Bangalore is a pain, even early in the morning.



An hour of riding and I was gliding on the highway. Took a bum break on the side of road and stretched my legs. First goal of the day was to get to Hyderabad and then decide where to put up for the night.



Stopped at the Lepakshi cutoff to take a pic in front of the Nandi statue. While I was getting the picture taken, a boy carrying flowers ran up to me.



I assumed he wanted to sell me flowers and automatically told no. He then explained he was looking for change which he had to return to a passenger in the nearby bus. So I gave him some change. Surprisingly, few min later he returned to talk. Ganesh’s interest primarily being the bike with loaded luggage.

I told him I was going as far north as I could. We chatted a little. He sells flowers in the morning to supplement family income. On Sundays he hangs around longer for extra income.

Impulsively, I bought some Mogra flowers from him and tucked them under the bike visor. Few a few hours after that the pleasant smell wafted as I rode.



Another hour and I was on the Anantpur bypass. Stopped for a quick breakfast. The pongal was really nice which I washed down with two cups of coffee.
This was the last I would have a good cup of filter coffee for a long time.



While the Varanasi signboards came frequently, the first time I noticed the Srinagar board, I stopped to take a pic. That’s where I was going.



Around 1000, the need for a longer break arose. Found a nice bus stop adjoining a lake. And out I stretched on the narrow bench for my mid-morning siesta.



Slept for half an hour and then took a walk in the corn field behind the stop. It was nice walking in the field.
The road had been pretty good so far and I covered a lot of distance in short time. On reaching, the Krishna river, I crossed the bridge and then decided to drive down to the water. Reaching there I realized that the North banks of the river were used for cremations. Across the river one can see the Beechupalli Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple.



From there to Hyderabad was a short distance. Stopped a little before the city to fill petrol. Had a few cold coffee shakes and an ice-cream to re-hydrate myself.
At Hyderabad, bikes were not allowed on the outer ring road. So I had to wade through the city traffic to cross the city. It was a pain driving through the city.
Since it was still early in the day, I decided to keep going. The options I considered for night stay were Kamareddy or Nizamabad.
After crossing Hyderabad, took another break at a bakery for tea, puff and chips.
Kamareddy, came quickly. So decided to head to Nizamabad. However, a little after Kamareddy, the road was blocked due to an accident. A truck carrying orange had overturned on the highway. Everyone was helping themselves to free oranges. I also had a couple. That also delayed me and it was dark by the time I reached Nizamabad.
The online apps had limited choice of hotels. So I looked up google maps for nearby hotels and called them up before driving there. The 1st one I looked at wasn’t so nice. The next one was better and I took the room.



While I was checking in, I asked the bellboy for a good place to eat nearby. At first he suggested the in-house restaurant. When his manager was out of earshot, he recommended a biryani place nearby.
After resting a while, I took a shower and walked down to the biryani place. I am glad I asked, because the biryani was quite good.



While walking back I saw a crowd near this small pan shop. Helped myself to large dry-fruit pan before calling it a day.

So far I had covered 2200Km since starting.
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Oct 4th 2021
Day 3: 518Km




The night was a tough one. I was quite tired, yet did not sleep well. 2200Km in three days were a stretch. I decided to take it easy henceforth.



Once again I was up at 0500 and out by 0600. However today, I did not step out with my luggage or riding gear. My plan was to first explore the Nizamabad fort.

Reaching the fort, while the main entrance was open, the gate inside was closed. I then checked out the large lake next to the fort. There were several morning walkers. One of them told me that the gate is not locked. I can just push it open and drive in.

I did the same and drove up.



Unfortunately the fort is dilapidated and completely unmaintained. Most of the entrance was barricaded. I eventually found a trail which led to a courtyard inside the fort.



Needless to say, the place was empty. I hung around for a while enjoying the solitude and the view of the city stretched below.



After taking some pictures and scaring away many birds in the process, I headed down.



