21-Sep-2004 -- This is the 18th out of 29 confluences on our tour from Germany to China, the story continues from 24N 77E.
On the thirtieth day of our tour we started from Malegaon, about 90 km northeast of the confluence. We had spent the night in a small hotel with a restaurant, which had opened the day before. The owner welcomed us very heartily. At 7:15 the next morning, we took National Road #3 towards Mumbay. With 12 km to the confluence, we turned off the highway at a town named Ojhar. We had a hard time passing through Ojhar because of the heavy traffic and the narrow alleys. Later, we found out that we could have avoided the town since there is a new highway around it. At a village called Chandur, we crossed a railroad track. Shortly after, we reached a bridge across the huge Godavari River. But the GPS located the confluence to our left, so it was unclear on which side of the river the confluence would be. For once, we chose the correct way the first time by crossing the bridge to the southern side of Godavari River. A sealed road lead us to within 700 m of the confluence. From there, a farm track lead in the direction of the point. We turned in with our Toyota Corolla, but got stuck after 200 m. All our efforts to get out failed. When the wheels spun, they just dug us deeper into the mud. We soon forgot all about the confluence visit and realized that we had a big problem facing us. There was no way we could dig us out here due to the muddy conditions. On the top of everything else, we noticed that our rear right tyre was flat! Hastily I tried to change the tyre, but unfortunately it was too muddy for the car-jack to lift the car. Joko, our Swiss travel companion was not with us that day, thus there was no Jeep around to pull us out. The track was so narrow, that even a cyclist couldn't come past. I put cardboard under all four wheels and asked the cyclist to help us push the car. Miraculousily, we managed to get the car unstuck. Right then, a harnessed team of horses wanted to pass. I went back a couple meters and then gave him way by pulling into a side track. To our consternation, we got stuck again. However, this time I was able to dig the car out. To make a long story short: somehow we managed to get back to the sealed road.
Even though the air pressure in our rear tyre was getting lower and lower, I took GPS and Camera and ran to the confluence point. At a distance of 200 m I left the track and hiked between the fields. At a distance of 50 m is a little temple, which can be clearly seen from the point. The point itself turned out to be exactly between a soybean and a sugar cane field. After I took the picture of the GPS reading, I forgot to set back the focus for far distant objects, thus I lost the views to the South and to the West. I rushed back to the car where Guang was waiting for me. With little remaining air in the tyre we managed to reach the next tyre repair shop in Saikede. Later we continued our trip and reached Mumbay in the afternoon. Mumbai's heavy traffic gave me a hard time driving.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 10:20 a.m.
- Duration: 2h 10min (until we were back on our route)
- Distance of car parking: 700 m
- GPS height: 499 m
- Description: Farmland. Flat and populated area. Squeezed between a soy-bean and a sugar-cane field, some scattered trees and farm houses around.
- Given Name: The Twice Trapped Flat Tyre Confluence
Story continues at 18N 74E.