HYDERABAD: Wanderlust can be called the catchphrase of millennials, and there is an increasing tribe of travel enthusiasts who are seeking unexplored and unseen terrains. Pranay Metta from Hyderabad, who won the True Wanderer 8.0 title this year, has been travelling for the past six years on his Royal Enfield Classic 350. For this event organised by Wrangler, Pranay journeyed to Visakhapatnam and covered four states - Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattishgarh - over five days. He was accompanied by fellow traveler Suryachaitanya Vanapalli, who is a professional cinematographer. Pranay won the contest for the impressive videos and photos of the trip.
Were there any apprehensions before taking up the trip? Pranay says: “I was a bit wary at the outset as I had to travel through Naxalite-affected areas, but everything turned out fine at the end. It’s not as bad as people say. I wanted to avoid the conventional places and cover all sorts of terrain. During this trip, I rode around 2,300 km.”
This travel lover, who is an entrepreneur, has also undertaken a journey from Kanyakumari to Kargil which he completed in 52 days. He says that his love for riding took shape in his college days in Visakhapatnam. “I had to drive around 12-13 km around the coast line every day to reach my college. I did this for four years. I think that is what pushed me to take up travelling,” he says.
Sharing a few memorable incidents from the trip, he says: “As long as you don’t mess with the locals and respect their culture, you should be fine. I remember it was the rainy season in Chhattisgarh, and tribals would pray to the rain Gods on the highways. They would also stop the vehicles and dance. I also met a hunter whose attire was fully organic. Even his bow and arrow were made from natural material.”
The traveller also came across an unusual food tradition in that state. “They do not sell meat by the kilo, but by the animal. Even their menu cards reflect that. For example, if you want to buy Chicken 65, the prices range between Rs 350 and Rs 750 depending on the size of the bird.” Till now, Pranay has covered 19 states in India. A few of his favourite routes include Hyderabad-Goa, Hyderabad-Bangalore, Visakhapatnam-Kolkata, and Kolkata-Sikkim.
Prannay also talks of the kindness of a mechanic he came across in Jaipur. “During my travels, I was involved in a couple of accidents. But one of these led me to meet a mechanic who fixed my bike for free because his father’s wish to travel the world had remained unfulfilled. He believed that by fixing my bike, he would bring his dead father happiness,” he says.
“Everyone must invest in a proper riding gear, which can cost between Rs 25,000 – Rs 30,000. It saved my life every time I was met withw an accident,” says the avid biker.