The sun was just peeping through the main entrance of the fort. I stopped to take a few more pictures. Here I met Adil, who was returning after a jog around the lake, and we stuck a conversation. He had just completed his Mechanical Engineering and was planning to start looking for a job. After chatting a while, he invited me for breakfast to his more which I politely declined. Aah, the niceties of small town people.



Leaving the fort, I returned to my hotel. Before starting I had the complementary breakfast which was a simple affair.



Starting from Nizamabad, I took it easy. I was not planning to ride too far today.
At several places, corn was being dried on the road side. Stopped at one place and took one to be eaten later. The farmer was happy to give me one and offered more. But I just wanted one.



Stopped at a waterfall to take some pictures. As I had stepped away from the bike to take the waterfall pics, a monkey showed out of nowhere and found the candy bag in one of the saddlebag pockets.



Two road constructions workers, working nearby, came running to scare away the monkey and helped pick the candies. As I ran back, the 1st question they asked is “youtube channel kya hai?” (what is your youtube channel?) . Surprised I told them, I don’t have one. To that they retorted, “toa gari kyu chala rahe ho?” (Then why are you riding?). I could not help but laugh. These youtubers have impacted the image of free spirit riding.

Sharing half of my candies with them, I moved on. Thinking back, I wish I had gone down to the river and taken a bath there.



Crossing into Maharashtra, I stopped at the Border checkpost. I had to call my office and put in my papers. In the morning I had received the confirmation of another role within the company.
Never thought I would notify my boss from the road. Well, there is always a first time.
The roads were completely messed up after entering Maharashtra. Going was slow. Feeling tired after a while, I stopped at a dhaba for tea and a quick nap.
At Nagpur, I took the bypass which was excellent. Subsequently the road condition improved.




Soon I was in the Pench territory. The jungle of course is quite nice. I was also surprised at the great work done to take care of ensuring animals do not come on the road. Either the road was elevated or the sides barricaded. Quite impressing.



I first thought of staying at one of the places at the entrance of Pench. Later decided to go to Seoni. Drove in to one of the forest roads to get the feel of the forest and then turned back.
At Seoni, the hotel I had booked over phone didn’t look great. So booked another one from MakeMyTrip. From then onward, I would use MMT quite often.



At the hotel, I first wanted to go out and eat. Feeling tired, I decided to eat at the hotel itself. The food was nice, though quite oily.

As I went back to sleep, I did not realize it was going to be a tough night.
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5th 2021
Day 4: 610Km


The night was terrible. My arms ached like anything and I could not sleep for a long time. Caught some sleep only towards the morning.



Though I wasn’t planning to cover a lot of distance, yet ended up at Gwalior. All thanks to the nice roads in MP.




Woke up late and by the time I left the hotel it was past 0630. While taking the luggage out, I chatted with the boy at the reception. The same owner had a resort at the entrance of Pench and he mostly worked there as a guide. Due to weak tourist season, he was working in the city. He wanted to take a picture of me in front of the hotel, which I was happy to oblige.




Back of my mind, Jhansi or Gwalior was where I would halt for the day.




The route went through some well cultivated lands. Stopped at a corn field to take some pictures. The pain of the night was forgotten. Driving though these roads is the fun of riding.




Turning away from the road towards Jabalpur, I headed to Sagar. There were small hillocks flanking the road. Took a break and walked down a small trail in a cultivated valley. Walking on the grass in the cool morning was nice. It was an ideal spot for a picnic.




Thinking of picnic made me hungry. Took me a while to find a dhabha with charpoi. Had parantha with curd followed by a nap. It was a crowded dhabha and a group was fighting which woke me up prematurely. One of the person fighting was drunk. According to the waiting boy, effect of extra money earned by driving his harvester over to UP for cultivation.




Next I stopped over the Narmada bridge. It was a busy spot with devotees bathing, people washing clothes and boats plying.


Driving in MP was somewhat irksome due to the cows walking around or just seated on the road. Several time I had to slow down. Fortunately the roads were great. Over all I made pretty good time.

