This Indian Family Took An Epic Road Trip From Bengaluru To Paris In Their Car
The thought of a family road trip could fill some parents with dread. But adventurous couple Anand and Punita Baid, who drove 111 days from India to France with their two pre-teens, said they would do it again in a heartbeat.
Starting in Bengaluru in April, Anand, Punita, Yash, 12, and Dhriti, 8, packed up their Fiat Linea Tjet and started out on the trip of a lifetime.
Stopping off at 50 cities the intrepid family saw the world’s largest burning crater, climbed sand-dunes and drove past the Himalayan mountain range in Tibet - all on a shoestring budget.
Calling themselves Team L.I.F.E (Little Indian Family of Explorers), they decided to take up this massive and challenging road trip after Anand quit his job and had some time on his hands, and his wife Punita too had 2 months of vacation. The parents even persuaded their children’s school to sanction extra days of leave to them for the trip.
Driving in their Fiat Linea, they started the journey on April 8th, after securing visas that had them exchanging hundreds of emails with the embassies of the countries that would fall on their route. Their original itinerary was something like this:
India > Nepal > China > Kyrgyzstan > Uzbekistan > Turkmenistan > Iran > Turkey > Greece > Italy > Switzerland (Alps) > Spain > France
The journey started on 8 April. The Baid family first reached Nepal, where they encountered the earthquake. They were stuck there for 5 days.
"White dot shows approximation to how far we were from the epicenter. 100+ odd kms in our understanding. There are just too many instances were we feel we could have been anywhere else in a matter of minutes. Can't thank the force enough."
And soon they found themselves in the vast open expanse that is Tibet. This was an important trip for the kids, who probably learned more about the world on this trip than anything the school could have taught.
"Enroute to Korla. These dunes are easily over 20 floors high. One of those pictures that the actual scale does little justice here. And these ran for a few kms. atleast. Unbelievable sight!"
From climbing the massive sand dunes in western China, to facing winds so strong their car swayed while driving, and visiting the intimidating ‘Door to Hell’
in Turkmenistan, they had their share of goosebumps-inducing adventures.
Which looked even more beautiful at night.
Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, has some of the cleanest and flattest roads you'll ever see.
In Kyrgyzstan, the landscape changed within hours.
However, being vegetarians travelling in Iran, they faced trouble finding vegetarian food. So much so that they had to show pictures of vegetables to the chefs in Iran!
But such is the beauty of travel; there is always something better in store ahead. Like Turkey, which was straight from a fairy tale from the days of yore.
And, of course, the stunning country of Greece with its spotless white houses and crystal clear blue sea.
The family said one of the best parts about travelling by road was the flexibility to stop at a certain place for as long as they liked.
The Baid family flew back to India from Paris on 28 July, and their trusted car – the “fifth member” of their family – was shipped back safe and sound.
We have massive respect for the Baids, for successfully pulling off what can easily be called an epic journey. Hope this inspires the rest of us to set out for quests towards unknown lands.