Monday, March 29, 2010

And I ran like Mad !!!!

It was the Runners For Life (RFL) Mad 5 run on March 21 and I ran like Mad. 
It was organized to mark the 5th anniversary of RFL.Just on the previous day, I was back from Tumkur biking and Ramedevarabetta trek. I was feeling very lazy. Upto the nth moment, I wanted to skip the run and just sleep. Dont know what made me wake up early at 4:30am and go for the run. My legs had not yet recovered from the previous day fatigue. Just thought of giving it a try and have some cake :P
Again, set off at 5:30am with my Suki to Prakruthi resorts near Devanahalli airport. Reached there by 6:15, warmed up a bit with 2 of my Moto-colleagues and got ready for the race. It was a relay race. Teams of 5 were formed randomly. Each lap was around 450mtrs and the total time given was 1.5 hrs. The team which completed the maximum number of laps was the winner. Initially I thought it would not be a gruelling one when compared to half marathons. I was out of practice and I also told one of my colleagues that this is one such race where the beginners' luck would work. I think I was wrong .... Luckily or Unluckily, my team had good runners. One guy was a Sunfeast 10km winner and the other was in Police dept. The other two, had practised this format of running and were well prepared. I was the only  outcast. I had to keep up with them, and didn't want to be a spoilsport. Had to sprint for 450m and my next turn would be within the next 7-8 mins. It was gruelling. I initially thought that the relaxation time between 2 runs would be sufficient, but nope... you dont' even get enough time to have a cup of water and get your breath back. Still, had to push... I averaged around 110 secs per lap. Every runner was given a token during his lap and he was supposed to drop it in a drop box with his team's number.
And it was our team that topped. We did an unbelievable 52 laps in 1.5 hrs. That comes close to 23.5 kms in 1.5 hrs!!!!!!!!!!
AND YEAH!!! THIS WAS MY FIRST EVER WIN IN A RUNNING EVENT!!!!!!!! I got Rs.3k worth Nike voucher from RFL !!!!!!!!

All credits to my team-mates. It was only because of them that even though I had still not recovered fully from the previous day's trek, I was motivated to put my best.
All throughout the run, it was the running spirit that prevailed.One young girl <10yrs old ran along with her father in another team, and she did better than most of us!!. Could see people even with injuries running without quitting. Needless to mention, the cake and breakfast was like a soothing balm on the pain :) Heres the official writeup on RFL website.

Tumkur- My second long drive with Suki (20th march 2010)

Met Karthik while going home after office on Friday. Surprisingly, both of us didn't have any plans for the weekend. Our visit to Shadakshari's house in Tumkur (Singapore friend) was long due, more so after he was promoted to Fatherhood. We couldn't meet him when he was here on a vacation. Nor could we go during his daughter's naming ceremony. Thought of meeting his daughter. The plan was formulated instantly.
Left Bangalore at 8:30am on my suki. I was planning all along to somehow include a small trek today. Passing by Dobbspet, I noticed the Nijagallu betta just opposite the Kamat Upachar. Thought this could be a nice candidate on our way back. But, destiny had some other plans.

Still my bike was in its break-in period. Not allowed to go more than 60kmph... It was nearly 10:30 when we reached tumkur. Shadki's brother Himanna, came immediately with a wide smile to receive us near the SIT. It took no time for him to recognize the trekkers in us. He promised to take us to a nearby hill, once we get refreshed and hes done with his work in a couple of hours.

Next couple of hours was for the curricular activities. Played with Shadki's daughter, talked about the good old days in Singapore with Uncle and Manju akka, had a feast of jamuns and chapatis. By then, Himanna came in, and it was time for the extra-curricular activities now. The hill he took us to was Ramedevarabetta. It's just behind the Siddhaganga mutt. The access point was through Madanayakana halli. The hill was the highest in the surrounding area giving good panaromic view of Tumkur city.

The climb was steep in a few places. Recollecting all the food we had in the morning, we took not more than 1-1.5 hr to reach the peak. The peak has a small temple, again in ruins. Its said that Lord Rama had stayed at this place during his Vanavasa. There is a beautiful pond full of lotuses within the fort wall. Of the history whatever remains on the hill is the temple and the remnants of fortification by madanayaka. Another interesting thing we noticed was something like the 'seeteya seragu' near Hampi. The mineral deposit or difference in rock formation had led to a strip which was running through the rocks for more than 100mts.

