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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 :)!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Konkan Bike Trail (Day 2 of 5)

Dawn sparked with Nachi's many wakeup calls stating at 8am. Quickly we scurried off our beds, rushed out to the boiler. This was an unique experience, getting out and siting next to the fading furnace to fill in water. Well soon we started getting our share of tea, pohe and upmas and were ready by 8 am. A few more snacks later we warmed up the engines, got attired for the days ride, settled the amount with the owner and were off to the nearby fuel station. It was ~9:40am.

The Vengurla Bazaar had pickup up life and there was a never ending halt in that little lane, soon the deadlock cleared and we fueled up at the nearest pump. From there we learnt we had to backtrack the bazaar and take a right to get to Malvan. The road led up a hill and twisted up giving us wonderful views of the ocean through the bushes lining the road. Soon the ride went through a patch of land as the road led as straight as it could to infinity - a barren patch on both sides and the black carpet beneath. The drive was wonderful and we crossed a wonderful bridge- the first of the many bridges we were to cross. Had a quick photo session and off we were towards Malvan. By now Bandya set the standard of racing ahead and clicking us as we rode in and I followed suite :).

We arrived at a 'T' junction - left led to Malvan/Tarkarli while right it we went towards NH17. We decided to halt at Malvan for breakfast near the S.T. bust stop at the same restaurant we had breakfast on our previous trip. Once at the S.T. stop we darted into the hotel and ordered some tea and a few snacks- Bandya cannot live on tea alone and that's written. Time was ticking at 11am, with 449.3kms on the odo). The waiter was the same enthusiastic guy single-handedly managing the whole crowd and also the constant batter of a guy seated next to us who was on some race to get what he ordered fast and gulp it the minute it was placed on the table. Amazing breakfast and re-living some old memories we took quick directions for Devgad (11:30am).

We had to back track a little and then take a left near some scrap yard as the road- a really bad patch- went through some not so good surroundings of marshy land. With the sun beating down at us and the roads- being the inner roads- kept our speeds at bay, but still we were getting some quick patches where we could see the endless road and let the needle turn at will. Soon we were riding by many political-party flags and saw the typical stage being setup for some 'bhashan' -philumi istyle, we went ahead and the the road took a dip to the left through a thick canopy and led to a village- A few locals confirmed it was Devgad ahead and the road behind led to Vijaydurgh. We decided to pay Devgad a visit. The road got narrow and led along side the waters to our right and ended at a gate. We went in, but decided not to linger around much- It was the fort of Devgad we were in. Here we got down to a little coral beach to the side, took some snaps, stretched ourselves before leaving for Vijaydurgh. (12:40pm, 504.1 kms )

The ensuing part of the ride was pretty much event less with us riding through similar landscapes. In about an hour we were at Vijaydurgh(1:50 pm). We were more interested in the port, since we needed to cross the huge bay to the other side. We rode alongside the waters and soon spotted the wonderful fort of Vijaydurgh. We rode right in and asked locals about the boats to ferry us. Everyone said the next boat to leave would be at 3pm. Some even said due to low-tide the boats would not leave. One very kind local at the fort suggested we take a new bridge -Ambarli bridge- which was supposedly some 20 kms away to get to the other side, he also pointed out in the distance, across the waters, to some mud cut area saying that's where the bridge was. He was a nice guy and invited us to visit "his" fort :). Well we took our steeds to a hotel Suruchi parked it there and had the best konkani lunch! Man having local food is precisely my idea of a perfect meal- not the paneer crap. Post lunch we went on to visit the fort, I had to pull the tired Nachi and Bandya in (or so I thought). The fort was pretty clean and surprisingly not in shambles, much of it was reconstructed and it looked like a strong fort. We set a turn-around time of 3pm and down we were by that time, only to be told by the locals that there were no boats - we had little choice but to ride down to Ambarli bridge. (15:05pm ,534.4kms)

The rest of the ride was going to prove to be a test for our patience, concentration, physical-torture etc etc. The initial section of the road was good and it seemed pretty cool and pretty much what we experienced earlier. Soon we came to a junction and on inquiries were directed onto a dust path. Some 2 wheelers coming off the opposite side confirmed our direction. (I guess we were at 'Padel Thitta'). The road was a mere dust path with stones strewn along and cut rocks along the side- this road was to be built soon. Our speeds fell considerably as the terrain shifted from bad to pathetic to worse and the color of our pathway transformed from shades of brown to black to white. The "road" went through a pass cut through the hill and led down a steep descent to the left and a few twists later we passed a little bridge hardly 30 ft in length and the scene re-iterated itself to the other side. That was the much hyped Ambarli bridge?!- that puny little thing we passed to torture our ass for the last over 1/2 hour! NO- we were to be proven wrong.

