Departure Day: The joy in (re)discovering about, how capable you are; when you travel solo, because you will be totally responsible for yourself.
With most of the packing done, still bits and pieces lying around to complete, for the evening flight departure. I left office early, completed all the tasks, final checks done and then left home towards airport. Due to cost benefits, flight timings suitability, i chose the BLR – Mumbai flight and then overnight train journey to Baroda. All through the journey, i was in constant touch with my vendor upon bike delivery. It was shocking and frustrating to know that my beloved motorcycle hasn’t reached the destination a day earlier as was promised by the vendor. The vendor upon stressing hard, kept giving me upfront blatant lies over phone. That is when i realized, it’s not going to work this way, the vendor has taken me for granted. I knew the bike shall not reach in time, though i had anticipated and kept 1 day completely spending at baroda just in case. Its proved now finally.
I landed in Mumbai and then the worse traffic of Airport – Borivali highway hit me hard. It was chaos to see such a huge traffic all over. Every where i see, lots of private cars of all sizes, just one person in it. Seriously people! Heights of laziness ? Upon reaching borivali train station around 10 PM, i called up my Jaisalmer desert trekking friend Vatsal and planned to meet. He graciously accepted to spend sometime with me till the train arrives at the station. It was great meeting him. We had nice discussions and finally had to bid adieu to him upon train arrival.
Next morning around 6;30 AM, landed in baroda. Straight ahead reached to Gotri area, where YHAI associated hostel was present. This hostel has only dormitory types room with 6 beds each and is on 3rd floor without elevator. The rooms are big enough to fit all 6 people and has a luggage facility as well. They have AC and non AC rooms available too. I took Non AC rooms as the day i reached, the weather was very pleasant and cool. They charged me 400 INR per night. I took rest and slept off till 10 AM that morning. Then i called up my vendor regarding the bike, the idiot vendor kept giving me shitty reasons, but i finally managed to get the drivers phone number. Upon directly speaking with the driver, i got to know the whole dirty plot of the vendor; that it’s not the vendor who is really doing the job, but instead its some 3rd party transporter who is actually handling my bike. The Sainik packers and movers guys are not even transporters who do the job, they are just the mediators here. The driver and owner, Mr. Rohit Vyas, spoke to me in direct terms and promised to be in baroda by 12 AM and also the false promise of door delivery as well shattered for me. I had to travel around 15 kms out of the city to get my vehicle.
I had some time to reach his office, hence i decided to visit the nearby famous Iskon temple which was in walking distance from hostel. The temple is very beautiful and Lord Krishna is decorated very beautifully. Took the blessings of Lord and went off to see my bike.
As i arrived at his office, as he had promised, he unloaded the motorcycle safely in front me and also unpacked it. Thankfully, there was no damage except scratch at 2 places which is very common in transit.
Mr. Rohit, was very generous and kind in asking me to have coffee with him and then explained me about how the transport business works, how these middle men so-called packers and movers cheat customers. He also explained about his business, his owned vehicles, and then started to inquire about me and my travel plans. Gave a long list of suggestions from route to petrol bunks to stay options etc, and also assured all help, if i may require during the ride. He was quite surprised to know that i intend to ride all along solo. It was great pleasure talking to him.
Taking bike back, first thing i got was filled the petrol and also get the pollution certificate done. I had to travel back around 15 kms on bike which gave me a well view of the baroda city. Most of the city is just within 7 kms in radius. P The traffic was hardly much except in the center of the city. However, the city has the ample amount of flyovers thus making travel smooth. The roads almost every where is very wide and the population is very less. For next 2 hours , i roamed the city on the bike enjoying it. It was evening, when i reached back to hostel.
That evening, to my surprise, i got a call from Sandeep; my kedarkantha trekking batch mate. I met the duo brothers i.e Sandy and sunny, on the same evening and then we went for roadside eat street. It was great catching up with these guys after a year or so. We shared alot of lost memories from the trek and also about our lives in general. We spent around an hour or so and finally they dropped me off to my hostel. The evening went really well.
Went to bed early as i had plans to start my ride very early morning.