My Journey to Leh

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Well-Known Member
Thank you Satinderji. Lets continue the journey for the fourth day. Here we go.

Day 4: Ratlam – Kishangarh 26th Sept 2013, Thursday

Got up early as usual. Lucky enough to find tea. Have a quick bath and get ready. Don’t remember exact time of start since I forgot to log it. Once again onto Jaipur Highway. At lower speeds I can hear some sound from the front wheel. Oh no… I stop to check. The last night slush was the cause. Slush between the front tyre and mud guard dried now, became rock hard and that is causing the friction and ensuing sound. Inspected the damage on both the tyres. They are ok. The problem is simple, yet they get magnified due to the fact that you are all alone and the place is new.

08:45 Dalauda – Tea break. Odo says 54403. Air checked in both the tyres.

One of the many I had been there shots:

My companion:

Some tea breaks in between. As I enter Rajasthan border, before Chitorgarh, I think some how I missed the highway. Took the road which seemed to be highway. Or was it the highway itself. After the regular interstate RTO check post, lots of truck standing on road. Took to the road, which was winding a bit to left, then an over bridge. When in doubt I always try to ask. Here on the over bridge, saw a tractor fellow with lots of noise from his music system. I yelled at him if that was the Jaipur highway and he confirms it. I just continue and drive straight to some police checks which is common while crossing the state borders. They check my documents and leave me alone. I take a little break and confirm the police if I am on the right way onto Jaipur because I could see there is not much traffic here as before that day. They confirm it is correct way and I have to continue for about 30 kms or so and the highway starts once again. Possible. I have been seeing all sorts of setups. I continued with a nagging feeling in my mind.

Weather is hot, cloudy, no winds. All the arid region weather I was blessed with. Lucky its not Mid June or something like that which was my original plan.

One of the many dhabas: Tea break in the morning:

That nagging feeling I couldn’t shrug off that something is amiss. I pass through some industrial area before Chitorgarh with lots of truck traffic and finally I enter into my famous NER. Then the slush once again. Big traffic jam for I think more than five kms. Only the trucks, very rarely a car is seen. However there were a few two wheelers struggling in the slush, maneuvering through slush and stand still truck traffic. With the weight on the back of my seat, it was really a task to manage the bike balancing. Somehow, found bit gaps here and there through slush and trucks. Sometimes the width was only a few inches in that slush, either side slush. Took some one and half hour to clear the traffic. I just stopped asking the directions. There is only one direction, that is ahead. I however can not go back in that mad slush and truck traffic. Everyone seems to be on their nerves.

Finally, I join a highway after Chitorgarh. Or is it the start of the highway which I never bothered. What matters at those times is you got the highway, that’s enough. I continue.

2:30 lunch break at some Dhaba. Odo: 54569
It was so hot. No shade to park the bike. Ordered some dal, rice and curds. Lots of truck drivers. I saw some curious food item here. A driver with his plate and the waiter comes and keeps some flour balls resembling small sized laddus. The driver crushes them into powder and dal and ghee is poured into it. Wanted to try it but I was served with my ordered food. Wanted to ask what that item was, but out of decency I couldn’t ask. Anyway the driver did not appear to be amicable either. People reading this from that area could explain what those flour balls are.

I continue in that heat. So hot it was. I noticed many tippers on the road. Plain highway. I was even feeling sleepy.


I did read people take a short catnap while driving, I mean micro sleep for a few seconds may be or whatever. When the roads are just plain, too hot or too cold weather, regular traffic with high speeds becomes a monotony. Speedometer needle sleeping at 70, you have nothing to do. Just keep going. Slowly and slowly, I think our brain becomes the victim of monotony and only one part of the brain is bit active which takes care of driving and the rest of the brain just sleeps because of inactivity. You however drive. And then slowly this part of the brain also comes under the influence of monotony I think and this is the time the driver sleeps. Well, I was not sleeping literally but figuratively. Trucks moving at regular speed. And then what I notice shocked me. I see a truck with many wheels, close to me to my RHS, almost same speed as mine. Suddenly I realize on of the truck wheels is not spinning, just stationery, and yet the truck and me are moving. I became alert, am I sleeping or hallucinating due to heat, or these are also some sort of mirages which I could see plenty on road. I am completely awake now. Alert as usual. Then I take a close look of the wheel. Its true its not spinning because, this particular tyre in question is not touching the ground ! It was a dummy tyre. But how am I to know the mechanism of these huge trucks.

After the sighting of the first tea shop I stop for tea to refresh myself. The girl took her own time to make a single cup of tea.

Its getting evening, little cloudy sky and Kishangarh 90 kms away.


Soon it was dark. I know I have to leave this highway for Kishangarh. Jaipur, Ajmer, Kishangarh, big network of roads.

Here I must thank Yogesh and KurtRules here for guiding me through the roads. Kishangarh – Moga – Jalandhar – Pathankot route.

With many enquiries, I did not miss the cut for Kishangarh in that night. Near bus stand I find a hotel called Goyal Palace. Rs.250 for the night. Had food in a tiny place suggested by the hotel fellow just opposite the bus stand. It was good. And then the biological battery reacharging. Rested for the night. With apprehension of crossing desert tomorrow; Marwar area. No rains luckily till now. Hope the luck holds tomorrow too. With this in mind, I slept.

Odo: 54765
Run for the day : 442 Kms inspite of that slush.
Total run for the trip till today: 1565 kms
Bike engine oil change due tomorrow.


Well-Known Member
To be frank, I dont know the condition of other roads are Santosh. May be you can try Pune, Mumbai road. There are plenty of logs on this route in BCMT itself.

Undoubtedly, it was difficult to handle the slush, but as a reflection now, its all the part of adventure you see. You can not escape these inconveniences or excitements completely during a long trip like this one.

Overall if you take, I might have driven 40% NER and 60% good roads by distance. But if you take the driving time spent on road, its just reversed, about 60% of my time was on bad road or what I call is Non Existent Roads because only on road maps they exist. And the remaining 40% time on good roads. Luckily, entire Moore plains which I dreaded the most for its notorious zig zag paths, sand, directionless paths, was newly done with tarmac. That part would follow.



you are right about the monotony of driving causing sleepiness. In the US, that us why they do not build straiight highways, even if they can. All highways gardually curve, so as too keep the driver alert


Well-Known Member
Thank you all individually.

Yes, I too heard the slight turn in the Highways in US. Its even worse in countries like Switzerland when the highways are covered with snow on either side. Perfect recipe for taking your brain into monotony and at 100 and odd mph speed ! I heard they use headlights even in day time so that to bring back the brain of the opposite driver to alert mode.

Since the topic is on roads, the bad roads, or roads on hills or forests etc, though little difficult to drive, they keep your sleep off. Your brain is always alert.

You will soon read some funny experience after crossing zozilla.

Thanks to you all once again.

If I could instill the confidence even in one person for a travel like this, I think, my time in writing this travelogue is worthwhile.