Day (and Night) 94 – Bangalore to Mumbai

Good things have this strange habit. They come to an end. Every time. I guess that what makes them special. That, however, was the last thought on my mind when I left Bangalore today for Mangalore.

The plan was simple. Since I had spent 9 days in Bangalore, I needed to reach Mumbai quicker than earlier. So I would head to Mangalore, then to Karwar, spend a day in Goa and reach Mumbai the next day. Pretty simple, huh? I woke up at 11.30 after a rather extended night watching random films. However, half a day is more than enough to get to Mangalore and visit Kasaragod. It was a good plan.

It happened when I was standing at the traffic signal at Nelmangala waiting to turn left towards Mangalore. My heart said – What the hell. Let’s go to Mumbai. For a change, my head supported my head. My hands followed suit. I was barreling down NH4.

I didn’t think too much about it. I wasn’t really worried about where night will fall and where I will stay. I had no target. I just had the road and I followed it. Everytime I stopped for a cup of tea, I would think and come to same conclusion – Let’s get to the next stop. So Hubli came and went. Dharwad didn’t even register. Belgaum arrived without warning. It was 9.30 in the night when I left Belgaum and approached the state border of Maharashtra.

I have never experiences winter in the peninsula. It is quite cold. Not cold as Delhi cold or Ladakh cold. Cold with slight wind chill. Cold which makes you shiver inside. Especially when you are riding. The inner lining of my jacket was in my bag. I hadn’t used them since I left Sikkim. My solitary glove (I lost the other one in Orissa) was also in the bag. And I was too lazy to get them out. It was only when I hit Kolhapur and stood in the parking area of a McDonalds outlet that I realized how cold I was and took both of them out.

The journey from Belgaum to Kolhapur will be one of the more memorable stretches. The road was one of the smoothest I have come across. Thankfully divided with large shrubs in the middle meant there was no worry about high beams from the other side. Visibility was great. There was regular truck traffic but all the local transport was off since it was a cold night. It was ripping time. The distance is about 108 kilometers. I reached Kolhapur in about 1 hour 10 minutes. Average speed approx. 100 kmph.

At Kolhapur, I thought again with the same result. I was in Satara 122 kilometers ahead in about an hour and a half. Pune was next. When I stopped for a cup of tea, it was 3.30 in the morning. Roads to Pune were quite bad. As I sat there, I had my first yawn of the night. Sleep will come in a couple of hours. I needed to make good those couple of hours. Mumbai is about 3 hours away. I have done the stretch earlier when I was feeling really sleepy and I didn’t like it. This one had to be different.

I roared past everything in my sight. I was having a hard time keeping awake but thankfully didn’t doze off like I did last time. I stopped again at Khopoli to eat some bhurji-paav and a cup of tea. Feeling slightly better, I made the final dash.

Entering Mumbai was almost surreal. I had seen the streets after three months but that’s not why it looked so surreal. It was because I had been on such a out of the world tour that it seemed that the trip had been nothing but an extended dream. It seemed unreal that I had left the place at all. Thankfully my mind was largely occupied with thoughts of reaching home before sleep hit me and I tried to concentrate on the road. I was home.

It was 6.30 in the morning. I had been riding for 1000 kilometers for 16 hours straight.

I felt dead. I felt more alive than I have ever felt.
I was overjoyed that the trip was over. I was immensely sad that the trip was over.
I am not sure I still believe it actually happened.

Where do we go now?

6 Responses to “Day (and Night) 94 – Bangalore to Mumbai”
  1. raven says:

    bravo y nada amigo

  2. Ashish says:

    kudos for the feat !!!! i used to check this space regularly. alas! i wont get more updates now :(where next ? 🙂

  3. Sleepwalker says:

    thanks guys ..raven sir .. where art thou these days?

  4. Congrats for completing this trip…. am real sad that this too has come to an end…. hopefully we will get to read more such trips from you in future…

  5. Martin says:

    For many years now India has been a very popular tourist destination, owing to the gamut of exhilarating variety and uniqueness that it offers in its expanse. In order to reap the benefits of this interest and willingness of people to tour India, it is of utmost interest that the travel and tourism industry is strengthened and accurately incised. Especially, in the cities of the developing countries like India, the revenue coming in from the travel and tourism sector that be properly tapped and appropriately utilized by grooming and employing skilled and experienced professionals in the travel and tourism industry. In the Indian cities like Bangalore the big names from the hospitality circuit have properties and are keen on opening more properties. Most of the major players of the hospitality industry have hotels in Bangalore. The rise in the number of the Bangalore hotels requires more and more trained and able professionals from the hospitality sector. As Bangalore is booming as a promising financial hub, the number of foreign business travelers and business delegates has also increased. Under such conditions it is not just enough to open world class budget hotels in Bangalore but also to have a staff that matches the international standards of hospitality. To achieve this goal it is of utmost importance that India fuels up the momentum in setting up of travel and tourism institutions that are at par with the international standards.

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