After a week of exploring Mumbai and enjoying the comforts of India’s leading city, Rick and I were anxious to get back on our bikes and continue our trek south, with Goa as the next major destination ahead.
We had a couple of options on leaving the city…we could retrace our route for about 20 miles, then spend most of the day riding through more sprawl of this megalopolis; or we could take a ferry across the bay to Mandve. The answer seemed obvious and we had loaded our bikes onto the ferry within moments of arriving at the Gate of India, the debarkation point next to the Taj Mahal hotel.
An hour or so later when we rolled down the dock on the other side, we were seemingly a world away from the madness of Mumbai, delivered instead to a backwater area known as the Konkon Coast, which, given it’s proximity to the city, seems like it should be a lot more crowded and busy than it was.
We couldn’t have been happier. The roads through the area were windy and erratic and we had to ask for directions frequently. But after some pretty decent climbs, we ended up in Murud, where we once again found some of the Mumbai crowd, this time in the form of weekenders who came for some quality beach time.
Departing Murud the next day, we were headed toward Highway 17 which leads down to Goa’s beaches. Back in Mumbai, I plopped down around $20 for a detailed map book of India, something that we had been sorely lacking during the first half of our trip. Unfortunately, we would have been better off without the thing because it is so inaccurate that we got seriously lost while relying on it. Read this post for more on that inglorious day.
Eventually we found our way to Highway 17 and settled in for four very long, difficult days of riding through some very mountainous country as we tried to get down to Goa. Because our exhorbitantly-priced map was nearly worthless and we had no access to internet along the way, we had no clue how many huge hills there were along our route or when we encounter them or when we might see a store, restaurant or hotel.
Then finally! after a 12-hour, 90-mile day which included huge climbs starting at about mile-60, we arrived in Goa!