MOTORBIKE TOURS RAJASTHAN FINAL DAY
NOW, have you ever had that feeling you’ve seen things before. I had that very feeling with this temple, because as soon as I saw it I knew I’d seen it before, it was right outside the hotel gates, leaving me gobsmacked – totally and utterly gobsmacked.
We had a very hearty breakfast, where I even had cornflakes, omelette, along with lashings of coffee, for today was the start of the last day.
I can’t recall the last time I felt as sad as I was feeling right now…….(blimey, even writing this part of the story has me emotional) So leg over my Ducati, and off for the last day, to experience ridding my bike in traffic that was out to kill me, how I survived I will never know, but first let’s head our way towards the TRAFFIC FROM HELL in Jaipur………
Well, the day has finally arrived, that after riding 2000km around a desert 4500 miles from home, with a group of people I’d never met before, who were all brown, without a white man in sight, except the one looking back at me from my morning mirror.
I was feeling quite sad, surprisingly sad, especially after being ill for 3 days and finding the days somewhat laborious because we didn’t stop along the routes to see very much.
But, here I was riding out of Nimaaj, heading back towards Lebua Lodge (where I’d contracted tum tum death), not wanting this to come to an end.
I’d blended in with my new found friends, they made me feel part of their family, had looked after me when I was ill, had laughed with me through my weird sense of humour, but, most of all, I had fallen in love with a country, its people, where only 11 days before I was worried about having a knife at my throat within hours of landing in New Delhi….
However, before getting too soppy, allow me to explain what happened on this final day of this amazing adventure.
We left Nimaaj, after seeing the biggest goat in the world – the strongest goat herder on the planet, and the most skillful pottery maker in a back yard of a house in the middle of the desert…….
We joined the National Highway back to Jaipur.
Quite uneventful really, well, when I say uneventful, that is until we stopped at a factory producing Marble, you see, my gripe had been along the route we hadn’t stopped for me to discover the culture of this country.
Having passed brick manufacturing, field cultivation, village after village, the only aspect I had seen was at Nimaaj – and I wanted more please.
So we stopped at a Marble production factory and asked if I could go and see how it was all done…….
So I trolled across the outside area full of sheets of Marble, of all shapes and sizes, wearing coats of many colours, entering the factory door…..
You could hear the machine doing it’s work long before entering, with loud SHHHH……SHHHH……..SHHHH sounds.
There it was, this huge block of rock, underneath a rack of 12 blades sawing backwards and forwards, with water cascading like a waterfall to stop the blades from overheating.
Health and safety would have had a field day……but that’s what I absolutely loved about this country….just get on with it…..you know like we used to in England when we were once the greatest nation in the world……
The guys were standing around while this machine did it’s job, and discovered it would take 4 to 5 hours for this block to be cut into sheets of around an inch in depth…to be finished off and used in hotels, houses, on office floors, worktops of kitchens, along with so many other products….in fact we had seen a lot utilised on our journey such as baths, sinks, bed bases, tables, walls, and pillars holding ceilings up in hotels.
This region of Rajashtan is the second largest producer of Marble………in the world.
This one factory produced tons of the stuff every single month…..it was absolutely fantastic.
Having thanked the owner, we continued our journey towards Jaipur, and after a while you could tell we were getting close because the air quality started to change for the worse, so did the traffic.
When I say the traffic started to change for the worse, that is an understatement, if you recall on the morning of the first day on the National Highway – I was to discover that the first morning’s experience was just child’s play compared to riding through Jaipur.
Not only was this traffic out to kill me, but it was out to kill me to death, and then kill me again…..only solution – ride as if you are Mad Max, and bring it on.
I do confess however that there was one point I thought to myself, this has to come to an end for God’s sake please come to an end, as it took us over an hour to get through….constant BEEP BEEP, cars, trucks,
buses, TukTuks all fighting for that extra inch, that extra millimeter, and you had to do the same to survive…….
However, once you get through it and survive not being bumped, or killed to death (I never once saw a vehicle of any kind bump into another, on this whole adventure, which was unbelievable) the sense of achievement and elation was unexpected….
When we got to our destination I shouted out “I want a bottle of Whiskey, and 20 cigarettes RIGHT NOW”…….I have not smoked since 1983, or touched alcohol since 2009 – such was the sense of relief – (mind you I didn’t)
But, just shortly before then, having passed through Jaipur, we turned off the main road onto the talcum powder sand track towards the gates of Lebua Lodge, and yes there were tears in my eyes, which were also streaming down my cheeks…..the dust was terrible you see……or was it that I had just completed the greatest adventure, with the best bunch of guys that I’d only
met a few days before, riding a magnificent motorbike, around a simply amazing part of the world……..and maybe, just maybe, they were tears of pure joy…..I shall let you decide.
Can I go back around again please………………..
We all eventually ended up back in Gurgaon and I prepared to leave the following day. I really didn’t want to leave as I had found my ‘heaven’
I had fallen in love with India, a certain Indian girl, Indian food (the real stuff), and discovered people from another ‘world’ and culture who will be my friends forever.
On the final night BB came to my hotel to say bye and just to chat. He took me by surprise……. After our chat he said “you made this journey such fun, you had us laughing out loud and you are now my brother, you will always be my brother, you are now one of my family”
It really was the journey that changed my life FOREVER