It’s time to move again. And this time it’s Africa! As excited as we are about the move to a new country, actually a whole new continent and exploring its treasures; we are also sad, at the same time, about leaving India. We have yet to explore so much in India itself. How do we prepare ourselves for a new place when we feel incomplete about leaving this place?
So we planned on taking a road trip… The whole of August, traveling in the North, was the original idea. But well, as they say, Man proposes and God disposes… Between meeting family & friends, work and visa work, the trip could only start today. It’s not a month long either. One week on the road, no bookings, no agenda. The only two known things are that we start and end in Baroda and that we turn back from Goa… In between we will stop anywhere we feel like, spend the night wherever the night falls and take each day as it comes to us…
This is the diary of the coming 7 days
[I will be writing the actual diary every night but whether it gets posted on that day or not depends entirely on availability of net connection!] Here goes Day 1!
Day1 (19 August’13): Last night we came back from Ahmedabad at around midnight… So we woke up easy in the morning… Only after the morning tea and breakfast at around 10am, did we set the gears in action. At one point over tea we even contemplated of going tomorrow! [I’m glad we left it at contemplation :)]. But after some very quick and a bit haphazard packing we left Baroda by 12:15pm.
By 4 we had crossed over into Maharashtra. At a town called Manor (originally called Manohar) there was a big hoarding about a new highway (saying “save money and take the new 4-lane highway from Manor to Panvel!”). So we took it… Turned out to be not the best of decisions :). The road is only partially made (about 1/4th the distance) and the rest is pretty bad. Sikander said they have started advertising the road at Manor so that people take it and the toll money collected will then be used to make the remaining sections :). Parts of the road are very beautiful; cutting through lush green forests…
At one toll plaza Sikander refused to pay the toll, saying that it was nothing but potholes and he drove at 10kms/ hr speed through the entire section so he doesn’t feel that the toll is justified. And I was quite impressed when without much argument the toll operator actually let us pass giving us a “pass by exemption” :D! Awesome!
We reached Bhiwandi by 5:30pm and the real ordeal started from there on. Bombay is an ocean of people! We were thinking if there was any possible way of not entering Bombay but given how the city keeps expanding the earlier bypass is now part of the city… It took us almost 3 hours to reach Panvel from Bhiwandi. By then we were pretty tired by the traffic itself and decided to call it a day. So here we are at the end of day1 at Vashi.
As we entered our room the canvas behind the bed had a picture which said “Goa”! Is that where the road is taking us tomorrow?
We shall soon find out :) Till then, Good night.
19/08/2013 23:55 pm, Hotel Yogi Executive, Vashi, Mumbai