Today we start off with a short stretch of highway, which by Indian standards is very quiet, we then take some beautiful winding roads up the mountains stopping for lunch at India’s highest waterfall: Jog Falls. Once refreshed, we crack on to Shimoga which sees no tourists whatsoever so we see a city totally unaffected by tourism. Totally refreshing and amazing and possibly the only place on earth where the owner of the petrol station invites you in for a coffee!
I pulled out of Om Beach at 8am after several clothing changes after spilling curry all over myself at breakfast! Yes, curry does seem to be standard fare for breakfast here!
As we were leaving the town, a beautiful young photographer ran up to me and asked for a lift so that she could take photos of the bikes. She ended up on the back of my bike for the entire day. We would take photos of all the bikes going past and then scream up to the front of the pack and take more photos. Being an amateur photographer myself, this was so much fun because I got to see India through a professionals ‘lens’ so to speak.
Today’s riding was fast and furious with the most amazing corners and bends to throw the Bullet into. I am falling in love with my Enfield Bullet. It is an amazing machine. The design is from 1930 and it remains only in production in India.
Watching the mechanics fix the bike is hilarious. They kick it, hammer it, bash it and tape it up – all to coax the bike into completing the day. Then they get up the following morning at 3am to continue ‘fixing’ the bikes and getting them ready for the day’s riding ahead. These men are heroes as much as the Bullet is a hero.
Today we passed India’s highest waterfall and were swamped by school kids on tour. These kids are the most inquisitive and loving children I have ever met. They asked for our autographs and all wanted to know where we were from. Adorable…
I had my first Thali today – an Indian curry like meal. Delicious. My ass is beginning to ache from all the hours in the saddle.
I finished last today. Enduro India is not a race and it was great to take the time to see India rather than just blast through.
Adele had her first accident today. As she was driving into a town, a scooter did a U-turn right in front of her, forcing her to slam on her brakes. She locked up the front wheel and dropped the bike, leaving 16 metres of skid on the road as she slid to a halt. Fortunately, her protective gear kept her relatively uninjured and she managed to get up with only a big black bruise on her ass and a swollen knee. Her bike sustained a shmangled headlight and took the whole clutch cable off with her helmet taking alot of the tar with it. Mechanics were on the scene within minutes to give her a new bike! She got straight back on the bike and rode home. She is fine and a little shaken up, but learning her limits on her Bullet. The film crew on the trip (making a movie of the trip narrated by Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor) love Adele because she is a brand new rider doing this Enduro and were interviewing her even before the dust settled on the road. This would be the first of many many interviews…
I am so proud of the way she handled it. No tears, just fearce anger at the guy who made her crash and who drove off! I call it a miss and run…
Tomorrow promises to be even bumpier, so I am preparing myself mentally for the ass breaking ride! Till then – may The Force be with us.