Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina - Jammin thru India

Day 13 - From Nate to the city of Mumbai

After relishing delicious mangoes at Nate, Jay rides 415 km into Mumbai, the big, bad city!

I got up from my bed on the terrace as the sun came up and had a tasty breakfast of a Konkan-style upma, garnished with mangoes from the surrounding farm. And then dessert of super tasty, juicy alphonso mangoes. Mmm, mmm, good! The farms around Ratnagiri are known to produce the tastiest alphonso mangoes. The name comes from the Portuguese admiral, Afonso de Albuquerque, who brought this exquisite variety with him when he conquered Goa.

A tasty breakfast of a Konkan-style upma with mangoes from the farm.

From the farmhouse near Nate, I rode the small coastal roads up to Ratnagiri and then got back on NH-17. Compared to yesterday's peaceful ride on the southern portion of this highway, today it was all busy, even though it was a Sunday. There was lots of overtaking of slow trucks and buses and I was kept alert in dodging the suicidal driving habits of oncoming small cars and vans. The game of chicken is full on on India's highways. The bigger the vehicle, the more they can bully oncoming traffic to make way for them. This is the same driving style in most developing countries and I've gotten lots of experience in riding with these kind of drivers by now. It's a bit scary at times but it's also enjoyable if you can play the game and my bright lights and loud horn help me compete with the auto-rickshaws and Tata Nanos.

Riding the coastal road from Rajapur to Ratnagiri in southern Maharashtra.

Filled up air in my tires at this little shop and he didn't accept any payment.

I reached the outskirts of India's largest city, Mumbai and then had an hour and a half of painful clutching through first and second gear through traffic. I cut across this whole mega city from the southeast to the northwest and got to Juhu. I'm staying with an old friend from Kodai School, Arunoday Singh, who's come back from studying film in the US and UK and has started his career in Bollywood. He's got a beautiful place right on the beach at Juhu, perfect for relaxing for a bit before heading inland.

Entering the largest city in India.

Watch the video postcard of Jay's ride along the ghat sections of NH 17 (taken with his helmet-mounted camera) 

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Got questions on his trip and the countries he's visited, and the strange laws and customs he's encountered? Join the live chat at 2:30 PM Indian Standard Time (+5:30 GMT) on Monday, May 13.

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TRAVEL NOTES

Not for nothing is the mango feted as the king of fruits. The mango season brings much joy to the hot summers of peninsular India.

Read more: Mango Memories

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The Man. The Machine. The Story

There are love stories and love stories, but none tugs more at the heart than a tale of infinite departure. In March 2010, Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina, his beloved Suzuki DR650, left on a great journey back home to India. Jay quit his secure corporate job, sold his Chicago townhouse and every household possession, and left with sanDRina on a journey that saw them through 94,933 km, 32 countries, and 1,150 days on the road through the Global South -- from the USA through Latin America and Africa, heading towards India. At the core of this seemingly mindless pursuit was Jay’s desire to raise awareness about sustainability and a unique sentiment best described by an archaic Greek term, eudaimonia – the search for things that are true, good and beautiful. 

Homecoming isn’t complete unless you experience the country you call home in all her varied terrain and temperaments. And so Jay and sanDRina will embark on a journey of discovery through India. 

Yahoo India Travel follows Jay and sanDRina on their exhilarating discovery of India with daily updates from the road in words, pictures and video. If you have questions to ask, or words of encouragement for Jay and sanDRina, follow Jammin India on Twitter (hashtag #jamminindia). Also visit JamminGlobal.com for comprehensive accounts of his journey so far as well as snippets and trivia.