Part-2 : Udaipur to Mumbai
Next day we checked out from hotel and started our journey at 6:15 AM from our hotel in Udaipur. The google maps showed us around 12 hours journey with arrival by 6:00 PM for Navi Mumbai. Here is the route which we had decided for our onward Mumbai journey (to avoid the nuisance of truck drivers on Himmatnagar-Ahamdabad-Vadodra expressway).
Day-2 : Udaipur – Samalaji – Godhra – Halol – Vadodara – Surat – Mumbai
From Udaipur till Vadodra it is a good 4 lane scenic highway with lot of curves and uphill/downhills but the road can be traversed easily and safely at 100 – 120 kmph. At stretches we also touched also 150 kmph, but I will suggest to keep paddling between 100 – 120km to be on safe side.
We reached the Gujarat border by 8:00 AM and had to face a very long search operations by Gujarat police as they had a doubt that we are carrying some liquor in our luggage. They wasted around 15 minutes of our time and I felt more than the liquor they were trying to catch a fish for their morning income. I think it is unfair not to display any board or warning prior to entering the border because many people may have been caught due to unawareness. I don’t drink and luckily my colleague was not carrying anything with him and we left the policemen disappointed.
We could not find any good option for breakfast and decided to break at Hotel Sarvottam Restaurant at 09:30 (around 40 km before Godhra) and it was a bad decision. The washrooms were in pathetic condition and the breakfast quality was poor. I think this is the condition of most of the restaurant on this stretch until Vadodara. You will find many restaurants having bill board “dal bati churma” throughout from Udaipur till Godhra.
We reached Vadodara bypass at 11:30 AM. There is a Jagdish outlet now on the highway as you enter the Vadodara bypass, we stopped here to buy some sweets and namkeen. Also had some refreshment as out experience with breakfast was not quite good. We skipped this place for lunch because we were looking for some good option for a Gujrati Thali.
After Vadodara, it is a 6-lane highway and it is the same road which connects Ahmadabad (the alternate route to Udaipur). Here onwards, the truck mess started and it was hardly to maintain the more than 100km speed due to trucks trying to overtake each other and occupying almost all lanes at stretches. We once again felt happy for not taking the Ahmadabad highway otherwise it would have spoiled the whole driving experience.
I had read the horror stories of people being stuck at famous Golden bridge (at Narmada River) at Bahruch, but there is good news that the new bridge is now open and passing the Narmada was smooth. We had to pay toll at Narmada bridge and this was the first toll we paid because there is no toll for cars/bike in Gujrat on Godhra-Halol road (another advantage on this highway).
We took another 15 min break at Kim (Surat) around 1:30pm for my Prayers in a road side mosque. It was also time for a lunch and we found a very good restaurant (highly recommend), Hotel Surbhi at Navsari, Surat. We had a half an hour break from 2:15 – 3:45 PM and had Gujrati Thali which was tasty with excellent service.
The road conditions were excellent throughout the journey, there are lots of good options for refreshment and food from Vadodara till Mumbai.
It also started raining as we enter the Surat and rain continued until we reached Mumbai.
We reached Vasai creek bridge at 5:45 pm and stuck in heavy traffic jam. It took around 1.5 hour to complete next 30 kms stretch to reach Vashi due to traffic jam in Thane area.
Finally, our most awaited road journey from Delhi to Mumbai completed with a wonderful experience and sense of achievement for completing 1530 KMs over two days with 23 hours of driving.
Link to Part-1 : http://www.ghumakkar.com/?p=106238