Day 1 Delhi to Chandigarh

18 July 2008:

We reached Delhi at around 8.45 AM and immediately started to look around for a taxi for going to Chandigarh. We asked in the airport itself and all of the counters were asking too much of money starting from 7500 and more. So we decided to get out of the airport and look for private taxis which go to Chandigarh. We talked to a couple of people and finally decided to go in one of taxis, it was a tavera, who asked the lowest at that time i.e. 4700/- (we came to know that it was little expensive afterwards).
Anyways as soon as we got on to the taxi we started calling the Akash packers guys for getting the address in Chandigarh from where we had to collect our bikes. We called a couple of times to our Bangalore guy but was not reachable. Then we tried numbers of Chandigarh and Delhi. To our horror the Delhi guy said he hasn't received any bikes from Bangalore in last ten days :eek:. And Chandigarh guys also denied of receiving any bikes from Gurgaon (bikes were to be sent from Bangalore to Gurgaon and Gurgaon to Chandigarh).
Now we were immensely worried about the bikes. We kept calling the guys and those guys kept giving some other numbers to contact. Eventually we got the numbers of two supposed to be influential guys in Aakash packers who told us that they'll get back to us with proper info.
While all this was happening we were traveling on the Delhi Chandigarh highway. It was scorching hot, although our tavera had an AC but the moment we opened the door for a break or something, it used to feel like we are standing in front of a blast furnace :D (people used to of Bangalore climate will feel it more :)).
After lunch at a Dhaba we again called up the Aakash guys but all in vain, they again said they'll get back to us. and after some time the guy called up and said that the bikes are on the way to Chandigarh but the truck carrying the bikes has broken down some 30km before Chandigarh in a village named "laladu". We got the truck number and we decided we'll collect the bikes from there itself and reach Chandigarh.
After we started from there, we had just passed a median (cut out section in the divider) and suddenly we heard a loud sound of crashing behind our vehicle. We turned back and what we saw was a car (looked like maruti esteem) whirling around on the road :eek:. Not sure but as soon as we crossed the median some truck or some big vehicle hit the car while it was taking a U turn :(. Sunil sir wanted to stop and check if anybody was injured and if yes then we could have helped them. But our driver didn't stop and carried on. We all were freaked out with the incident but our driver seemed to be unmoved. When asked why, he said these things are pretty common in this highway and he doesn't want to get into trouble by being a spectator of that incident.
On the way we saw a lot of policemen on their duties resting/sleeping under the shade with their uniform hanging on the tree branches :eek::eek:. Apparently they were unaware of the incident that just happened. You see nobody wants to do his job honestly.
And next thing what we saw was horrifying. We saw a dead body with blood all over splashed on the road and next to the dead body a decently dressed person was crying like anything and nobody was there to take care of the dead body or the person crying :( :(. It seems this incident also happened in a matter of hours or may be minutes before we passed from that place.

We were totally shocked with these two incidents and on the way we saw numerous car/trucks parked roadside totally crushed due to accidents. The driver told us that daily minimum of 25 incidents like this happens on this highway :(
In the meantime we were also on the look out of the truck containing our bikes. Sunil sir spotted a big Gati office just before Ambala.
We couldn't spot the truck till Chandigarh. We had got the Aakash packer's Chandigarh office address also so we decided to go there and enquire about the truck and the bikes.
We reached at the address and all we saw was a campus with apartments, immediately we came to know that this cannot be a registered office for those packers :eek: We saw a board with Aakash on one of the apartment's balcony and Sunil sir and Chetan went inside to enquire. On asking the watchman he said hardly anybody comes there except for a small boy who cleans the apartment.
Again we called up those guys and they said they'll bring the truck to Chandigarh and deliver the bikes by 11 o clock in the night to where ever we would be staying.
Sunil wanted to get the bikes first and then book a hotel but some of us including me were very tired and so we decided to book a hotel and wait for the bikes to be delivered to the hotel.
We booked the "Hotel Crystal" in Sector 22-D, freshened up and went for dinner. Sunil sir wanted to have good south indian food, we asked a couple of people and after searching a lot we could find a good south indian restaurant (forgot the name) and had heavy food :D after all we were so very tired :). All the people in the restaurant were awestruck with the amount of food on our table :D
I had not brought a spare key for my bike and while searching for the restaurant we spotted a keymaker on the way and Sunil sir advised me to get a duplicate key for the bike. But due to time constraint I decided not give the key for duplicating it which was about to be proved a very costly decision (will tell in detail in coming logs).

Anyways we came back to the hotel and decided to wake up at 11 and see if the bikes have arrived or not. But the bikes never came :(

So this is how our first day ended with a lot of tension. With the bikes not delivered on time we already lost almost 3/4th of a day :(.
Some statistics:
Distance covered: 250kms (not on bikes)

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