LOST IN BHUTAN: 6 BIKERS, 20 DAYS, 7500 KMS OF INSANITY!

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Chapter 11: Riddled by Bullets and Zonked by Dzongs

The Route: Paro – Thimpu – Simtoka – Dochu La – Punakha – Wangdue
Distance: 135 kms.

Very Unlikely to our regular mornings this was different. Sachin for the 1st time did not perform his daily ritual of stick and lube that all of you are aware of. In-fact we were all up early but how! Well, we were aware that there is road widening work going on between Thimpu & Punakha so we decided to start the ride from Paro early at around 8 AM so that we can cross the road widening work area before the road is blocked. The issue wasn’t just widening there was no road , they were actually digging our mother earths bosom to create enough cleavage way for us to pass by. and even for the hardworking Bhutanese that would take time. So up and early chain lubing and fueling done at night even pot stops. And we set off……

From Paro till outskirts of Thimpu the ride was a breeze as we mentioned in the previous chapters as well. Deepan anna and Big Boss Man ( Glinfy) Started their Isle of man on the peaceful road. We took the Thimpu Bye pass, but passing thimpu was a different feel, the Yak stake and the beautiful smile of Kumari kept calling me back but with a heavy heart moved on and we entered Simtoka and since we made it there in quick time we had to wait only 40 mins for the road block to open. So we parked our bikes and waited, and waited, and waited , and waited……..

Around 40 minutes early but happy as it was time to gulp some nice momo’s available at a roadside stall. Speak about Irony as almost 5 days into Bhutan and this was our 1st taste of the mighty momo’s,  the most famous delicacy of Bhutan!!!  but like hungry wolves, when we got a chance, we emptied the entire container full of momo’s. Sorry if I havent mentioned earlier, like hungry scavengers which ever place we visited to eat, we wiped them dry and then in search of our next prey (foodjoint)!!!!! #foodporn #foodgasm!!! Tea wasnt sweet which is nice but the flavour was fawsome. These people really know their tea. Whatever side effect on our sleep deprived bodies was taken away and refreshed us. I dont know about Bane but If I had to toxicate my body id use this tea.

Some 20 minutes away from the road block and amazing tea, what ever goes in also has to go out, we all wanted to pee, but that wasn’t the problem, remember our very own Dumpling King aka Nicky felt like taking a dump but unfortunately could not find any hotel nearby to help him. all he found were bushes and people using them for leaking.  Too embarrassed to take a dump in open, it took some effort to find a neat place, and thanks to the Hawk Eyes of Toolkit, Nicky did find a decent place, and just to ensure he had a stress free environment Toolkit and Sachin Stood at guard, Talk about security for pooping. Royalty!!!!!

At the 1st sight of the block opening we were on our bikes like knights on a mission. As soon as the road opened, we encountered yet another landslide situation where we could see workers woking were making blood and sweat one to clear the road. And trucks that were one duty of clearing the roads were scrambling arnd like ants.Suddenly we heard thundering and thumpings and not the type from the sky, yes we saw for the third time in our trip, the RE gang. Sachin, Deepan and nicky being on the forefront, me and Glify behind them, Mr. Toolkit got surrounded by these thumpers and looked like a lost kid in middle of Kumbmela. For once I can say one of the Rider was kickass, you will get to know later. This was Motorad team from Motorad magazine in Germany who were also doing the entire circuit of Bhutan. Men Women all equal. When will LOST have women riders, “Sigh”! Well Sachin being a good guy knowing he doesnt trust himself and being newly married we all have to suffer. Once the road was clear, the workers gave a look of “Take Your Asses and Clear the Passes!!! and off we went. We were communicating on scala and wanted to ride together in one group so we pushed ahead as soon as the landlslide was cleared. Honestly Scala is very handy but isnt flawed, fkn piece of silicon and plastic keeps getting cut and we have to reconnect.!!! but then again one of the reasons we are alive is because of scale. Wish i can write a review on it, ToolKit what say?

Out Of all the Bulleteers, we rode along side this one rider or rather this one rider who was the best rider in that group when it comes to skill and handling the bike Kicked yes and a goal kick and scored. He followed us like a speed racer on our tail and finally he overtook us when the bad roads arrived and then disappeared, making us feel like whimpering kids on scoots.!! All we could do is look in amazement like the coyote looks at the road runner disappear (Beep Beep).  We had no option but to accept the fact that his skills and experience were exceptional!, even our very own mark marquez aka Deepan couldnt keep up let alone going ahead. And just that we may feel better we said his bike was handling much better in these conditions than our bike as Dukes and Ninjas arnt meant for this road, but then again, it was an RE for God sake, if you push the limits things would either fall off or burn, but no the Rider was Godspeed period, “Respect Bro Respect”!!! in Sachin’s tone!!!

