Prologue: It was just one more lousy day at IMT, my exams were coming up, I had no intentions to study and I was just wondering what shall I do!! And then I get a call from my friend Mickey asking for my bike for few days, I said sure you can take my bike but where you travelling to? He said I am not sure but I am planning to make it till kutch, starting from Mysore. I was like wait, hold on a sec! when you planning your trip? He said may be around Christmas time,well it was perfect time for me also, my exams would be getting over and will be back home by then I said even I will be joining your trip and then I opened google maps and figured it out that Mysore to Kutch is approximately 1900KM and it has to be covered within a week, that means we need to cover atleast 500KM per day.I thought this would be crazy if we do it and hell yeah we packed our bags and were ready to ride.
Day 1: Mysore to Hubli (~450KM)
As always at the first day whatever we do, we can’t just start our trip before 12 in the afternoon and so when we finally crossed Mysore city with lot of pit stops to purchase accessories, to have chai and fill up petrol it was almost 1.30 PM and we headed towards Shimoga which is approximately 250 Km from Mysore, we decided not to take long break in between till we reach Shimoga, In between we stopped near K.R Pate to purchase some medics which we needed for the journey. We reached Shimoga by evening six and were damn hungry so asked localites which is the best hotel in town, we got couple of suggestions finally we went to hotel called Meenakshi, food was really great over there we had paddu, dosa, vada almost we covered the menu and then we headed towards Hubli by 6.45 PM around. The road from shimoga to Harihara is really bad and it was almost getting dark and we had to hit NH4 before it’s too late. Finally we touched NH4 by night 9PM around and we stopped for food in between on a highway itself since we thought we won’t be getting food inside the city at midnight and Finally we made it to Hubli by night 11.45 around and booked some Hotel near bus stop and the day1 task was accomplished.
But what we did – Hubli to Surat (~ 850 KM, Approx 27Hrs)
By morning 8 we had breakfast from nearby hotel and we started our journey towards kolhapur which is ~250Km and we took couple of breaks for chai and made it to kolhapur by afternoon, where we stopped for Lunch. we stopped at one of the Daaba’s where they make Roti with customized Daal and it was really awesome and worth for money. After having such a heavy meal didn’t feel like riding the bike for sometime so we took half an hour rest and we just thought we were lagging behind our journey and we won’t be able to make it to Mumbai by night. So after that we started immediately and covered approx 150 Km in couple of hours and finally gave break for chai when we found this scooby dooby van shop.
It was almost seven in the evening when we were about to reach Pune and we got stuck with real bad traffic for 10km and we decided to park our bike for sometime near hotel and take rest and let traffic gets clear for sometime. There we had chai, vadapaav, misilpaav, saboodhana vada and yeah our dinner was almost done. By the time when we came out, traffic was also cleared little bit and we started riding towards Mumbai and we did encounter beautiful Tunnels near Kandala ghat,since it was night we missed those amazing views. We again stopped at Lonavala for 10min and it was night 10PM and we were thinking of staying over there for that night and then we decided to reach Mumbai and plan what to do. As soon we were about to enter south Bombay we got caught by police, I was not carrying my original copy of DL and hence Police wanted to make some money and he was not allowing us to go further unless we pay some money. We told him to give us the receipt but he was reluctant to give us the receipt, corrupt assholes finally let us go further once we paid 150 bucks. We finally made it to Mumbai, I took rest in Marine drive for a while and he went to explore Gateway, Taj and finally we were hungry so we had Badiemayya Roll and we were later confused whether to stay in Mumbai for one day or start towards Gujarath, we realized that we need to take western express highway in the morning and it will be full of traffic and it will take lot of time to pass city itself so we finally decided to cross Mumbai that night itself and we asked google please show us the way. And google showed the shortest distance to Gujarath via worli sea link.
We didn’t had single idea also that, two wheeler are not allowed in worli sea link, we had an amazing ride in the sea link and one side is beautiful Mumbai city and the other side is Sea, well it was splendid view and perfect weather and we hit toll and we ask toll guy, how much we need to pay? He says, Sir please park the bike by side, I was like oh shit, now did we do someting? Shall I just increase the accelerator and go ahead or shall I wait? Since it was other state and we didn’t wanted to take risk, so we parked the bike side and Constable came and asked are you guys Idiots? You didn’t know that bikes are not allowed in this road, we said we are tourist and didn’t had single idea also about that, finally argued and he said I dont have recipt, will take you guys to station, we both were damn tired and it was morning 4 AM and it was freaking cold, we thought how about staying at police station for a night we don’t need to book hotel 😉 we said fine sir, take us to station and give us the receipt will come, that police constable freaked out he just wanted us to scare and we didn’t even bother and said yes chalo will go. Finally after 45 mins of argument he left us go by taking 200 bucks and we finally said Bye bye to Mumbai when we crossed the city and we hit some daaba at 5 in the morning where we took power nap till morning 7.