The hill and the surrounding scrub forest seems to be inhabited by wild boars, rabbits and many species of birds; which was evident by their faeces. We could also see the forest burnt down in many places by miscreants. I hope they at-least had a faint sense of the damage they are causing. Nature takes centuries to build an ecosystem; which can be brought down to ashes by one spark from a fool's brain. Same goes with civilization; the uncivilized have always won over the civilized. While it takes centuries to build a civilization; one barbaric invader can bring it down in days. Atleast in case of well known protected forests, if fires broke out, it would be a news. There would atleast be some efforts to put off the fires. But, sadly people dont' consider these scrub forests as forests; encroachments, quarrying, hunting, forest fires are rampant. The apt word for this is 'ಅರಣ್ಯರೋದನ'.
Himanna seemed to be knowing each corner of the hill and the ruined fort. With his stories about how the thieves would rapple down the steep cliffs stealing sheep to the stories of quarrying, time flew rapidly. Munching over the 'ಕಡಲೆ ಪುರಿ' we descended and headed towards the siddhaganga mutt. Since it was 3pm already, ದಾಸೋಹ (prasad) time was over. We visited the main temple and headed towards the tatte idli hotel on the Highway.
Just then, I got a call from my cousin who knew that we were in Tumkur to see Shadki's daughter. He enquired us about the angels' name. Name??........ Myself and Karthik were staring at each other. hahaa... I love this carelessness that comes with being single. We had spent almost one full day over there; and I thought since we couldn't make it to the naming ceremony, we were there today.
I'm glad that we still had that carelessness carried forward from our college days. Even during my recent konkan trip, our boys demonstrated that in many places. All were present at the railway station in time with their bikes, but while paying for the ticket, each one scratched through his pockets saying " I thought you would've got the money". At times, such carelessness might seem irritating, but you'll love it. It shows that you are still not fully affected by the radioactive hazards of "Ageing". And it means, you still feel the whole world is your home :) I still can't stop laughing when I recollect this incidence. And, BTW, the angel is named "Khushi". :) Enquired about it later on :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Today it was my turn to give it back...

I would've told many of my friends how we were tortured to puke out money(as bribe) to get back our bikes at the Bangalore Railway station after the Konkan trip. I would never have bribed anyone, but we were at the receiving end that day. If we had argued with the railway police (whose name was Ramesha), he would've somehow squeezed out a few millilitres of petrol from the fuel tanks and screwed us. Even if one of us had argued, our whole group would have landed into trouble. I hate to be in such helpless situations. My heart said not to bribe, but logic told us to pay and get out.
Today it was my turn. In the process of discovering some new route to airport road from BTP which would avoid the main road traffic, I somehow landed on the wrong side of one-way close to the airport road flyover. I don't know if there was any sign board or even if there was one, I'm not sure how visible it was. Somehow, I was in the wrong direction and spotted by the traffic cop, for reference his name was Basavaraju.
I explained him in simple words that there was no sign, or the sign was not visible and I landed up there by mistake. He insisted that I had to pay the fine. It was fine with me, but I wanted a receipt. Now, the guy started backing off. He didn't have a receipt book. He gave me a choice, to pay 50Rs on the spot or to pay 100Rs once I get a notice sent home. Saying so, he started the delaying tactics; he started handling the traffic, talking to someone, etc ... showing off as if he was too busy to handle my case. After a few minutes, he came back to me asking what I had decided; wheter to pay it on the spot or pay it at the station. I again said, anything is fine with me, given a receipt. He delayed for some more time, asked again if I was ready to pay and finish it off, else I would have to go to the station and pay it. I calmly said that the station was close by my house and it was OK with me to take that trouble. I was enjoying this... it was so funny to see him come back shamelessly again and again asking for bribe.
Finally seeing that I would not budge, he let me off with a shrinked face. He noted down my number, but I'm not sure if he would really send a notice home. His only intention was to make some quick money; for which I didn't co-operate. I'm not bothered if I get a notice or not.
But, I'm happy that I was in a position to say "NO" to corruption atleast this time. Don't know if one gets that opportunity everytime.
Oh God !! please give me the courage to say "NO" everytime.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First long drive with my new bride 'suki'

It was a sad thing. I had no other choice.. I had to move on... i agree that she had been a good companion to me all throughout for 9 years, but she was too urban type. She would start crying if I tried to take her on a long drive towards the countryside. She also hated the highways. She would start shivering if I tried to speed up on highways. Though I loved her a lot, I had to move on....

