Our Travel Plan
We looked hard at the map of India, and woah is she one BIG MAMA!! With only a 3000 odd kilometer leash, we needed to figure out which route to take, to encompass and cover it all -- I want to show you breath-taking landscapes, heartwarming smiles with ugly brown teeth, beautiful tiny birds on wires, worn out sandles, gigantic treelines and picturesque beaches. From the towers of palaces to the random elephants on the highways. EVERYTHING! If there is one thing i discovered during my travels through India (and one of my biggest regrets in life is that I wasn't a photographer then) is that India has just sooo much to offer, and although that's a little cliched to say, Im really looking forward to showing you what I mean with my pictures, to show you that this diversity you don't see everywhere, the kinds of contrasting images one wouldn't have fathomed, atleast if you live in a city :P We head north from Mumbai through Gujarat, Ive only heard praises of the roadways in Gujara. I cant wait to be heavy-footed a bit on those roads (so long as Zinaida doesn't yelp again!!). We plan to go see the biggest of ships (breaking) yards, the houses of Moo (Read: indians biggest dairy), the beautiful coastlines being kissed by the monsoon, and Im gonna get to practice my Parsee Gujarati and annoy all the locals :D Im not sure if we'll have time, but Daman and Dui would be a treat. It would be awesome to drive the Portuguese girl to another Portuguese settlement, apart from the fact that there are some gorgeous houses and landscapes awaiting us! Rajasthan, oh my heart is here!!! Im a people-enthuasiast, and the faces you see here DO TELL a thousand stories. I love them cause of their character, each one of them looking like he has atleast one story to tell. And need I even mention the Palaces!! It has been my dream to do the Palace on Wheels tour for a long time, and i guess Im gonna be doing something a little similar each, just, my wheels will be made of rubber :) The deserts have a charm of their own, there is something very grand in its simplicity. You can really pull out emotion in spaces such as these, I'll show you what i mean, soon enough :) I wonder if those enterprising folks have figured a way to take our car on a camel safari too! NOW WOULDN'T THAT BE FUN! I cant wait to go through all the little villages and towns, the vividly colorful towns, and did i mention we're doing a tiger reserve :) We're gonna play peekaboo with Uttar Pradesh, Agra is what were after, after all, if this a GREAT challenge then how can we not take the CHALLENGE to something truly great! (ok, i think that line sounded a little better in my head!!!) Anywhay, someone tell them to scrub under the nails too, Taj, WE'RE COMING. Soon after we dash furthur South though some of the most beautiful country sides, if you haven't already heard about Madhya Pradesh in the monsoons then I would strongly urge you to have a look. There are several little towns on the route, we probably wont spend too much time there, just enough for us to be spotted ;) (Yes, we love attention) and we'll spend more time on the gorgeous roads, until we get to Kajaraho! (Insert: big smirk). The last time i was there was on a 535cc Enfield Lightning that i bought from a stranger in Gangtok (which i still don't have legal papers for even after riding it all the way from Sikkim to Bangalore -- well -- almost all the way) The drive then on through the jungles and reserves are absolutely mesmerising, THE WORSE ROADS YOU CAN IMAGINE but absolutely breath-taking landscapes. Don't tell Zinaida, but im gonna make her drive the whole of this part, I'll be too busy with my camera out the window!! :) My dad was born in Jabalpur and I've got all the little tit bits from him on the secret places to go, and why would i tell you about it now and spoil the surprise right!? Theres alot going on in that area, from rocks to rivers, to temples and caves, forest stretches to wide open fields. And then its back to Maharashtra, driving straight through another gorgeous reserve, all the way to the beautiful landscapes around Nagpur, before breaking west through all the beautiful little villages and towns off the highway. There are a lot of beautiful wide open spaces along the drive, and I'm told the roads through the villages are quite good too! Were headed to the Nashik Valley via Aurangabad and we'll show you the famous Ajanta and Elora caves and even a lesser known gorgeous lake, more about that later, its another one of our secrets :) Most people know Nashik for their vineyards, and forget to check out the beautiful hills and forests that surround it. Im very curious to stop off at a small tribal village i know of through friends, but alas since were driving, were gonna have to skip what they are most famous for :) (but we shall carry empty bottles, promise :P) And then down to Pune, not without passing through all the lovely little townships on the way, the pretty girls in colourful, shiny, ethnic dresses and and all the lovely fruit orchards everywhere. After i give my cousin in Pune a big kissy for all the lovely stuff she keeps bringing me were head to Lonavala and Khandala (aatie kya?) through the picturesque hillstations that need no introduction and then our final approach to Mumbai via the runway, i mean, Express way :) (I already know from testdriving the Cedia yesterday, that this baby can fly!!! Thanks Zac).