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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 :)!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Konkan Bike Trail (Day 3 of 5)

I cant really say the day started, we were awake all night clapping the bugs away. Nachi woke up with a hood-ed sweatshirt - he said he got that on mid night to keep the buzz away. It was as early as 5:30am, we took a quick walk down to the ST stand in the wee hours for an amazing hot cup of tea. Back at the room we freshened up and were down to our bikes for the next days ride by around 7am. We had breakfast at a nearby restaurant- tea,pohe and puri kurma. Perfect, also witnessed an early morning minor skid accident.

The bikes roared back to life as we took quick directions for our ride to Ganapatiule via Nevare. This was an internal road that led through the heart of the city then went through the hills. Soon we rode off the city and were riding through a forest. At one point we were pretty confused at a turn and a local confirmed that the road to the left went over a new bridge and to Ganapatiule. Soon the hills were left behind and we came over a huge bridge- wonderful sights with the chill and the morning sun made this a perfect weather to ride. Once on the other side the road twisted and twined and soon we were on one of the most beautiful stretches we had ever seen on this coastal ride. The road went around a hill with the cliff dropping off to the left and the ocean beyond. The road was smooth tarmac and had grills along the cliff side (it sure did resemble "Route 1" for a minute). There was a beach far below and and it looked beautiful, alas we had a long day ahead. Took a halt and many pictures at this spot before we rode on.
The road curved along , led through a village and eventually we were on the main road that led to Ganapatipule to the left. This road was smooth and our speeds shit up. Soon were approached the mandir. Made some quick inquiries before we rode inside "No Entry" to park our vehicles next to line of little shops and hotels. (8:45am 664kms). We had an amazing breakfast (at a hotel Samrat )of wada usal, Nachi's recommendation and of course loads of tea. A few snaps and off we were to our next destination -Jaigad. (9am)

We backtracked our route a couple of kilometers then took a left for Jaigad. The road soon lost the luster but was still pretty good. We could see the distant cliff for Jaigad getting closer and rode over a plateau for that cliff. Here we took a halt at a cross road and asked locals for directions to the Jaigad jetty (and also about a "Rai Bhatkar" bridge to skip the jetty) and all answers were pretty confusing. We decided to visit the fort first. There is some power plant that has come up at this place with 2 huge chimney and defaces this place to all its might.

The road ended at a fence which had the fort of Jaiad (9:45am, 684.5kms). There was a police station to the left. Here we made inquiries with a person (possibly a cop) about the jetty and bridge. He gave us precise detailed information for our next leg, also said that we should go to the Jaigad jetty and not Jambhari since the latter had smaller boats. We paid Jaigad fort a quick visit , and found it to be no different from Vijaydurgh except that this was in a more sorry state. At about 10am our engines roared back life, we took a quick left from the cross road to the jetty. The road went twisting for sometime then eventually we came to a huge port. Quick inquiries revealed -the next boat was scheduled at 12pm. A local was offering us a ride to the other side at 100/- a bike (normal cost was 75/-). Our futile bargaining skills led us nowhere, but the local was kind enough to give us honest opinions about the bridge which was some 20kms away. Eventually we gave in for the boat-ride and parked our vehicles at the ramp.

The boat this time was a pretty big - looked like a mini house boat. The boat parked itself next to the ramp and then there was a repetition of the lift-bike load-bike saga. Soon all were mounted and our boat blasted to life. Out boatman was a young lad in his 20s with some 7-8 friends of the same age. The ride was pretty good and lasted a long time, in a few minutes we rode along side a bank and went further in towards the bank of Tawsal (Tausala) village. Dolphins too made an appearance every now and then. Once on the other side the boat parked itself next to some steps (low tide prevented us from unloading at the ramp) and then we had a saga of lifting the bikes off-boat then push them some distance then lower them to the ramp side and eventually to a local's little shack (11am 686.4kms).

Here we took a long break recouping from the stress activity and enjoyed an amazing glass of Kokam sharbat followed by tea. The place was tranquil with calm quiet waters and not a soul or any sort of pollution in sight. The local's son (a journalist) spent some time chatting with us, and shared all sorts of information about the area and also insisted we do let people know about this place. He pointed out the laid-back attitude of these locals some of whom from neighboring villagers sold their land to people from the city for a low cost. He had a spark and vision in him to do so much for his village (tourism centric and educational centric ideas) and said that no one from his village will or would sell land. The talk was interesting and he and his family particularly liked our idea of a bike ride along the coast. Well at about 11:30am we took quick directions before bidding them goodbye.

