Asian Motorcycle Adventures

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Reed Resnikoff riding past Mehrangarh Fort in the background.
All photos by Hans Kemp.
Hawamahal (The Pink Palace) in Jaipur
Hans Kemp and myself were asked to travel around Rajasthan on the bequest of the India Tourism Board.  Our task was to produce magazine articles to promote the castles and forts of the former Maharajas and royal families of Rajasthan.  Their gigantic properties were falling into disuse and disrepair, and their plan was to convert them into hotels for the tourism trade, which would help pay for their upkeep.
Hans Kemp riding past some wild camels.
To make the trip more interesting, we decided to travel to all the royal properties by motorcycle, Enfield 500's, which were a story unto themselves. When we arrived at each one, Hans and myself were welcomed as important guests by each royal family and put up in their most lavish rooms.
Reed Resnikoff riding his way through a herd of camels.
You can read the accompanying magazine article to these slides, Warrior Roads, by clicking on the link.
Reed riding past a camel cart in Rajasthan.
As you probably are noticing, camels are all over the place in Rajasthan, both domesticated and wild.
Hans Kemp sharing the highway with 2 plodding camels with riders.
Reed Resnikoff plowing his way through a flock of sheep.
There are also plenty of sheep.
Faces of Rajasthan - pretty young lady.
The next 5 slides are some faces of Rajasthan.  The ladies are always colorfully dressed and bejeweled, even if they are performing manual labor.  The predominant race in this region are called Rajputs. They have their own distinct culture that sets them apart from the rest of their countrymen.
Faces of Rajasthan - Rajput elder.
This photo became the cover photo of Hans Kemp's book, The Ardent Eye.
Faces of Rajasthan - Snake Dancer.
Faces of Rajasthan - Rajput man sporting a handlebar mustache and pink turban.
Faces of Rajasthan - veiled woman.
Pushkar - the world's largest camel fair.
We were lucky enough to catch the Pushkar festival, the world's largest cattle fair, where we witnessed scenes right out of the bible.
Rajput man with his camel at the Pushkar cattle fair.
Desert dentist filling a cavity during the Pushkar cattle fair.
A dentist wandering through Pushkar working on patients just like you see here.
Reed Resnikoff getting his teeth examined by a desert dentist.
I ask the dentist for a check-up.
White-clad desert Rajputs in Pushkar.
Window seat in our bedroom in Udhaiphur Palace,
Because we were there to help promote and write about tourism in Rajasthan, no matter where we visited we were always given the most exquisite quarters each night and were treated like royalty ourselves.  The next 4 slides show some of our rooms.
Another hotel room, this one with a fountain in the middle of it.
This bedroom had a working fountain in the center of it and all the furniture was made from solid silver.
Hotel room carved from marble.
This bedroom was carved from marble.
Spacious palace bedroom where we spent the night,
Entrance to our chalet.
Two Rajput ladies dressed in their everyday finery in Pushkar.
These next 6 slides are of Rajput ladies, all dressed up as usual, no matter what they are doing.
Rajasthani ladies carrying various items on their heads.
Well-dressed ladies carrying water jugs on their heads.
Colorfully-dressed ladies posing for a photo.
Hans and Reed posing with three exquisitely-dressed Rajput ladies sitting on a swing.
Winnowing grain behind our motorcycles.
Reed Resnikoff crossing a stream on his Enfield 500.
The roads in Rajasthan were generally okay, except for sections like this.  Enfields were not designed for off-road use.
Loading a broken motorcycle into a truck to bring into town for repair.
We rented 2 brand-new Enfields before starting out and rode them for a solid month.  Not one day went by in which one or both bikes did not suffer a mechanical breakdown of some sort.  You can read about the plight of our Enfields in the accompanying magazine article, Warrior Roads
Entrance gate into a palace in Rajasthan.
Riding through a town where all the buildings are covered with colorful murals.
Crowded traffic circle with all manner of conveyances.
You can find just about every form of conveyance in this traffic circle.
We always attracted a crown wherever we went.
We attracted crowds wherever and whenever we stopped.  These next 3 slides are all crowd shots.
Another crowd appears out of nowhere during one of our rest stops.
Most of this crowd is wearing colorful turbans.
Royal Enfield motorcycle parked in front of a colorful, mural-covered havali.
Maharaj Brijrat Singh opens his castle gates for Hans and I.
These next four slides are photos of some of the Rajasthan royalty that hosted us on this tour.  Here Maharaj Brijrat Singh opens his castle gates for Hans and myself upon our arrival.
Maharaj Brijrat Singh posing with Hans and I and an old cannon.
Maharaj Brijrat Singh posing with us with an ancient canon.
Rawal Shabe Raghuvenddra Singh standing on a balcony of his Havali.
Rawal Shabe Raghuvenddra Singh standing on his balcony.
Thakur Kesri Singh being served by one of his servants.
Thakur Kesri Singh being served a drink by one of his servants.
Reed Resnikoff learning to drink tea the Rajasthani way.
Talking about drinks, Reed Resnikoff is being shown how to drink tea local style: you pour a bit of hot tea into the saucer so it cools down and then you drink it from there.  Hey, it works.
Dancing in the desert.
A "Snake Dancer' in the desert.
Dancer entertaining a crowd.
Ankle jewelry on the desert dancers made a lovely sound.
The Snake Dancer's ankle jewelery adds a magical sound to the scene.
A palace courtyard.
These next 10 slides are photos of some of the palaces and forts we stayed in.
The Pink Palace of Jaipur, backlit.
Samode Palace.
Udhaiphur Lake Palace.
Spectacular view through three arches.
Deserted fort.
Castle photographed through a broken wall.
Light and shadow through a castle screen.
Infinite mirror reflections.
Statue with funny-placed hole.
Reed Resnikoff riding on an ancient road with a large castle in the background.
The End slide

 

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