Sand-blasting in a Renault Duster
And so, here we are, at the second Gang of Dusters drive, after the Coastal Drive of September last year. And naturally, a rolling convoy of 15 Renault Dusters snaking across a 1,430km section of the Rajasthan desert, done over four days, is a spectacle in itself.
Day One takes us on a 330km stretch from Jaipur to Bikaner, followed by a 410km run to our campsite at Khuri, near Jaisalmer, on Day Two. On both those sections, the drivers get a crash course on Rajasthan’s topography – from barren stretches of sand and lush green fields to small towns and rural districts – and its cuisine.
There are fantastic stretches of open highway too, but with an element of danger – some of the uninhabited parts of the state were home to Neelgai, deer, wild camels and other undomesticated creatures that run/stroll across the road. Things get a bit wild near some of the towns as well – there's a section of locals who apparently find it logical to drive on the wrong side of the road. At high speed. And there’s no loony-tunes look in their eyes either – these guys look like it’s part of their daily routine.