The road went trough trees and eventually rode by the waters. It went twisting leading to the usual breaks of open land at intervals. We soon rode past Velneshwar and Hedvi. Somehow I totally missed our path through these places, maybe I was too engrossed to the wonderfull surroundings and innocent looks on so many faces. The looks, as Nachi later pointed out, were pretty heartening- the kids saw their dreams go past them, the old folks saw what they could never do ride past , the middle aged people simply let the bike go past. None-the-less we eventually got down to Guhagar and here we had our next activity -visit the temple. (12:35pm 719.1kms).

Shree Vyadeshwar Devasthan. Here Nachi and me paid the temple a visit while Bandya decided to guard our bags. He sat near a little shop and had a nice time talking with the shop owner. The temple was pretty neat and tidy with a throng of devotees. The main shivaling was housed inside a hall and further down in a room with a huge angled mirror on top giving us devotees outside a good view. The arthi was to start soon, so Naci quickly got his archana done. Eventually we were out chatting with the shop owner, his wife asked us to visit a Durga temple down the road. We did nod but knew we wouldn't (press of time!) (1:00pm). Our next destination was Dhopave to get a ferry to the other side -Dabhol.

The road went uphill and we passed a point where we spotted a board to the Durga mandir. The road went up down and around little forested hills. Soon we came to a point where it got pretty confusing as to where the road for the jetty was. None the less we picked the right path and were on our way via little roads with the distant ugly sight of the power plant -Enron. The road got bad and our speeds fell.

We took a left and then a steep decline and further ahead the jetty was to the right (1:30pm, 733.6kms) . The Jetty was big and there were cars waiting. This was a ferry ride, where the boat could take in trucks as well. The person at the ticket counter informed us the boat would arrive in 20mins. So we sat near a local shop and had loads of wafers, tea and cold drinks. Sitting here, the 3 of us started rapping some words. Nachi suggested I do it in Marathi and so it came "Bankot Rap" it went "Maharaj ale eke kaali, jinkale te Vijaydurgi, nantar ale teen maharathi , hote te punyahooni , tyatla ek hota Vindiii, hota Bandya ani Nachiii.. Bankot.. aha Banko". From that day on anything we did or had to discuss was always part of Bankot rap :).

Our ferry arrived and many pictures later we rode straight into the launch. The boat was packed with vehicles. In no time the launch took off and headed for the other side. People were taking pictures and videos here - obviously travelers headed for Dapoli. Once at the other side we rode off the boat and decided on or next plan of action.(2:10pm). I stressed on the idea of riding via Ladgar to Dapoli- staying true to the virtue of a coastal ride, but possibly the tiredness made them think otherwise, some quick inquiries later we decided on taking the road via Ladgar. The road went uphill and continued straight. At a pont we came at a 'T' junction and some quick inquiries later were advised to take a left. The road got narrow and carried on endlessly. The fuel indicator was raging very low for my steed and that coupled with the hot sun made me enjoy this leg a little less. We arrived at a village, a right from there got us via Borondi which presented us some beautiful views of the beach. There were various villas here and many high end sedans parked as well. Riding past Ladgar the road led away from the coast and got us to a highway. We were at Dapoli. So effectively we made a 'U' detour off Dapoli highway and were back. Some quick inquiries and waiting for Bandya later we rode into the "hillstation". This place was packed with tourists. Many hotels and vacationers were loitering around. Here we filled up gas at a fuel station and eventually a bit of hunting later crashed at a "Hotel Vrundhavan" with Veg thalli on the menu. (3:10pm , 765.2kms).

