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This article was first published 9 years ago  » Getahead » Notes from a road trip

Notes from a road trip

April 05, 2015 09:00 IST
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A Rediff reader heads out to Trimbakeshwar.

When I turned on the car stereo while leaving the petrol pump, it was to mark the commencement of our road trip.

Odometer was reset. FM tuned in.

We were heading out of the city on a Saturday afternoon.

Last week when I had agreed for this trip, I had no idea how the trip would unfold.

My friend Manish, a marketing executive whose grandfather was visiting him, had succeeded in marketing his grandfather's road trip to his other friends, who readily agreed to be a part of a spiritual trip.

One of them joined with his father, taking the total participants to six.

The car had the capacity for five and we had one extra person.

Before we could have decided on the way out, a friend from Delhi who had landed up in Mumbai came to meet us.

He had few hours off before he flew back.

Hearing about our car trip, Sid bunked his duty, borrowed my friend's Royal Enfield and joined us. It was a win-win situation.

Five of us were in the car, and the other two on Royal Enfield.

Our destination was the temple town of Trimbakeshwar or Trimbak as it is popularly known, 30 kilometres west of Nashik.

Famous for its Shiva temple, Trimbakeshwar is revered as one of the most sacred sites for pilgrimage by virtue of being one of the twelve designated Jyotirlinga of Hindu

For someone who finds geography as fascinating as mythology, it was a significant place as Godaveri -- the Ganges of Southern India, originates from here.

It took us around two-and-half hours to get past the suburban satellite extensions of Mumbai, before we got on to the highway.

After a fifteen-minute break at a newly opened restaurant, some of us switched seats.

I joined Sid on the Enfield and we began zipping on the well-laid road.

For my friend who works with an international airline had bunked his shift in order to ride a Royal Enfield to Trimbak, this was sort of a dream pilgrimage!

"What was the excuse?" I asked him.

"I told my boss that I had failed the alcohol test," he replied! :-)

The shortest path that Google's Maps navigational aid assisted us passed through vast stretches of uneven land dotted with small villages.

It was on this stretch that our car broke down abruptly.

Our first needle of suspicion pointed to engine getting overheated. Notwithstanding the few minutes break that we had taken, the car had run for four hours.

As a counter measure, we emptied the last available mineral water that the old man had zealously guarded, into the car's radiator.

We kept the bonnet open for some time for it would have helped in faster cooling.

It was getting darker by the moment and the unintended delay had annoyed the old men.

While we explored the nearby hillocks as the car cooled, they stayed in it praying would restart quickly.

After some 15 minutes, someone noticed the fuel indicator which had dropped dead to the far left.

We had got our tank filled when we had left the city, but it was still some 20 kilometres for us to reach our destination when it had dried up.

We could have gone to a fuel station, brought fuel in the recently emptied water bottle but that would have added to the delay, and we had no idea how far the next fuel station was.

It was then Sid decided to drain out fuel from Enfield. He grabbed the bottle, got hold of the Enfield's fuel pipe and put it into the bottle. The petrol started rushing in.

Our next challenge was to transfer the petrol from a completely filled bottle into the car. We had no funnel with us and the tank's opening was little inside which made it difficult to just pour the fuel down the opening without spilling.

That's when the old man made a suggestion. He asked us to search for banana leaves and roll them into a funnel. Though it was hard to find, we found a few big leaves that were rolled together as a funnel with one end thrust into the tank opening.

In five minutes we were ready to hit the roads again.

As the car started moving, Sid zipped past us.

He was riding ahead and I could hear the mild thumping.

I didn't felt like turning on the stereo again for the rest of the journey to Trimbak.

The sound of Enfield moving ahead in a quickly fading landscape was music to ears.

> More Travel features here

Text and Photographs: LenzView

Lenz View is a travel photographer and writer.

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