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Thread: Two wheels to divinity - Karnataka & Goa road trip - 2850 kms, 4 riders, 8days

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    Rusted xinfii's Avatar
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    Post Two wheels to divinity - Karnataka & Goa road trip - 2850 kms, 4 riders, 8days

    Two wheels to divinity
    A road trip through Karnataka & Goa
    2850 kms, 4 riders, 8days


    Special word of thanks to Praveen Shirali (xBhp ID - hydroxide) for his help with the route and places to visit.

    We've been wanting to rumble in the western ghats ever since we got back from the last road trip, but we couldn't figure out a way to squeeze out time to do it. So we let the thought linger in our minds, but hadn't any serious plans until one day, Praveen during lunch, says, "Hey, looks like we have a year end break." and that was it, for all we knew we were all set for another trip, and as always, with just a vague idea that we were doing the western ghats.

    A couple of weeks before ride day, Praveen meticulously begins to chalk out the trip, calls up his friends, talks to people, traces routes, and comes up with a neat plan. 8 days, Sat-Sat, with a buffer of one day just in case we decided to deviate and do some thing on the way. All set, Praveen talks to his friends Veda and Steve, they have similar plans as well, and surprise, surprise their ride dates also coincide with ours. we decide to mix plans and pick the choicest of places that we could visit. All said and done, one day before the ride, Steve and Veda confirm the ride, we are all set, Chennai Trade Center (CTC) - 4am - 20-Dec.




    Ride out
    (Chennai - Bangalore - Chikkamagalur)

    "Wake me up, when you get up" was the message from Praveen, I woke up in the morning to find Praveen's text, looked like he had hardly slept awaiting the ride. Saddled my bike and rode towards CTC, I was there at 3:45, Praveen arrived momentarily.Steve wasn't there,Praveen called him to find out that he came home late from work the last night and had dozed off. Steve asked us to carry on and that he'd catch up with us on the way. Praveen and I stared riding, slowly unwinding our way out of the city and onto the bye-pass, we decided to maintain a slow pace so that Steve could catch up. We rode for about 45 kms away from the city, decided to halt a while so that Steve could catch up.

    In about a few minutes, whoosh... zipped passed a Karizma, it was Steve. Next stop was a place a few kms after Vellore. By then it was around six in the morning, we stopped for some tea and in 15 minutes we were back on the road, from there we proceeded to Krishanagiri, where we tanked up and sped for Bangalore to Veda's place.

    Irony, call it if you may,from up ahead in a distance Praveen was waving me to a halt, there seemed to have been and accident, and Praveen was in the middle of it, talking to some girl, Praveen walked back to me and said, "Recognize her?", "Nope." I didn't. Praveen quickly pointed out that she was a colleague of ours. Her car had met with an accident, it had been bumped by a truck from behind. Thankfully no one was hurt. Having made sure of that, we hung around for some time, and Praveen gave her his number and asked her to call him if she needed any thing and that we will be in Bangalore till midday.

    From there we rode off into the maddening Bangalore inbound traffic. On reaching the agreed upon sync up point Praveen called Veda, who then gave us directions into the city, in about 20 mins time, we reach a cross road and find Veda waiting there to pick us up. We followed Veda into an unwinding maze of roads that lead to Veda's home. Parked our bikes out side and unloaded our saddle bags. Veda's mother had prepared breakfast and lunch for us, we had a different kind of roti, we liked it, watched a few episodes of "Top Gear" by then it was 1 pm, Lunch time... Veda's mother served us rice with sambar, that had a distinct Karnataka taste, we gobbled down the food, thanked Veda's mother for the lunch, packed our bikes and rode on, next stop Chikkamagalur.

    While on the way out of Bangalore, and on to the highway, we passed through a relatively populated area on the NH, the guys were ahead of me, so I down shifted and raised throttle, a few 100 mts ahead stood the Highway patrol interceptor. "Stop", said the traffic constable. I park my bike and walk up to the traffic Sargent, who said that I was overspeeding. In the meanwhile the others had parked the bikes ahead and Veda was walking towards me. Veda tried to reason with the cops, but it didn't work well since the speed limit was 50 kmph. He filled a ticket and handed me over a photo shot of me. I'd been jacked. It was a print out, which included every thing, I was doing 86 kmph, and there was nothing I could say or do, except pay the fine and walk out. The cops weren't expecting a bribe, all I had to do was pay the fine and I was free to go.

