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

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Chapter 1: How all bad ideas are born?

During a regular dinner meetup, the interaction of the group was at its epitome. Discussion about various experiences continued, debate over how to pamper our rides was ongoing, when all of a sudden a topic came about the year’s long tour. It’s been a customary event of the group to do a yearly long ride of at least 10 days, and then suddenly, one head popped up with the idea of riding on foreign land. The idea struck a chord right then and there itself. Soon discussions were at full swing about the destinations – Thailand – Nepal – Sri Lanka and even Ladakh were at fore front, and then came the turning point. Mr. Sachin “anna” Nair said how about Bhutan. The deal was sealed in an instant, as the reports of riders going through Bhutan was very scarce. It seemed like a distant plan, but not impossible. The commercialization in Bhutan seemed very less and the culture still untouched, the architecture very unique and of course the amazing beauty mother nature was in display.

Days passed by with the topic at the back of our minds. Group discussions soon finalized the dates as 30th October to 17th November 2014 as per everyone’s leave availability. Meet ups happened, things started to pace up, routes were decided. Then came the turning point, the meeting with H.V.K sir. The routes were analysed, potential hazards, stop overs, restaurants and soon to be crossed bad lands of Bihar. Notes taken down, route Excel sheets were prepared, expenses were calculated and special thanks to HV sir, the itinerary was finalized after great efforts.

The route plan.

The route plan.

Then came the toughest of all parts, getting the rides ready and packing the luggage. Soon we found our date of departure very close, excitement had begun to kick in at its best. Phone calls after phone calls were being made for final pointers, documentation for permits was readied, and soon it was the day to leave for a journey that would change everything, forever.

The D-Day arrived and soon the luggage was loaded on our rides. There was excitement in the air, something felt different as we all headed towards the meet up point. The riders began to assemble one after the other, photos were being clicked and wishes were being given by the near and dear ones and then, it was time to start!

Chapter 2: Stairway to Heaven or Highway to Hell?

It was 30th October, as planned the group had assembled by 5 am sharp (not really) at the meet up point. The weather was pleasant, and the absence of light could be felt. As the group bid their final farewells to the dear ones, the level of energy in the air rose to an inexperienced level. It was finally the start of a journey which some people dream about. We were finally going to live the dream.

As we all rolled onto the highway, the rides started to gather up in formation and with only one target set in sight, Bhutan – the land of thunder dragon, there was nothing that could move our determination. The first stopover was in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. The ETA was 8 pm in the night.

The road taken was Mumbai – Dhule – Nashik – Neemuch – Chittorgarh. Most of the highway was in butter smooth shape except for the start of the road ahead of Vasind. The road on most part was nice and lunch halt was taken at 300 kms before Chittorgarh. After the filling of stomach with what we were forced to call as lunch, it was time to carry on till the day’s destination was met. We were enjoying the roads and scenery, until we were zonked back to the reality of touring by what one may call as non-existent roads almost 40 kilometres before Chittorgarh.

It was until the last 40 kilometres of the day’s target, we realized what it meant to ride on landmine-ridden roads. It was as if Satan had laid the roads just to welcome us to hell. Boulders, rocks, slush, pot holes of unbelievable sizes covered in water, you name all the possible vile things and this road seemed to have them. As if that was not enough, the part of road was being constructed, with lot of heavy truck traffic running about, almost with the aim of running us over. Too much of dust in the air made it impossible to navigate through this black hole. Miles till this point had passed in blaze and now even a single kilometre seemed so slow. The scenario seemed to continue on for eternity, seemed as if the entire evening was put on a loop with everyone having a feeling of Déjà vu.

Finally, the group entered the city of Chittorgarh, and the search for the RTDC hotel began. Once at the hotel, we all heaved a sigh of relief as none of us has expected such a scenario. Now after dumping the luggage, it was time for some Rajasthani delicacy, and a short night’s sleep before the next day’s battering.

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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