Fine sands of white, clear saline waters of deep blue, varying abundance… nah! Not again. With extensive riding in the west coast over the last couple of years I was definitely not in mood for yet another trip to the seas! ‘I want to go to Rajasthan’ said Anu – my wife who by now was equally bitten by the travel bug. I too wanted to explore the princely state, so it took me no time to agree upon.
Plans were set. We were to explore the surroundings of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer and finally end at Jaipur where we were to celebrate the New Year’s Eve. Initially some friends were to join in and we decided to take the train to Jodhpur, then a road trip to Jaisalmer and eventually fly back from Jaipur. But later when they dropped out, I wasn’t very keen on the original plans. Excitement seemed to have been missing. To make this trip truly memorable Anu and I finally set out on my bike to experience the vibrant colors of Rangilo Rajasthan!
Day 1 (Dec 23, 2010): Pune to Mumbai
Bags packed the previous day, anxiety was to its peak and unfortunately I was in office today! Since 8 am I have been waiting leave. I had a few calls from Anu expressing similar excitement, making me even more anxious! Finally the clock struck 4:30 pm and I left a little early. When I reached home Anu was ready. However it was not before 6:30 that we could grab a bite and depart.
We were riding on the Mumbai-Pune road. I have been riding on it for years now, but the tyre change the bike just a day before had made it seem like a new experience. Enjoying the ride, it took us around an hour to reach Lonavala, where we halted for a quick snack. It was a refreshing half an hour break before we hit the highway again. It was pitch dark already. The weather was a little foggy. There was chill in the air. The road was good but there wasn’t a single soul. It thus seemed a little scary until we joined the express highway. There were loads of vehicles plying here and the roads well lit. But then, this relief was short-lived. No sooner did we take the Khopoli exit than we witnessed a similar situation again. But then it helped us go nonstop and reach Sankool’s (a friend) place in Goregaon (Mumbai) by 11 pm. Here we met Akshay (another friend from Mumbai) who had come over specially to wish us luck for the journey. We all went for a drive in his car, chitchatted for a while and went off to bed around 2 am.
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