The people in The Gambia welcomed him, and he thinks that travelling is all about connecting with people. “It is really a blessing to be in a country where the roads are good, people are nice, and the weather is fabulous. It is a wholesome package, and I am enjoying my stay here”, said Deepak.
He felt very happy to be connecting with the Indian communities in Africa, starting from Botswana right down to The Gambia. He was also very glad that he met Mr Ram Mohan, the Honorary Consul General of India. He welcomed him in The Gambia with open arms likewise other people - the owners of Regal apartments, Nikki and Melissa, that offered accommodation, and Mr Chris, the owner of the sales centre for Bajaj in The Gambia, who allowed him to repair and work on the bike to keep in shape. He said that The Gambia is like a home away from home.
This trip he started in South Africa was my desire to journey from the Southernmost cape of Africa (Cape Akuntasi), going towards the northernmost part of Africa and getting into the southernmost part of Europe, riding to the northernmost part of Europe. Admits all his travels; he is also targeting to reach the 75th border country by the time he ends this journey in August in Turkey and can celebrate 75 years of Indian independence.
He chose Bajaj because he believes that people should not use big motorcycles to travel but use lighter bikes and less luggage. The Bajaj 400 cc was a perfect bike for one to embark on such a journey. It is a perfect bike for him as it is solid and phenomenal throughout his journey. ‘’ So why not Bajaj?’’
Bajaj is loved and sold in 70 plus countries, and he believes that Bajaj 125 ct that is being sold in The Gambia is very good. He has been in contact with producers in India to convince them to make it available and affordable to more Gambians. The Bajaj has been around for decades, and this makes it a good choice because they don’t easily break down. The Gambia should look out for available options to have more of this kind of bikes here.
Covid issues did affect his plans initially though. Some land-locked countries didn’t allow him to ride through their countries, because of Covid issues and other challenges, and also a political situation in Myanmar prevented him using that route. But apart from those, he did not face too many covid-related problems. However, he did have some issues in countries where there were Ebola outbreaks.
His advice to fellow travellers is that documentation is the key to success for such travels. “Use lighter and smaller bikes and give yourself a lot of time with local communities. Be genuine, kind and support local businesses. Take time and time is key for a successful travel’’.
Enjoy the interview.