I’m sure many of you will agree with me … if you aspire to travel and you have friends from that region continuously luring you to come over, more so, if a friend from there comes to your doorstep and extends a very warm invite to enjoy the hospitality, the urge to say yes is very easy!

I was no stranger!

We had met Paul Gurung, a young lad in his mid 20’s something… (actually, he does not need any introduction in the biking community!), during our earlier ride to Arunachal Pradesh in December 2015.  He alongside Manish Gurung and many other riders from Gangtok + Darjeeling, who were headed towards the land of the Thundering Dragon – Bhutan, had spotted my wife and me riding alone and eventually coaxed us a into one of the most memorable detours.

We did stay connected and enjoyed each other’s pictures of various  rides that we were up to.  The zeal to ride around the North East had continuously been lingering since we returned and this is an area where you will not be able to satisfy yourself with one or two rides.  This area has so much to offer that you can easily spend months!

On a casual discussion over Whatsapp, Paul mentioned that their team, the Alpine Bike Squad, was planning to ride to the Mustang Valley in Nepal.  Well, that sounded interesting and just about in time that I had planned my long vacation.

Within a matter of a few weeks, Paul happened to visit Bangalore and made it a point to come home and we discussed… did not take more than an hour to finalize a plan that would take us to Sikkim.. head into North Sikkim and then join the bigger team to head into Nepal!

Paul Gurung came calling to excite us about what would be the most memorable ride of 2016!

Well, for me, this plan not only excited the return to the North East, but gave me an opportunity to connect with many faces, whose names were only familiar.  The excitement to reconnect with friends enroute this ride was even more fascinating!

Join me as I take you through many friends, most of whom I am meeting for the first time, made many new friends and acquaintances, in one of my MOST epic ride in over a year and half on my #Armstrong – DSK Benelli TNT 600 GTS!

The xBhp Team in Bhubhaneshwar – Anupam – Suman – Sugat!
The most warm welcome in Gangtok – Budhi Raj and Prasad! The expression says it all!!
Top Row L to R: Aman + Santanu + Pratik + Avinove + Prathyuksh + Samartha + Team Alpine Bike Squad. Second Row: The Team that rode in together to Gangtok: Sharath + Anu + Ruhin + Tanuj + Mudit + Rahul + Alam & Paul!
The Dinner Hosts at Bhubhaneshwar! Santanu and Paul rode into welcome us in Siliguri and so did Mrigank and Vivek Bose!
Enthusiastic send off from Bhubhaneshwar to warm reception in Gangtok to a friend in Jajabor  – Parakram, to a fantastic rider community enroute Kathmandu in Nepal.. Yes.. what a fantastic memorable connection!
Budhi Raj – One of the most excited friend to see us, including Alam, Omega and Budhi’s daughter Anjali!!
With the Head of RE Customer Excellence, Shanks, as he is fondly called, Deepak Gupta our host for 2 days, a ride out with none other than the Motographer himself, to meeting one of the most dashing entrepreneur, Jashjeev of Highnote Performance, with Ronnie, whose expertise helped avoid a disaster, to meeting the Old Fox in his very own den, and the most happening luxury rental team at Eagle Riders India and meeting Vinay after 18 odd years!!!!
The backbone for the ride into the grueling North Sikkim Trails, Kishan, absolute hospitality from Jomy and Manish in Gangtok, to catching up with old times, Santanu and Alok, and customary selfie at the most prominent locations with Deepak Gupta.. !!
Team ABS in Nepal, the itch to have more hair 🙂 to street side hospitality in Sunil Gupta to waiting for a “Fan” to arrive in Faisal… Whatta ride this turned out to be!

 

The team that rode together, to the warm reception in Agra by the Agra Enfielders, driven by Dheeraj, Arjun, Ankit and Team, to the MOST momentous meeting with Deepa Malik and meeting the MOST inspirational rider across continents Sundeep aka Sunny aka Motographer to being hosted by the most enthusiastic couple Deepak Gupta and Sangeeta Bhabhi!
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Friends from Pune – Mukul, Rajesh, Samson and Roshan

I am so happy to have shared my association with so many people that I got acquainted during this ride and I am still basking in the memories of having spent the most precious times with each of them.  It is these moments that will drive me to plan another visit to them all !

2 responses to “The Mountains NEVER come calling – It’s the FRIENDS do!

  1. Wow Deepak Kamath sir, you made us celebrity. We wish to see you Riding like the way you ride. Keep inspiring the amateur Riders like us. We ‘Team ABS’ ‘salutes’ you.

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