A big thumbs up from Apna Salman bus 10 rs me!!! for the rider as a token of respect as we passed him before the check post only because he had come far from his group and had to wait for them, and he also clicked a pick of us, while thinking ” Children I tell you, And their bikes How Cute” as we rode ahead and made it to Dochu La Pass. This is THE MOST well known pass in Bhutan. Dochula Pass is located about 30 km away from the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. The 108 chortens were built by Queen Mother to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels in 2003, this place is simply Beautiful, one of the few that could compare to the beauty of the women of this country. Also its like THE KARGIL of BHUTAN so I guess you can understand the Emotional value. Glinfy as usual stopped for his CHOI “british accent”  and sutta and I being the DOGGOGRAPHER yes thats the same Deepan anna AKA Mark gave me. As i kept clicking pics of animals then humans and some how they were always nice. as i know balls about Photography. And the most common animal in BHUTAN were Dogs. Bloody Scary I tell u. I mean Wolves would be less scarier. Any way getting back to it as the really nice tea took time, except for Glinfy and me Rest went ahead, just to scare us like 300 meters ahead. but I got a nice photograpy of the Motarad Group lined up. I being an Ex RE owner had kinda a soft spot for the bikes.

After enjoying the meal of beauty of a views which Dochu La pass had placed in our platter,  we moved on and not far into the distance the roads were as bad as we had experienced so far in the trip. And people I know I sound like celebrity but its not like we had Enduro bikes (Pics of Enduro). Fighting our way like brave knights through the bad roads we made it to Punakha. We Came, We Fought and We conquered.

I must say the road leading to Punakha Dzong was not very straight forward but not that difficult that you would tear yourself apart but had to offer some insanely amazing scenarios. The ride once you take a detour to go to Punakha leaving the main road is awesome. Nice butter smooth tarmac and you could the see beautiful blue river flowing down. And you know what else was blue Marc’s and Toolkit’s Balls. They had to stop again and click pictures and wank off so they can remember that we were here!!!

There is one word to explain the view of Punakha – It’s HUGE! Being the second largest Dzong in Bhutan! Speaking of Zong, trust me guys My Food Brother Glinfy and Me were hungry cause “thats our secret, we are always Hungry” Pun intented at hulk’s dialogue. And and I know its a big Zong but my mind was Zonked looking at tooooooo many Zongs!! and  the Way Sachin explained like its was the 2nd largest Cock in bhutan he wanted to see. But Indeed amazing as it right beside the confluence of the two rivers that gives everyone visiting this place a sight to remember. A lot of schools and amazing children (totaly not like what we have in INDIA). (Pick of the children with my gloves and ones helping GLinfy). I Have come to the realization that its a persons mind set, You are fkn pretty cause your mind is and so is your heart. If your ugly fkn look inside what demon lies within. I may be shallow but thats how it is!!!!

We moved on and decided to check what else is exciting and the only exciting thing visible to us was the beautiful river. So We rode some distance  trying too race with the water current and finally found a good spot to fool around beside the river. Sadly The best sport we could come up with was who can throw a stone the furthest in a river with maximum bounce on the water. I was no good. Sachin and akhil were trying, Deepan seemed to get the hang of it but our very own Nicky! was amazing. he almost threw one across the river with arnd 6 bounces. No need to express after that as to who owned a dog. I just wondered was he frozen in ice as his swing was same as that of Captn Americe flinging that shield of his around.

After spending very good quality time in Punakha it was time for feed Us (Big Show and ME) hungry lions. We found a decent restaurant on the way and halted there for some nice lunch. It had a nice balcony so i started Clicking and to compliment that Glinfy started his sutta, the view, area was too tempting and even I decided to have one. while all this Deepan challenged me to take my bike to the shore of the river which was all sand and me *Challenge accepted).  Meanwhile, as our lunch was getting ready Sachin and Nicky started enquiring with the hotel owner the possibility of reaching Phobjika Valley today. He mentioned it will be very difficult and suggested us to stay in Wangdue instead. One for the reasons was that it was some festival time and room would be full by the time we reach and also it would be dark  very fast. We decided to take the bullet proof monk’s advise and not ride in dark missing all the good views on the way.

