My love for travel runs in the family and my brother is one person who travels as much (sometimes more) as I do, both personally & professionally. He is a bike lover and done many trips on his trusted & loved Enfield. This summer, he did his first solo bike road trip and loved it so much that decided that from hece forth he will only do solo bike trips. We were discussing about our travels one evening when the idea came up to chronicle his travels and I promptly offered him to be a guest author on my blog. He agreed and so here I am proudly announcing my brother (S.Sarkar) as the guest author chronicling his solo rides here, this first post is –  A Road Trip from Delhi to Kinnaur, Sangla and Kasauli

Someone
said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I believe it
begins with a single kick. No it is not the kick to wake, it’s the kick of a
motorbike.
The sound of the pistons galloping up and down, the heat of the
engine and the thunder of the silencer drives you for foraying into the
unknown. 
I have travelled earlier on my motorbike, a 2008 model Royal Enfield
350 cc Electra. And that too for a pretty long distances. The first in 2009, a
return trip from Kolkata toDamodarriver, when my motorbike engine ceased due to
overheating at the end of the journey. The second in 2010, a trip from Delhi to
Leh amassing 3000 kms to ‘My Love’s (as I call my Royal Enfield) kitty. The
third in 2013, another trip from Delhi to Leh with a newly formed bikers group
ROKRS. All the rides had two things in common. First it was a planned and
second it was with a group. Following the same this year, I was planning for a
ride with the group to Lahaul and Spiti. As luck would have it, nobody was
willing to go. I decided to go for a solo.
Never
having ridden alone for such a long trip, I made an exception for thetrip. No
plans, no consultations, no advice just ride. But at that time just six days
were left as I had wasted my leave trying to convince others to join.  On 5th June in evening, I packed
my bags along with a two year old Eicher map to start next day. Next day I
started without any inkling of stops, stays and route. I knew the road till
Chandigarh. I halted after crossing Ambala for breakfast. Here while having tandoor
baked paranthas, I steered through the map for the route. I decided to go via
Shimla to Spiti.
The
road from Delhi to Zirakhpur is a biker’s delight but the hot and sultry
weather pushes you to cross this stretch at the earliest. The bypass via
Panchkula was a treat after crossing Zirakhpur’s morning rush. Crossing Shimla through
the main road was a nightmare. After Shimla came the serenity of the NH-22 with
the meandering roads snaking through the scenic hills of Himachal. In the evening
, I decided to halt at Narkanda. The halting abode was family tents of Himachal
Pradesh Forest Development Corporation. Build away from the hustles of the
small town among the forest, the tents are lined between pine trees along the
highway. It was a blessing after facing the heat ofthe plains. The sound of the
forest and the warmth of the bed induced a magical spell in me. I fell like a
log on the bed.

Next
morning I got up early, loaded my stuff and started again. The morning breeze,
fresh air and view of Sutlej was mesmerising. I stopped for breakfast, again
consulted the map and charted the route ahead. 10 kms ahead filled the
motorbike tank full , I raced on. The road was something different from the
route of Leh. Well paved but cut through mountains, these had the charm unlike
of Ladakh. Just before entering Kinnaur , I stopped for a view of Sutlej. Such
a majestic flow is beyond description. Ahead of Rampur, a landslide forced me
to stop at Sarahan. I  had sumptuous
lunch and went ahead. The traffic movement had been stopped on NH-22. A detour
was done for the vehicles. As I stopped, an army gypsy was waiting along with
up traffic. The officer told me that 5 days wont be enough to cover Spiti, it’s
better to go to Sangla. I rerouted my destination and took the jibe. The detour
was 20 kms more and I turned towards Sangla from the huge power project by
JayPees group at Karcham. By 4 in the evening I was in Sangla. Then started the
search for night stay. For a mere 700 rupees a night a found a comforting
homestay.
I
freshened up and went out to wander. Sangla is a non-descript town ideal for a
runaway rebel. I roamed the whole town in 30 mins. You can get your daily needs
and an ATM to egt you cash. The view of the mountains was a delight. In front
is gushing flow of a river and above it is snow covered peaks. Beyond the peaks
is Uttarkashi. I spent the rest of the evening idling along the bylanes of
Sangla.
Next
day I got up late, washed my bike and started for Chitkul. The road was a
single way and interspersed with rivulets and herds of lambs. Chitkul is the
last point covered by motor able road on this route beyond which only trekking
track exist till China border. Before Chitkul, you have to register at ITBP check
post with a valid ID. Chitkul is another place for wanderers. There are nice
places to stay and trekking guides are available. Wandering for a few hours at
the river bank, I started back to my homestay. A homemade meal was the awaiting
reward. The starlit night sky with river below and mountain ahead was sight to
enjoy. That night the owner of the homestay told me to go to Kalpa.
Next
day I packed and started for Kalpa. At Karcham, I joined back NH-22 and after 2
hrs riding through RekongPeo, reached Kalpa. The selected place of stay was
hotel. I got for the same as Sangla. The view from the hotel was more
captivating. Unloading my stuff in the room, I went ahead riding on the road
till a village Reogi. It is said that when Lord Dalhousie was detected with TB,
he was sent to this village to recover. From “Rogi” came “Reogi”. The road ends
here again. The ride was amazing as before. The sunset was splendid from the
hotel porch.
Next
day I turned back towards Delhi. The previous night while going through the
map, I had homed in on Kasauli. I reached Kasauli by 4 in the evening. The
search for place to stay started. Looking for cheaper options during peak
tourist season wasn’t easy task. Finally my job helped me through. I went
straight to Army Holiday Home. For any army personnel, he needs to book a month
in advance. I arrived without any clue what would happen. My stars must have
been lucky that day as someone supposed to arrive didn’t came. I got a family suit
at a holiday home on highest point in Kasauli for 400 rupees a night along with
temporary membership of Kasauli club. 
Nothing more to say, I rushed into the family suit, took a refreshing
bath and walked down the lanes of Kasauli. The market was packed with people
jostling with each other. While returning the sunset near holiday home was
mesmerising.  I slept early after a long
walk tiring walk.
Next
day I got up early as I wanted to see the sun rising. The picture describes it
all. Then I went for a morning stroll. Devoid of any people, the lanes and
roads Kasauli seemed to be in solitude. The stone walkway through old town with
wood houses early in morning was the most memorable time of my whole journey.
The walk ended with a coffee and a bun at shop in the market. I reached my room
and packed off again for my return ride to Delhi.
The
trip was another chapter added to my pages of life. I have realised that going
solo isn’t a bad option, risks are there. But that’s what life is, take risks
and go along. I am now the SOLO RIDER.

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  1. There is nothing absolutely nothing as delightful as a solo road trip. Wonderful pictures and a even more delightful write up. Waiting for more.

  2. There is nothing absolutely nothing as delightful as a solo road trip. Wonderful pictures and a even more delightful write up. Waiting for more.

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