Sunday, March 12, 2017

Summary of my sabbatical trip

I still can't believe that my sabbatical trip is over and I'm home already. 30 days went so quickly. It feels as if I was in Kutch just yesterday. My car shows that I travelled 8936 KM total, which went way past my initial calculation of 6000 KM. I travelled across 5 states and numerous cities. I came across several well-known towns and some whose name I haven't ever heard of.

My Alto K10, en route to Rann festival.

We started with Goa where we stayed at my brother's place. We continued to Pune where we stayed at my sister's place and then to Mumbai at my brother in law's place. We spent first 6 days with family. Our main journey started from 10th Feb. We had planned to cover Gujarat and Rajasthan as much as we can. We started from Mumbai to Ahmedabad which is around 580 KM.

sunset photo at ashwem beach, Goa
Sunset at Ashwem Beach, Goa.

We stayed there for 2 nights before continuing to Diu. We planned to stay here for 1 night as major attractions can be covered in a day. We continued to Dwarka where we stayed for 1 night. Our next stop was Bhuj before finally reaching our main point of focus, Rann Festival. We had booked 2N/3D package in the tent city. The package included breakfast, lunch and dinner for the specified days, travel to sunset/sunrise point at Rann, Kalodungar tour. It also includes pick and drop from Bhuj for travellers coming by train, bus or flight. We stayed one more night in Ahmedabad before continuing to Rajasthan. Ahmedabad to Udaipur is just 3.5 hours drive and the roads are in good shape.

The Great Rann
Sunrise over The Great Rann.

We stayed in Udaipur for 2 nights, did sightseeing and continued to Jodhpur. We decided to stay only for 1 night here and then continue to Jaisalmer. We stayed here for next 2 nights but felt we could have added one more night and we couldn't cover many city points. We stayed one more night in Jodhpur and then went to Jaipur. We were to stay in Jaipur for 1 night and then go to Delhi. We had planned to surprise our parents in Delhi and didn't tell them we're coming. We reached our home in Delhi before my parents as they were travelling back from a wedding. It felt so good seeing my parents happy on seeing us.

Blue city, Jodhpur
Blue city, Jodhpur as seen from the top of Mehrangarh Fort.
We stayed home for 2 nights and continued to Jaipur where we had planned to stay for 2N. Our parents gave us company for Jaipur and travelled with us. Our final journey back home started from Jaipur and was the most hectic leg of the sabbatical journey. We had to cover a distance of around 2400 KM in 4 days so that we reach by Saturday and I get Sunday to relax before joining office on Monday. Our halting points were Indore, Pune and Goa.

Sand Dunes at Sam, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
Sand Dunes at Sam, Jaisalmer.

We were fortunate enough that we didn't encounter any major difficulties or challenge during the whole journey. My alto K10 didn't give me a single issue and ran smoothly throughout the journey. The hotels we booked through Goibibo were all good.

ODO reading of my K10, at the end of the journey.

The breakup of my hotel stay during the journey:

FromToNightsHotel NameCostHotel Quality
10/2/201712/2/20172N in AhmedabadHotel Kalash Residency2572Good
12/2/201713/2/20171N in DiuApaar hotel2387Very Good
13/2/201714/2/20171N in DwarkaHotel Guruprerna1075Good
14/2/201715/2/20171N in BhujTree Top Residency882Average
15/2/201717/2/20172N in RannRann Festival17820Very Good
17/2/201718/2/20171N AhmedabadHotel Kalash Residency1600Good
18/2/201720/2/20172N in UdaipurHotel Mukund Villas4093Good
20/2/201721/2/20171N JodhpurHeritage Kuchaman Haveli1605Average
21/02/201723/02/20172N in JaisalmerHotel Victoria4344Excellent
23/2/201724/2/20171n in JodhpurApple Homestay939Very Good
24/2/201725/2/20171N in JaipurHotel Park Regent1704Very Good
25/2/201727/2/20172N in DelhiHomePricelessPriceless
27/02/201701/03/20172N in JaipurFortune Select7988Very Good
01/03/201702/03/20171N in IndoreTreebo Daksh Residency1586Good
2/3/20173/3/20171N in PuneHomePricelessPriceless
3/3/20174/3/20171N in GoaHomePricelessPriceless

I'll write about each hotel I stayed I stayed in, in next series of blogs.

The breakup of fuel expense:

CostLitresTotal kmAverage
100013. 18
Total CostLitresTotal KMMileage

I was keeping a tab on tolls by keeping them together so that I can calculate later on, but there were just too much of receipts and their ink fades out pretty quickly. If I had to put an approximate value on the total cost I spent on tolls, it would be around Rs 6000 across the journey. We mostly stuck to routes suggested by google maps as well as some specific route suggestions on team-bhp forums. Google maps worked perfectly on the highway but it failed miserably inside several cities including Jodhpur and Diu.

Madhavpur Beach Panorama
Madhavpur Beach, en route to Dwarka from Diu.

We spent approx 15000 in food and drinks. My wife did shopping in Ahmedabad and Jaipur for approx. Rs 4000. These two places have really good street markets for buying souvenirs for friends and family.

My sabbatical trip was probably my best trip ever. I got a chance to meet different people, eat traditional foods, see so many great places. Stay tuned for my next post where I'll write about my journey in Gujarat in detail.

Vipul Vaibhav
Happy to see home is not far now.
Update: Here's a summary through a series of videos that I shot during the trip using SJCAM.