Since now we did not have to ride much as the plan to ride till Phobjika today was changed, we had all the time in the world to spend a nice evening in Punakha. And what a better way then to complete the challenge. Now, toolkit & me decided to find a way that will take our dukes of hazard in the white loose sand and park it next to the river. And we did that with ease inspite of all the weight of the luggage. Having the Offroad heritage of ktm it made us proud. The bikes managed to somehow make its way till the edge of the water bed (picks) of both the bikes. Akhil with his bike and my BATPOD was fawsome. Glinfy decided otherwise. The bikes may make it but he wasnt sure about him.

Things got interesting when one of the Ninja’s decided to do the same. Yes our very own Sachin anna with 215 KGS Ninja 650 aka Midori and with some help also managed to do the same. now my friends thats inspiration. Boy that was some fun! Lot of pictures and fooling around with kids playing there made our evening memorable. Bhutan just seemed to Give us more and more of how amazing file really is.

As it was getting dark, We moved on and it was time to find a hotel and chill out for the evening. Now if there is anyone who is resourceful with his contacts its the one and only “Glinfy”. Honestly this guys P.R skills which are off the charts. Like most of the trip he contacted his friend’s friend again who helped us find the right hotel in Wangdue at a fairly reasonable price. But just before this we also saw another place, talk about creepy it felt like Jason would live again and kill us. Now the place that Glinfy”s friend found for us seemed lucky for us, how? it was a series of fortunate events. There was a party happening in the hotel so we were been told that we may hav to go out to hunt for food as dinner was only for the people at the part. But as time went by we actually got invited to the party. IT was the owners Daughter’s 2nd Bday. and I have to admit i havnt seen a cuter child in my life like straight out of the story books. The only reaction I can say is her parents will keep all evil away from her and saying “MY Precious”! Now we had some time to spare and there was wifi for just 50 bucks. talk about dirt cheap. so Sachin and me decided to surf it out baby. That ass actually downloaded a 700 mb file in a span of 15 mins, how awesome is that. I uploaded some pictures and also got my Jarvis aka moto x updated. Finally dinner was served and we ate like pigs, not to forget Glinfy and me ate Pig(pork)  like pigs. hehea. Suddenly it struck us of the bill. so when we asked for the cheque, we were told that since its a party dinner was on the house and boy that was one good dinner to remember. After all being Indian awesome food and that too free. The owner being nice she invited us to the dance floor. Well remember there are no free food in this world. We had to Dance and Entertain the Milf’s there. Yes The mother was Beautiful and so were some of her friends. Sachin got excited “mere umar ki bhi koi hai”!!!!  Here I showed some of my move to everyone and the stare of their hungry eyes as if i was a male stripper for their entertainment. Looking at me Sachin too got excited and yes “Sachin can Dance sala”!!! as the night progressed I was asked by a Bhutanese girl to give her company on the dance floor. Well it was a tempting offer I should say.

I politely declined as others were all back in their room to catch up some sleep, As we had to get up early. Sachin calling me a nerd and laughing that i declined the offer, we retired to our rooms.

Today being dissected and enjoyed to the fullest we slept to wake up and ride to the dream valley in Bhutan – Phobjika as the journey continued further. The next Morning when I went to ask for coffee some of the Girls there asked me why I dint come last night and I thought to myself so many of them, Why the fk did i Decline! Cause 2 of there were really really REALLY PRETTY.!!! and from what we had heard women in bhutan were really outgoing. I had a Palm face situation as I had kicked myself in the nuts!!!!

73 Responses

  1. Avinash Ambekar says:

    Lovely intro. Let the rest roll out soon. How stupid I was to miss this epic ride 🙁

  2. Sachin Nair says:

    We wish you were there Avinash to care of photography 🙂

  3. Mihir Naik says:

    Hey Sachin. Awesome 🙂 I am having goose bumps. 🙂 Is it possible to join you in your next ride? 😀

  4. Uday says:

    Yes, the road before Chittorgarh is horrible with lot of dust in the air. When we rode, we could ride following a bus which had tail lights. It took a better of 2.5 hours to cover this behind this. And added to it, my colleague had a misfortune of hitting a rock and having a fall. But the roads till then are heavenly, sparse traffic and well marked roads.

    • lost_rider says:

      Uday – Yes, I agree the roads till Chittorgarh are awesome but the last 40 kms bad roads we were completely unaware of and that caught us by surprise

  5. Bhakti Engineer says:

    Beautifully written guys..

  6. That’s Hell of an DAY! *Touchwood* for the fellow rider’s company you had! 😀

  7. Rajdeep Roy says:

    Epic experience and narration guys! Keep up the good work. Waiting for the next chapter. Ride Safe!