    I did that, collected the ticket and the printout, and walked up to the guys and said, "I've been jacked" and showed Praveen the print out. He immediately pulled it out of my hand, unfolded it and carefully put it in his tank bag. "We'll put this in the blog.", he said grinning. Veda then lead us out of Bangalore on to the highway to Chikkamagalur, on the way we spotted a sign that read "Cadbury", u-turn, head towards that sign, stopped in front of the gate, the guards were concerned, "just a couple of pictures" we said, they looked relived, we clicked... and Oh.. did I tell you about Praveen's DSLR?, long story, I'll save that for another day, in short, He has a Cannon d-400 with a Sigma UV lens.

    We were done in a few minutes, and were back on the road, riding towards Chikkamagalur. There were some rough patches on the road, the edges were covered with fine dust from the red mud that lay beside the road, this made cornering slightly tricky, since the front tyre might skid if you hit the breaks too hard. In one such curve, Steve lost control slightly, we had to pause momentarily, checking the bike showed some bruises to the ride and the rider, thankfully again, nothing major. Veda called Praveen, asked him to stop, Veda tested the bike, the handle bar is slightly bend, but the bike was very much ridable.

    A few kms down the road we find Praveen, He pulled out the first aid kit, I cleaned the bruise on Steve's knee, and get back on the road again. Most other people might have called the ride off, after this skid.. but Steve chucked it aside and rode on... love the spirit man...keep riding.

    At the next butt-break Veda told us that Chikkamagalur has an eat-out famous for Dosa..and for the next 100kms all I could think off was dosa. we reached Chikkamagalur in the evening, Veda found us a place and we dumped our bags in the room, and rushed (Chikkamagalur sleeps by 9pm, so we had to be there soon.) to "Town Canteen" to have "bennai dosai" as in butter dosai, unique taste, churned the dosai down. and headed back to the room to crash. The day was done, we'd topped our personal bests for total Kms done in a day, I'd done 640kms,Praveen and Steve stood close 600kms + as well.




















    Kemmanagundi
    (Chikkamagalur - Sitaliyangiri - Mullaiyanagiri - Baba-budangiri - Kemmanagundi)

    We get hot water only at 6am in the morning out here, so unlike our previous rides where we are rolling out by 4am, this time we were lazily sleeping till 6am. Praveen has a sexy Nokia tune Arabic remix which is our wake up alarm tune. Six and the phone started ringing, one by one all of us are ready, move out finish grub and are ready to roll, we ride out into the hills, first stop was a view point called "Sitaliayanagiri" we arrived at that spot to find it occupied for shooting a Kanada movie, they were shooting a song, and boy it was fun to watch, man it was comical. We shot a few pictures from the view point there watched around the shooting for sometime, by then had decided to move on, started our bikes and rode uphill, the roads were bumpy lots of dust and loose gravel, it made the ride rather bumpy, but the view of the hills was so scenic that we hardly felt the bumps.

    Next stop,"Mullaiyanagiri". This was about 10-15 kms from our previous stop, this was the next peak on the range, it had a temple with about 500 odd steps that lead to it, Me and Steve were out automatically. Praveen and Veda decide to climb, Veda treks alot so he likes all this climbing stuff, my lazy bottom wanted to sleep, so I pick a spot on a slope over looking the valley, and am eying the view, Steve is on a slightly higher point than me. We wait for about 20 mins for Veda and Praveen to get back. Praveen told me that the place had a cave and a temple, clicked a couple of photos and rode back. We had to be careful on the way back as the slope was rather steep, and it had loose sand and gravel, we carefully rolled our bikes till we hit the asphalt. next stop "Baba-budangiri".

    Baba-budangiri, this place looked like it was in China, it was a temple that was built on a peak, that had steep steps to it, no more climbing, so we look at it from a distance, more people started arriving so we decided it was time to push off. We rode on to one of our awaited spots, Kemmanagundi.

    The roads to Kemmanagundi were terrible, full of rocks and broken gravel, this made riding very difficult and bumpy, we were riding at a very slow pace 20-30 kmph, every once in while "Thump" my bike would yell, oops I'd hit another pothole, the suspension on all our bikes were in for a workout, we were in for a bumpy ride. The way was... how do I put this.. don't know, picture perfect doesn't even come close to describing the landscape. On the way, Praveen hit a pot hole, and a flutter of wings all around him, it was a pothole that had been waterlogged, and there were butterflies in it, he must have accidentally disturbed the water and the butterflies took to the skies. Praveen was surrounded by little fluttering creatures, "It was awesome" he said.

    We reached Kemmanagundi at about lunch time, Kemmanagundi is a small hill station, there aren't any "tourist spots" for you to pick on, you trek down the horse path, and every sight around you is amazing, we had a solid meal, and decide to visit Santhi falls, its about a kilometer from where we were. We could take the bikes upto a certain point, but beyond that we needed to park and walk. The falls was quietly tucked into the forest, we shot some pics, and moved on to z-point. I need to break, "Nature call", so I split while the rest proceeded to z-point.

