Friday, May 27, 2005

My Rides : Trip -III; Shirdi

Where: Shirdi

Total Distance: 2000 Kms (1000 Kms One way)

Vehicles: 1 Yamaha RX-135 (2000 Model), 1 Hero Honda CBZ (2002 Model)

Total Expenditure: Rs. 7500/- (Rs. 1875/- Per Head)

Travel Duration: Mar 19 (Evening) to Mar 22 (Morning), 2005 (62 Hours)

Route Map: Nelamangala - Tumkur - Chitradurga - Bellary - Ilkal - Bijapur - Jhalki - Sholapur - Ahmednagar - Shirdi

Travel Team: 4 members

Pilots: Nitin S. Bharadwaj, Shashidhar Inamdar (Shashi), Raghavendra Kulkarni(Ragya), Sumanth G.(Sumthae)

Tour Diary:

Friday:- Hmmm. The very feeling of continuous travelling planned by our senior Shashi gave us a nervous feeling but also a totally hidden excitement that a dream of a hardcore endurance was becoming a reality. We reached Yeshwantpur by 4 PM. Shashi later told us that his bike was missing the ignition and handle lock keys.The keys had jumped off the ignition switch somewhere. What we did was took the bike to a key maker. He brought out a key and in less than 5 minutes, he had filed up our key for us. No doubt you outta be safe while parking. We left there and reached the Nelamangala toll gate for the Tumkur 4-Laner. We, Shashi & I being the key drivers, thought we'll take rest for the night long ride to come. So our other two pilots took over. We slept for the good 40 odd Kms. stretch. We reached Sira and had some light tea-time snack. From there, we reached Chitradurga and made out our route map. On the way to Bellary, Ragya and I have a near miss by a load-less trucker overtaking us at nearly 120 Kph (Too fast for Indian Highways at night). We reached Bellary and again the key riders went back to sleep.

Saturday:- Morning by 5, we were near Bijapur. We stop at a roadside Dhaba. We get some tea, wash our faces and we have 3 Jolada Rottis each. Then we have some more tea and set off to the toughest part of our journey. Making out the exact route to Shirdi from Bijapur. We refuel in a bunk and ask him what the route is. He is unaware. We reach Jhalki. From there, we are supposed to go to Sholapur. Or Kolhapur? Or Pandarapur? We somehow lure some locals to tell us the exact route. We go to Sholapur and from there continue. The worst shock of our lives was that every time we reach a new city, people still keep telling that we have more than 350 Kms. to go. Somehow, we reached Ahmednagar. 70 Kms. off Shirdi and Shashi is complaining that I drive too slow. Then, I take over the bike and Shashi is lost behind me. We wait for them at a place and without our awareness, we are overtaken and they are waiting for us ahead of us. Finally, at around 5 PM. SHIRDI!! We really made it. Amazing. We book a room for ourselves. A huge room with 4 large beds. And have a bath. Go for Darshan. We buy eye drops and put it in our eyes before going to sleep. Ahh! What a sleep we are going to enjoy now....

Sunday:- Morning we are up by 7:30. We clear the room and leave back towards Bangalore. We again have Shashi fading away in my rare-view mirrors until we reach Ahmednagar. We barely fill our breakfast with Samosa and Coffee. We again leave and begin our true race-pace towards Bangalore. Sumthae is almost riding the wheels off that yamaha. We continue our ride for a long time until we are just around 70 Kms. off Sholapur, where Shashi is desperate to visit the loo. We stop and have tea. Now, our stints are growing longer and longer still. We are covering minimum of 140-150 Kms. per pit-stop. We reach Bijapur and eat some snacks. The bill soars up to around Rs.120/-. We continue and reach Bellary by midnight. There again we eat some dinner. Or maybe late supper. Three people eat around 12 rotis and 2 Tomato masalas. Then we have 4 half-tea. The bill.. Guess!! Just Rs. 30/-!! Yes.. this is no typo-error. It was that cheap. Then no breaks till Chitradurga

Monday:- We reach Chitradurga by 4:30 AM. There Shashi and I are looking at the dog-tired Sumthae and Ragya as they sleep and we are making fun of them. They are in a deep trance like sleep. For one hour, they snore like hell while we have tea after tea, little by little. We also find a shop for eatables like Nippat and Chakkli (Indian Brownies). Then I say to Shashi, we are running too less on cash and we need to save them. So I'll come slow. Shashi says OK but he has to leave early as he needs to go to office. He rips off after we divide the remaining amount of Rs. 400 amongst ourselves. Rs. 200/- for each bike. Then near Sira, we find Shashi's bike but only Sumthae is there. We find out that his bike ran out of gearbox oil and they almost nearly missed a siezed engine. Phew!! Then, Shashi returns in a truck with 1 Ltr. oil. Then we leave, again with Shashi belting the roads heavily. Ragya & I are cruising away until I realise that I'm short of Engine Oil. We use Rs. 50/- for fuel and Rs. 100/- for Oil. We top up the engine and make our way back to Bangalore. We are there at 9 AM sharp and with only as little as Rs.30/- in our pockets.

Well, God is Great to have helped us reach Bangalore without a single extra pie expenditure. But finally, we all made it. To go to Shirdi and come back to Bangalore in 62 Hours is no child's play. As far as it is concerned, even Volvo bus drivers were astonished at the way we were pacing ourselves on the trip. The most important factor to note was the air temperatures which rose to 40 degrees C. The roads had molten tar due to extremely high track temperature. During the days in Maharashtra, our bikes could go no better than 70 Kmph. While during the nights in Karnataka, we could do well beyond the 100 Kmph. After all this, we can easily say:

"This stunt is/was performed by professionals. Kindly do not try this at home!!"

Try This Song: Aa Tayar Ho Ja (Asoka, Sunidhi Chauhan)


Akshay said...

Never knew you had been to shirdi. Good going man!!!

Nitin said...

This was a "never knew" for us also once we returned. Some trip. Or like i say, some Endurance ride.