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Thread: Solo Ride to Uttarakhand - Kausani & Auli

  1. #11
    Mik
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    Beautiful!
    4 years back, we had gone done Auli in Holi :-) We barely got any snow. You have hit the jackpot buddy.
    Loved the B&W pic.

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    Trip Summary
    Route: Delhi – Ramnagar – Ranikhet - Kausani (night stay) – Baijnath – Joshimath (night stay) – Auli – Srinagar (night stay) – Pauri – Kotdwar – Meerut – Delhi
    Map: New Delhi, Delhi, India to New Delhi, Delhi, India - Google Maps
    Distance: approx. 1180 km
    Duration: 4 Days (8-11 Mar 2012)
    Motorcycle: RE Thunderbird
    Camera: Nikon D3100 with 18-55mm kit lens
    Post Processing: Adobe Lightroom 3 and Windows Live Photo Gallery



    Prologue
    I have been touring for almost two years now, but one common thing in all those rides was the group factor. Solo trip has always been a big mystery for me. Surfing through travelogues on the Internet, often I stumble upon stories of solo riders. I used to wonder what is so special about traveling all alone for hundreds of kilometers with no dear ones or friends around. These guys spent several days on the road and experience some of their best moments in life among complete strangers or all alone. I was fascinated by them and wanted to ride solo but the fear factor always won over.

    Recently I started reading Ted Simon’s “Jupiters Travels” and in some way I was getting used to the idea of traveling alone. There were mainly two things that worried me – first, in case of breakdown or some other misfortune there would not be a friend to seek help from and second, the boredom when you are not riding your motorcycle especially the evening time after the day's ride.

    This trip was not preplanned. It was just one day before the Holi vacation started when I was having lunch in office that this idea hit my mind. Seeing few employees leaving early possibly for home, I thought instead of spending the next four days in my room all alone doing nothing, why don't I go for a long ride? My usual touring friends were out of town and so this was a good opportunity to experience what I have wanted to do for a long time. However, unlike all previous trips, this one did not have a fixed plan but I did have a rough idea about the route to follow. I wanted to enter Kumaon in Uttarakhand possibly Binsar or Kausani through Ramnagar – Jim Corbett road and then travel north close to the snow covered Himalayan peaks. The emphasis was to ride in a relaxed manner with ample breaks to satisfy the photography hunger, not to have a fix destination and halt for the night wherever I felt like. I wanted to be a traveler and not a tourist.

    Day 1: 460 km, 14 hours
    Delhi – Moradabad – Kashipur – Ramnagar – Tota Am – Ranikhet – Someshwar – Kausani

    The ride started with the usual routine – get up early in the morning so as to get out of Delhi when the roads were empty and then quickly cover the plains to reach the foothills by lunch time. Only after that the real ride begins!

    I followed the Delhi – Hapur highway which I must say was impressive. The road had perfect tarmac and unlike NH1 there was almost no diversion or construction work. Being a holiday for Holi there was hardly any traffic. While having breakfast in a road side dhaba, all kinds of thoughts began to crop up in my mind. What the hell I am doing? I am not sure if this is a good idea or if I am capable of doing it. The “what if” factor was starting to get overwhelming. I had hoped to feel strong upon embarking on this tour because traveling solo is something only few people in today's world dare to do and I should be feeling proud. But, instead I was getting more and more apprehensive on whether I can successfully complete this ride. These thoughts never came to my mind while going through all those solo traveler's stories. But now as I had placed myself into their shoes, I am beginning to see a lot more things. What would people think of what I am doing? Won't they say that I am a freak, a desperate guy just wasting time and money to kill boredom and loneliness? The whole purpose of this tour was slowly starting to fade. It was for the love of mountains, the peace and calmness associated with it, the freedom of living a life with no definite pattern but only the suspense for what fate had for us ahead. But I guess I was forgetting this whole reason, my moral was low but I continued to travel, I knew I had to overcome this demon of mine; I knew I had to reach the other side.



    From Moradabad, I took the state highway towards Jim Corbett. From here the road was single lane with a few bad patches in between. But as I moved ahead, the road became better and by noon I reached Ramnagar which was the halt for lunch.



    Soon the jungle road began. I was expecting some stunning vistas along this route as mentioned by few travelers in their on-line logs. But, the route till Tota Am was disappointing. The weather was hot, sunlight was annoyingly bright, the surrounding lands seemed dry and barren, and the altitude gain was minimal. It was here where I gave lift to a stranger from a nearby village, unknown that in the next four days I would be helping seven more strangers. On the plains I would never stop if someone asks for a free lift as it is hard to trust people especially in a buzzing overpopulated commercial city like Delhi. More commercial a place is, more the people are into cheating and selfish acts with firm believe in “give nothing and take everything” motto of life. But the hills, free from commercialization and industries is a total different story. From past experiences, I feel that the natives in isolated hilly places are comparatively trustworthy, honest and friendly. When we reached his village, the stranger thanked me. By the look in his eyes you know he really appreciated the ride and it always feels good to help someone without expecting anything in return. He invited me to his home if I needed to halt, but I had a long way to go before it gets dark and so I moved ahead towards Ranikhet.









