“Last July, I saddled my Royal Enfield Himalayan with my riding gear and started off on a journey; a journey that had been 2 years in the making.”
Here’s a retelling of Valmakry’s most awaited journey - The All India Ride.
I’ve always been told how mesmerising my country is, but never truly realised it until I witnessed it myself. The experience is like no other, and the only way to know how it feels, is to take that road yourself.
Our adventure was divided in to 4 parts with the aim of covering India, in its full length and breadth. The journey began from Cochin, with the Western Ghats on one side and the mighty Lakshadweep sea on the other. From the coast, we made our way into dusty roads of Rajasthan. The change in scenery was drastic, and the desert heat was a true test of our mettle. Such journeys that cross over a variety of landscapes with diverse weather demand an adequately ventilated jacket to protect you from the dry winds and cold weather alike.
As we left the desert behind, we were greeted by unpredictable weather and winding roads that led to Leh – both beautiful and challenging. My protective riding trousers and Spiti gloves did me a solid favour by keeping me insulated and snug as the temperatures dropped sharply. Braving the cold led me to the breath-taking view of the Pangnong Lake below the clear blue skies. The sight more than made up for everything we went through.
As the dangerous terrains gave way to the lush green highway of the North-Eastern trail, we cruised on to conquer the hillocks of Nagaland. The view came with a cost - rains. With no place to halt, we rode under heavy rainfall. The rains put my long riding boots to the test. I thanked my stars that they were up to the challenge and kept my feet dry and prevented stuffiness.
Through the journey so far, we have passed several stunning landscapes, beautifully preserved colonial structures, temples, and museums and more. All along the ride, a feeling has been reinforced within me - the feeling of being a proud Indian. This feeling continues to drive me - to explore more, understand different cultures, meet new people and hear different stories. My journey is still on, and I have miles to go.