Traveling alone

Though I didn’t plan on traveling alone, but was compelled to do so I had planned a trip to Leh, ladakh with a group of friends. The discussions were done, plan was made, routes decided, necessary purchases made, motorcycles readied everything taken care of…
The plan was to ride 4 motorcycles from Bangalore to Leh. As the day of the journey started approaching, people started dropping out one by one. Each giving a different reason. On the day of the journey the last and the final person backed out…

So, had to make a choice, whether to give up on the plan or attempt a solo ride to the Himalayas riding across the country on a 20 year old motorcycle. I decided: what the heck, let me have a go at it, I’ve already applied those leaves no point backing out. I made up a mental agreement, the moment when the motorcycle gives up is when I will give up and head back.

As it turned out for the next 26 days it never did. Me and my motorcycle, we took it a day at a time, picked a destination and tried to make it. Almost always we did.

The route took me across the country, Blore – Pune – Mumbai- Ahmedabad – Mt Abu- Udaipur- Jaipur- Amritsar- Chandigarh- Jammu- Srinagar- Kargil- Leh
I noticed, everybody was surprised to see a 22 year old guy traveling alone from Bangalore on a motorcycle almost nearly as old as him.

By the time I had reached Leh, I had already covered 4000kms, was tired and fell sick as I didn’t expect AMS to set in. But the bike was in perfect condition and I remembered the agreement we had made. Kardungla pass, the highest motorable road at 18380 feet and the beautiful Pangong lake is what I came all the way for… I decided to make one final push…

No back up crew, no company to rely on. Just a few biker friends who I had met on the way. Soon after, the AMS started getting really worse and I had to head to lower altitudes but the toughest road Leh- Manali was what I had to tackle to reach home. Crossing those flooded roads, no tarmac to insane traffic. I remember very little of the journey but just kept going. Reached Chandigarh, shipped the bike and took a flight to Bangalore.

Though I spent the next 7 days at a hospital recovering from losing over 12 kilos on the journey, I had the most memorable experience of my life. Met some amazing people on the way, some in Punjab who took me to their home and offered me lassi, to the amazing biker brotherhood who stop to help any stranded biker on those routes, to the couple of army fellows who offered me free lodging in Leh for a couple of days just because they saw my number plate which belonged to their state.

It removed my inhibitions and fear of traveling alone. It’s a beautiful world out there, and some really amazing and helpful people you’ll meet along the way. Traveling alone is a way to know your own self in ways you never imagined.

After this I’ve traveled 6 more times to the Himalayas, 3 times of those solo biking.. And I don’t think I’ll stop anytime soon.. 🙂 cheers…

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