Friday, November 25, 2011

Bumping on to Alibag

Crumbly old building in Alibag
The next morning, we packed our bags, paid our bill, and went downstairs to load the bikes.  We had covered them with our tarps on our host's advice, and everything looked intact when we pulled off the tarp.  Except for the large caribiner clips that were on our handlebars to clip to our daypacks.  Only one of the four remained.  Not the end of the day, but a bit of an inconvenience.   

We figured out an alternative solution to the carabiners and were on the road out of Mumbai.  Eventually.  Mumbai is a monstrous city, and as I mentioned before, there are no street signs. Traffic congestion is an understatement, and the only road rule is that the larger you are, the more road you can call yours.  The road surface is generally terrible.  It's made of a mishmash of lumpy asphalt, dirt, gravel, cobblestones, bricks, and concrete slabs, all of which have heaved, disintegrated, and basically fallen into an abysmal state.  After several wrong turns and a couple of trips across a bridge, we made our way out, and it only took about an hour and a half that seemed more like a week!

Once we were out of Mumbai, the traffic lightened up somewhat, but the road conditions went from terrible to almost undrivable.  The road was narrow and winding, and in places, the pavement was solid.  But around the next bend or under a canopy of trees, the road surface would change to broken, with potholes, chuckholes, sinkholes, you name it.  And in the few places anyone bothered to attempt a repair, they shoveled large, sharp rocks (not gravel) into the holes and covered them with liquid tar from wood-fired buckets.  Our average speed for the day's drive was 24mph, but there were actually areas where we could only go 5mph.  The few chances I had to look up from the road, the scenery was beautiful.  We drove through coconut plantations, rice paddies, and pretty little villages. 

Something in Alibag
Our destination was Alibag, which was only a hundred miles from Mumbai, but that was the longest 100 miles ever.  We made it there by mid-afternoon, found a hotel, dropped our stuff, and took a walk through the town to check it out.  We found the town beach when the road ran out and strolled on the sand for a bit.  Toward the end of the beach, we noticed a man squatted down at the edge of the water.  As we got a little closer, we realized he had his pants down. Then, we noticed that several more people had joined him in his activity.  It was then we nixed the idea of dipping our toes in the water. 

Instead, we strolled back into town and looked at the interesting architecture, street life, and found some sweets to snack on. That evening, we found another all-vegetarian place with thalis for dinner and ate until we were stuffed, and then retired to our room to collapse for the night.

1 comment:

  1. The first photo is ANGRE SARKAR WADA .Which belongs to descendents of Sarkhel Kahnojiraje Angre.

    The second photo is a shiva mandir situated to opposite of ANGRE SARKAR WADA.