The Crazy 4 did it again – a non-stop drive from Guwahati to Noida!

We had to live up to the name our friends have fondly bestowed upon us – The Crazy 4 – owing to the crazy road trips we keep taking. We have to admit that ever since we completed our homestay in Hartola, and our furry babies’ entry into our lives, the frequency of our road trips has taken a hit and more often than not, our destination is invariably Hartola, the place we love the most. All roads lead to Rome, one would say.

However, last year (Dec – Feb 22-23) we did a road trip to Assam, which I had written about in a previous post titled, ‘2 Nights, 3 Days – A Road Trip From Noida to Guwahati With Our Pet’. Since we can’t take Katie and Chloe on a flight and the procedure of taking pets on trains is rather uncertain, cumbersome and such a hassle, we found driving down to be the best option. The condition of the highways, barring some patches here and there, is superb making the drive a pleasurable one.

This year we drove down to Guwahati in February. We made a night halt at Muzaffarpur because it was Chole’s first long road trip and we were not sure how she would take it – we needn’t have worried because she took it pretty well, except for the fact that whenever she got bored, she would slyly shove her little head and then her entire body onto Deepa’s lap! So, on our return journey, we decided on our crazy plan.

We started from Guwahati at 3.25 pm, deciding to beat the office crowd in the city and the traffic in general on the highway. We planned to take the Jalpaiguri > Islampur > Purnea > Forbesganj > Muzaffarpur > Gorakhpur > Ayodhya > Lucknow > Noida route. At about 10.30 pm we stopped at Hasimara at the Ghar Chai Bhander for a cup of tea to rouse ourselves from a drowsy state and to walk our babies.

Ghar Chai Bhander in Hasimara in West Bengal

Ghar Chai Bhander in Hasimara in West Bengal

The couple who run the shop was rather talkative and among many other topics, the gentleman gave us a lowdown of his pet-loving son – about his professional and marital status as we sipped the hot tea and picked up a couple of tea bags for friends in Noida. After about half-an-hour, he still hadn’t exhausted his stories but we needed to carry on. We passed through Jalpaiguri at 12.30 am and crossed into Bihar in the wee hours and at around 9.30 am we were passing through Muzaffarpur. At the crack of dawn, Deepa had taken over the driving wheel as I tried to rejuvenate myself for the night drive ahead.

We usually stop at the Blue Diamond Resort and Hotel in Muzaffarpur which is bang on NH 27 for a washroom break and to have breakfast. Sadly, this time it was closed. We stopped at a small restaurant where we had parathas and tea. The parathas were quite decent, but as far as cleanliness goes, it left much to be desired. That and the excessively sweet cup of tea were frankly, forgettable. One really feels that there is a dearth of good restaurants on the Bihar stretch of NH 27.
From there on, we made a couple of stops to feed the furry babies and to do their business and stretch their limbs. We decided to skip lunch and instead had lassi and some parathas with aloo sabzi that my mom-in-law had packed for us, outside a restaurant before Ayodhya.

Ayodhya Kushinagar Gorakhpur highway

View of the Ayodhya-Kushinagar-Gorakhpur highway as you are about to enter Ayodhya

Although I wanted to visit the newly inaugurated Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, I had to keep it for some other day as my first priority now was to reach home safely and on time, not wanting to further lengthen the agony of the already bored pets, especially Chloe.

Viewof the Agra Lucknow Expressway with the sun setting on the horizon

We reached Lucknow at about 6.45 pm and took the Ring Road (Shaheed Path) and entered the Lucknow-Agra Expressway by 7.30 pm. Once you hit this expressway you feel like you are close to home.

Food King Plaza on Agra Lucknow Expressway

Food King Plaza on Agra Lucknow Expressway – The picture was taken on our way to Guwahati

We stopped at a Food King Plaza just off the Expressway for dinner and fuel. It was 8.49 pm and was past dinner time for our babies and Chloe made it pretty clear. It was curd-rice for them. As usual fussy Katie had to be hand-fed, as for Chloe, she was happy with the taste of the fresh curd. While Deepa had sandwiches and coffee in the car, no surprises what I opted for – my usual vegetarian thali.

Yamuna Expressway

Close to home – View of the Yamuna Expressway. Since it was dark the picture is from our previous trip

By 1 am we were on the Yamuna Expressway. We stopped at one of the many Magic Food Zones for a tasteless cup of tea which some bystanders were also complaining about considering the ₹20 price tag of the kullad tea. Without wasting must time, we proceeded towards home.

The odometer right after we parked our vehicle in Noida

The odometer right after we parked our vehicle in Noida

Exactly at 3.33 am we entered our apartment gates ending our 36-hour non-stop drive across 4 states covering a distance of 1973.5 kms. As we entered the complex we were already making plans for our next road trip, this time to Mumbai and Goa. Until then, we need to give our weary bones a rest!

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