In November 2018, we decided to do a motorcycle tour of southern Rajasthan. So we shipped our 2004 Royal Enfield Thunderbird to Jaipur, and over the next two weeks, rode to Ranthambhore, Bundi (pronounced ‘boondhi’), Chittorgarh and Udaipur.
We planned it so that we’d be in Jaipur for Diwali. We knew from our previous trip a few years ago that Jaipur takes its Diwali decorations seriously, so we wanted to get a closer look this time. After Jaipur came Ranthambhore National Park. We’d never been to Ranthambhore before, and were excited at seeing our first tiger in the wild. After some morning disappointment, we managed to see two siblings in the afternoon. Day made!
From Ranthambhore, we headed to Bundi. We’d heard that the town’s heritage was incredible, but also that it was in a state of neglect. Both turned out to be true. The highlight, though, was seeing some 10,000 year-old stone age cave paintings with ‘Kukki’ OP Sharma. This quirky, self-taught archaeologist has single-handedly discovered over 75 cave paintings around Bundi, and is well known in the local tourism scene. He even has access to certain parts of Bundi’s Garh Palace that are off-limits to most people. If you’re ever in Bundi, look him up.
Next up was Chittorgarh, the massive fort that was so coveted by the Mughals. The palaces, towers, mansions and temples still seemed to carry the echoes of all the Rajput warriors that defended it over the years. Our tour ended in Udaipur, undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in India, but also one of the most touristy. Still, we had great time making our way through the narrow streets, admiring it from afar from the Fateh Garh hotel, and dinner watching the reflection of the city palace in the lake.
The video of our southern Rajasthan tour
We took tons of photos and endless video footage during our trip, so putting it all together into a video was quite a challenge. Just going through the GoPro footage of us on the highway would have taken me a few days! Luckily, I discovered that the Photos app on Windows 10 does some of the heavy lifting there. Of course, it doesn’t give you as much control as full-fledged video editors do, but I guess that’s the trade-off. I’m thinking of using it for my videos from now on, just to save on time and effort.
Anyway, here’s the video. Maybe I’ll put together a longer one later. Let’s see how it goes.
Also watch: Video diary: The best of our memories of Africa
I took most of these photographs with my trusty Canon EOS 200D DSLR camera, using my new Tamron 18-400mm zoom lens (read my review). One or two were taken with my brilliant old Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. I took the footage for the video (and some photographs) with my GoPro Hero5 action camera. I used my Moza AirCross camera stabilizer (read my review) to keep it steady when I wasn’t on the bike.
|Tamron 18-400mm lens for Canon cameras||Tamron 18-400mm lens for Nikon cameras|
In case you’re wondering how I took the videos while on the road… First, I tried strapping my GoPro Hero5 onto my helmet’s face guard with a few of these useful extra-long Velcro-type straps, but that threw my helmet’s balance off. So I alternated between strapping it onto my chest with an elastic chest harness, and mounting it on my bike’s crash guard with a handlebar mount. I used a protective case too, and strapped it in place, just in case. It doesn’t last too long on a single charge, so I had to take along an extra battery and an external charger. I used these high-performance microSDXC memory cards for the hours of footage (Tip: You can use them for your phone too, and they come with an adapter to fit DSLRs and card readers).
This is all the riding gear I was using during our motorcycle tour.
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