    By four o’clock, I stopped at a junction just after Ranikhet for a tea break. I could have stayed in Ranikhet but there was still a good two hours left before it gets dark, so I decided to reach Kausani which was about 60 km ahead. Little did I know that on directions from a native, I would be taking a shortcut through a dense forest area? This deserted stretch was about 15-20 km long with not a single soul around. Time was five-thirty when I stopped to check the GPS of my phone which was down to its last battery charge and ran out soon. The GPS showed my position in the middle of nowhere but there was road few km running parallel along the direction the current road was leading. Faded milestone displayed distance to a place starting with “Soni…” Out comes the big map of Uttarakhand but it displayed no place beginning with those letters anywhere nearby. It was one of those moments where you think where the hell did I get myself into?



    Since the direction seemed OK, I decided to continue along the current path until the next village. Moments later, looking down the steep edge I saw a few houses below which would fall along the road. However, as I reached near, there was not a single person around but fresh clothes hung outside the porches. Movies like Wrong Turn were running through my head. I didn’t stop and continued. Few km forward, I heard people shouting and singing songs which happened to be some workers on the back of speeding truck possibly drunken and celebrating the Holi festival. This was on the main road to my relief.

    The main road below


    The surrounding landscape changed from thick forest to an open valley with green farms and a beautiful stream flowing along. Soon I reach Someshwar, where few photographs were clicked.







    But, I realized it was getting dark and I still had about 20-30 km to travel. I picked up my speed here to cover as much as possible with light around. At about 7.30 pm, I reached Kausani and started the hunt for hotels. It was surprising; the hotel rates were so high even during the current off season. The cheapest hotel I could find offered a dull room with no television for 400 bucks. I had no other option but to take. Went out for dinner and upon returning I met the owner of the hotel who happened to be from Delhi but left the city soon after completing his post-graduation. Upon returning to my room, I checked out the photographs and went to sleep.
    Last edited by nirmaldas; 03-27-2012 at 04:14 AM.
    shruthi likes this.
    Solo Ride to Uttarakhand - Kausani & Auli

    Kumaon Winter Tour

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    Royal Enfield Thunderbird (2011 - present)

  3. #13
    Addicted greenknight's Avatar
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    Dear Mr tourer... you are freaking awesome....
    On a serious note super pics... took me back into my child hood days.... Thanks sir.
    Yamaha Fazer 2011 13600km in 8 months and counting

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    Addicted nirmaldas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mik View Post
    Beautiful!
    4 years back, we had gone done Auli in Holi :-) We barely got any snow. You have hit the jackpot buddy.
    Loved the B&W pic.
    Thanks Mik
    I was not expecting so much snow in Auli but you know it snowed like crazy this year. My hunger for snow is aptly satisfied for this winter
    Solo Ride to Uttarakhand - Kausani & Auli

    Kumaon Winter Tour

    Yamaha FZ16 (2009-2012)
    Royal Enfield Thunderbird (2011 - present)

  5. #15
    Addicted nirmaldas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenknight View Post
    Dear Mr tourer... you are freaking awesome....
    On a serious note super pics... took me back into my child hood days.... Thanks sir.
    Thank you sir :P
    appreciate the complement. Uttarakhand is really the God's own country. I merely captured the beauty created by nature
    Solo Ride to Uttarakhand - Kausani & Auli

    Kumaon Winter Tour

    Yamaha FZ16 (2009-2012)
    Royal Enfield Thunderbird (2011 - present)

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    Rusted Nagesh Patankar's Avatar
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    Nice ride there mate. The pictures are really good.
    The landscape is mesmerising. Do you have more pics to share ?



    Regards,
    Nagesh

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    Addicted nirmaldas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagesh Patankar View Post
    Nice ride there mate. The pictures are really good.
    The landscape is mesmerising. Do you have more pics to share ?


    Regards,
    Nagesh
    I will be uploading more pictures with rest of the logs. Thanks for liking
    Solo Ride to Uttarakhand - Kausani & Auli

    Kumaon Winter Tour

    Yamaha FZ16 (2009-2012)
    Royal Enfield Thunderbird (2011 - present)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nirmaldas View Post
    sorry bro. Have not been in contact with you for days. It was a sudden plan, and I have been little sick since returning from the trip... this changing season getting very annoying.

    Regarding expense, total cost was around Rs. 4500-5000 for the four days. 3 night Hotel stays expenditures were 400, 300 and 400 respectively. Total fuel cost around Rs. 2000 for 1180 km
    Thats 40+kmpl.. Wow!

    Awesome pics! Awaiting more..
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    Rusted Nagesh Patankar's Avatar
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    The pics are really nice. I specially liked this one




    Regards,
    Nagesh

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    Rusted eliksir's Avatar
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    amazing pics bro.

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