Day 1: Mumbai to Surat
Touring alone is a very sobering experience. Especially when you are doing a point A to point B sort of touring rather than knowing you are going to be home in a day or two. Learnt that in a very poignant moment at Vithal Kamath restaurant eating a masala dosa.
The road from Mumbai till Manor (National Highway 8) is a bad bad road. Very bumpy. Like a forgotten child. A hundred and twenty kilometers of riding roughshod through endless rows of trucks. Stopped at the end of the stretch at Vithal Kamath. Ate a masala dosa and realized THIS IS IT. The whole scenario which I had been contemplating for all these days is suddenly in front of me. It was a very peculiar feeling. Not one of elation or joy. Just satisfaction of knowing that I am on the way. Along with that came the thought that it is going be a long long while that I will be home. That was a wierd feeling. One that I am still coming to terms with.
Manor to Surat was a much better part of the highway. Took off the highway at Navasari. State highways as a rule are way better than their national counterparts. It was a beautiful rolling highway along the green fields and flooded rivers. The whole of Gujarat is under water right now.
The moment I hit Navasari, it started raining. Cats and dogs. Completely over the top uncalled for rain. As usual, I was unprepared. All my stuff was kept open in the cramsters. Ran for the first shelter I could find. Wrapped everything up in plastic bags (which I had the good sense of packing) and took off again. By the time I reached Surat, my bags were dripping with water and my shoes were filled with them. Didn’t expect this on day 1.
Stayed the night at my cousin’s place. Hogged on food thrust down my throat. Slept like a log. It was time to start again.
Mumbai – Manor NH8: 2 / 10. STAY AWAY.
Manor – Navasari NH8: 6 / 10. GOOD RIDE.
Navasari – Surat State Highway: 8 / 10. WAY TO GO.