    By the time we were done, it was around 4-5 pm, heading back to Chikkamagalur via the same route will cost an easy 4 hours through the forest, we decided against it, and opted to detour through another route that went around the hills and connected to Chikkamagalur. The route back was through small villages and stretches in the gaths, the place was so dark that the night sky looked amazing, we could see so many stars, Praveen wanted click them, so we proceeded while he tried a couple of photos and caught up. The air was very chilly, and the ride back had made us hungry, back to town canteen it was, and before we knew it, we were gobbling down dosai after dosai, done with dinner, and tired from a bump-balance workout in the hills, we wanted to crash, back to the room it was. Praveen asked me to check with Veda and Steve as to what the plan for the next day was, did so, and agreed to push out by 7:30 am.
































































    Kudremukh
    (Chikkamagalur - Kalasa - Kudremukh - Udipi)

    Started at 7:30 am, the initial stretch for about 10kms was bumpy, followed by some of the best twisties I'd ever done, second only to Munnar, there were the odd rough patch here and there but for the majority of it the roads ROCKED!. We were throttling in excess of 60kmph around corners, the strip was lush and serene, trees on both sides, coffee plantation, and a river on our left, now..now.. does it get any better than this we thought, soon to find out that the better was en route. Veda, wanted to shoot the ride with his camera, so I helped him tighten the camera strap around his neck so that the camera was at about chest height, The camera was rolling and we got a couple of neat videos, actually they were pretty good considering that they were shot riding. We spot and off-road trail that lead to the river, we took it and shot a few snaps there, our next stop was Kalasa.

    We reach Kalasa, Veda had been here before about a year back, he lost his phone, and one of the locals there had helped him a great deal, so Veda wanted to stop by his shop and say "hi!", we were busy gobbling food, while Veda walked up and met his good Samaritan, Veda was surprised to see that that man actually recognized him. Veda spoke to him and came back, "We need to try Gadbad, in Udipi" he said. We were done there, and started to ride to Kudremukh, I simply loved the winding roads, so I sped ahead, a few kms uphill was the check post, I waited there for a good 5mins, no sign of the guys. So I rode back, there was no reception on the cell phone, so calling was out of the question, so now...where do you look for a bunch of guys on a scenic road stretch, sided by a stream..?hmm.. well, I'd look for them in the most broken down off road that lead to a place where any one with an ounce of sanity would not take a bike in, and sure enough there our boys were. They had spotted an off road that lead to a river that was knee deep at places, I rode down and got my bike in to the water, the water was cool, the pebbles below and the crystal clear water made the place look.ROCKING!. Couple more photos and we packed our saddle bags back on the bike and rode towards the check post, the guard at the post gave us a slip to enter the reserved forest, picked it up and rode on.

    We rode into Kudremukh, it was a sleepy town with a hand full of people, it was an iron ore mining plant previously untill the SC declared Kudremukh as a reserved forest and sanctuary so the ore company had to go. We rode up to a dam, that was built for pollution control, Pictures are not allowed, but we managed to convince the guard who happened to be from Pondy, to allow us to click a few shots, that he did, and we moved on, down the road and into the forest, the sight we saw, I cant explain it well enough, but it was majestic, to say the least. Golden yellow grass, backdropped by lush green hills, and a perfect road that lay between them,I can write on and on as to how the grass was, how the blue-green river was and on and on.. but honestly you'd have to be there to feel the place, and this place ROCKS!, five minutes into this place and this place own3d us for life already. Cameras were clicking, we dint even have to look for a photo shot, turn point and shoot every thing looked amazing.

    After the photos, we rode out of the section, slowly, we wanted to visit another water fall on the way from Kudremukh to Udipi, by the time we reached that place the evening was closing in on us, and the guard had locked the entrance to the falls, Veda managed to talk the guy into giving us a 15min window where we could quickly go take a look and walk back, about 200 steps to the waterfall said Veda. "You go" said Praveen to me, and I did, the water fall was nice, high water, deep gorge, it all looked great up until the point where I had to climb back up, huffing and panting like it was nobody's business, managed to make it to the road,Phew! "finally" I thought. Veda picked up the guard and dropped him a few kms down the road, and off to Udipi it was.

