My Realm

Meet me - know me - read my posts and try to figure me! Well I am someone who is always thirsty for adventure, someone who simply hates playing sheep(u know the types - follow the herd!). An enthusiastic trekker, who loves to travel and ever ready for one of those wierd new found sports- luv to make new friends and njoy being my family's pet :)!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Marathon Bike drive (Part 3 of 4)

The day had a sluggish start with cold water for bath and slow wakeup calls for all. Soon by around 9 am most of us were down at the dining room for morning breakfast and tea. Idlis, wadas, upma madeup for the morning food. By around 10am we were all ready and set to get our engines roaring out of Gokarna village. We took our first halt at a local petrol pump where I filled in full. Soon we were off through the narrow street till Madanagari and took a left to get towards Karwar(our first synch up point).

The road ahead was pretty much the same as yesterday (I mean .. the traffic rate was almost the same), we drove past many little hamlets till we reached the final Ghat road that led curving down to Karwar. Here we hit our setback -a Traffic jam. The twisted road was lined with Trucks and cars. None seemed to to be moving even an inch ahead. Fortunately we bikers could maneuver through the pile and ride amidst the 2 opposite lines of trucks, I did have a close call at one occasion where an idiot truck driver was driving with his brains on the wrong side. Eventually the road cleared up and we could see why the jam took place, they were all lined up to get to the docs. What a line it was.. must be atleast more than a couple of kilometers long. Soon we drove past the bridge with a clear blue ocean to our left and finally took a halt near our Rabindranath tagore juice 'wallah'! (~11:15am)

From the juice wallah we learnt, he was from UP and was always on the move. Many a juice and chats later we planned on our next halt to be at Madgaon,Goa. So off we took on our bikes and I set trail in the trio of Nachya, Yogya and me. We drove past a bifurcation to Devbaugh beach (but could not plan that for press of time), as the drive changed faces from thick trees to lined tall trees on either sides of the road. Soon we hit our first checkpost, where the cops let us bikers pass with just Nachya showing his license. Soon the road got wider as we rode through nice green jungles, the road was not the best what one can expect but it was pretty fine. The road at times went twisting twining through wide hairpin bends and at times went straight for long distances with empty land on either sides, we took our first halt near a petrol pump that had no petrol to offer (the bullet was running short on fuel- not too less through). Soon the roads got too narrow to a very small gully (it was too hard to believe we were on a National Highway!). Lots of traffic jams and a few bumps later we arrived at Madgaon. (~1pm).

Some searching for a hotel later we settled for one. Bandya and Chikka came chugging in last with a new pair of foam pieces on which chikka was seated. He was burnt up with the ride, he had to get some comfort and they did that at Karwar we learnt and paid some 100 bucks for the pink and orange polygons!

Lunch was sumptuous with veg and non veg thallis just that the solkaddi was pretty wierd in these parts. By about 2:30 pm we were on our ride to Panjim. The roads were wide and big and was full of traffic. Soon we hit the Panjim bridge with all the traffic, here Dhanya and me split off from rest of the group as they stopped for fuel (we had pre-decided on not wasting time in waiting for others and to be in pairs). After over a few kilometers we took a halt an another petrol pump where Dhanya had to fuel up. The road post this went up and down witha lot of traffic. It was not good, no one seems to follow rules and it looked pretty bad. But soon all this changed and we started driving back in the greens, the roads got narrow and wide at will. Soon we drove past Checkpost 1 and eventually through Checkpost 2 (Both being Goa exit posts ), the cops were not interested in checking us bikers. The plan was to drive down ~100kms and take a halt at the nearest destination. Many an occasion we would have to overtake huge trailers driving down thin streets eventually we decided on halting at Swantwadi for others. Here we stopped at Hotel Kamat where we had tea and lassi, the time was ticking at 4:30pm. Ratnagiri did not seem to be a probable destination which was some ~2.5 hours from here.

We spoke with rest of the gang here who were trailing us by over 12kms at a place called 'Bandha', they asked us to ride on and finally keep the sync up point at a place called Kudal, from where we can contemplate our halt for the night. So off we took and rode past the Sawantwadi Lake down the black carpet through canopy trees. This stretch of road from Sawantwadi to Kudal was the best I had seen the whole ride- it was flawless, wide, less traffic, beautiful surroundings and no brakes for speed. The road went twisting and twining at wide turns as the sun played a shy game through the shades of the thicket above.
Soon we reached Kudal at about 5pm and it took over 1/2 hour for the rest of the group to team in. Here we learnt that Bandya was given a speeding ticket for driving at 65kmph and Amit was fined for not havng a PUC! Wow !

At Kudal started the game of contemplating on what to do, Dhanya spoke to a friend of his who said she could arrange for rooms at Malwan (which was some 20kms from this place off the highway to the coast of Tarkarli). We also spoke to a local mechanic at Kudal who gave us precise directions to Malwan and also suggested on how we should return back to Pune the next day via Bawda Ghat and Kolhapur.

So off we took to Malwan at ~6pm. The road went through narrow streets as we twisted and twined through a couple little hamlets in a single file. Much of the road was under construction and it was a pain trailing a truck spitting dust all around. Soon we met StateHighway-115 at a wide juncture to a Ghat which went twisting and twining and eventually to flat land as the road led to the city of Malwan. (~7pm)

Here we stopped at the ST bus stop from where Dhanya confirmed directions for his friends place. Soon we rode down extreemly thin bazaar roads jam packed with people and vehicled! It felt like driving in Tulsi bazaar at Peak hours! Soon we pushed past a couple of super bikes (yieeekss!!!)and finally at his friend's dad's jewllery store.

Mr. Kirloskar was a hospitable man and treated us with soft drinks and soft talk at his shop and also made us all arrangements in the overbooked Malwan city. Soon we followed one of his helper boys who took us to the beach coast , but we pleaded guilty to the fact we were tired and needed to take rest. So he took us to a marriage hall, where 2 rooms were arranged for us. Anything was better than nothing and at 150/- a night it was a priceless deal!

Here Bandya, me and Nachya took a walk down to a tea store had some amazing tea before we settled back to our rooms. The rooms were decent enough and we pre-decided not having a bath the next day. Later we walked down the streets of Malwan bazaar as we searched for a restaurant. We got ourselves one and we sluggishly waited in queue for some place for the seven of us. The restaurant was a wonderful place and the food was mind blowing, typical Kokani food - the non-veggies had a blast so did us veggies! :-).

Post food we took a stroll down the bazaar roads joking and yapping till the river front. The river front walk was pretty decent and we spent some time here, "Sindhudurg killa" was faintly visible in the night mist. Lots of talking later we walked back to our rooms. Nachya, Bandya and me stayed back at one of the tea store and had mid-night tea also with some yapping as we got back to our rooms and slowly and lots of talking later settled back for the night at ~12:30am. It was decided we do Tarkarli beach the next day in the wee morning hours (if anyone woke up that is :-) )

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