India, the land of vibrant chaos, where the constant hum of traffic mingles with the rich aroma of fuel, burning trash, and the lingering scent of incense. The vivid smiles of the people we passed by, etched in my memory like the kaleidoscope of colors in Kerala, have lingered with me since the day I returned.
Unexpected Beginnings: The Call of Adventure
India wasn't on my radar initially. It slipped into my life unexpectedly, leaving an indelible mark even as I pen down these words. It all began with a call from a friend in Spain, posing the idea of expanding our motorcycle excursions beyond our South African base. With zero knowledge of India, he took the lead, and soon, the groundwork for a seven-day escapade in the southern region of Kerala was laid. The Lost Tusk, as I named it, was a quest to find oneself, inspired by the symbolism of Ganesha's tusk.
Kerala's Allure: A Hidden Gem
Kerala, often overshadowed by the Himalayas when motorcycles and India intertwine, intrigued me. The lush greenery of tea plantations, dense jungles, pristine beaches, and the warmth of its people beckoned. Our steeds for this adventure were the Royal Enfield Bullets, and despite my towering height of 6'7", the simplicity and "bulletproof" nature of the bike resonated with me. >Embracing Spontaneity: The Charm of the Lost Tusk >Unlike our usual meticulously planned journeys, the Lost Tusk encouraged spontaneity. Only two lodgings pre-booked, the rest secured last-minute, depending on when and where we arrived. A two-hour detour through private tea garden roads, leading us to a blocked route near Munnar, epitomized the essence of the journey. Forced to backtrack, we stumbled upon Top Station, where a change of plans became a cherished experience. That night, surrounded by locals, sharing stories around a fire, and staying up later than planned, taught me the beauty of embracing the unknown.
A Part of Me Left Behind: The Resonance of India
India imprinted itself on my soul, and I reciprocated by leaving a part of me in its embrace. The trip became a cascade of detours, choosing roads less traveled, and finding beauty in the unpredictability. Though unable to return due to travel restrictions, the thought of India accompanies me daily. It's a relationship destined to endure, and when the time is right, I'll be ready for another rendezvous with the soul-stirring roads of India.