    Reached Udipi, at nightfall, found a place to crash, dumped the stuff, Veda recommended a eat-out here in Udipi that was very famous, so thats were we were headed, we go to this place called "Diana", we ordered food, and top it up by one Gadbad each. Gadbad is a layered dessert, it has layers of fresh fruit and dry fruit that is sandwiched by ice cream, served in a tall glass, it tasted good, and had Steve hooked. We finish the grub and head back, by then we notice that Veda's bike is leaking oil, the ride at Kemmanagundi had taken its toll on the bike, fortunately, it wasn't very bad, it was leaking drops of oil, we decide to top up oil.Udipi again was one of those towns that slept at 9pm, so we had to fish for a gas station, buy, top up oil and head back to crash.








































    Kodachadri
    (Udipi - Maple - Kollur - Kodachadri)

    After a steaming hot bath, we head out of Udipi and towards Kollur, on the way we detour to Maple beach, this is a shipbuilding yard and a fishing community, we ride through the place and into the yard, there were fishing boats on one side, and the ship building yard was on the other. We could see people lining up for work in the morning, there was a ferry from this place to an island called St Mary. We decided that the ferry would cost us too much time so we chuck the plan, in the mean time Praveen was out clicking pictures, the place was flocking with eagles, all the fish from the boats attract them here, and Praveen captured some neat shots of the birds in the air, with a couple of photos of the ship building yard we were out and back on the highway to Kollur.

    On the way we stop for a tankup, Veda detoured to meet his friend whose native was a place very close by, so we proceeded knew he'd catch up, on the way to Kollur, a slight extend was Marawanthe beach. It was a beach side road, looked amazing, and the road was actually about 100mts from the sea, we stopped there for pictures, in the meanwhile Veda caught up, we were having food near the beach, at some forsaken place, the food was bad. I was the only one who finished my noodles, Steve and Praveen dint even touch what they ordered, Veda blasted the guy at the place for the pathetic food. And so we ride on, to Kollur, the roads were good so we made good time, reached Kollur sometime in the afternoon. The guys had lunch there, and from there we started to Kodachadri.

    The roads that lead to Kodachadri, were deluding,gave no indication of what we were in for, the roads we were riding all along, up until a point where a left board read "Hotel Kodachadri",was ridable, we stopped to pick up some drink. I proceeded straight, promptly to be honk stopped by Praveen, "This way dude!" he said, it was a path filled with gravel, and Oh yes, that was the path that led to Kodachadri, there are two ways to describe the "road" to Kodachadri, one, NO ROAD, or gods own dirt track, we prefer the latter, ride and rock, and boy we rode. Kodachadri is about a 15 km uphill ride, and you can mark UPHILL in all caps, the track was filled with red mud,stones and rocks, and I mean ROCKS. The ride was steep, as in the bike never got past 1st gear, the path was cleaved by water running downhill during the rains, they had dried up now, cleaving the surface beneath creating trenches, and this was our dirt track. "We need to ride past three hills to get to Kodachadri" said Veda, and we hadn't even started. At the first slope Praveen stopped for a picture, "I want to get this steep" he said, one right turn lead to another slope twice as steep as the one we had rode past. The track was also narrow, had enough space to accommodate a four wheel drive, the Mahandria Jeep. In most places there were rocks jutting out of the surface, had to watch out for them, since, if they hit your chassis or worse your engine case, could cause serious damage. Dodging past the rocks and maintaining the climb we reach a wide enough flat surface to park all four bikes without obstructing the jeeps bound uphill,our first pit stop, the engines were fuming hot, we got down from the bikes, and looked around stunned by the beauty of the place, with enough cooling time for the engines, we started again, "Maintain distance let the guy ahead of you finish the slope before you begin climb" said Steve, this way in case the guy climbing needs help you can act quickly, else all will be stuck.

    On the way up, one of the jutting rocks, got Veda's bike, the front wheel climbed the rock, but the chassis was nudged by the rock, toppling the bike, Praveen rushed from above, I from below and picked up his bike there was a small fuel spill, the bike was locked on gear so it wasn't slipping. I held it back in position, no visible damage. Praveen double checked the bike,itched the ignition a couple of times and the bike roared back to life, I checked on Veda, it was just a slip. We were back on the track in no time, I rode ahead, did a couple of slopes further before parking. Stopped to jot down what I was seeing, a couple of jeeps passed us, the guys in the jeep were waving at us, probably getting accustomed to the fact of seeing a bunch of nut-cases, dirt tracking uphill, soon the guys caught up, few more slopes and we had climbed hill one. Wow..one down, two more to go.

