D83 . Nov 22 . the end :(

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18 PM. After 13 days of ride. After 2200 km. We finally reach our final destination.
On one hand I am relived, my body couldn’t have taken more.
On the other hand I would like to do it all over again.
It is difficult for everyone of us to leave our vehicles, we multiply pictures like if these were the last ones on earth.

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It was so intense that I mismatch everything. Photos and videos will help me in building my recollection of that fabulous trip I had dreamed about for years.

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I leave you with this last video, a florilege of what we faced on the Indian roads !
(tip: put the sound on and download the video before playing it, as it is 22 Mo)

D83 . Nov 22 . Wedding on the road, lunch on the rock

IMG_1916The road is exhausting. Holes, bumps…
At one point a cow pops up from nowhere, she was behind a truck when she probably suddenly decided to cross the street. I almost crash, good that she was running, otherwise I would be dead. This is the only time I really get scared.
And a miracle happens: A wedding is taking place on the road, people are dancing. Overtaking the crowd is not easy but the good news is that our leader decides to stop.
We are gonna dance with them, in our astronauts overalls!!!
Of course, men are very excited by our presence, whereas shy women will stay behind.

After this charming and surprising interlude, I will ask Ravi to drive more slowly.
Indeed, we are exhausted and the road is demanding, I feel I’m loosing focus.
a few kilometers afterwards, we stop by a caff (gargotte) for our last lunch by the Rajasthan roads…
The owner is not used to get so many guests at once, so our team leader and our mechanic give him a hand: Ravi prepares the bread, Sanjay cooks it in the oven!

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This is going to be our last afternoon, I try to capture every image, every light, every face…

D83 . Nov 22 . From Jaipur to the woods

Friday. Last day on the road.
Yesterday evening, we visited several touristic factories.
This guy below will spend his life working on emeralds.
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Friday morning. Before our 220 km of ride we visit our last Rajasthan fort !

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Today, we will have our morning Masala tea in the mountains, where women, as usual, are securing wood for their cooking. A crowd of Sisyphe invades the road before lunch time…

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D82. Nov 21 . We are beast attractions

Thursday.
We leave our hotel at dawn, and have to face a thick smog, a mix of morning fog and house smokes. Indeed, people burn whatever to heat their houses at night and cook breakfast. I cannot stand that acrid smell (âcre).

We will have to ride 220 km today, until we reach Udaipur, the Venice of the East, also called The Pink City… A motivating target!

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As usual, we stop around 10AM to have a masala tea. And, s I said, stopping in villages to drink a masala tea often turns into crowd movements.
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Kids are obviously the first ones to come to us. but old men are not far, they just pretend they have something to do in the neighborhood but they are here as well. Kids are intrigued, oldies are amused. With our helmets, reinforced gloves and jackets, heavy shoes, we look like Robocops !

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On the road again, ready to overtake everything, including the amazingly colorful Indian trucks.

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D81. Nov 20 . A barber, a teacher, two videos

Wednesday.
210 km ahead of us but the day starts with a mechanical accident.
In fact, a mechanic, Sanjay, rides with us, which is really a necessity, as everyday there is a new problem popping up…

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When the problem is fixed, we stop to have a Masala tea, a ritual. Every day at ten and four we stop to small shops in villages to have a tea break. And every time, we almost create riots in the villages. Everyone wants to see us, to touch us…
Today, we stop by the barbers district.

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For us, villages are are a never-ending stage, as everyone lives, works, and sometimes sleeps in the streets.
Some are extremely busy: shaving men, carrying marble rocks, selling potato chips, cooking chapati bread, knocking on nails with very big hammers to make them stand still again (unbelievable but true). And some are doing absolutely nothing: sitting on a wall, on a bicycle, on a stair, on a rock, on the floor… Waiting for their next reincarnation to come may be…

In the video below, you will discover the diversity of those villages, the amount of asphalt on the floor being in general proportional to the wealthiness of its inhabitants…

In the afternoon, Ravi, our leader, would like to make us visit a school.
When we get there, pupils are home but the teacher keeps the place safe.
Kids sit on the floor, and the recreation area stands in between the cows and the water pumps.

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Today, we ride on very small roads. Either asphalted or not, they look like small furrows (sillons) made to a field. We overtake cow, goats, buffalos, rickshaws…
We are riding in the direction of Pushkar, and the vegetation is slowly and imperceptibly changing. In the morning, meadows with trees, in the afternoon, almost a steppe vision.

By the way, my bike buddies

Two young bikers from Switzerland, sharing one bike:

Damien Nadege

 

One couple from France. Muriel doesn’t drive:

Philippe Muriel

One couple for Belgium, working in Switzerland, living in France. Marie-Claire follow us from the bus that stays behind us together with mechanical spare parts and our luggage:

Rolland Belge Marie Claire

 

One couple for Switzerland, she doesn’t drive neither:

Rolland Marie Jo

 

Two single bikers, from Switzerland as well:Jackie Gérard

A diverse group led by Ravi… I will introduce him in through another post!