Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Road Trip in India

I've been traveling for the past two weeks, without wifi for one of those weeks, and my blog has been sadly neglected.  So this week for Travel Photo Thursday, I decided to continue my India theme by sharing an archived post on a (somewhat harrowing) road trip I took there.  Will be back next week with a post on my wedding in India!


After one of the worst travel nights of my life...

I woke up to THIS:

On the beach in Mangalore, India


The backstory:
Two days after arriving in India (and still extremely jet lagged), I set off on a road trip from Bangalore to Goa with my husband and some members of his family.  Our first day's stretch was supposed to be an eight-hour drive from Bangalore to Mangalore.

A building at the resort

Picture this: Seven adults and two kids in a rented van with a driver whose driving skills were somewhat suspect.  Indian roads (AKA more potholes than road in many areas).  One flat tire, changing time=1 hour.  One vapor locked fuel line, fixing time=2 hours in the dark.  One stop between states by local police who desperately wanted a bribe.  Our eight-hour drive turned into 14 crazy hours.  By the time we reached our destination in Mangalore, we were tired, sweaty, and starving.

A child playing on the beach

I had heard great things about the place we were staying in Mangalore and was looking forward to a good meal, warm shower, and great night's sleep.  Boy was I in for a surprise.  I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that NONE of my expectations were even close to being met (which is why I'm not going to name the resort).  I had a complete breakdown that night, fell into a deep sleep, and then had another mini meltdown the next morning when, after taking a much needed shower, I discovered that they had forgotten to put towels in the room.  I'll just blame my high emotions on the jet lag :-)

More of the beach in the other direction

And then I stepped out of our room and onto one of the prettiest beaches I've ever seen!  After a steaming cup of chai, a hearty Indian breakfast, and a walk up and down the beach, I was a new woman.  We headed out that day for Goa, and the rest of the trip was amazing. 


Have you had any crazy road trip experiences?

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41 comments:

  1. Wow, you're lucky you were able to recover. Travel disasters don't always turn out so well.

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    1. I agree! On the grand scheme of things it wasn't the worst thing that could happen on a trip, but it definitely felt bad at the time! Thanks for stopping by :-)

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  2. We had a similar horror journey in Cambodia once. A '6hr' boat ride turned out to be 14 hours, including three hours stuck out in the middle of a lake. We so weren't prepared for it. I think we were just lucky to strike nice accommodation and lovely staff - once they realised it was our daughters 4th birthday they ran out at 8.30pm to search for a bakery still open to get her a cake and wouldn't let us pay. If we hadn't of finished the day one such a nice high I think I would have been melting down like you! Glad the next day was better - it would be hard to stay upset with a beach that lovely.

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    1. Tracy--Yikes, that sounds pretty bad. Thank goodness the staff was so great and things turned out well for you. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Yep, that sounds like a nightmare! Thank goodness for the beautiful beach!

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    1. Jessica--That beach definitely made it all better :-)

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  4. At least possibly you will always remember it? Yeah travel disasters are no fun, especially when you are so far away from home. I'm glad to hear at least the rest of the trip was great!

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    1. Anwar-- Ha ha, yes, I'll never forget it :-) Thanks for your comments!

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  5. Yikes! Not a fun way to start a vacation - my reaction would have been the same!

    Thanks for linking up last week! I was out of town all weekend, so sorry it took me a few days to visit you!

    ~Becca

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    1. Thanks, Becca. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who would freak out in that situation :-)

      Thanks also for the opportunity to link up!!

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  6. That sounds miserable. I have heard stories about all the bribes that can become necessary during overseas travel. I am glad everyone made it ok.

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    1. The bribes definitely aren't fun, but luckily in India I've never had it be too big of a deal. A little humor and good nature goes a long way :-) Thanks for commenting!

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  7. What an adventure to start off your trip. That was one crazy case of Murphy's Law! I'd be an emotional mess too =) So glad you had a fresh start with that beautiful beach and a great breakfast.

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    1. Thanks, Mary! It's funny how small things like breakfast or a beach can make one feel so much better :-)

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  8. You are a strong woman to have survived one meltdown after the other. Jetlagged is surely to be blamed for starters. But what truly matters is everything is well afterwards. Have fun!

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    1. Thanks, Kiran! I'm definitely blaming the jet lag :-) The rest of the trip definitely made up for the hiccups at the beginning.