    This was a wide stretch, it was comfortable to park the bikes, step down, and we were awestruck, the sight was plain, outright AMAZING! but that wasn't enough for Praveen. He had to climb a hill which had no path, picked up his 220, that way he pointed and reved the engine to life, struck the gear and grass rode up another hill, from below I could see the bike getting caught up in the grass, Praveen carefully maneuvered the bike till it refused to climb any further,bet the got a better view of the valley,standing a 100 feet above us.Veda parked his bike and walked to the spot where Praveen was with his bike, and as usual just as Praveen wanted to turn the bike around, he realized getting up was the easy part, turning the bike on the slope with no traction was a whole different story, thanks to Veda, with a little help holding the 160kg machine from slipping the duo managed to twist the bike back down hill.

    By now my engine had gotten so hot, that the vasaline on the electrode tips of my battery was melting and dripping. In a couple of minutes we were back on the track, riding the rest of the two hills was not that difficult, baring the fact that the sun was shining and blinding us, we were ok, battling the slopes, We reached Kodachadri, one temple and two houses. Parked our bikes, Veda went in, the host let us stay in his house. We managed one room, dumped our stuff, washed, gulped down warm coffee and Veda dragged Steve for a trek to a temple about 2 kms uphill. There were a lot of people, well about 20 people, thats a lot of people by my terms, anyway, Veda kept telling Steve, "Come on man, few more steps and we can see the sunset" ( gross hox, we had a solid kilometer to go, had Steve known this he wouldn't have bulged ).

    The trek path lead us through, slopes, before disappearing into the dense vegetation, reappearing on the other side, to find a local,( Local here means, they are from the same house we were staying in ) selling butter milk, we gulped, 2 servings each, before climbing again. The view... what can I say.. "AWE-STRIKING", We were at the temple, the sun set was at about 5:45--6, by then the people were moving out, We almost had the whole place to ourselves, We were sitting on a rock behind the temple. The next time some one says "Feeling on top of the world" and you are not quite sure how that would feel, as us, and we will tell you exactly how it will feel, It feels something like this <pic>.

    Praveen wanted to stay on top till it was dark, but Veda suggested we get moving since the terrain gets tricky in the dark, so after the sun set photos, We proceeded downhill, in about 20mins we reached the foothill, Veda went in a confirmed that food will be served at 7:30,boy how overjoyed we were to hear that. This riding and workout left us famished. We asked for some coffee, and were sitting on a wall, gazing at the night sky, and the number of stars we could see, Veda helped Praveen spot a satellite, Praveen was thrilled,like, how do I put this.... "like a 10 year old, after opening his birthday gift". "Dude, I never thought you could actually see a satellite from here" he said, he was thanking Veda. From where we were the light from the single bulb near the temple was distracting the view, so we decided to move further down where the light would be cut off, that we did, walked and picked a spot that was dark, sat on the ground, staring at the night sky, we were like a bunch of five year olds all excited to see a country fair, too see such a clear night sky. Praveen zapped out the DSLR, worked his magic on the cam, set up the tripod, and clicked the night sky, and boy what a sight that was, We saw the haze in the sky, the Milkyway, We sat under the clear sky yapping. Dinner time! we move in, chat over dinner, and then settle down to crash for the night, and Oh.. we also heard Veda's views the Ramayana and Mahabharata, but thats a topic for a private blog , We need to get up and start rolling by 7:30 max said Praveen, so he set the alarm, too bad it wasn't the Arabian chicks dancing tune .
































































    Post limit reached. Trip log continued below.
    Last edited by xinfii; 01-01-2009 at 01:52 PM.
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    Travelogue Approved.
    Seems like a fantastic journey, will go through all of it and comment!

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    Post Two wheels to divinity - Karnataka & Goa road trip - 2850 kms, 4 riders, 8days contd.

    Trip log continued...


    Jog Falls & Om Beach
    (Kodachadri - Jog Falls - Honavar - Gokarna - Om Beach - Karwar)

    Woke up to the Nokia alarm, it was freaking cold, the wind was howling outside, no one was in any kind of mood get up, lots of coaxing and finally we were up and ready to roll by 7:30, thanked the host, got his number, by the way, Tata Indicom has reception there, ( only there I must add ). The down hill ride, was just as tricky, you cant stand on the breaks, while going down hill, engine breaking was the only way. The down hill strip was talking a toll on Veda's wrists, We stopped for a few breaks, and in about an hour and a half we were out in to the gaths, riding to board a ferry, ripping through the un-laid roads of gravel. Steve and I were riding together, Praveen and Veda ripped ahead. Nowhere to be seen for about 10minutes, so much so that Steve and I thought that we had lost the way, confirmed with a guy on the road,( the only guy on that road ), we were on the right road, speeding through the gravel and stunned to find the road suddenly give way to the backwaters so abruptly that it almost felt that we had opened the doors to another dimension, and what timing, We were spot on for the ferry ride, this ride actually lasts for about 10mins, but saved us about 3 hours of round trip, on the other side of the lake we unload our bikes from a ferry that was carrying 2 trucks a bus and 7 bikes. We had bought bread and buns fearing that if our luck ran out in Kodachadri, at least we need not have to starve the night, the bread and jam summed up the morning meal, and off we were to jog falls. On the way in a small town, Veda checked to see if he could get this bike fixed, the guys at the service center, changed the oil seal, meanwhile, the others stopped for breakfast, in 30mins time we were riding to Jog falls.

