After weeks of running around Dharamshala I finally had all the gear I would need for our motorcycle tour of Kashmir and Ladakh. All together it weighed about 20 kilos, which I fit into two old rucksacks and strapped to the rack straddling the back wheel of my 350cc Royal Enfield, which made it drive wobbly as it accelerated though with speed things evened out. I put my helmet on and kick-started the engine, revving it loudly – its roar was thunderous and clean, the result of considerable last-minute maintenance at various mechanics around the Kangra valley, who banged and ratcheted it into temporarily working condition. My girlfriend Dolker gave her sister one last hug goodbye, then together, each on our own Enfield, we rode away waving, watching Dharamshala recede in the rearview mirror. From now on it would only be the two of us, alone for thousands of kilometres through the high-altitude deserts and mountains of Northern India.
Read the rest in Sidetracked Magazine.