Pune to Vaishno Devi..via Himalayas (2014) – The Beginning

This article is part 1 of 10 in the series "Vaishno Devi Trip 2014"

Pune to Vaishno DeviTrip Period: 1st March to 17th March 2014

Approx Distance (To and From): 6009 Kms

Motor-bike: Royal Enfield Classic (500 cc)

Friend in the trip: Lalit S. aka ‘Appa’!

Trip Route: Pune > Vasai (MH) > Shamlaji (GJ) > Ajmer (RJ) > Bikaner (RJ) > Amritsar (PJ) > Katra (JK) > McLeod Ganj (HP) > Baijnath (HP) > Chandigarh (HR) > Delhi > Mathura (UP) > Gwalior (MP) > Shirdi (MH) > Pune

States Covered: 1. Maharashtra, 2. Gujarat, 3. Rajasthan, 4. Punjab, 5. Jammu & Kashmir, 6. Himachal Pradesh, 7. Haryana, 8. Delhi, 9. Uttar Pradesh, 10. Madhya Pradesh

How to start writing about one of my best ever trip is one of the worst question I faced 🙂

“Over 6000 Kms, 10 states and hundreds of destinations!  Desert, plateau and mountains! Firing Heat, chilling cold and rainy storms! We got it all!!”

Unlike my other travelogues, I will try to write in details about the fun, fear, adventure, difficulties and a wonderful India we felt and saw. I am breaking it in chapters to stay focused! Let me start now..

While having a coffee break in the month of December 2013, I was sharing experiences of my motorbike trips to Lalit (let me call him Appa in this story). Appa looked trilled and I was getting tempted again for a big run. Appa agreed to join me in my next voyage thinking that it will never happen. Ha ha!! One should have looked at his face when I asked him to pack bags in February 2014. Well.. I must say he is a man of word and was all set, ready and was waiting for me at Panchami hotel at Satara Road on 1st March 2014 at 3.30 pm.

I was late! Bike started with a salute of “Sorry”!! We started around 6.30 pm from Pune as I was getting the bike ready all day at Raviwar peth. Raviwar peth is the heaven for Bikers in Pune where one can get all the armory for his /her bike.

Royal Enfield Classic.. a maroon color 500 cc monster! Trust me, that was the first day I handled this machine. Irony.. we were riding it for Himalayas on it’s first day. In the three of us, only I was an experienced soldier.

Royal Enfield Classic

6.30 pm is never a great time to start a bike ride but we didn’t want to lose a minute as we (at least I was) were aiming for the big. After a silent 30 minutes drive, I stopped at tea stop near Dehu phata, right outside the city. While having our tea, I asked: “Appa, are you sure you wanna do it?”. That was a cold response from him:”Yeh..sure! Lets see, how far can I survive!” 🙂 And we started!

It was an amazing night.. dark and cold. While I was trying to get my hands on it on the curvy roads of old Pune-Mumbai highway, Appa was trying to get his seat attached to the machine’s seat! I know this highway like my everyday route to the office. North is the only direction we had to keep focused upon next at least a week.

After a cautious ride and flying over the lengthy Panvel overbridge, I pulled over the bike in front of Shiv sagar restaurant. One of the famous Vegetarian food place in the state. Appa was trying to settle down. A man who never had bike ride for more than 100 kms was with me on the thousands of miles adventure.

Pune to Vasai

Pune to Vasai

Real fun began after Dombivali. I misjudged the turn and headed towards Mumbai. Airplanes were landing and taking off far in the dark horizon..wait a minute.. “why I can see them low in the air?” Oops!! That’s when I realized the mistake, I was driving towards the down town. It was west not north!! Corrected my basics asap and we took hard right towards Vasai. Thanks to IMS Road Atlas who was worthy friend when Google Map ditched us. We stopped by road side chai wala, the cycle guy with tea thermos. While enjoying that tasteless but must needed hot cup of tea, I checked coordinates and set the route ahead. Ha ha..Appa was kind of terrified on his first night out.

As we had almost 90 kms gifted run due my mistake, we halted at a roadside motel near Vasai. It wasn’t SO good hotel with lots of mosquitos, we had nice sleep. Thanks to those repellent papers which always find the place in bag pack. Almost 280 kms ride was good start!

Read next chapter of the trip – Gujarat Chapter

Keep Reading Pune to Vaishno Devi on motorbike trip story:

  1. The Beginning (You are here)
  2. Gujarat Chapter
  3. Rajasthan Chapter
  4. Punjab Chapter
  5. Vaishno Devi (Jammu) Chapter
  6. Himachal Chapter
  7. Haryana Chapter
  8. Uttar Pradesh Chapter
  9. Madhya Pradesh Chapter
Series NavigationPune to Vaishno Devi – Gujarat Chapter >>

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