Even though we started our tour of daily tuk-tuk driving early after sunrise we did not reach the destination, we intended to reach. As always something totally unforeseeable came our way…But while we were driving through the beautiful morning fog of India we did not know that. We just enjoyed the surreal scenery and landscapes passing by.
During this first part of our drive, everything went unusually well. I mean even our clutch wires held together. Until we reached this:
A piece of the ocean just stretched out right there in front of us and Google happily told us to drive ahead and somehow magically over it. We were a bit clueless… was there supposed to be a bridge? Our best bet was to ask the locals how to get us and our little auto across to the other side. Thanks, Google.
Waiting in vain
There was a ferry – lucky us. Only problem: It was to arrive in about an hour. So we had to wait and watched some fishermen bringing back their daily catch. Peeking into the distance every once in a while, hoping to see the ferry coming.
The only thing we saw, was the sun starting to set, which made us nervous. Would we still reach Tarkarli during daylight hours?
Of course, the boat was not on time. Nonetheless, it was quite beautiful due to the wonderful golden sunset light. Crossing the stretch of water took quite some time, so it was clear to us that we would not reach Tarkarli Beach before dark. We decided to set up camp at the next beach we would encounter instead.
The road went away from the beach and up into a hillier area … Those steep slopes have always been the worst enemy of our tuk-tuk and of course, the clutch wire started to make problems again, just now… Guess what: the next steep hill stopped us! Without a first gear (damn those loose clutch wires!!!) there was no chance for us to get up.
Last minute help
Luckily two people passed by on their scooters and stopped, offering us their help. They wanted to call a mechanic first but once we explained our dire headlight situation and our fear of driving through the dark they were a bit confused about what to do. So we asked them if they knew a safe place to set up our hammocks and to park our tuk-tuk. Instead of a recommendation, they invited us to stay in their home until the next day. We were baffled. Their friendliness towards us was beyond comprehension.
They helped us drive the rickshaw back to their home and then invited us to have dinner with them. In return, we shared the dinner we bought in a desperate attempt to give back at least something. Sitting together, eating delicious curry, Subj, chapati and fried rice, we exchanged our stories. It turned out that we had managed to meet the mayor of a little village called Naravan, which we had passed on our way. Impressed by his hospitality and social integration into the village we stayed up till late at night, talking and waiting for the mechanic to fix our rickshaw. We felt like speaking with a village elder.
By the next morning, our tuk-tuk was ready to go again. Before we started the daily grind of driving though we ate a gorgeous local breakfast and were taken around on a little tour through the village. We even visited some of the Hindu temples there. The way the religion is intertwined with many peoples lives there still fascinates me. Equipped with a tightened gear cable and with a new friend in the middle of Maharashtra, we left again – towards more pristine beaches and another night in hammocks.