My Glorious Journey
We reached Mumbai early in the morning and were welcomed by unavailability of rooms for a few hours to change and freshen up. But since we are a bunch of creative minded people, we hopped into McDonalds where we changed, freshened up and had a tummy full of breakfast. By afternoon, we were done with all formalities and ready to hit the roads.
We bid goodbye to the Mumbai skyline behind us and looked forward to the emerging hills that looked quiet and calm from a distance. Because we wanted to experience both the roads, we started our journey by first route. Our first pitstop was near Imagica to have the ever popular "Vada Pao". The spicy and tangy taste, along with soft texture of the bread made our taste buds have a roller coaster ride.
After this delicious snacks, we headed forward again. Our target was to reach Goa by 9 or 10 at night. However, the frequency at which we stopped at every possible place in order to click photographs, it seemed hard to reach our destination even by midnight. But the stops were worth it. The surroundings and roads are so beautiful that you would want to capture it from every angle but the effort would go in vain because such immaculate beauty cannot be captured in a camera.
Th route is breathtaking, and there is no doubt on that. The hills were adorned with various shades of green and the roadsides were lined with paddy fields and coconut trees. As we moved further the Western Ghats were waiting for us. There was a moment when we were driving under the sunny sky and as we moved higher the sky soon became blanketed with dark grey clouds and it took no time to shower us with heavy rain. That rainfall was so much that it got too difficult to drive.
Well, this situation continued with us for the rest of our journey. Sometime, it was clear and no rain and then within a few moments the downpour would drench us all. But in every circumstance we loved the weather; you do not see so much rain in Delhi anymore.
The oncoming Western Ghats were marked by a signboard that said "Ghat Prarambh" and then we entered the magical path which was going to take us on a rollercoaster ride through the magnificent views and winding roads.
The rain dropped down to drizzle and I rolled down my window. The cool wind swept my hair away and filled the car. There was no need for AC. I peeked out of the window and let the little rain drops touch my face. The happiness of that moment is indefinable. I thought that nothing could be better than this place and this very moment. This is what I need in my life: purity, simplicity and inner joy.
The road twisted and turned through the Ghats and one of my friends got motion sickness. However, every such turn left me awestruck with he beauty that the nature beheld. I did not want to go away from that place. Small puffs of clouds were drifting around us and all I wanted was my life to stop then and there.
The difficulty level of this route is high, and it fails those of Himachal Pradesh but its beauty will compensate for it. You would not even want to blink an eye so not to miss any sight.
We had lunch at late afternoon after we exited the Ghats. The dhabas in the state actually close down after lunch time. All you would get during 4 or 5 in the evening is pakodas and some snacks with tea. Luckily we found a restaurant that had actual food to offer. In there we had the true taste of South Indian food. The dishes were lip smacking and delicious. The owner offered me to try a typical drink of their state called "Sulghiri" which is a blend of coconut milk, tamarind and a few more ingredients. The drink is tangy to taste and I loved the sour and sweet flavor.
The evening again called up lots of rain and we had to drive cautiously. By midnight we reached the toll to enter goa and sighed a breath of relief. The road seemed neverending but the adventure was worth our time and efforts.
I would advise every travel lover to take this road trip at least once in their life. You must travel these roads if you want to have a taste of nature at its best. This experience is etched in my memory forever, and it is not something you can have again and again.
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