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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Great Drive - entry for Michelin Pilot Experience by Hemant

This was way back in 2009. I was in Dubai in those days on a long term project and had planned for a week in India. Coincidentally, there was also a plan for a 2-day Alibaug trip with MBA batch-mates – Nikhil, Shubham and Arijit. We synchronized the Alibaug trip with my India visit and decided to make it for the road trip to Alibaug.

Within a few hour of landing at Mumbai airport, I was on my way to Nikhil's residence where Shubham and Arijit were already waiting for me. It had been a long time since I had gone out with friends …. A very very long time …

The highlights of the trip were the Alibaug Beach and the Fort, beside the overnight stay at a guest house and the long drive from Mumbai to Alibaug in Nikhil's car and back.

All 4 of us had a lot of fun during the entire road trip from Mumbai to Alibaug … reliving memories of our MBA days and catching up on the time since and our career graphs as well as personal lives. It was great to be back together again – a rarity these days considering we all work in different companies and often located in different cities and even countries.

For me personally, the Alibaug beach was a unique part of the trip. Long time since I had soaked myself up in sea water, (usually any soaking that happens is courtesy Mumbai rains … soaking me up at the most unexpected of times ...  and I am not complaining – I love rains). It was nice to be back to the sea after my 'walk in the water' several months ago in Dubai's Jumeira beach

The only dampener was the 'apparent pollution' of the sea water at Alibaug. Something which seemed like oil (brown in color) was gradually creeping up the shore. All the sea water was brown and looked awfully dirty. We walked up to a distant spot of the beach where the 'polluting oil spill' reached about half an hour later. That half an hour was pure fun in water. The big waves thrashing against our bodies and we literally going under water with every wave. We were not carrying a camera to the beach (since we all planned to soak ourselves) and hence no pictures of the polluted waters ... 

Another highlight was the visit to the Fort. Surrounded by the sea it was magnificent. The disappointing part was that it was in ruins (literally). No maintenance at all. There was no proper restoration done for the fort. In fact, in the name of restoration, renovation or repair work was carried out- with patches of cement and concrete. It reduced the authenticity of the fort and its magnificence.  (lots of pictures clicked in and around the fort)

  
Some pictures from our unforgettable trip


All 4 of us at the Fort Gate - Finally got someone to click a pic with all 4 of us in the same frame :) 


Arijit with the backdrop of the fort and other tourists 




Photographs clicked during the Boat Ride to the Fort 



The Fort ... from the Boat in the Sea 


Our 'extremely expressive and vocal' Guide to the Fort


Nikhil with the Fort in the background


Nikhil's attempt at 'Rock Climbing' 


The ruins that I mentioned above 


Shubham with another section of the Fort


Our Drive ... Nikhil's new Wagon R


The island fort ... from the Car


A lone ranger fishing boat setting out to the sea 




That road trip is forever embedded in my memories. I probably laughed and had more fun in 2 days than the previous 2 year. It was simply wonderful. An unforgettable outing.


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