Every roadtrip begins with a lot of excitement and heavy discussions. This one was no different. Started out with 8 riders planning to join us, and ended with just 4. Nonetheless, made no difference, because every petrolhead knows that all you need is your vehicle and an open highway.
I personally love the adrenaline rush during open throttling on the highway. It simply cannot be compared to anything else. We spent the Friday night bickering over the start-time. Being the early birds, Kraig (Royal Enfield 350 Classic) and I met up on the western express highway at 7, followed by Duane (Bajaj Avenger), who yet again was late! After spending some minutes admiring each other’s bikes, we went on to meet Aditya (Royal Enfield Desert Storm) in Goregaon.
After crossing the Vasai Creek bridge, which BTW has become a menace to cross, it was no looking back. (Please Note: The Vasai Bridge is under construction. Please keep this in mind while heading out on the Gujrat Highway NH8)
Within a few seconds, all the four riders were cruising at an average speed of 95 km/hr. Those of you who have travelled on NH8 would know the brilliant quality of this highway. I guess that’s the reason I suggested Daman as a destination to Kraig, who wanted to cruise on his newly acquired Royal Enfield.
The road was like an airport runway, simply brilliant. Of course there was quite a lot of traffic too.
Daman is a city in the union territory of Daman & Diu. It is divided by the Daman Ganga River into two parts, namely Nanidaman (Nani meaning “small”) and Motidaman (Moti meaning “big”). Ironically, Nanidaman is the larger of the two towns. Daman is a mere 180 kilometres from Mumbai, hence our single-day trip. Well, more about Daman later!
Back to our story. After a 45 minute ride, we stopped for a water break, and it was here that the HOGs (Harley Owner’s Group) vroomed past us at lightening speeds. Fully leather attired, their bikes ranged from a SuperLow to the iconic Electra Glide Classic! Yes, India does have a good number of Harley owners now!
We then stopped at a small dhaba for some breakfast and treated ourselves to some freshly made hot vada pav and tea. With the evolution of Indian roadways popular restaurants, I wonder if we have lost out on the dhaba culture that once used to thrive on Indian highways.
After a brief refreshment stop, we hit the highway again. While everything was fine and dandy, suddenly Duane and Kraig rushed past me and started chasing Aditya. As it turns out Aditya had a puncture in his rear tyre.
Kraig trying to figure out the puncture.
Fortunately for us, there were a few mechanics on the highway itself, just a kilometre away. Since it wasn’t a tubeless, it took some time repairing the tyre. This gave me a chance to hone my photography skills a bit 😛
By the time the puncture got fixed, it was already 12 in the afternoon and Daman was still 80 kilometers away. Then began the mad dash. In about 40 minutes, we were off NH8, and on the interior road leading straight to Daman. The condition of this road was superb as well.
Welcome to Daman!
By 1 PM, we reached our destination – Hotel Princess Park on Devka Beach in Nani Daman. Some cold refreshment and good food is what we needed.
On our way back, Duane suggested that we visit the old fort/ church near the beach. It had some beautiful Portuguese carvings, along with a marvellous overview from the top.
The Lighthouse across the DamanGanga River!
After a brief sightseeing, we started our return journey. Thankfully there was less traffic on our way back.
With fewer stops, except for refreshments, we made good time, only to be stopped near the Vasai Bridge again. It was utter havoc. We practically had to ride our bikes on the road edges for a good 10 kilometers or so. Unable to bid adieu to the others due to the maddening traffic, I managed to reach home by 9 PM.
Keeping the last segment of the journey aside, the trip was phenomenal. Hopefully there will be more riders joining us in our next trip. Let’s see where the highway takes us. Jawhar looks like a worthwhile destination 😉
Until then, RIDE HARD!