The Rajasthan Motorbike Adventure
Have you ever sat and watched a film on TV about an area of the world you have wondered about afterward.
Have you ever read about a land that offers desert, forts, pink palaces, marble temples, life-threatening traffic, or have you ever wished for a feeling that made you feel like royalty?.
Then as you read through this adventure you will realise that Rajasthan has it all…..being the largest region in India, where once 5 kings ruled, I ride a Ducati Scrambler across the sand, along with dangerous roads and into towns and cities of pure magic.
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK………….
On exiting the airport the noise was unbelievable with the beeping of car horns and people shouting offering ‘taxi sir, taxi sir”.
I hit the Delhi air quality at midnight and instantly couldn’t breathe. The air quality was so bad it was like trying to breathe through a mattress with the air being forced in coming from a million hair driers – on full blast. I found myself having to think about breathing along with finding the chap who was going to take me to my hotel…..
BREATHE man BLOODY BREATHE……gasp, gasp, gasp……”MEDIC”……..oh ok not quite “MEDIC” but here I was wearing a ‘British’ motorbike suit carrying a 50kg rucksack over 1 shoulder and a crash helmet in another hand, whilst trying to find my driver who I was told would be waiting, in amongst what seemed like a gazillion other smiling drivers shouting “Taxi sir. Taxi sir: “SOD OFF”
You can link to the Audible Audio book version here
I walked up and down this line of cards with names on looking for my name, for what felt like 3 days. I eventually found mine, nodded at the chap and off we went – who said it was a race!!!!!. The chap wasn’t any bigger than 5ft and around 6 stone wet through, who took my lid (that was the lightest item to carry thank you very much!), and shot off towards his car like a scalded rat with me in pursuit gasping for air, in heat and humidity never experienced before, wondering how long it would be before DEATH…………
My taxi driver didn’t speak any English and I didn’t speak any Indian so the 30-minute journey to my hotel was, shall we say, very quiet. Except for my introduction to Indian traffic, at midnight. I had never seen anything like it in my life. Yes, the traffic in Britain was at times interesting with traffic jams and road rage but this took traffic to another level as it was absolutely bonkers. Every car I could see and no doubt ones I could not see pressed their horn – constantly – BEEP BEEP BEEP, get out of my way they BEEPED. What the hell had I arrived at and was this how I was going to die. I just started to laugh, what else was there to do. First a little chuckle, probably out of being nervous more than anything else, which grew to more of a laugh which is an international sign for ‘THIS IS MAD’, or at least it was the way I laughed. My taxi driver looked at me as I looked at him across the cultural divide and he must have understood because he started to laugh too – or was he thinking ‘stupid white man’ ha ha ha.
I would like to point out here before going any further; when I say ‘white man’ I am not being in the slightest racist. I think the Indian people are fabulous and would happily live in India but as you will discover later on with the group I was with they called me the ‘white man’ and I called them the ‘brownies’ with everything being taken in fun – moving on.
30ish minutes later having beeped our way through traffic overtaking other vehicles on the right, left and I am surprised we didn’t drive over the top of some. I also discovered lights on vehicles at night seemed ‘optional’. In other words, vehicles appeared out of the darkness with frightening regularity and as for cows – well that is another story altogether.
We arrived, eventually, having survived the traffic apocalypse (this was child’s play compared to what I would face within 36 hours and after 11 days!!) at the Hotel Pllazio in Gurgaon, which was still within the confines of New Delhi district.
Now, at this point, let me state, as previously mentioned, I was expecting to be taken to a tent, or hut, with no running water and a toilet consisting of 2 feet shaped markings on the floor with scaffolding to hold onto to prevent falling into a ‘poo’ pit. On exiting my taxi I got instant gravel rash on my chin from my mouth falling that far open with surprise. Arrival towards the door, the door staff, dressed in glorious splendid clothes of many colours looking very ‘military’, bowed their heads with their hands clasped together in front of their face saying “Namaste”. Nam es what, I thought (this is a respectful greeting or hello I was to learn). It made me feel very special I must say. I thought they only did that in films and yet here they were greeting me this way (I do confess I thought they where taking the….you know what!)