Who said you have to be born into a clan of gypsies to satisfy your wanderlust? All you need is a curious mind and belief in humanity. We (Manas and Anu) are two such individuals united by our gypsy hearts! For us, travel is not about covering distances or driving from a place to another as fast as possible. It’s about being in a place – to feel it, hear it, taste its food and know its moods, to connect with people and share their lives. What we met on the road was a collage of moving experiences, kind people, enticing aromas of cuisines and a rich blend of cultures.
The Theme: “Dosti On Wheels”
The desire to venture out, to bond with the unfamiliar, and to share our insights with a ‘Dost’ (friend / ami / freund / amigo / arkadas) are fundamental human urges. As a couple, we love to explore places and sample new experiences and we look forward to connect with like-minded people across geographies: friends bound by a common love for the road. Our project “Dosti On Wheels” is a step towards this aspiration.
The Ride and The Route
Dosti On Wheels, as we call our ride, begins in the port city of Valencia in Spain. We travel west, along the coast of Spain crossing picturesque villages and sun-kissed terrains until we reach the western tip of Europe- Portugal. After a brief halt, we head towards France and further into Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the scenic country of Liechtenstein. Our route takes us into Italy through the cobbled lanes of Rome… and then we follow the ancient pathways that lead into Eastern Europe.
We follow the road to Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia and Czechia where centuries of history, tradition and culture coexist with the trappings of modern influences. Dosti On Wheels thereafter head south into Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and the adjoining nations until we reach the Aegean Sea in Greece. It is then time to head into Turkey for about a month and sample vast lands, its ancient culture and immaculate craftsmanship. We returned back to Istanbul and finally packed our motorbike into a ship headed for Mumbai to conclude the 4-month odyssey.
Making our Motorcycle Tour-ready
Recently, the Ducati Scrambler joined our garage. It has a powerful set of wheels and the right attitude- and we embellished it further to suit the arduous journey ahead of us. We redesigned the seat and hand-crafted a set of metal brackets for our travel luggage; we reinforced the protection elements and fitted the enduro mudguard. With these modifications, the Scrambler became a perfectly transformed vehicle: comfortable for long rides and yet nimble enough for fun rides.
Seats: completely re-designed by us and fabricated locally- it now sports 120 density foam, lumbar support for the rider and raised pillion seat for improved road visibility. We also fabricated the seats to offer greater surface area for our glutes.
Panniers: we decided to design our personalized luggage system and sought the help of Zubin Ponapppa from Mumbai. The result was delightful in its simplicity: a light metal frame that holds our baggage.
A few other off-the rack embellishments to our motorbike were: the Enduro Mud guard, the reinforced front fork protectors and the Engine sliders (off the rack). That’s it folks- our motorbike was kitted out- and with a song on our lips and a prayer in our hearts, we hit the road!