Adele and have been waking at 5am each morning to meditate, swim and watch the sun rise. This morning was no different and the sunrise was spectacular from my vantage point floating in the warm Indian ocean.
At 8am, we all pulled out of the bike park and began our 210km journey towards Om Beach, a famous beach named because it looks like an Om symbol when viewed from the air. We began with some fast open road riding, but quickly we found ourselves flying through spectacular country lanes on roads that most tourists will never see. I could tell by the bewildered looks on the local’s faces as we rode past that western people were definately not an everyday sight. Their faces looked like they had just seen a spaceship land an aliens emerge from it! Funny…
Today, I chose not to ride with Adele. I sensed that she needed to find her feet on her own and build her confidence as a rider without feeling self conscious about having me around. This proved to be a good move for me too because Frazer and I rode at the front of the pack, tearing up the Indian countryside with our Royal Enfield Bullets.
At midday, we found ourselves riding the most gruelling mountain pass on a dirt road. This stretch tested my skills as a rider and there were times where my wheels were spinning in wet mud and I thought I was goind to taste some dirt. I barely managed to stay upright and then my thoughts turned to Adele…I have been riding motorcycles for 17 years. Adele has been riding for 3 weeks! How on earth was she going to make it over this mountain pass in one piece? Massive boulders needed to be negotiated and the stones would give way as you ride over them. Today was trecherous as several bikers came off with a few landing in hospital with punctured lungs and some aweful injuries.
The next piece of riding tested our focus even more. I call it the Highway To Hell. As we left the beauty of the mountains, we emerged onto a highway that surely was not designed for motorcycles. The road was literally falling to pieces and inhabited solely by huge trucks, busses and lorries all looking to kill someone. Warren our inhouse moto GP expert almost legged it straight back to his home country saying that it was possibly the most dangerous roads he had ever encountered in his life.
Regularly, these slow brutes will overtake each other on a blind rise almost taunting death with their courageous stupidity. Several times today I thought I was going to be flattened as I turned a bend only to be faced with 2 enormous trucks bearing down on me, taking up the entire highway. The only option is to ride into the ditch on the side of the road or face imminent death! I am not exaggerating… Indian road rules read something like this… The bigger you are, the better as you have right of way.
As a motorcyclist on a freeway inhabited with monster trucks, this felt like playing an arcade game where I was on my last life before game over!
Anyway, Fraser and I made it to out hotel in 1 piece and I waited for Adele, feeling concered that she was either no longer alive or would definately want to go home after such a gruelling 10 hours in the saddle. She pulled in with a smile so wide, it lit up India. She had absolutely LOVED the day and had been hanging out with some sort of gang of girl power (2 other girls) – they arrived with one of them shouting ‘can I hear a HOO-HAH’ with them responding in some GI Jane coded chorus ‘HOO-HAH’. I suddenly realised that my work was done and some sort of marine core girl thing had taken over. I at this point sincerely hoped that no shaving of heads or additional tattoos were going to appear but Adele is clearly elated and addicted to this biking thing.
All is well in Om Beach, Gokarna and at 7pm I am asleep…See you tomorrow…