Sunday, August 24, 2008

Road Travel travails

On long Independence day weekend,our group had planned to spend the weekend in Daman. A friend has just bought Beachfront Bunglow in Moti Daman. Daman,a former Portugese colony's fame as a travel destination rests on fact that it is surrounded on three side by Dry Gujrat state. Fourth side is Sea but unlike Goa,Daman Beach is rocky where most of the Hotels are. Beach in Moti Daman is Sandy but sand is Blackish and beach is dirty.So swimming is not very popular on Daman beaches. Like Goa, Booze is really cheap but there are no shacks.

Trouble with all the weekend gateaways around Mumbai is travel time to & from destination.Khandala and Lonavala are now easy to reach thanks to Expressway. But road to Daman,Selvassa,Manor -Mumbai-Amdavad highway,is bad between Mumbai & Manor. Its part of Golden Quadrilatral but Congress Govts.have never paid any attention to Roads. Though Daman is Just 130 Kms from Borivli,travel time is usually 4hrs or so. Return journey is especially bad in Sirsad-Vasai belt and traffic jams stretching for 3-4 kms and lasting some 2-3 hrs is common. That's why no one likes to travel by road to Gujrat. People from South Gujrat, start in the morning to catch midnight International flights from Mumbai airport!!.This is going on for years but there is no improvement in road up to Maharastra border. On Gujrat side roads are good and express ways are built between main cities.

Regular travellers start very early from Mumbai,to avoid traffic. But when one is on vacation then why should one get up at ungodly hour? So as expected we were caught up in traffic upto Manor. It took us some 3 hrs to reach Manor. Everyone is so tired that Kamat Restaurant is God sent for Mind,mood,stomach and Bladder!!. Traveling in U.S.-esp. road travel is such a pleasure. One can take regular halts and can expect good restaurants and restrooms there. In India even upscale restaurants have stinking,dirty restrooms. While returning we were in traffic jam near Sirsad for almost 2 hrs. Male members relieved themselves on the roadside in full view of everyone. For Ladies , traveling by road must be a nightmare. When you reach home on Sunday evening, entire fun of weekend vacation has gone up in smoke. Unfortunately there are no alternatives to this situation and in years to come it's going to worsen. You have any suggestions?----PK

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