The day had come. On March 1st 2010, I brought home my new bride 'suki'. I had to shell out 68k as dowry :( And as the age-old proverb goes, "10 men can stay together happily under a roof, but 2 women can't stay peacefully ", I had to handover my first love to my uncle.
With a heavy-heart, I handed over my bajaj-boxer to my uncle, who paid me 8k as compensation. Hmm.. one has to move on in life...
I had already bored my new bride Suzuki GS150R a.k.a suki for one full week by taking her all along in the city. In contrast to boxer, my suki hates city traffic and loves the countryside just like me. With 6 speeds, shes' made for the highways. She can be a bit troublesome in the cities while changing gears as she has 6 of them. Can't help it "Love ke side-effects"...

She was continuously persisting for a long drive. On 6th March, took her on a long drive to SRS betta (Sri revanasiddheshwara betta). Karthik, who also owns a GS150 joined me along with his friend Varun. Infact, it was after driving Karthik's GS150R that I had decided to own it.

Man.. my suki was so smooth on the highways, that I sometimes dozed off while driving. I felt it tough to keep her under 60kmph. She was still in the break-in period and I was not supposed to run her more than 4.5k rpm.

SRS betta is around 50-55 kms from Bangalore, near Ramanagara. To reach there, one has to go to Ramanagar, take the road on the left going towards Kanakapura. After about 10kms, theres an arch indicating the road to SRS betta. The hill is only a couple of kms to the right from that point.
Left home around 9am, met Karthik and Varun on the Mysore road - Ring road junction. Had tatte idlis at Bidadi enroute and reached SRS betta by 11:30am. Though the road upto Ramanagar was dry, it was a different world from there on upto the SRS betta. It was greenery all around. Too many lakes and well irrigated fields dotted with cranes.
SRS betta, like many others of its kind is one of the highest monolith rock in the surrounding areas and ofcourse is a religious place. The hill has a renuka devi temple below and the revana siddheshwara temple is inside a cave on top of the hill. The climb is short and steep. Steps are carved all along the hill (without which climbing it would've been really exciting) and railings are provided. There are a couple of water ponds on top of the hill to collect rain water, which are in bad shape now. The zenith has 2 small mantapas. Further down one can find the cave temple. Looks like monkeys rule the place. After all, it is "Rama" nagara. View from top is amazing. Greenery and lakes everywhere even during this dry season. Another strange thing we saw was, some "tayita" kind of thing tied to all the trees enroute the hill with plastic bags. Looked like an eye-sore amidst the wilderness.
We were done by 2pm. Heard there was prasada provided at the "dasoha bhavana" below. But, we were full with liquid diet (3 tender cocunuts each). Summer heat.. feel like drinking more than eating. We decided to postpone our lunch till we reached bangalore. We took the route via kanakapura to reach bangalore. We were back to Bangalore by 3:30pm.

My suki loved this drive :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Experiencing the curves of Konkan on bike (17th Feb to 23rd Feb 2010)

Vasant was coming for 3 weeks to Bangalore in hope of interviewing a few frenzied candidates eagerly waiting for this “American”. It was his desire to re-live the konkan trip we had 5 yrs ago (during the monsoon of 2005). This desire made us plan for this bike trip of konkan.

During our previous konkan trip, we had felt the pinch of not able to cover many places in the limited time we had. Places were abundant but accessibility was sparse. Still, we had covered Ratnagiri, Ganapatiphule, Guhagar, Chiplun, Dapoli, Hedvi beach, Harnai beach, Raigad, Lonavala(lohgad, visapur fort, Bedse and Karle caves), Alibaug, Kolhapur and many smaller places enroute. Having that in mind, we decided to try bikes this time. Plan was to ship our bikes on train and cover konkan as much as possible in 4 days.

8 men (myself, vasanth, ganesh, nagendra, raghu with his pulsar, naveen a.k.a kaat with his bullet, Vivekananda alias bigman with his cbz and shiva with his pulsar) and 4 machines, with 4 districts of Maharashtra (Kolhapur, ratnagiri, raigad and Satara) as their target set off on 17th feb.