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  9. I was in India just a month ago and to everybody who will be going there I suggest to lower their expectation and it will be almost everything perfect :)

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Vi. I'll have to both agree and disagree with you. There were definitely some things in India that were very different from what I was used, so I had to change my expectations in that way, but there were also many things that far exceeded my expectations!

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  10. At least this is one holiday you'll find difficult to forget.

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  11. Woah- glad you made it out alive! I've had a lot of crazy road trip experiences... in fact, I kind of think every road trip is crazy. If you come out without a flat tire, you've done something wrong! haha

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    1. Completely agree with you, Jade! Snafus definitely make the trip more interesting :-)

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  12. That's quite an experience! Oddly, I have an interesting road trip memory from India, too. We were caught up in a demonstration once, in Uttar Pradesh, with angry people banging on the car. A bit iffy, but our driver managed to get us out all in one piece.

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    1. Wow, Sophie...I'm glad you made it out ok! I got stuck in traffic during a demonstration there too, but it wasn't as out of control as I've heard they can get. Very interesting to see, for sure!

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  13. That beach would certainly make up for the previous night's letdown - a nice silver lining!

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    1. Yes! The beach was incredible. Thanks for your comment :-)

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  14. Views like these is what make experiences like you had laughable -- afterwards.
    I smiled when I read about the potholes and the officers. You sure you weren't in Jamaica??? Hahaha!!!

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    1. Exactly, Marcia...afterwards!!! Sounds like there are some similarities between Jamaica and India, eh? :-)

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  15. Yup, that beach would cheer anyone up! Beautiful. I'm glad to hear the rest of your trip was great.

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! I'll have to post about the rest of the trip...it really was awesome :-)

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  16. That's one heck of a drive - especially when your expectations are otherwise. Sometimes those little meltdowns we all have at some point release a little tension and pressure - it sure seems like you were back to normal in no time. I hope you were able to change hotel rooms too.

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    1. Thanks, Leigh :-) I have mini-meltdowns at regular intervals and can attest for their usefulness in releasing tension :-) And luckily we only spent one night at that resort, since the next day we continued on our road trip to Goa.

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  17. You bounced back quite quickly. I contracted Cholera on a road trip years ago. That resulted in a three-day quarantine. :)

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    1. Yikes! Cholera? I'll take my little mishaps over cholera any day!!! Thanks for sharing :-)

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  18. "How was your flight?"

    "Fine."

    "Was the weather good?"

    "Yep, not a drop of rain."

    "How about the food."

    "Nothing to write home about."

    "And the hotels?"

    "Your basic cookie-cutter design. No roaches, but not worth lingering in, either."

    Ho-hum trips make for b-o-r-i-n-g travel stories. It's when things "go south" that you'll have a "memorable trip" whose misadventures will make you chuckle later.

    Did tell you about the time that, after hours of flight delays, we arrived at our hotel at 3 am only to discover that my wife have left all of her luggage (clothes, cosmetics, meds, jewlery) sitting on the curb at the Montreal airport terminal on the first night of a two-week trip, and only hours before we were supposed to catch a train to Quebec City? Remind me to do so sometime.

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    1. Haha Dick, would love to hear how your experience in Canada turned out. Sounds like quite the adventure :-) And I would HATE to have a conversation like the one you outlined...thank goodness for misadventures!

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  19. I think we've all had one of these nightmare trips at one time or another. Waking up to that beautiful beach would make everything all right!

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    1. Oh yes, I can't imagine how the morning would have gone without that beach. Thanks for commenting!

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  20. Hi there,
    I am originally from Mangalore, born, brought up and completed my studies at the University there. Following my marriage, I moved to Blore. The M'lore B'lore roads are the worst and every passenger's nightmare. The potholes have been existing since god knows when. That's why a lot of us Indians opt to take the overnight journey by train..:D I am so sorry for the rubbish service you had to go through at the resort. It actually puts us Mangaloreans to shame knowing that our people really do not know how to treat guests. I wish you all the best in the remaining part of your travel in India.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, May. It's great to hear from a Mangalorean. I wish we had thought of taking the train! And I definitely think our stay in Mangalore was a one-off experience since I had heard great things about the resort (but thank you for the apology!).

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  21. Andi, Oh my gosh after that long and crazy drive I feel sure I would have melted down too. Those kind of experiences take you by surprise and just leave you feeling overwhelmed. I'm glad the beach walk and breakfast transformed your day.

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