Here we took a long break. It was 4pmby the time we departed and headed to Anjarla. The road was straight and was to be good tarmac as said by locals. And so it was, the road led off Dapoli and went down straight to the coast. Then on we were riding bang alongside the coast. An amazing sight and experience- untouched and kilometers of beach to the left and the road along side it. Here we took a few halts for some snappy sessions. Harne fort was visible in a distance. Soon roads lost their look and started misbehaving with torn tar here and there. The views of the beaches from here were amazing, low tides led to the formation of wonderful little lagoons. Eventually we rode through Harne and were now headed for Kelshi where road conditions deteriorated. Eventually we rode through Kelshi. The village was quiant but its roads were better left unmentioned- pathetic.Moving ahead roads got even worse. Nachi and Bandya by now were lagging far behind. I was riding alone- force to ride standing on most occasions. I mean it was a torture on the lower side. Soon we regrouped and carried ahead at a very slow pace. The roads became really bad in patches- to a point that the faithful Vijaydurgh-Jaitapur patch seemed better. Our speeds were ~20kmph. A cyclist- all attired- was pushing his bike in the opposite direction, I did want to have a chat with him, but looking at our condition and the setting sun, decided not to. The patch soon took a right and let up a very very ugly stretch uphill. This was unforgiving, relentless torture. But every bad thing has an end, and it came. Out of nowhere the path suddenly transformed to smooth tarmac, we could ride at better speeds down the road now.

The Bagmandala creek was now visible in a distance. The roads twisted downhill and eventually defaced itself. Spotting a ferry-board we took a bend to the left that went past a village. Then the same board reappeared and pointed right, this was a steep drop down to that same village! The road straight ahead led to Bankot. So I took the lead here and dropped down to the right for making inquiries. The village was deserted and I had no one to ask directions, then saw a kid playing in the quadrangle of a house. An elderly woman there was very pleased to see me and confirmed the direction to the Jetty but insisted I stay for some time and talk. But it was getting late with the sun setting fast so I pleaded my way out. Nachi and Bandya came thudding in shouting abuses -why I did not return back to confirm the directions, and had a good laugh over the scene I had to go through.

The road led to the jetty, which had a long path leading into the water where the ramp and ticket booking station was. We could spot the Bankot jetty at a distance in the golden dusk, this was "Vishwasa Jetty"(6:15pm ,826.4kms). Had some tea a local tea shack. The ferry ride was no different from the previous, all we needed to do was ride right in. The ride went through the dark waters- it was night by now. We had a good time chatting with the guy riding the ferry. Once on the other side(Bagmandala), it was quiet evident our next halt had to be Harihareshwar. The road was straight from Bagmandala. It possibly went through a canopy of trees (I really cant comment here since bike beams were my only sight of the road ahead). Soon we rode into Harihareshwar. Here we parked our vehicles next to the temple and Bandya our hotel-man got onto his task to get us a room for the night. (7:25pm 831.9kms).

Nachi and me sat at a tea store as Bandya came bouncing in with options, we picked on one and check the room. The guy who was managing this room was a young kid and was not wiling to reduce the price. We liked the room with no beds but 5 thick mattresses :). The 2 adjacent rooms had guests. We got our place to crash. Freshened ourselves up and relaxing and joking later we went down to a hotel and had some good konkani dinner. After this we decided to walk down to the temple and then go up a hill to sunset point. The temple was full of people, possible a colony/college gang staying in the rooms and quadrangle there. They were having a ball playing all sorts of games. Soon we went up the other side up a fleet of steps but returned defeated to the dark surroundings and Bandya's suggestive ghost stories :).

We paid the beach a visit, sat for sometime yapping all sorts of things and eventually called it a day. On the way back we stopped for ice cream at a hotel where the owner gladly offered us some amazing "black current sundays". So we had 2-3 of those -each. Here we called our folks back home from the STD booth before walking back to our room. Some chit chat and lots of laughs later the night ended to the calm of konkan.

The next day was not to be hectic, as we had our target set to no further than Alibaugh. So we decided to wake up late.

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Blogger Nash said...

Yeah, the Ladghar patch was so bad and energy sapping that at the end of it we were all disoriented. I mean, I asked a guy whether the road we were taking goes to Dapoli standing right in the dapoli city limits :-)

12:27 PM  
Blogger vindy said...

Yes that patch was beautiful, but with the sun beating down at us, it was more of a game of concentration. Also later in the day, I remember Bandya asking a villager at Kelshi - "Kelshi kuthe ale ho" to which the villager replied "Aho, hyoch Kelshi- tumhala kuthe zaychaya?".. Bandya: "Bar bar... man Bankot saathi saral ka?".. villager: "Hoy .. zaun dya pude" :)

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Suryakant said...

its 2 in the night and i cant stop reading all this it was amazing experience..........

1:58 AM  
Blogger Kapil Jagdale said...


10:54 PM  

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