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“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
The day got off to a slightly late start. So, after a quick breakfast, we loaded up the bikes in order to set off to find the mysterious highway that had remained out of our reach the day before.
The stopover at Delhi was a welcome break after the long and HOT ride across the country. Harsh, my friend and former colleague (who co-incidentally quit on the same day as I had) was not only kind enough to provide me a home in Delhi, but also allowed me unrestricted usage of his air-conditioner (electricity bill be damned!). I made the most of his generosity and spent a majority of my time boxed inside a room hoping that the cool blow would seep through the pores of my skin and magically push out all the heat that had been absorbed into my body.
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
Navi Mumbai – Vapi – Bharuch – Vadodara – Anand
The weather in Navi Mumbai was brutally hot (and it was likely to only get worse as we headed further North). So we got off to an early (ish) start on the morning of 12 May, 2016, to commence Stage 2 of the journey (from Navi Mumbai to New Delhi). For Day 1, we planned to ride 480-odd kilometres from Navi Mumbai to Anand (in Gujarat) where a friend of Karthik’s would host us for the night.
Getting a trip started is a monumental task for me. I always feel inadequately prepared. I am also constantly convinced that I’ve forgotten something vital, without ever knowing what this “vital” thing could possibly be. So, getting prepped for a trip that I didn’t really know how to prepare for proved to be more difficult than anything I’ve ever done before. When I went to bed on the 6th of May (2016), I was certain that I would soon finally identify the several “vital” things I had forgotten, and that departure would then need to be suitably postponed.
In the run-up to my ride from Chennai to Leh, I was on the look out for a comprehensive checklist of things to do prepare my bike for the trip. The information that I found was quite scattered. So, now that I am on the other side of a significant part of my tour, I thought it would be a good idea to put down some information that I think might be helpful for anyone else planning to set off on a motorcycle tour.
“How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller