LoneRider: Expecting the Unexpected
First journey of the road trip (285km: Jodhpur to Jaisalmer)
Feb 2nd was my last working day with IBM Watson. We had a great farewell lunch and I got to say good-bye to most of my teammates. After finishing the last day at work, I went to the railway station to parcel my bike. After some initial hiccups I managed to finish the job. I went to my brother’s place and packed my luggage for the trip. Once I reached the station I wasn’t sure whether the parcel guys would load my bike in the right train or not. After running around in search for the parcel compartment for a while, I gave up.
As soon as I entered into my compartment, I saw a Rajasthani family occupying my seat with huge luggage. To my surprise one of the guy travelling to Jodhpur asked me if I could exchange his seat in the next compartment. Initially I was a bit hesitant but after seeing the compartment empty I just rushed back to change my seat :). I was the only person in the 6 seater. The next day was quite interesting, as I got to meet a Telugu guy travelling to Jodhpur. We were the only people in our compartment. We chatted on various topics and we didn’t realise our long journey ended so quickly.
I successfully spent 2 and half days in the train from Bangalore to Jodhpur. As soon as I got down, my friend arranged for a relative to help me get my bike and accommodation. Dev Singh and his friend Santosh helped me in getting my bike instantly, as they were working in the railways. We took the bike to his friend’s place and went on to party. They took me to a dhaba, 30km away from the city on a highway which provided some awesome food. On the way back at night they set me up in a hotel near to the highway and not far from the city.
After 2 days of proper rest and some last-minute shopping, I sat on my bike, setup the coördinates for Jaisalmer in Google Maps and started my first ride. An interesting fact about the Google Maps is that it suggests the shortest path to the destination, but it misses an important factor i.e. the quality of the roads. If the roads are bad then effectively it is going to take more time. After going through an initial bit of bad patch in Jodhpur (shortest path), I managed to hit the highway. NH114 and NH15 are really nice roads to drive on (Two-lane road).
Initially I was quite skeptical about the idea of riding a bike alone. After an hour I got the feel of it and I started embracing the idea of travelling alone. I was quite adamant about two rules: 1) I would not ride more than 350km a day and 2) I would not be driving at night. I almost covered half the distance and I was right on track with the time. So I decided upon a perfect place to stop and have a nice meal to treat myself for the great start.
I stopped at a nice restaurant, asked for the menu and ordered a Kashmiri Pulao and a raita (I have no idea what motivated me). Meanwhile I charged my phone using my power bank. After having the awesome meal, I bought some chocolate cookies to fill up my stock. Once again I was on the road to complete the rest of the journey. On my way roughly 10 kms from Pokhran (nuclear testing site) I started feeling “gud gud gud gud” sound in my stomach. I was like aha… this isn’t an interesting sign to look for on a bike trip. I rode for a couple of minutes to see whether the feeling would subside, unfortunately it didn’t and it became much stronger. So at the nuclear testing site I was preparing myself for my very own nuclear bomb to be deployed :D. I started looking for a dump site in Pokhran (how ironic??).
To my sheer bad luck there came a railway crossing and the signals from inside were becoming really strong. At this moment I was not able to stand because I wasn’t sure what was in store. I started picturing some backup plans, what if I ride down a route to a resort and find a washroom. I wasn’t sure how far the resort was, so I sticked to the original plan of checking for a washroom on the main road. Finally the railway crossing opens up and I started my bike in search of a divine place. After riding for a while in the desert, I realised I was in a desert. Suddenly the plan changed from searching for a washroom to searching for a bush. Right on my quest to searching for the perfect bush to download, the signals became really strong and I knew it was now or never. So I stopped my bike off the road and ran into a bush with my helmet and gear on. As soon as I dropped my pants the download started without any time to set up a proper dumping setting. This was it “download happened” in my favourite pant :(.
I initially thought I could ride like this with the shit in my pants for the next 20km to reach my friend’s place. After having my pants on I realised it was a loose motion and the liquid was coming out of my pants (yukkkk). Now I started thinking steps to come out of this shit (literally). Luckily I didn’t have my hands dirty yet, so I removed my helmet, shoes, biking gear and threw it in the sand. Removed my pants and underwear (literally half-naked), walked towards my bike unpacked my luggage, removed a spare pant and a water bottle. I poured the water to clean up the shit, but I wasn’t successful enough as it was in a liquid state. I ran out of water and the only wildest idea I got was to rub of desert sand on my body (Thanks to Bear Grylls (Man vs Wild)). I was feeling really good at this point that I waded a dramatic situation. Luckily I had a couple of sanitizer bottles, which I rubbed over my body after cleaning myself with the desert sand. After that I sprayed my deodorant all over my body to get rid of that shitty smell. Meanwhile as the episode was going on at the side of the road in a half-naked state, the traffic was going on as usual. I wasn’t embarrassed at all because I was already in deep shit, I just had to get out of it.
Finally after arriving at the my friend’s place, I saw people peaking from every where as if I came from a strange planet. Later I realised that it was quite uncommon for a girl in Rajasthan to have male friends. As soon as I unpacked my luggage and entered the house, I got an unexpected traditional welcome.
I was quite surprised (you can see it on my face), but I loved all the attention (I almost forgot my episode). My friend insisted me to eat something as I reached after a long ride. I was adamant that I need to take shower before doing anything (I couldn’t tell them the story). I took an hour-long shower, washing my cloths and cleaning myself properly. It was like heaven after the shower.
After all, an adventure is all about expecting the unexpected. I met really nice people on my way. I told them about the adventure I was doing. People were quite surprised that I was doing it all alone. Last but not the least it is fun only if you have a great story to share.
Next post would be solely about Jaisalmer.