  8. amit says:

    Amazing i use to get goose bumps only during lisnin to music and nw after reading this is like damn .. What twists and turns hehe

    • lost_rider says:

      There’s more twists and turns amit. The trip has just began and wait for further updates to here the complete story!

  9. Ashwin says:

    Bihar part is epic! xD
    The description is just too awesome but thinking of what you guys went through makes me feel horrible.

  10. Sushil Ayarottil says:

    Amazing writeup!!! And more importantly an awesome experience!!! Waiting for the rest of it.. Waiting for Bhutan!!!!

  11. Ashish Gupta says:

    Awesome experience for you Sachin and your folks for a lifetime.

  12. Rishabh says:

    Never got a chance to ride through Bihar, but I’m sure ur experiences gonna help 🙂

  13. drpratik says:

    part5 was one of the most entertaining read i’ve read in years…cheers you guys !

  14. Shishir says:

    Buddy,
    This was an amazing read. For a guy who’s passionate about riding this epic write-up only serves as a kick. I now dream of taking this path, not that I am excited to ride on it but just to see what our roads really like. To experience the flavours. Like you said, when the destination calls, all these stand trivial. More so when you have accomplished what you set out to achieve

  15. Swadhin says:

    Brilliant. You guys are new age Xuanzang 🙂 . One suggestion please take a polarizing filter next time.

  16. Bhakti Engineer says:

    Epic Write up for Day 10

  17. Awesome… DAY 10

    btw did u take KAWASAKI MECHANIC ( in green tees) on the ride 😛

  18. vipinjoseph says:

    “Tool Kit” What a fate you got man….Sherman ur bitching or writing…Well played man
    :0

  19. Shubham says:

    So when is the next part coming? Excited to read it further! 😀

  20. Alinel says:

    Dual sport motorcycles (which seems like a distant dream in India) is the answer to terrible roads

  21. Sanatan says:

    Hey still waiting for the last part….please update the last day in bhutan…and the ride back if possible 😉

  22. Niman Vazirani says:

    Brilliant write up man! Helmets off to you guys! 2 of us are doing a ride to Bhutan next year around the same time as you guys! What would you guys suggest? ride through and through or is it better to train the bikes to Calcutta and then ride on and spend more time in Bhutan? I think we would be spending a max of 20 days on the road!

  23. Kumar Bagchi says:

    Great write-up dude.Read every page.
    Planning to do a Bhutan trip from Kolkata on this October.
    As i am a student the financial thing comes first.So can u please tell me a approx budget to cover the whole ride?

  24. Manish Rawat says:

    the shop national auto accessories shown in background could have helped as he is a regular client of ours and i know he is a resourceful and helpful person

  25. Suprith says:

    Awesome.. (y)

  26. Tautik says:

    Great inspiration indeed. Plan to do the ride 3rd week of April. A quick question – How does ‘Permit from Customs department’ work? Is it pretty straight-forward? Keep inspiring!

    • lost_rider says:

      Hello Tautik,

      There are 2 permits needed – Individual permit and vehicle permit. The process about the same has been mentioned in the first page of this blog.

  27. Ashok Kamath says:

    Hi Sachin, this is Ashok from Goa. Me n 2 friends on 2 bikes ( yes 2 bikes not 3) will be riding thru Bhutan from this coming Sunday. I will be following exactly the same itinerary as yours ( in fact I copied your itinerary and made it ours). Is it possible for you to provide me with details such as Hotel names / contact name / numbers at places where you halted and also any other specific information ( contact persons/ timings of Djongs / petrol pumps / eateries ( what’s Bhutan specific and where) that might be useful to us.

    Could you please email me the information at my email address kamath.ashok@gmail.com.

    Thanks for your amazing travelogue which is now my one most important and relevant single point reference to riding thru Bhutan.

    God Bless.

  28. Issan says:

    Hey Bro , that was really some good piece . I am in office right now , and the time is 6:30pm , bro i started reading your blog since morning (11:30am) and literally i kept on reading with no work done 🙂 . I just didnt want to wait ,as in what could happen next. All the chapters felt like a movie . The photographic session was totally flawless . I too am a biker and love to travel far lands , and yes i am a crazy photographer too . Just loved your blog , simply mesmerising . You guys are a perfect combo to make a tour worth while. Had never read something so in-depth , i felt like i too was travelling with u guys . Simply awesome !! Ride safe !!

  29. sudhakar says:

    Hi,

    What is Permits from Customs?? How to obtain??? is this separate from RTO permission???

  30. Wow 7500KM . I wish i will be there with you guys.
    Awesome dude.
    thanks for the plan and guide

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