Wednesday, 10 February 2010
KALASA SILENT VALLEY TO MYSORE
I woke at 5 am, lights still out in dorm. I picked up my dirty kit off the floor and put it back on. No point in getting anything else dirty as I had not washed since Friday night in Shimoga and as you already know I may have been dirtier after a shower in that place! My motocross trousers are used every day and anyway as is my body armour this would not get washed for whole trip anyway. My socks and underclothes would usually go in the bin every night and my t-shirt from each day I give to the mechanics each morning. My bags get lighter day by day. It was a damp and cold morning and for the first time this trip I needed a motocross top on over my armour. It gets to be a routine now, sort kit on arrival at destination so all is ready for the morning as the early starts have to be calm. You cannot be doing anything other than ‘getting in the zone’ for the days ride and preparing your road book in the morning. The start is always a dangerous point with over 100 bikes all leaving the parking compound of the previous night. The roads to start were in awful condition with huge potholes and gritty surfaces, the rear ends skipped on bends and front forks bottomed out if you hit a pothole. Lots of blind bends as we climbed up the roads away from Kalasa. We left the mountains for the hot open area of the Deccan plateau heading for Mysore which is a wondrous city where the British had one of their summer seats of government during the days of the Raj. It was a great ride with sweeping bends and long stretches where we could run the bikes at full throttle. It still took us around 10 hours including a lunch stop (curry buffet - just in case anybody does not know that is all we have eaten since arriving in India). We arrived at a five star hotel, thank goodness, at around 5.30 and all the bikes had to be parked in a regimented line organised by a couple of uniformed me I could only describe as ‘Parking Wallas’. How they got that many people to comply after the couple of days we had just been through I will never know. We walked into the fine reception and had red dots put on our foreheads. Unfortunately the police had stopped our baggage support truck. All drivers are supposed to know what is in each bag of cargo they carry and he obviously did not. We all hung out in the small bar and then poured out into the nice seating area by reception drinking beer. Other guests coming in must have been horrified as we were a dirty, desperate looking group. The baggage arrived too late to get changed for a coach trip to see the lights being turned on at the Mysore Palace. I walked around in my filthy kit and got some very strange looks from the locals. A tuk tuk ride back then dinner on the lawn and a presentation by UNICEF on how the money raised by our trip will benefit the children of the area in the fight against AIDS. We slept well that night!!!