    Though there wasn't too much water at Jog, the falls was majestic. Veda wanted to walk to the foot of the falls, 1000 odd steps he said, all three of us were automatically out this time . We waited another 2 hours before Veda was back, We got back on the road heading towards Honavar, at Jog we met a couple who had drove from Chennai in a Santro, I dint catch the name, so bear with me, lets call them Mr & Mrs Santro. We told them about the places we'd been to, bid adieu and rode on, stopped at Honavar for lunch, and guess what Mr & Mrs Santro walking out of the same hotel, and moving to pretty much the same places, quick lunch and we rode back to Gokarna, Gokarna is a small settlement close to Karwar, its a religious place, and also attracts tons of tourists, we rode up the hill on the way to OM beach, the beach is called so, because the beach looks like an OM, the beach was very nice, we spent some time at that place and then rode on to another beach in Gokarna, this place was a little crowded, so we nudged our way out and found a secluded spot spent some time there, watched the sunset, and then pushed off to Karwar.

    Veda called up his friend checked out the places that we could stay in, on arriving at Karwar, the first hotel we tried was booked, seems like there was an election, Veda checked out a few more places and struck neat deal, 250 rs a room, We booked two rooms, Praveen and I stayed back while Veda and Steve went to eat, we asked them to pack some food for us,that they did, Steve's obsession with Gadbad had manifested itself, he washed down a couple after the meal, he said he liked the ones here better, from that point on, Steve wanted Gadbad for breakfast,lunch and dinner. Done dinner and crashed.


































    Goa
    (Goa - Karwar)

    We left for Goa, the roads from Karwar to Goa were good, We had a good 30Kms to cover before we entered Goa, with good roads we rode swiftly to the state border,stopping in between for the odd photo or two, we stop at a bridge, Praveen checks his chain and it needs lube,so he asks us to carry on while he rode back to the room and lubed the chain, we arrive at the state sales tax check post, the guard at the post promptly stops us, "Documents" he said, we showed him the documents, "Originals" he said, by then we knew he wasn't interested in our documents, 100 bucks a bike was the best we could do, Praveen arrives at the post, the guard stops him as well, we pay up and leave, Veda however managed to sneak past his bike, and when the guard asked for the documents he said I have them all, so we shell out 300 bucks and ride on.

    First stop, Palolem beach, We arrived there after riding through a maze of street shops, we parked our bikes and as we alight them, a guy at the parking lot asks for 15 rs per bike, Veda was visibly irked, "What?" he demanded, there was no way Veda was letting some guy at the beach rip him, We are not parking here was the verdict, the rest of us however were ok with paying, but stuck with Veda, so we decided to chuck the beach, besides it was crowded any way ( yea yea.. the grapes are sour ). We rode on, next we decide to go to Agonda beach, we ride and arrive at the spot we loiter around riding aimlessly on the road, we find a road that lead up hill, thinking we could find a secluded beach, tucked away from the rest, We ride, and ride, and ride, loose sight of Praveen who was leading, the road was bumpy, but was nothing compared to the roads we had been riding on over the days, we followed the road, but to our disappointment it connected us back to the highway, cursing ourselves for the round trip, and having lost Praveen we rode back. No reception on the cell phone, so calling Praveen for a sync up was out of the question, wondering where he would be we ride back and park our bikes near a shady cluster of beach shacks, We step off our bikes and try figuring a way to trace Praveen back, I turn around, and notice the tail of a red 220, could that be Praveen?.

    Steve rides to check out, and as chance will have it, It was him, he'd lost track of us too and parked his bike hoping to track us down some how, so we cluster our bikes together and stroll to the beach, and boy what a sight (the water I mean), it was a private beach ( no it was not that private ), ok... ok... get back in here. The water was blueish green and the waves were soft, you could see the yellow sand under the surface of the water, that was all the motivation I needed, I decided I'm gonna jump, "Do you mind if I took a dip?" I asked the guys, "No" they said, I had no clothes to change into, it was just what I were wearing, but who cares, I strip and take a plunge, the water was cool, I stray a decent 30 -40 feet from the shore where the water a little above neck high, then lazily swim, there was an elderly couple swimming about 20 feet from where I was, I dint want to get any closer and invade their privacy, so I stayed out, dint venture out too far, and made sure I was in sight always, both the guys to me and I to them. It must have been like 10-20mins in the water, and Veda could not resist the water, "I cant swim" he said, but had made up his mind that he was going to "face his fear", he is down to his bare minimum, and into the water in no time, We keep it close, to about chest high this time. Veda seemed to like the water, " I must learn to swim" he kept saying. I stray a little into the waves and then got back, We idle in the water for some time, and Praveen signals its time to move.

