Chethan Kamath’s Dream Road Journey Through Manali And Leh
This Banglore based ‘Jack of all Trades’ attributes his personality to the interesting journey in life he has had so far. He calls himself the ‘everythinger’, since he has been a design engineer, a musician, a patent attorney, an entrepreneur, a martial artist, an author and currently an app developer!
Despite all this, his good ol’ heart lives and breathes in the adventure of travels. He describes his best traveling experience to be the amazing bike trip to Leh-Ladakh organized by Thrillophilia in 2016!!
This trip was a birthday gift to self and he did it with his best friend, Prashant, making a lifetime of memories with a lot of pictures and stories to take away from this adventure.
Manali-Leh-Manali – Chethan’s Epic Journey On His Bike In His Own Words-
Not wanting to bore anyone with his daily itinerary of various places instead he chose to add a tour link (https://www.thrillophilia.com/tours/ladakh-on-bike), Chethan instead chooses to share his feelings and takeaways from this trip. He says the drive on his bike along with his best friend and his other fellow riders from the tour was the best decision ever made. You can make out from this picture the easy comradery that was formed by these band of brothers.
To have the wind blow against your skin and the mountain roads carrying you on its path was akin to almost floating on clouds. It was spiritual as much as it was thrilling. Of how his day was spent on the road, he says-
Wake up, eat (aaloo parathas and Maggi most days for breakfast), hop on your Bullet, ride, see unbelievable sights on the way, ride some more and wonder if all these surroundings are for real! Ride some more and get your driving skills tested to the hilt amidst rain, snow, mud, slush, stones. Develop some patience for you never know what you might encounter on the road!
Then ride again and realize your place in this universe. Eat again, then ride again and pray yet again (on a lighter note) that you don’t have to visit a bathroom anytime soon along the way. Then ride some more and pray that your bike survives the mad road ahead. Ride and pray that you have enough fuel to last you until you reach the destination
Ride, and pray that you do not fall sick on your trip with all the low oxygen levels on your climb up. Finally, ride some more and reach your end destination for the day, grab yourself your favorite drink, in my case sipping on a glass of Old Monk, while seated next to a fireplace trying to warm from the chill of the ride during the day. Then sleep with ten layers of clothing and blankets to beat the cold despite the warmth from the Old Monk!!
The Next day, do the whole thing on repeat mode.
The Highpoint of his Journey-
Chethan’s trip to Leh on the bike was his gift to himself on his birthday. He says- “This was my best birthday ever. There were no calls, no internet, and no disturbance from the virtual world. Just me, my best friend, my bullet and the mountains. Could not have asked for more!”
The one thing he says he misses the most is the Mountains.
When asked about his most memorable moments from the trip, Chethan mentions- “Knowing that my fellow bikers took a dump with their helmets on at Chang La Pass because it was too damn cold and to keep their anonymity, was the absolute hilarious part of the journey. Can never forget that anecdote.”
These are Chethan’s list of a few things you should know before starting this journey-
- Do not wear all the heavy leather biker gear and boots in Chandigarh in the peak of heat in July. You will die!
- Do not buy fancy gumboots for river crossings. You are not going to be carrying it when you need it the most.
- Carry as much mood elevating stimulants you need to survive on as you can. There is never enough of it and yes, you will never find it when you need it the most.
- If you need to relieve yourself enroute, there is no “JhaadikePeechey” scene available anywhere. There is only an open dug up hole in the ground at a nearby village if you get so lucky. So prepare to do the deed in the open.
- Hold on to your bike keys for dear life. Do not make the mistake of losing your keys, because if you do so, give up hope and prepare to start walking and you will reach your destination in like- Never!
- The roads are absolutely mental with so many bends and breaks. Wear protective gear at all times, because you will fall at least once.
- Get used to eating Maggi or aloo ka paratha every single day for breakfast. That will be your go to food on the go.
- Ride on the center of the road no matter what. If you try extreme corners, there is a good chance you will be rolling stone downhill in no time.
- Your cameras, however fancy, will remain useless. Whatever you will capture will not do justice to the actual landscape. So utilize that time to soak it all in instead of wasting time on photo-op.
- Learn the basics of Bullet bike repair, because you never know when it might come in handy.
In his own words, Chethan says “This was by far the best thing that I have done so far in my life and I was so pleased with Thrillophilia as my travel partner that I got another trip planned with them in 2017- my romantic getaway in Andamans– my Honeymoon.” Being pleasantly surprised with impeccable service and great organized itinerary, Thrillophilia yet again proved to give an absolutely 5-star experience!
Chethan holds the memory of that trip very dear and although that is yet another story to be told, he says, “I cannot shake off the memory of waking up right next to the most serene and crystal clear beaches to catch the sunrise with my partner. It was the most perfect honeymoon. Oh wait, did I forget to mention our scuba-diving experience? It was just AMAAAAAAZZZINGG!”
Some of the aspects from Chethans travels-
Chethan says he always travels light and he can weather any conditions come what may. He says- “when you keep your expectations low, every great thing then that happens will keep you in awe and will make you marvel at the newness of it all.”
With his love for traveling it is no wonder that he keeps a bucket list of places to visit and his next immediate thing would be to go skydiving in Dubai.
Chethan does seem to live by his favourite quote literally and philosophically-
“Imagine and you will get there.” With his zeal for traveling, he seems to be making that happen on a regular basis, and Thrillophilia is here to help him make that happen.