Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 12 : 17 Jan 2014 : Valsad to Charoti : 95 kms


First checkpoint in Maharashtra.... YAY!!!

Melted chocolate on the way.. Smitha and Krishna..

You know you've left Gujarat as soon as you see an alcohol shop!! :P


The hills have begun!! The Sahayadri, and they are beautiful. We were just thinking yesterday that riding along the highway is getting pretty boring because the scenery is not changing. I think we got some good views only when we were in Kutch. After that it has been pretty much the same... the usual towns and cities and ‘civilization’. But today was different. While it is difficult to pedal uphill, the downhills are great and we really enjoy them. Hopefully we’ll get more of the latter lol...

We planned to leave at 6 as usual, but ended up leaving at 6.15 or so. We had 2 punctures today... not too bad.. Crossed into Maharashtra today. It was a great experience to leave one state behind and enter a new one. A feeling of excitement and anticipation for what is to come. Each day is unknown for the team. We don’t know what kind of accommodation we will get, what kind of food to expect and what kind of route to look forward to. We’re taking each day as it comes and not keeping our expectations too high. Considering that we are on such a shoe string budget, we cant afford much ourselves, and we don’t know how people have planned for us. So each day feels brand new and different from all the ones past.

Entering Maharashtra was no less amazing. Deepa’s masi and a whole team of women met with us 20 kms before our destination. They caught up with us again as we neared our destination (10 kms ahead of Charoti) and took us all to a hotel for lunch. We were expecting to pay for our own lunch as we had told them we will come after, but they insisted and did not allow us to pay. They took us to a resort where we were staying for the night. It was the first time that the entire team was staying together in a dormitory and that was nice as well.

Vasumathi’s friend, Firoza, a senior mountaineer, came from Dahanu to meet us. She also brought a lot of stuff to eat for the team, especially cheeku’s that we all devoured. Good dinner and good sleep with Vinayak keeping us company all the time :)... Tomorrow is Mumbai!!!

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