Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Journey To Nowhere In Particular

Sitting at my regular cafe in Bangalore, I happened upon a group of expats traveling India. When I suggested to Jordan that I thought he would like the book Vagabonding by Rolph Potts, He responded that he knew it well. I was intrigued.

As it turned out, he was a Vagabond-er in the true sense. He explained that he raised a small amount of funds to travel and was shooting footage for a documentary loosely wrapped around the practice of Yoga. He had recently been to Bali and Nepal, now India.

When I suggested a motorcycle trip to Mysore in search of some villages for his documentary, he leap at the opportunity. With three of his friends and collaborators (Adam, Lukas and Eve) in tow, I rounded up three of my own friends (Rajeev, Dilip and Vinod) and the eight of us set off.

Eve, Rajeev, Adam and Bruce

The early morning was brisk, even cold -- especially at 100 kilometers an hour.  Eve was effortlessly at home riding the backseat of whichever motorcycle she was on; others were curious and unsure.

The day meandered without an agenda.  A 30 minute lunch stop turned into several hours in a resort restaurant built around a large tree. While Rajeev and others enjoyed playing Snooker in the game room, others stayed about and conversed.

We traveled the highway and back roads, ending the 12 hour ride on the summit of Chamundi Hill where we viewed the Sri Chamundeswari Temple , dominated by a towering 40m-high gopuram (entrance gateway) and peered at the shimmering lights of Mysore below. One of our guests even experienced Ghandi's revenge -- not the experience he wanted, but an experience all the same. 
Mysore below from the summit of Chamundi Hills
Much as we tried we just didn't find the village shots envisioned. We drove on. And then, the next day, it appeared, off to our left, an entrance to a small town. As we entered we traveled through time. When asked how far we'd traveled, I suggested "a century."  

Through the back streets we found ourselves on dirt roads in a place that had not likely seen white people in some time, if at all -- this was not a tourist destination. The kids and adults alike waved as we slowly passed, and I suspect Jordan got some of the footage he desired: we'll have to wait for the edits and see.  

We traveled as travel was meant to be, moving from place to place without an agenda or any expectations.  Again, that proved to be the recipe for a great experience. 

Judging by the unwavering smile across Eve's face for two days, i'd say we found an experience to remember. 

And so it goes, the road of the traveler, a journey to nowhere in particular.

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