This was the route planned:

18th...Kolhapur-panhala (fort)-Ratnagiri-total distance 132kms
19th..Marleshwar (shiva temple in a cave)-sangameshwar-ganapati pule-Parashuram temple-Dapoli -total distance 160kms
20th..Suvarnadurg (sea fort)-Jaigad -Panhalekaji caves and Unhavare hot spring ( all this is in and around Dapoli itself and will consume a day) optionally Diveagar(better beach than ganapati pule 40kms from Dapoli)-Janjira fort(sea fort 12kms from Diveagar)
21st (if diveagar then Raigad)-Mahabaleshwar else add panchagani-Karad total distance arund 130kms
22nd...Karad to kolhapur(Mahalaxmi temple) board the train- last day only 55kms.

Day 1 :

Task was to ship our bikes on the Rani chennamma express. All bike owners were present at the railway station 3 hrs in advance. Thanks to the corrupt and greedy system, we ended up paying 4k for 4 bikes ((ill)legal charges) + 150Rs per bike for packaging + 500Rs to the Kooli to load our bikes. Intotal 5100Rs for 4 bikes !!!!!!!!

Bikes loaded, we headed towards our coach, after long hrs of chit-chatting, we called it a day.

Day 2 (18th feb):

Train reached Kolhapur on time (1:40pm). To our surprise, we didn’t have to pay a single penny to get back our bikes. In comparison to Bangalore, kolhapur looked honest atleast for now. Filled both, our tanks and the bikes’ tanks and headed to Panhala. It’s a quite scenic hill station about 25kms from Kolhapur. We could feel the temperature dip suddenly as we cruised through the winding roads. Reached Panhala at around 4:30pm. Hired a guide(for 100Rs), who was thin enough for a triple-ride on Kaat’s bullet along with me.

Panhala fort is said to be the largest among the Deccan forts. The fort has a well-sculptured life-like idol of Baji Prabhu Deshpande, in war-pose, erected in honour of his sacrifice during the conquest of Panhala from Adil Shahis.

Our guide showed us the teen darwaza, ambar-wadi, huge granaries, Konkani-darwaza and many more places like temples and palaces. We were all done by 6 and started our journey towards Ratnagiri. It was on this stretch that we had the first experience of the curves of Konkan. Steep curves, well-laid roads, well-behaved traffic; what more can a biker ask for? Kms passed by smoothly until we were just 20kms away from Ratnagiri. The massive bullet driven by Ganesh gave up in the middle of nowhere with a broken chain. While Shiva, Raghu and Naveen went ahead to look out for help, it was time to experiment with SLRs for Vasant and myself.

It was late night (around 11) by the time we loaded the bullet in a lugguage-auto and transported it to the outskirts of Ratnagiri where some help could be available early morning next day. Had dinner at an about to close dhaba and retired for the day in a lodge nearby.

Day 3 (19th feb):

Since we had time till the garages got opened, we decided to visit the bhagavati fort in the meantime. With one bike down, we were 8 on 3 bikes, driving on a foggy morning, to a sea-fort around 4kms from the city. With green grass all around, it looked as if we were driving through a golf course.

We quickly looked around the place without wasting much time as the bullet repair was still pending. Had breakfast, rushed to our rooms. While others got ready, I was the chosen one to push the monster upto the service station along with Naveen.

It was past 11 by the time we left from Ratnagiri to the next spot on our list, Marleshwar. It was a nice 1-1.5 hr drive on the winding roads with the majestic sahyadris in backdrop. Marleshwar(a.k.a Kailasa of Sahyadris) is a cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva with a beautiful waterfall nearby. All the while I was only trying to imagine, how much more beautiful this place would look during the monsoons. It is said that this place will be full of cobras and snakes during monsoon. We found only a small one in-between the rocks nearby. Most of us were tired after the steep climb to the temple. While others decided to relax near the cave; myself, raghu and vasant thought of a better idea to cool ourselves, by standing below the waterfall. It was a fun run on the banks of the stream upto the waterfall and back; it was worth the effort.

Next spot on our list was sangameshwar (about 30 kms from Marleshwar) at the confluence of Sonavi and Shastri rivers. It has 2 age old temples (said to be dating back to the Mahabharata) Karneshwar and Sangameshwar. Karneshwar is very richly carved and somehow reminded me of our own Hoysala architecture.

