The thrill of a road trip, through 18 countries!
Three Goans – Karl Vaz, Xavier Vas and Doyle Vas – undertook an overwhelming drive of 57 days, through 18 countries, to reach London from Goa. Café had spoken to Karl before leaving and catches up with the trio after their returnImagine going on a drive that includes crossing multiple international borders every few days. Taking the off-beaten tracks, dirt roads, mountain passes, deserts, cutting through ice and smooth tarmacs of expressways on the way. Eating breakfast in one country and dinner in another. Unbelievable? Well, three Goan gentlemen Xavier Vas, Karl Vaz and Doyle Vas embarked on this incredible adventurous voyage recently and completed it in 57 days. A magnificent achievement indeed!
It was an incredible experience for this Goan trio that undertook this adventurous journey in two separate cars from Goa, India to London along with other like-minded enthusiasts from other states. During this 57-day sojourn, the adventurers experienced varying cultures and languages within a few miles – they drove through 46 iron bridges in Myanmar, met giant pandas in China, drove the ancient Silk Route throughout Central Asia, were the rarest of travellers to enter Russia by road and stood at Red Square in Moscow, visited the charming Vilnius, experienced the thrill of driving on the smooth, no speed limit Autobahns of Germany, beers of Prague andBelgian waffles in Brussels… Narrating the expedition, Xavier Vas, a businessman having stake in the entertainment and hospitality industry, says, “I love travel. I have learned more travelling than in classrooms. Spending 57 days on road in a car with my son before he leaves for his further studies abroad was priceless.We met some great people along the way, had great times, different food, different cultures… and overall a great experience.” When asked if there is a message he wants to share with others who might want to take a trip like that, he says, “Journeys like this are not for the faint-hearted nor for the reckless;they are for the ones who have their eyes on the destination.” “On reaching the UK, we opened our restaurant,‘LEDA’, at Brentford, which serves Goan- Indian fusion food, and then drove to the University campus where Doyle will be studying Business and Finance,” he adds. Karl, a businessman from Vasco and a former MLA, says, “The experience of not knowing who you will meet, what you will eat, where your next sunrise will be? These little surprises on road trips like these are fascinating.” Doyle, who was the youngest member of the lot,says,“Spending quality time with my father, meeting amazing people in the group and along the journey, driving through different terrains, temperatures, different lifestyles, border crossing encounters, etc, I’ve learned a lot on this trip and have definitely brought home a different me.” He adds, “The fellow travellers in the group were a great bunch; it was as if we were all sharing the same DNA with passionate genes to travel.Whatever the situation, we had fun all the way.All in all, it was a great party. Every road at a time, every village, every province, every country brought us closer to each other, which made it difficult to say bye at the end. I’m definitely looking forward to doing more trips like this in the future! Adventures like this fill your soul…” The voyage that commenced at Imphal, Manipur in India (and for the Goans, in Goa), wasflagged off by N Biren Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur and Isra Stapanaseth, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand. It took the adventurers through 18 countries across Asia and Europe before reaching its final destination – London (UK). They travelled through India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China, Krygyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. Xavier and Doyle were in their BMW X5, while Karl undertook his journey in a Range Rover Sport. There were instances where they travelled through the night while on occasion, they spent nights in the comfort of their vehicles. Despite some difficult terrain, tough climatic conditions, minor vehicle issues, etc, their determination to succeed kept them going and they finally made it. This was a once in a lifetime experience that the three will cherish forever.
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