Friday, 3 August 2012
At 8:30am we all congregated around the Sun'n'Sand car park. We all un-tarped our rickshaws and added any last decorations for our first day driving. With our last group pep talk still rattling around in our brains, we jumped into our rickshaws and zipped pass the starting flag ready to endure Mumbai morning traffic. I was behind the wheel all decked out in my red mohawk wig with Ruth and Pia at the back rocking it out in their fluro coloured wigs acting as my side mirrors. It didn't take long to find heavy morning traffic. The cacophony of car horns had a reassuring affect when you knew the logic behind it. Beep if you are passing by- very helpful especially if you are a bright, pink rickshaw looking noticeably out of place.
Ruth naturally took the role of head navigator poking her head out, yelling at tuk tuk drivers as they drove by. We learnt quickly not to ask traffic police for directions as they requested to see my license - at least it justified buying my international licenses. Now heading in what we believed was the right direction we dodged and weaved the array of vehicles on the pot-hole filled road.
Spontaneously, we took a side street which we discovered lead to the national highway. This was after we'd stopped once again for directions, however, this time a group of at least 15 men wanted to see what was going on... Not to give advice but to take photos... As you do!
Once we finally got out of Mumbai, four hours later we pretty much had a straight run to Alibag. Of course we still had to stop to ask for directions and wave at all the locals. It wouldn't be an ordinary day on the road if we didn't see roaming cows, wild monkeys, hairless dogs or pantless children pooping in the streets. From the manic roads of the city we finished the day whizzing pass the luscious green countryside at a speedy pace of 45km/h. Aiming for 50 in the next coming days!