It was already 5, and the next task was to reach Ganapatiphule before sunset. Ganapatiphule was around 40kms again. Thanks to the well maintained roads in Ratnagiri, we managed to reach Phule by 6pm. Ganapatiphule boasts of a 400 yr old Ganapati temple right on the beach with the Lord facing the waters of Arabian sea. The beach is said to be one of the best in Konkan. Spent some nice time playing in the calm waters during the sunset.

Our initial plan was to drive upto Dapoli and halt for the night. Locals told that the drive was around 150kms+ on the highway. There was a deserted short-cut road, which would save us around 60kms, but they discouraged us from going in this wee hour as we could easily get lost. Stayed in a home-stay at the village for 800Rs.

Day 4 (20th Feb):

Strolled along the white sands of Phule, made sand-man :), filled our bellies and left to Guhaghar. The road we had to take was through the newly constructed Bhatgaon bridge. It was pleasure again driving through the curves. Farmers were burning the weeds and paddy grass leftovers in their fields as a preparation to the next sowing season. Smoke on the hills, made is look as though we were driving through the fog.

Made a quick visit to the Hedvi beach enroute to Guhaghar. Our boys were badly complaining that they couldn’t play to their hearts content at the Phule beach. We promised ourselves that we’ll not spare the Guhaghar sea as well as the sun.

As soon as we reached Guhaghar by 12:30, Shiva’s pulsar broke down. Back tyre punctured. Luckily there was a puncture shop nearby. With all the torture Shiva’s pulsar had to undergo, it looked as though Shiva’s pulsar was this Dr. Punctures’ first patient. We had no other option though…

Post lunch, we hesitantly entered the waters of the beautiful beach with heavy bellies. The sun did whatever he could to prevent us, but we urchins did whatever we could too. Played to the fullest, got buried in sand while the rest showed their erotic artistry. Left the beach at 5 after trying all various types of drinks. Headed to the Veldore ferry terminal. Didn’t have to wait much as the ferry was waiting for us J. Dabhol creek shimmered in the evening sun as we crossed. It was hardly a 15 mins drive and it saved us around 50kms on road. On the Dabhol to Dapoli road (after 4kms), is the famous Chandika mandir. It’s a cave temple 20ft underground supposed to be aging back to the Mahabharata era. The idol of Goddess Chandika is swayambhoo and looks stunning in the lamp lit cave.

It was only a few kms that we had crossed, the most anticipated incident happened, the stitches sewed by Dr. Puncture of Guhaghar had given way. We tried using our handpump to inflate the tyre and reach the next village where some help was available. But, as it was already 7 plus, the garage was closed. Luckily we found a lugguage auto going to Dapoli who was happy to help us. Dapoli was around 20kms far, and the auto driver just asked us to pay whatever we felt like.. when asked about his charges. Hmm… looks like greed has not yet reached certain parts of India. He was happy when we paid 250Rs at Dapoli. While Shiva and his pulsar were being carried away, Kaat’s bullet was the Knight in the dark carrying 3 of us with ease. At Dapoli, we got the tube replaced and retired for the day.

Day 5(21st feb):

With all our luggage in our rooms, went to visit the sea fort of Suvarnadurg off the Harnai beach, 16kms from Dapoli. Road was not one of the best, considering the Konkan standards. But, it was being repaired.

Harnai is a hard drive-in black sand beach. We could see autos and motor bikes carrying people/fish going to and fro on the beach itself. The beach itself was a fish market with bullock carts plying to and fro from the fishing boats carrying the days’ catch. The boat ride to Suvarnadurg took around 30mins and the sailor charged Rs.100 per head (which included the guide fees as well). The sea fort looks massive and strong bearing all the brunt from the waves. But, from the inside it had given way to forest. Our guides into the fort were the boatman’s children.

Returned back to Dapoli to have our brunch; collected our baggages and headed to our next destination which was Wakawali (around 20kms) from where Unhavare hot water springs and Panhalekaji caves were 10kms each.

We first decided to have a look at the Unhavare springs. At first sight the sight looked boring with steaming hot water coming out from the earth’s crust. It was around 2 in the afternoon adding to the sun was the heat from the spring; which made it difficult to even stand nearby. Surprisingly our boys decided to take a dip at the Unhavare Jacuzzi. It was worth it.. the water had just a faint smell of sulphur. Once in the hot water, it relieved us of all body aches haunting us. The bath was rejuvenating indeed.

