Straight and Left, a ride through South America on a bike
Next up, Ecuador. I had a college buddy in Quito, and spent a week with him. His mother was like mine, she fed me till I dropped, and his dad got enough booze in me to manage the high 2,500-meter altitude. I rode along the Pacific Ocean, on a lonely, twisty road called ‘Routa Del Sol’. It literally means ‘The Route of the Sun’ but for me, I thought of it as the route of my soul. Think about it, the blue Pacific Ocean with its wind in your face, scented with the freshness of salt and adventure, and you on a motorcycle, no idea where you’re going to stop for the night, but probably some place exciting. This is how I felt for almost four months.
Peru was nothing short of Pure Magic. I ended up spending a month there, riding through 5,000-meter and snow-capped peaks, and even spending five days on a boat through the Amazon jungle, with nothing but a hammock to lie on
For 10 years I have sat through lectures, tutorials, interviews, meetings, seminars, conferences and much more, all the time wondering in the back of my mind what it would feel like to do this trip and reach the end of the world.
“In the city of Tango, it’s just spectacular, am going to daNce with her, drink with her, and eat with her. Buenos Aires, I got to you after 11,500 kms on my motorcycle, but we arrived just as I wanted to: free, open and the wind in our faces.”
Cuzco, then Machu Picchu. This is a must-see for all, there is magic there, and you have to sit and feel it to understand it. I found a rock, sat down for three hours, admiring this beautiful place. I have been a fan of Che Guevara for about 10 years now, and I had to see where he was killed in Bolivia. When i reached there, in Sant Cruze Bolivia, all my possessions were stolen, including my passport. These things happen, you just have to keep moving. With a great network of family and friends, I was back on my feet in three weeks. Seeing the place where Che was killed somehow completed a journey in me.
My fiancé Pritha met me in Bolivia and we hit the Salt Flats of Bolivia. The ride there was the toughest on the trip. We woke the next morning and saw a white expanse in front of us. No roads, no signs, nothing, just salt as far as the eye could see. We spent two days on the salt flats, camping under some rocks. It took us five hours to get to Argentina. Once in, we headed for the Dakar rally. Seeing those bikes and cars flying through the desert gave me confidence, and inspiration to take part some day.