The planned route for the first day was:
Delhi –> Gurgaon –> Dharu Heda –> Rewari –> Narnaul –> Chirawa –> Jhunjunu –> Mandawa
But I lost my way somewhere after Rewari, and reached Behror. This cost me more than an hour (with an extra 50 km), and it was quite late by the time I got to Chirawa. So I decided to spend the night there itself.
The next morning I continued my journey till Mandawa, where I expected to find a fort. The fort had been converted into a hotel, and from outside seemed rather unimpressive. There were a few good looking havelis in town, but I could only take snaps from outside. Next stop was Fatehpur, after which the plan was to ride for about 20 km towards Bikaner for the ultimate desert road experience. But I’d made good time, so I rode all the way till Ratangarh – which was supposedly called the Varanasi of Rajasthan. But I didn’t stick around for too long, and continued to Salasar.
The road from Ratangarh to Salasar was simply brilliant. For most of the time, you could see the road all the way to the horizon, and once you got there, it would again continue all the way to the horizon! On both sides was the desert, with the sand getting on the road every now and then. There was very less traffic, and you could spot a camel or two occasionally. Riding on such a road was what I was after, and I was so glad I hadn’t turned back from Ratangarh.
Salasar is a holy place famous for its Hanuman temple, but most people in the hotels were unfriendly. Hanuman knows why, but no-one was willing to give a room to a single guy. After some hunting around, I managed to find a ridiculously basic room for a ridiculously high price, but since beggars cannot be choosers… People on the streets were much better and I befriended an ice-cream seller. Spent a long time looking for an internet centre, but there was none. Here’s a business opportunity if you don’t mind living in Salasar.
There was nothing about my room that would make me want to stay longer, so at 6.30 am the next day I had already started my return journey. This time I rode via Sikar, Udaipurvati, Neem Ka Thana, Kot Putli, Behror and Gurgaon, and got home just before 4 pm.
I had covered 754 km in 3 days of riding which was nothing short of remarkable given my affiliation to one particular gang