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Proposal - Bike ride to Goa


 

It has always been a dream for me to run away from the “safety nets” that we spawn around every moment of our life. As Blake would say, I’m boiling over to wring away the “mind forged manacles” I find myself bound in.  

The idea of going off on a cycling stint fits just right here. It’s been a dream for me to go out and live free for some time. And I found the right companions in two of my friends who were equally enthralled if not more so when we discussed the idea. 

The basic idea is to cycle our way from Mumbai to Goa and possibly beyond, appreciating the freedom in doing so, taking in the beauty of the natural and the coarse once in life. 


Where and When: 

Sunny and I plan to start from Kachchh in Gujrat and cycle to Mumbai along the coast (about 5 – 7 days).  Atul joins us here and then we all carry on towards Goa on NH"17. The final goal on extension would be to touch Karwar in Karnataka. The plans are still open to minor changes here. We plan to carry this out in the winter break after our next (7th) semester.  Tentatively, we’ll start on 10th with the first leg of our journey making it to Mumbai by 17th. We then go for the next leg to Goa. That takes about 10 days (taking it at ease).  We leave a 4 day exigency period, in case of any problem en"route, or if everything goes as planned, we may go on another 100 Kms south to Karwar in this extra time. 


Who: 

A small introduction for the three of us is called for. Sunny and I are third year students in the Computer Science and Engineering department at IIT Bombay. Atul is currently working in Mumbai (passed out 4 years ago). Sunny and I have been together for the last 5 years, while we met Atul last year on a trek in Himalayas (arranged by YHAI). We’ve gone for many treks in Sahyadris together since. It was the vibrant enthusiasm shown by all of us for the idea and that it has stayed on for months now that convinced us that this really is possible 


Why and How: 

The idea of being free and open for 20 days and on your own in the true sense of the word is one of the main reasons that pulls us. It has always drawn us to the unlikely trails around Mumbai, this being another manifestation of the same desire. The choice of the route was dictated a lot by my wish, Karwar is the place my father was born and I haven’t seen that place since I was a kid. When you place that around Goa, everyone was of course a go. Another important factor in choosing this route is the fact that we have a guide here who has done this feat himself about 15 years ago and can help us get the logistics right. In trying out something of this kind for the first time guidance becomes all the more important. With this past experience and the guidance that we have, we are very confident about the trip. 


Fuzzy details about the trip: 

Although the details of the trip are not all worked out yet, following points are worth mentioning: 

  • We travel about 80 Kms a day on straight tracts and 60 Kms on “ghats”. 
  • Stay in towns / villages en route. The guide we mentioned has been a great help here as he has been able to suggest the right places for accommodation.  
  • A tentative break up of the Mumbai Goa route is as follows (night stays mentioned):  
    • Mumbai  : 0 Km 
    • Vadkhal Naka : 75 Km 
    • Mahad - 170 Kms 
    • Khed  - 230 Kms 
    • Agva  -  285 Kms 
    • Harkhamba - 354 Kms 
    • Rajapur  -  424 Kms 
    • Kankauli – 484 Kms 
    • Sawantwadi – 549 Kms 
    • Panjim – 600 Kms 
  • Note:   
    • All distances are approximate 
    • There Is an alternate route at the last two stays that we’re still considering. 
    • Karwar is a further 100 Kms south by the Kali river. 
  • We return by train, along with the baggage and the bicycles 

As for our preparation for this expedition, we have all gone on long treks before, and in fact together on a couple of those, and also have begun training our body for the arduous task, including regular swimming hours. We’re also going on smaller routes around Mumbai over the course of this semester (Harishchandragadh etc.). We intend to buy geared bicycles this summer and train with them over the summer and the next semester in earnest. 

 

Expected expenditure: 

Stay for 20 days at various towns (if in town)  : 400 X 20 

Food for 20 days for 3 persons  : 300 X 20 

Preparations (including sleeping bag, sustenance gear, first aid, trek gear etc) : 5000 

Train tickets (Mumbai – Gujrat and Goa - Mumbai) (Inclusive of carrying cycles along) : 2000 

Expenditure in Goa (this is at the peak time of the year for Goa) : 1000 

Total : 22,000