I had held off on making the decision to get off in Goa, rather than eight hours later in Panvel, until the last possible moment. I am a stubborn guy, and seeing this through to the end was something I wanted to do, out of pride. Ultimately, I had to convince myself that while I wouldn’t be going up close to our starting point in Mumbai, Troy and I had actually started the first leg of our train journey the day before everyone else when we went sleeper class from Thivim to Mumbai. We had actually made it the whole way, just not on everyone else’s schedule. If I continued, all I would really have is bragging rights to having gone further than everyone else, and that wasn’t a good enough reason to miss Cole’s first birthday. I had already missed my wife’s birthday during this trip, and had assumed for sure that I would miss Cole’s as well, until I realized we pull through the area that day.
I could not pass it up.
We arrived in Madgaon station around 10:30AM. The train stopped long enough for somewhat appropriate goodbyes. The group was scattered over 5 cars for our final ride, which made connecting with the group one last time a headache, but we did get a group shot that I hope Troy has somewhere. The Globetrooper team of Todd & Lauren joined us, and JP, our recent Canadian member, also departed here, off to retrieve his motorcycle to continue his adventure in another way.
I would like to thank Mark for organizing this trip, something that I will remember for the rest of my life. It wasn’t all easy by any means, but with the exception of one train, I always felt the most comfortable and at ease when I was riding the rails. India is as diverse and interesting a country as you will find, and I am thrilled that I got to see so much of it in such a short time. I met some great people on this trip who I hoe to be able to keep up with for years to come.
There were even joking mutterings of getting back together to do the Trans/Siberian railway next year. To homever takes up the mantle of planning that event: I am in.
Having said all that, I will admit that there is nothing quite so exquisite as a warm family bed and my family to come home to.