    We stepped out sundry ourselves, and slip on the jeans over the wet undies, knowing that the sun ride will dry it up in a jiffy. On the way back we stop at a shop to pick up some drink, asked about nice places to visit, told the guy at the shop that we were on a time budget and so we needed only the must see places, He popped up a local tourist map of Goa, Veda picked that up as well, and we rode on to the next stop.

    Carbo de Rama Fort was next on the list, We rode to that place, It has been declared a national monument, but we have managed to use it as anything from a graffiti wall to a canvas to declare how much dirt bag "A" loved brain dead "B", baring that the the inside of the fort had a house, and lots of surrounding space, a defense and watch tower, that a spectacular view of the beach below, it was a rocky beach, with the water so blue that you could see the see weed and rocks below, and the coconut trees bending over the beach was a feast to the eyes. There were a few other foreign tourists, we waited until they were done taking pictures, When Praveen was about to shoot a picture through one of the posts on the watch tower, an elderly man stepped in, promptly his wife, cautioned him, "No problem, please carry on" said Praveen, "Are those your bikes" asked the lady, "TN, Tamil Nad" she said, we were impressed, that too to hear that from her, "Yes" we said "We are on a road trip, we have been riding from Chennai", "Oh,Chennai!" she said, "We go there, every year, on our way to Andaman and Nicobar" she said, what she said after that had us awestruck, "Is this your first time here?" Steve asked, no was the reply, they have been coming here for the past 10 years, they stay in Germany for 6 months and spend the winter in India, so 6 there and 6 here.We asked them for places that they'd recommend us to see, most of them we'd already been to, bid adieu and leave for Madagon.

    Lunch is here we decided, after fishing for a neat place to eat, we settle in for the one that Praveen spotted, we order grub, the place was A/C which was a relief after all that sun ride, We finish the meal, by then we had decided that we did not have too much time left, so we needed to pick one more spot and that was it, Baga was decided. We begin ride to Baga, through Panaji and to Baga, We park our bikes in a make shift parking lot, a big open area that had been converted to a parking lot to manage the traffic that was bound for Baga, and we could see why!, one more odd thing that we noticed about Goa or at least the places that we visited was that there weren't too many people on the streets, thats weird we wondered, we step in to Baga at about 4:45 - 5, the beach is flocking with people, we rent a bed on the beach for 50 bucks an hour, we could not spend more time than that there.

    Steve and Veda wanted to jet ski, so off they went, our riding gear and stuff was on the bed, and I was lying there, Praveen went out to take pics of Veda and Steve, The beach had pubs, karaoke bars, eat outs, when we went there was a disc that was playing some techno party music, that with the bed and the see breeze was amazing, slowly as night set in, the place started to come to life, lights more people, then I realized.. life out here starts at 6pm and rocks all night long, no wonder there wasn't anyone around during the day, Praveen was in love with the place, we shoot a couple of pics, and decide to pack up by 6:15, we had about 100kms to ride back to our room at Karwar.

    On our ride back we stop at a bridge, Praveen sets up the tripod for a picture of the bikes with the traffic and lights, we then ride out as we reach the outskirts of Goa, there was a check post, there were a couple of cops that were doing their routine "check", cheap .... .... .... ... ( fill in the worst possible abuse you possibly can think of, those cheap ... deserve every singe word ) they stop us, the regular crap, "Documents" and you know the drill, but one dumb ass pretends to be the most duty conscious cop the planet and side lines our bikes, We had our docs in tact, and he obviously cant find anything missing, but makes us wait for a solid 45 minutes, and there is another dumb ass, that was drinking on duty, had mixed booze in a thumbs up bottle and was drinking on the road. Praveen, Veda and I get our documents back, but Steve's docs are still with that guy, I mean if you want the damn money, freakin give us a break and say so, instead these poop heads play us for 45 minutes, then we managed to talk to one guy, and got to the point which said, alrite how much, 800 bucks, he said, and that very duty conscious dumb ass, was the one who accepted the money, literally squeezed it out of us, talk about organized crime, this is as organized as it gets, cursing those guys we finally ride out, we rip out on the highway, sync up near the Karnataka check post and decide to ride as a group, fortunately we weren't stopped here this time. We rode out to Karwar, the first hotel we spotted was almost closed and had only non-veg, turned it down, rode on, and spotted a hotel in Karwar, finished dinner and crashed.
























































