MOTORBIKE TOURS RAJASTHAN DAY EIGHT
I have often been in situations where I have enjoyed my surroundings so much I have been sad to leave, but cannot recall wanting to stay somewhere so much as this Devigarh Hotel. It was simple pure unadulterated luxury, with a young man who served us during our stay having a permanent smile on his face making it an absolute pleasure to have experienced…….but onwards we must go……..
On the bikes, after another photo opportunity, and onwards to Nimaaj, which wasn’t very far away at all really only 240km.
That isn’t the whole story, it’s not that far away unless of course, you go off-road, ride through talcum powder gorges, having one of the team fall off and refuse to ride the bike any further, there’s a clue!
So let the story begin – as we left the hotel riding through the gates, giving you a feeling of being John Wayne riding out of the fort to go and fight the Red Indians, we headed for the National Highway.
We hit the highway without much trouble and blasted our way, enjoying riding faster than we had for a few days overtaking trucks, tractors, buses and cows on the right, left, underneath, and if we could I’m sure we would have ridden over the top of them too…….
THEN, from out of nowhere……….you get sleeping policeman, 10 in a row, going across the road for no reason whatsoever, unless you see them, you get quite an interesting surprise where your bum chews onto the seat, your hands grip the handlebars and before you know it you’re being launched into the air, to the sounds of F$%^** HELL………
Eventually, we stopped for lunch, (look at the rows of crips packets) when it was decided we would go off the highway and ride roads less explored, where only those who didn’t know where they were going would venture as we headed off into Leopard country……….
When we go on these next roads beware of ”LEOPARD” BB tells me, I hear myself shout “FECKING LEOPARD”, what do you mean “LEOPARD
Oh, deep joy…………
The road, as you can imagine started to take a different form from that experienced on the National Highway, as the tarmac started to disappear, with talcum powder hiding life ending rocks starting to take its place.
It was during this little expedition that Parakram chose to forget about not touching his front brake in the sand, coming off with a right clatter, not really breaking anything except pushing the rearview mirror out of alignment.
Slightly further along, having ridden through the sand, shooting along the road I heard my headcam battery run out, with a beep from my camera, so knew I had to replace it – thinking all I have to do is ride past Santhosh, wave to slow everyone down and change the battery – if only everything was so simple…..
The moment came to overtake, so I twisted the throttle, got alongside Santhosh, at the same time he saw a fictitious animal coming from the bushes on his left – pulled over to his right to avoid said “ghost” – our handlebars collided and I went shooting off to the right towards the bushes at warp factor 3, thinking ‘oh god I am going to die in India – saw a patch of rough ground amongst the bushes, did a bit of scrambling, managed to stay upright and arrived back on the road – thinking oh my god I must have knocked him off, but thankfully I hadn’t so we all came to a halt laughing about it………you know, the kind of laugh that says ‘I don’t know how I did that but glad I did and I’m okay;, kind of laugh.
I changed the battery in my camera and off we went once more towards Nimaaj. Following the roads, we eventually came into the village of Nimaaj.
I’m sure there is no point in me trying to explain what the village looked like, but needless to say, there was this oasis of a hotel in the middle, that we found, after riding up streets that really were not designed for riding up.
This hotel was again once a palace, not as grand as the others we had stayed at, but nevertheless, a palace…..To us, it was more like a mansion house that people lived in, BUT it was real, Indian, and felt special in more ways that one…
When we arrived our rooms were allocated and treated to Masala Tea on the veranda but then, OH MY GOD, but then, the owner suggested he would give us a bit of a guided tour to a local village where 900 people lived, with only 1 tap for drinking water, where their lives are very much herders of animals……..I couldn’t wait
So, we all jumped into the car and off we went taking the back roads to this village, over sand dunes, talcum powder tracks and eventually arriving after dark (even though it had only taken us 20-30 minutes to get there).
We disembarked heading down a back street, through an archway coming across this heard of goats…WELL, the size of this Billy goat was like a small Elephant, no doubt whatever it wanted to do it was allowed to do.
Then we came across a Herdsman, who must have been in his 70s – he greeted me as the “OLD MAN” with a toothy grin, slapping me so hard on my shoulder he nearly broke bones. This may have been due to his life, or the fact that he was on Opium, and legally on Opium too, as it was his right to have this drug…..the government controlled the amount – how cool is that ???
I was even offered some but declined the offer. What they do is mix the Opium paste with water, then drink it from a wooden vessel.
Then came the next experience…..on going into the yard of a house I watched with pure admiration this old chap showing us how to make pots, in his back yard, with no electric with only the lights of our phones, on top of a stone that he spun with a stick to get it twirling at speed – he produced 3 pots within 5 minutes that would put any potter, I’ve ever seen, to shame – he was absolutely amazing – such a skilled man, and I recall thinking – that just makes a joke of the western world, with all our stupid health and safety. It actually made me cry, a little, to think in the middle of the desert, in a backyard, 4500 miles from my home, with no power, this man can do this and he was happy as you could possibly be, thought-provoking stuff let me tell you……
On getting back to the hotel we went for a walk down this street to be shown, well, to be shown the god of fertility !!!! (In Britain this would have been defaced within minutes, but this has lasted for decades, being worshipped by the villagers…..if I had one like that I’m sure I would be worshipped too !!!).
Not only that but after a wonderful feast of chicken and chips (YIPPEE), followed by a superb nights rest, the following morning I saw a temple that legend has it was flying around in the sky choosing to land here……