We started towards Surat and it was hell lot of traffic in this NH8 and majority of the vehicles are just transportation trucks and we reached Surat by afternoon 12.30 around we were damn hungry and we googled for the best hotel in surat which servers good Gujarathi thali and finally we went to this Kansar hotel where they serve unlimited Gujju food for 220 bucks per person, trust me it was one of the amazing meal which I had.
After lunch both of us didn’t had little bit of energy also to ride and both were so tired, we just took rest in that restaurant for sometime and we decided not to make it Ahmadabad and take rest at Surat itself for a day, so we found nice hotel near railway station and slept like dead till evening, got up for sometime had dinner again we just crashed and our day was over.
Day 4: Surat to Dhrangadhra (~400KM)
Since Day 3 got wasted just by sleeping for the complete day, I am continuing with Day 4.
We got up early, I meant 8 o’clock, had nice Gujju breakfast Kaman and Locha, it was different, kinda liked it. Later I had to buy engine oil for my bike, so purchased Castrol 20w50 synthetic oil, since I could not find Motul15w50 and filled the engine and yes we were ready to ride again.
We reached Baroda in couple of hours and there is a beautiful expressway built between Baroda and Ahmadabad, we took that route and we went on till we got stopped by Toll, saying that Bikes are not allowed so please turn back. We had to take back route again and catch up with state highway which was fully under construction and we took 5hrs almost to cover this journey which is of 150Km, and finally we made it Ahmadabad by evening 6.30 around and we took Rajkot road and stopped near some daaba for chai. It was getting dark and we thought will ride another 100kms and stop somewhere in between so we spoke to few truck drivers who came over there, they were quiet surprised to see us riding from so far, one of the truck driver gave his number and told us if you run into any problem just call me, I will help you in whichever way I can since have loads of friends in this route, we were glad and we thanked him and started towards Bhuj, the road from Ahmadabad to Bhuj is just amazing, I had not changed my gear for almost 45 mins and we saw couple of “wild asses” crossing the road, yeah wild asses not the one what you guys are thinking about 😛 and we finally crossed a town called Dhrangadhra and stopped in some Daaba, we had awesome dinner over there and I asked Daaba guy can we stay over there for a night, he didn’t even bother and just gave us thick blanket and arranged bed and told us to sleep till whatever time we want.
Day 5: Dhrangadhra to Kutch (~300Km)
We got up at six in the morning, and waited till 7.30 so that temperature will become little better and started towards Bhuj, we had breakfast on the way and made it to Bhuj in the afternoon by 1.30 around and we stopped for lunch, and started towards Kutch, we could see big flex boards of Rann Utsav and we started getting excited since we were only few kms away from our destination. we stopped in one of the village for Chai there we met group of RE ppl who were riding from Bangalore,Pune and Mumbai, we asked there experience in Kutch and it was just a biker’s conversation. We came few kms ahead and then we had to stop for permit, there were lot of tourists so we wasted almost 45 mins to get the permission, you need to carry one original address proof document with you to get permit and fill the application, and you only get one day permit till night 11. Everyday you need to get new permit if you want to stay longer, here I suggest you guys to try this sweet called mawa (it’s milk cake) tastes damn good. And it’s just 30kms to White desert from this checkpost. We reached the desert and Rann Utsav was going on so we could also visit Tent city where you can stay in lavish Tents put up in between the desert but it is too expensive and over hyped, it will cost you 5k minimum per person for a overnight stay. Just after the Tent city you can go little further and there you see, Rann of Kutch, it’s marvelous and we both were so happy to make it till here finally 🙂
We met couple of bikers from Mumbai and we were figuring out for our night stay, they thankfully gave one of the localite number who gives accommodation at his home for 1k per night, we happily took his number and called him up for place and we got lucky we got nice accommodation. If you want to experience the complete village life I suggest you to stay at his place, here is the contact details (Alabhai 9428031003, Nileshbhai 9408051090).
The village is 17km away from White desert, it is just a matter of 15mins for us, so we did not mind. And this is how it looks
We spent till night 10 at Rann festival and finally headed towards his place for night stay and we planned to visit again in the morning for sun rise.
Day 6: Kutch again
It was damn freezing cold when we were riding towards the desert, those 17kms felt like 170 kms and 15 mins felt like 15hrs, even 3 jackets were not enough, and I was thinking why are we really going for sunrise, but trust me it really paid off when we saw the sun just rising above the horizon, far across those lands, crystal clear the dark was just hiding away and light was piercing the fog and desert was just looking so pristine and I was just indeed spellbound watching this amazing sunrise and it was truly experiential.
We spent few hours in desert, talking to BSF soldiers asking their experience, about history of this salt lake, and how Modi really promoted this place from nothing to one of the famous tourist spot in few years. We got back to the village, packed our bags and started back towards Bhuj, where we finally ended our bike journey and parceled my bike via Gati, back to Bangalore.
Here I am sitting in front of laptop, back at hostel thinking about those 6 days of bike ride, sharing my experience with friends, remembering those roads, daabas, people, truck drivers and finally my bike and thinking of what we thought was just a crazy idea to ride only both of us from Mysore to Kutch, and finally we made it to Rann of Kutch, one hell of a place to visit and if you are a biker, never miss this place.