Vallejo is a small town some miles away from Sonoma and I had got there well after dark. It was very difficult to find a hostel here so I stayed at a small Inn, after some turned me away thinking I was a tramp. The place was above my budget but I had no choice. I intended to take a ferry to SFO the following day from the Vallejo port.

The next morning it was no longer raining and the skies were clear and the ride on the ferry absolutely brilliant. I clung to the rails as we heaved past the Golden Gate bridge and sea gulls flew along, skimming over the waters.

The dockyard was busy but fresh and clean and I made my way to the nearest place to eat something. I also wanted to pick up a bottle of wine for Aunt Gloria and John Uncle whose home I was going to stay at in Alameda. I chose to go to an original Italian delicatessen called Molinari. It was a classic place and I loved the sandwich I ate there. Very authentic. After picking up a bottle of wine I made my way to the dockyards again with Quest to take the ferry to Oakland. It had been a beautiful day and I looked forward to spending the time with the Nolans.

Dhruv Bogra was born in 1968 in Shimla. His father was an officer in the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and he grew up amidst the structured life of the cantonment. The turning point in his childhood came when he was sent to Sherwood College in Nainital for a few years. The boarding school life ignited Dhruv’s love for the mountains and nature. Subsequently he completed schooling from The Army Public School in Delhi and graduated with History Honors from the University of Delhi and is an alumni of the International Management Institute, New Delhi. Dhruv is an adventure and endurance cyclist who had cycled extensively in the Indian Himalayas and Western Ghats on his mountain bike before he embarked on an epic, solo and unsupported 15,000 km cycling journey from Deadhorse in Alaska to Cusco in Peru from June 2016 to August 2017. In doing so, he became the first Indian citizen to cycle solo and unsupported from Deadhorse in Alaska to Panama in Central America. Dhruv has spent the last 30 years working at leading multinationals and large Indian corporates. He has held many senior leadership roles in the retail industry in companies such as Titan Industries, Bestseller Retail and Adidas. He is currently the Country Manager for the fashion brand ‘Forever New’ in India. ‘Grit, Gravel and Gear’ is his maiden book. Subsequently, he has written a second book on his Himalayan adventures on a bicycle – called ‘Away’. Dhruv wrote Away in 40 days during the intial Lockdown in India to inspire people to embrace the outdoors and nature.

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