    Ride back
    (Karwar - Dandeli - Darwad - Devanagere - Chitradurga - Tumkur - Bangalore - Krishanagiri - Chennai)

    We started late from Karwar, by the time we left it was around 11 am, We rode through Dandeli, which was a forest, for most of the part the roads were ok, but we hit a rough patch for about 10kms that ate away our time, We then rode towards Ramnagar and Londa, We were heading to Belagum, but a check on the map, showed that we could detour and save around 60 kms, but Veda wanted to pick up some famous sweets from Belagum, so we split, and decided to sync up at Darwad, Veda rides on, and we ride to Londa, which was a 5km ride back, Londa looked like a ghost town, just one railway station two streets summed up the town, We spotted a place to eat, and thankfully the food was good, We ask the owner of that place for directions, We tells us that and alternate route through Khanapur, Bidi and Kittur through to the GQ is a better option than Ramnagar, We opt on that and ride on, good roads, bad roads, bumpy roads...after a mix and match of these on the way, We hit Kittur and spot the GQ, and man it was a feast just to see the highway, We connected and ripped through the highway like dogs unleashed, after a comfortable 50-60 kms ride, We call and sync up with Veda who wasn't far behind, We take a couple of butt breaks and Veda arrives, We then ride together till Darwad, Veda needed to pick up more sweets from here as well, so he detoured and we proceeded. Our idea was to push and reach some location so that then next day when we rode back we were comfortable getting back to Chennai, do our target was Devanagere, 160kms from where we currently were, we push and with a little bit of night riding, we make it, locate a place to camp for the night, the guy had a 5 bed room, we picked that up, dumped the luggage, and ordered dinner from room service, Praveen and I had soup, the open visor ride was giving me a brain freeze, Dinner arrives, and guess what Steve ordered.. yup, Gadbad to top the meal up.. we are out soon after dinner, the next day we wake up and are rolling by 5-30, we ride on in the morning cold, we did not have thermal wear that could battle the cold wind on us, but we battled on, we stopped for Fuel at around 6-30 am, from there proceeded out of Chitradurga towards Tumkur, we stop at Tumkur for breakfast, Veda orders for "tatha idly", the idly was baked flat and in the size of a dosai, I liked it, but Praveen preferred a dosai, finished the meal and were ready to ride, the ride from Tumkur to Bangalore was swift, and at the outter bye-pass we parted ways with Veda, "Till next time" we said, and proceeded along the Hosur road to Krishanagiri, Praveen called up his brother and fixed us a meal at his place, we reach there by 2pm and decide to push off by 3, and on time we were, tank up the bikes and ride out of Krishanagiri, Praveen and Steve zipp past me, I was riding a steady 85 kmph, we sync up at Vellore, and then ride on, by then it was getting dark and we wanted to cover as much distance in day light as possible, We reach Chennai at around 7 pm, Praveen and Steve are waiting near the highway, We sync up, and splilt, Praveen heads home, Steve too, I have another 20kms before I reach, "Take the bye-pass" said Praveen, I did, and reached home in about 30 mins.

    The odo read 2887kms, Two thousand eight hundred kilometers across, GQ roads, serene gaths, coffee plantations,road side rivers, dirt track ride, on top of the world peaks and get wet beaches. We rode out naive and returned with an experience of a lifetime. And "Was it worth it?" if you ask, "Hell yea!" will thunder four voices.



































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    Thrills of Touring

    A touring blog with tons of bike trips across India!

  4. #4
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    Amazing Ride and great pics as usual.
    Ride Safe. Respect others on the road.

    Safety never hurts

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    another fantastic ride there xinfii and a very well narrated text of your style as usual...

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    Not yet gone through the log....
    but amazing pics.....

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    This is huge.Will take some time to go through it.

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    Thanks for the credit folks. I forgot to mention... This time, the text is from Allen. The pics and compilation are my contribution.
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    Awesome log Allen(If I am not wrong).....and the pics are fantastic!

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    Amazing write up...

    Few things which I can add...

    My gloves was lost in the tea shop where praveen was appling first aid to my wounds.Veda lost his gloves in Gokarna.

    Riding a bike with a bent fork for 2500+kms was not as easy as it looks, but thanks to the zma I managed it.

    P.S Gadbad Rocks ...anyone from karanataka not tasted it please do so...

    Some pics from my end...



    More pics to follow
    sakshar likes this.

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