Soon the dust path ended to a good road as we reached the middle of nowhere with a whole bunch of stone workers at a mine. All of them were pretty exited to see us red-clad clowns attired under the beating sun. We asked them for Jaitapur jetty. Here there were mixed opinions, a couple said they would not load enfields on the boat- they suggested we take the road to Rajapur on NH17 and drive around the creek to the other side of Jaitapur. A quick discussion later we decided to ride down to the jetty and take all what comes at us. So we went straight across towards Jaitapur, very soon we came at another cross road and here we took a left along a good looking road and ended up at a village. There the friendly locals spoke a lot and assured us that all bikes could be loaded in the boat and directed us some 10 kms back along the road we came and go straight up till a big hut like structure from where we were to take a left. So we did that. This patch was an ugly tar road . It was bad. Slowly inching ahead. There were times when I would race ahead and wait for for my compadres to team in.

Soon we came at something that looked like an intersection with a broad mud path (no different that our previous - only broader) leading to the left. A couple of vehicles came in from that side, and they confirmed we had to take that path. A local standing near a house like structure confirmed the same "Aho hyoch rasta hay .. Highway hay hyo!" - He called that darn path a highway!!. He said the path ahead along the tar road led to Rajapur. We had little option and in we threw ourselves to the mud path. Here we rode along the corners of the path where it was relatively better- that meant 2 things: 1. Our asses bore less torture and 2. We could have a smother ride. But that had one drawback: at certain points when we had to get back towards the central section it translated to slips and skids. Our speeds were roughly 20 -30 all along this path as it went from village to another and finally through a cut mountain pass and LO!!!! We were on this huge bridge that crossed the creek with the ocean to our left- AMBARLI BRIDGE!. Yeah man we rode across with our thumbs up. The mud path ensued to the other side and soon it ended at a silk smooth tar road it had a board Jatapur to the left- some 10 kms!

From here we zipped, we threw ourselves at the road and made up for all that torture. This seemed like silk skidding over butter for our lower sides and we sped as the milestones zipped by 10 -9 -8... 6 I stopped for a snap as Nachi and Bandya passed and on - 5-4-3-2 .. We were at Jaitapur (5pm, 581.1 kms) as we saw the port. It was extremely small and simple, a quick inspection got our horrors to light - we had to load our steeds on a fisherman's boat. A few inspections and apprehensions later we decided to cross by boat. It was a macho task lifting those enfields manually onto a little boat- lots of sweat and muscles later all 3 steeds were on boat ready to ride across. The boat-man was very confident and said he did that every day and assured nothing bad would happen. We enjoyed it :). In 10 minutes we arrived to the side side. The unloading saga played in reverse. Again a drain of sweat and energy. We were on the other side by boat! There was a bridge being constructed across the creek and that would translate to a dip in the bat-man's wages. Local's said the work was in full swing and that the bridge should be done in a year. Had some quick refreshments at the local shop with kids darting in for their own tit-bits "taai 2 rupaye che goli dena - 3 rupaye cha icecream dena" etc. It was very relaxing. A few inquiries for directions and we pushed on for our ride ahead. (5:30pm, 581.1kms)
Our road for the rest of the ride was to be via Pawas to Ratnagiri. Some locals suggested we could also stay Bhatye. We rode on. The road was amazing and very smoth - highway standards. Soon we passed though Pawas, there was possibly some function on at the Samadhi there as the whole village was bustling with people. Soon we rode through some amazing twisties as we neared a beach that we mistook for Bhatye, moving on we arrived at Bhatye with the sun fading (6:40pm, 632.6 kms)). Here I called Prasad to check if he could arrange for some accommodation at a hotel in Ratnagiri, but he said that all were full. None-the-less we moved into an over crowded- mini metro city of Ratnagiri. Nachi and Bandya did the hard part of searching us a room as I guarded our bags. We were to lodge at Shraddha Lodge.(7:15pm ,635.1kms)

The lodge was perfect and bang amidst the bazaar. The room had a double bed and I opted for the floor. Here we relaxed. Later took a quick cold shower, which was rejuvenating after the torture we were put through. Soon we left for dinner. Me being familiar with this place, took us by rick to a Hotel Amantran. Had an amazing Konkan meal with "Wade" (Puri like rotis). Back at the lodge, we laughed at our original prospect of riding to Hedvi. The night was sleepless with the blood thirsty mosquitoes making sure we did not sleep.

The stop for the next day was to be Harihareshwar or Diveagar. We were pretty exited for this day as it was to cover some interesting points of Guhagar-Velneshwar, Dhabol and also 2 boat rides!

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Blogger Nash said...

Soon we left for dinner. Me being familiar with this place, took us by rick to a Hotel Amantran. >> Yeah right!! This was after u said aare its nearby... dugh dugh dugh and dugh dugh dugh

12:10 PM  
Blogger vindy said...

and I still remember the look on Bandya's face as we drove down in that rickshaw .. "Vindya .. areeyyyy... kaay .. ha zawal.. chayellaa..." and you went "Bag na .. mahane .. 2 minute by bike.. saral dug dug dug dug ... mag left dug dug dug dug" hahaa.. But still we enjoyed the meal did'nt we ;). It took us 10 minutes by rick right :) hya hya hya haaaaa

2:46 PM  
Anonymous suryakant said...

mazya ghara (padmavati) pasun swargate [paryant tari aasel te distance....chalat nenaar hota......

1:04 AM  

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