We reached Dalhousie at 1 am today. We had left Agra at 9 am yesterday. 785 km in 16 hours, translating into an average speed of 49 kmph. I am unable to upload any image due to poor connectivity. My Photon+ is lifeless here. BTW, did anybody stay at Agra and leave without visiting Taj Mahal and/or the Fort? Yes, I did yesterday.
Today is rest day. No need to wear the jacket and the riding pant!
Somehow, I got some connectivity at last!
Here are some highlights of the ride so far:
* It rained cats and dogs, when I was 86 km from Sagar including hailstorm, which continued for the next 2 km. I was the lone rider on the deserted highway! I was afraid that hailstorm might break the instrument cluster glass cover of my bird, which was already replaced once under warranty! My Wildcraft raincoat saved me from getting drenched totally!
* The Jhansi-Gwalior stretch is still in the same pathetic condition. Add to that the evening peak hour traffic, cattles on the road, it was a total mess one would like to avoid. Thankfully, I will not be returning on that stretch again!
* My host at Bansi Home Stay, Agra insisted on my having more puris. So, I overate, felt like sleeping again, but left at 9 am with half mind.
* The heat was unbearable when I was riding on Yamuna Expressway and through Delhi. My wrists have become darker due to sun-burn, necessitating removal of my jacket. At 2 pm, I could not ride any more due to scorching heat. So, I halted at Pahalwan Dhaba, Murthal, had sweet lassi, slept for an hour on a rope cot, had tea and left at 3 pm only.
* There was a big evening peak hour traffic jam near the Ludhiana bypass, so I rode through the city.
* I informed Hotel Grand View, Dalhousie in advance of my arriving beyond the midnight. I was told that my dinner would be kept in my room! When I entered my room after checking in, I found a 10-course meal, comprising many rotis, parathas, naans, paneer butter masala, peas, kheer, rice, dal, kadi, etc. waiting for me! That was the first time - and perhaps, the last time too - that I had my dinner at 2 am!
* Many people enquired about my Thunderbird 500 at petrol pumps, signals, while waiting in queue in traffic jams, regarding the price, kitna deti hai, where from, where to, etc.
My Thunderbird 500 brought me safely to Jaipur after gruelling 21 hours including the visit to Hussainiwala border near Ferozepur. I dropped Sach Pass from my itinerary and started the homeward ride yesterday at 10:45 am from Dalhousie.
Blue Bird and me arrived at Haldirams, Nagpur at 9:45 am today. Breakfasted, I rode to The Nagpur Ashok and checked in at 11 am. We had left Hotel Kalyan, Jaipur at 12:45 pm yesterday. Took the E W Corridor to join N S Corridor via Tonk>Kota>Shivpuri>Jhansi>Narsingpur>Chhindwara to reach Nagpur in 21 hours over 1,176 km [GPS] that works out to 56 kmph of average speed.
The road inside Kota is very potholed. Apart from that, it's a beautiful 4-laned NH all the way with less traffic. The petrol pump attendants at Lalitpur BP COCOO remembered me and my bird even at midnight!
Blue Bird brought me safely and comfortably to Bangalore Basaveswara Nagar home at 4:25 am today. We had left The Nagpur Ashok at 10:35 am yesterday. 1,068 km. 18 hours. 59.33 kmph average speed.
Rain accompanied us from Adilabad with varying intensity. At Kurnool, it rained cats and dogs for more than an hour. From Anantapur, biting cold greeted us. I passed through Hyderabad between 6:30 and 7:30 pm without any rain.
The attendants at Adilabad Reliance Petroleum outlet recognized me and my bird and enquired about the trip.
I will ride the last leg, the shortest and sweetest Bangalore to Chennai after a few days.