18-Jan-2004 -- This is my third confluence visit and second consecutive visit in the same month. The previous one of 23°N 72°E was visited on 14 January 2004. On the day before this visit I went from Bhavnagar where I work to Vadodara (formerly known as Baroda) in the weekend where my friend Ramkumar was staying. He is working as a Production Manager in a Textile firm at Karjan which is situated 32 km from Vadodara. The next day i.e. on 18 January 2004 both of us started from Vadodara and went to his office at Karjan. He showed me the process of Knitting and I got to see some of the finest machineries and their precise production capability. After spending some time there he took me to their cafeteria and we had a nice lunch over there.
At around 3 pm we started from there in his Royal Enfield Bullet (bike). We took the National Highway NH8 which goes towards Surat. After 15 km we reached a place called Valan. From here the GPS was showing the CP at North-west side. Hence we took a right turn and now the road became narrow and we reached a small village. We asked several villagers if there are any ways leading towards the north-west direction and every one asked where exactly we wanted to go. As we couldn’t explain them properly, we started blindly following the directions of GPS.
We crossed several fields and small Hamlets. It was really tough to get out of these places as the path itself was very narrow and at many places we ended up in a dead end road and we had to make an about turn and guess the right way. At several places the pillion rider had to get down, as there were no tarmac roads at all and the path we went was execrably ruptured and at times extremely narrow to balance the bike. Since the bike was a rugged one it was able to withstand this asperous road condition. One nice thing is that the place was full of greenery and as I am interested in Landscape photography, I was able to take a lot of nice snaps.
At one point of time we found a better muddy road. Here the GPS was indicating the CP to be at 3.7 km. We followed the road which had a lot of blind turns. At one place the GPS was showing 700 meters to the confluence. At last we parked the bike in a shade and started walking towards the CP. It was a Cotton field and many farmers were working over there. We were stopped by the supervisor of the farm. We asked his permission to go inside the field to take some photographs and promised him that we will not do any harm to the ripen cotton plants. He let us go and finally we reached the confluence point at 5.10 pm which was some what in the middle of the field. I took the mandatory photos of NEWS direction and GPS. By this time most of the farmers were inquisitively looking at us.
We came out and had a chat with the supervisor. We learnt that this farm belongs to one Mr. Patel. He asked us what made us to come there. My friend extemporarily told him that we are doing some research and were on a survey of the soil condition in that area and would be submitting the report to the Agricultural University. We had no other go other than this impromptu answer.
We inquired him about any other way to catch a main road to Vadodara. He showed us a way which was opposite to the one we way we came by. We went through that and to our surprise a tarmac road seemed to be a major road came just within 125 m. from the CP. After asking a passerby we were really shocked to learn that that road leads to Karjan which is where we started from. Immediately I referred the Gujarat Road atlas and in fact it showed that there is a road runs between Amod and Karjan. I was cursing myself as to why I didn’t go through this atlas rather than just referring only the MSN maps where this road was not at all mentioned. More over the Milestone flabbergasted us by showing just 16 km to Karjan.
On the way we were blaming each other about how we missed this road. Within 15 minutes of time we reached Karjan and took the NH8 to Vadodara and reached home at around 7 pm. One way I was upset about the lengthy path we took and on the other side I was happy that I could finish my third confluence successfully.