As soon as I entered U.P, road conditions became bad. And they would stay the same till beyond Jhansi. Between Sagar and Jhansi, got caught in a thunderstorm. By the time I took cover, I was quite drenched. Had to wait almost 45 minutes for the rain to stop. I put on my rain gear and started out in light drizzle. Soon the rain stopped and the sun came out. As I was contemplating taking off the rain gear it started raining again. After that I kept the rain gear on for a long time even though it was quite hot. Given the delay due to rain and bad U.P. roads, I thought of stopping at Jhansi. Decided to stretch to Gwalior.



On way to Gwalior, saw the Datia Palace high on a hillock. Took the side road inside to have a better view. As I was driving, the palace ruins reflected perfectly on the water of Lala Ka Talab. However, by the time I found a place to park, a breeze ruffled the water surface ruining the reflections. Sat on the steps, enjoying the breeze and waiting for the water to calm down. Didn’t have much success.



The hotel, I had booked at Gwalior via booking.com, had no parking. So booked another place via MMT. This was on the higher end, and above what my planned budget was. Guess a bit of luxury after 3.3K Km was permissible.

It was just getting dark when I checked in. Took a shower and stepped out. A screw on my camera was getting loose. Wanted to get it repaired. Didn’t find any shop for the same. I would eventually get it repaired at Killar in H.P.

Searching google for marwari thali, I landed at a place serving thali like Rajdhani in Bangalore.
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Oct 6th 2021
Day 5: 469Km




After two days I had a good nights sleep. I woke up refreshed and was out a little after 0600. Plan was to first go to the Gwalior fort. Decided to checkout before going to the fort and then head to Agra.




The first entrance to the fort did not allow vehicles to go inside. However there were a lot of people out for a walk in the fort.




Got some pictures taken and asked for a way up. Couple of boys recommended that I go up via Urvai Gate.


Heading there I found the way was blocked. A Sikh festival was in progress and they were not letting any one go. Contemplating what to do, I saw one volunteer in a shiny jet black Royal Enfield drive in and man the barricade after parking his bike nearby. Sensing an opportunity, I pointed at my saddle bags and told him I have come from far away Kanyakumari. He let me drive inside.




The road up was full of pedestrians walking up. I drove up to the Gurudwara and turned back. Most of the palace was closed. I guess it was early in the morning.






I drove around where ever the bike could go. Other than the route to Gurudwara, rest of the fort was empty.


Coming down, I headed to Agra.






On the way I spotted a shop making jalebi and kachori. Had a hearty breakfast for 30 rupees before proceeding to Agra.


Gwalior Agra road isn’t great and there is a lot of traffic. While I maintained good speed, it was not a breeze.


In between I felt some noises from the chain. So stopped and lubed the chain. Since I did not have anything to prop the rear tire, I lubed the exposed part and then moved the bike forward to lube the next section. Effective but not great for cleaning.




At Agra, the traffic was messed up. I wanted to see the Taj from across the Yamuna. It took me a while to get there. Unfortunately the air was hazy and visibility was quite low.




Taking some disappointing pictures, I moved on. Took me a while to get on the Yamuna Expressway. Once on the expressway, going was fun.


Unlike the national highways, the expressway has a grassy strip on the side. While there were boards prohibiting stopping on the side, there were many vehicles doing just that.


I too found a shady patch and stretched out for a nap.




Since I had a lot of time, I lay there listening to the birds and looking at the sky though the leaves above.


Starting back, I took the wrong exit and ended up on the road to Palwal, from where I took the peripheral expressway. The peripheral expressway while wide and empty is no fun to drive on. It is mostly elevated without any greenery. Feels like driving on the concrete of doom’s day movies.


Exiting at Sonipat, I headed to a friend’s house. When I had told him that I was heading that way, he insisted I stay at his place. There I has a shower and then had tea with his mother, sister and niece.


Later in the evening we went out for a drink and dinner. I wanted to eat at one of the Murthal dhabha’s, having some fond memories of the place.


While the food was good, the ambience was not what I had in mind.




We called it an early night.
 
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