East Coast Ride – The plan and the finish

Planning before the trip.
3months before the trip in the month of September.
Plan A: I need to do a East Coast Ride from Chennai to Kolkata. So plan is made from Bangalore – Chennai – Machilipatnam – Puri – Kolkata – Raipur – Nagpur – Hyderbad – Bangalore.

1month later, now its October.
Plan B: Let me go to Darjeeling and return. It would be nice to be there during winter.

In the same month, small change of plan.
Plan C: Why Darjeeling, lets skip it. So the final destination becomes Gangtok, Sikkim. Maybe let me try to get into Bhutan if possible. But atleast 4days over there.

End of November, Telangana issue surfaces. Lot of tension in Andhra.
Few days before the ride.
Plan D: Change of route. Would not get into Andhra and get stuck in the violence. The new route is from Bangalore – Sholapur – Nagpur – Raipur – Kolkata – Siliguri – Gangtok – Jamshedpur – Raipur – Nagpur – Bangalore. In the entire route I would go above Andhra and not enter at any point of time.
There are still some doubts with Ghorkaland issue, naxalites and maoists.

What happened actually.
24th December the trip is on as planned by “Plan D”. Into the 5th day of the ride sitting in Rourkela I start thinking and making “Plan E”. Let me go up towards Gangtok rather than Kolkata. The next day morning, the news flash that Ghorkaland protesters block the national highway. “E” is dropped the next instant and I head to Kolkata. After few days there I do not have many number of days of vacation left and decide to rather enjoy places down South of Kolkata. Sikkim could be clubbed with North-East travel later this year or next year.
From Kolkata, I head down to Puri. There are two possibilities now. To get into Andhra or ride back thru Raipur to Bangalore. But the roads are really bad and almost screwed my bike in about 600kms on that route. With all courage I decide to head into Andhra and few days later right into Vijayawada.
There are tensions in Andhra, people fear violence can start anytime. But they cause you no problems. You just travel visit places, talk to people. Dont discuss politics and there is nothing to be afraid of.
The route map of East Coast Ride.

End analysis.
My trip was just a reverse loop of my “Plan A”. Only difference was I dragged the route out of Hyderbad into Sholapur.
Its good to plan and keep alternatives. A travel on road definitely needs to more than one plan and preparedness to change at runtime due to conditions and situations on the route.
A trip by flight is like sitting in a classroom. You cannot jump from one class to another before end of time. Its planned and sealed. Only possibility is cancelling and re-booking and losing out few bucks in the process.
Thats where a road trip wins. You get all the fun, experience and meet strange people.

And, how ever much planning is made most often than not the first draft of the plan would only happen.


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