Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Roadtrip chronicles - Oh these highways!

When we began our journey, we sat down with an Eicher Road Atlas and Dr Sandi Syiem (who had done the trip before) and planned out our journey. We decided not to do the shortest route which would have meant driving a vast variety of roads, but rather stick to the national highways. Moreover we decided that instead of going through Bihar on the national highways, we would rather drive down through Bengal and hit the Golden Quadrilateral near Asansol. This would be slightly longer, but we hoped the roads would be better. They certainly were and we are glad we made that decision for the national highways we encountered before Asansol left much to be desired. Thanks to the bone-shaking nature of the drive through the craters, there were very few pictures taken, but this is just one of the scenes we encountered on the national highway.

At least here, there seemed to be some attempt at repairing the road. In most other places it appeared that this was the norm and we were wrong to expect anything better! Of course, this was not always true and there were some stretches of excellent and beautiful road.

But that was not always a good thing. Especially once we hit the golden quad, which had a divider the whole way, we kept encountering certain worthies who did not seem to understand the concept of a median. It is rather unnerving to round a bend at 100 kms per hour and stare into the face of a driver on the wrong side of the road before making a swerve to get out of the way just in time! There were a few close shaves and I think at least one motorcyclist will not try this stunt again after the shock he received!!

And of course, wherever you go in India you will find the overloaded transport vehicle. They came in many shapes and sizes and were all a source of some concern as the driver, taking advantage of the good roads would be speeding along, seemingly unaware of the precarious perches of some of his passengers!
(You can spot the reflection of our Eicher road atlas in this picture)

Our national highways leave much to be desired but then, they are in a much better state than they were 10 years ago when I last made a long roadtrip. And we really can't complain - after all they carried us right across the country in less than a week! But wait, I am getting ahead of myself.... For that as they say, is another story!!

P.S. Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures - most of them were taken through a not-so-clean wind-shield!

4 comments:

  1. So...certainly you had a nice road experience....exploring so many things on the way.

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  2. Thanks! Yes, it has been a wonderful experience. Highly recommended! And also the cheapest way to transport a car!

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