Anand Baid (38), his wife Punita (36) and kids Yash (12) and Dhriti (8) set out on a road trip of a life-time; across 22,780 kms from Bengaluru to Paris from April 8, 2015 to return on July 28. Raising capital from 14 companies and well wishers, the Baid family, christening themselves ‘Little Family of Indian Explorers’ or L.I.F.E. set out on this journey in their Fiat Linea with a route marked out taking into account the interests of every member of the family. While Punita wished to travel to Paris, Yash, a keen FC Barcelona fan demanded a trip to Spain. The route The LIFE road map spanning 11 countries and 50 cities over a period of 111 days extended from Bengaluru, India to Nepal, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain and finally Paris, France. Tackling the vagaries of nature, rugged and varied terrain and high altitudes to over 18,000 feet, the Baid family experienced it all on this unique road trip while they did encounter some scary moments in Nepal during the earthquake. Being strict vegetarians, the Baid family faced some gastronomic issues while when faced with challenges, Punita would take out her portable stove and whip up some simple fare with basic ingredients. For Yash and Drishti, students of Deens Academy in Whitefield, the entire journey was an adventure with Yash helping his father with fuelling of the car and offering updates in the GPS system along with searching out the most convenient hotels along the route. The Baid family made friends received numerous gifts from locals and while Anand and Punita took turns in driving their Fiat Linea T-Jet they had no issues with the car while it just required one servicing along the entire journey. Below is their journey in images. The speedometer of Fiat Linea at the start of the journey. Day 1 – By the Marriott Courtyard Hyderabad. Day 04 – Nagpur Enroute Varanasi On the banks of Ganges, Varanasi. Very close to the Nepal-China border on the Arniko Highway Camping just before entering China. crossing the bridge! Landscape enroute to Tibet. In Tibet. Picturesque highways through the Tibetan plateau! Jokhang Palace in Lhasa Patola Palace, Lhasa! Prayer wheels by the Patola Palace, Lhasa Friends across borders. Jokhang Monastery, Lhasa The ‘intense’ Debating Monks at Sera Monastery Special bartender. Night-street in Lhasa. Clicked in one of the many beautiful small towns in the plateau highways! Lovely flat road with great views of the plateau in Tibet. Home! Tibet! Middle of nowhere! He is riding at the speed of 40kmph sitting like that! Gigantic Dunes in Dunhuang! Lovely quite town! Gigantic Sand Dunes at Dunhuang! The kids climbed till the top. You can see the miniatures of the people in backdrop on the top! The convoy. Highway market enroute Lhasa to Nagqu. Highway market enroute Lhasa to Nagqu. Yash playing Chess with Hauke! At the Chinese-basecamp in Zhangmu during the quake-days from April 25-29th.The heaviest winds we ever experienced in our lives. Enroute to Turpan all the way from Hami. The car was shaking when still and swaying when driving. Not just for us…for everyone! The bikers rode in a 15 degree angle to stay balanced. 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 Yash playing soccer with kids by the Highway enroute to Kyrgyzstan from Kashgar, last big town west of China At the China-Kyrgyz border. Our last stop together as a convoy. Free horses running in the open – Kyrgyzstan Kids in Kyrgyzstan. In a matter of hours, green cover turned into white. Camping in Kyrgyzstan Straight from LOTR. Landing strip in a small town in Kyrgyzstan 12 hours in Kyrgyzstan One of the many decoy’s parked on the Krygyz highways for speed control Issyk-Kul Lake. Beautiful lake with crystal water Twisting roads enroute from Toktogul to Osh. Cloudscapes. Waterscapes. Landscapes. Mountainscapes. 5th member of Team L.I.F.E. Kalon Minor. Tower of Death. Close to the rim of ‘Darwaze or Door to Hell’ being an unbelievable sight to see – a Live Crater that has been burning for over 45+ years now At night. We defy if roads can be glazed better than here. And to mention that they are precision-flat will be an understatement. It is scary clean out in the city of Ashgabat. And night is when you want to be outside. With Akin Aydemir, Plant Manager at TOFAS, Bursa. Having the Car serviced and checked at the Bursa plant of TOFAS-Fiat. That is easy. No homework needed. Just head out Jet by the Caspian. Bird park, Eshfahan, Iran. No concept of Vegetarian in Iran. Meat is Vegetarian in Iran. Explaining to a cook here – showing pictures of vegetables. When you are on-the-road, always buffer your time with ‘stop. admire. soak.’ moments of the landscape Turkey offers. When you are on-the-road, always buffer your time with ‘stop. admire. soak.’ moments of the landscape Turkey offers. Beautiful city of Erzurum. Turkey. Greece Greece Greece Greece Greece Enroute Spain. The journey. Team at final destination – Paris. Fifth member getting shipped from Paris back to India as we take a flight back home. Welcome reception at Bengaluru airport. Fifth member arrives in Bengaluru.
Images and captions are sourced from the official page https://www.facebook.com/OverlandStories/, where you can find even more details of the journey.