After such a nice hot water bath at the Jacuzzi, it was natural for our guys to lie down once they reached Panhalekaji caves. Only I, shiva and Nagendra went around the massive hillock with caves being dug all around it while Vasant followed some models (buffaloes) persuading them for a photo shoot.

Don’t know how the hell those people found so much of free time to cut 29 caves out of the hard granite. Man.. it must’ve taken decades. These caves are said to be more than 1000 yrs old (maybe dating to B.C) when Buddhism was at its zenith in India.Located on the banks of Kotjai river, the never ending line of caves transported us to another age imagining the Buddhist pupils in orange robes and shining heads walking along the riverside.

It was 5 when we left this place. Our target was karad via C. We had heard that Chiplun has a temple dedicated to Lord Parashuram, only one of its kind in the whole of India. To our bad luck, we learnt that we had passed it enroute at the Parashuram ghats. It was nearing 7pm and there was no chance we could go 8kms back to see the temple. Decided to quit on the temple and go ahead to Karad. Karad was about 110 kms away. We had to reach Karad by night as that would secure our chances of reaching Kolhapur by the next day afternoon. We didn’t want to take chances by having to travel large distances on the last day and risk missing the train. All the exhausted faces had their jaws dropped down when they heard at Chiplun that the road to Karad was through ghat sections. Adding to that people warned us about the ghats being notoriously prone to accidents.

But believe me, this turned out to be one of the best rides. 4 bikes in line with no overtaking moved on the winding roads like knife on butter. By now we had to plan our fuels so that by the time we reached Kolhapur,we could run out of it. And as it was dark we didn’t want to risk one of our mates left out due to bike problems struggling to contact the rest due to network unavailability. The whole journey went smooth, until 25-30 kms from Karad where the front tyre of Raghu’s pulsar got flat. Luckily the tyre was still able to retain some air, and with the help of our footpump we managed to reach the puncture shop. After all these adventures, we were at Karad by 11. And by the time we booked rooms and settled down, it was 1am.

Day 6( 22nd feb):

We were out cruising on the highway to kolhapur by 8am. Through the 80km journey, kms passed by like the rupee jumping on the Bengaluru auto-meter.

We were in Kolhapur by 10:30am, visited the Mahalakshmi temple and took our bikes to the railway station. First task was to empty the fuel tanks. We were always skeptical about running into problems while shipping our bikes from a new town with people speaking a different language. At first, the station master refused to allow 4 bikes at one go in a train giving reasons of perishable goods(which get first priority). Later on, we slowly found out that his refusal was only to extort some money from us. In comparison to Bangalore where we had to pay separately for the guys who packed our bikes, porters who placed our bikes in the lugguage compartment and needless to say about the bribe given to the officials. It turned out relatively simple in Kolhapur (a city alien to us in comparison to Namma Bengaluru). The porters charged 160 per bike (charges included packing and porting). And the station master agreed to make 2 separate challans including 2 bikes in each. He charged us 3k for 4 bikes (legal charges being 2.6k).

Slept through most of our journey with some bird-watching sessions in-between. Our boys exchanged 2 of our seats in another compartment and found out that the compartment was later occupied by a big group of college girls. Poor we.. :P spent most of our time trying to figure out how to get back our lost seats.

Day 7 (feb 23rd):

The train reached Bengaluru in time(by 7:40am) and we were back to our own greedy and corrupt Namma bengaluru. All the fun we had in the past few days drained down seeing the railway officials openly begging for bribe. Firstly, we had to pay the officer for doing a great treacherous job of signing on the challans (80Rs). Next was the shameless railway police.. he started arguing with us saying we had not emptied the fuel tanks of our bikes and he’ll lodge a complaint against us. He argued saying he could easily take out 3 litres of petrol from our bikes. From inside, we felt like challenging him by asking him to do so.. but as all knew, emptying a fuel tank without a single drop of petrol is next to impossible. Though not 3 liters, even if he could collect 100-200ml of fuel from all the bikes collectively, he could screw us. We were at the receiving end, had to shell out around 400Rs. This was discounted price, since we had one ‘policana maga’ in our group. May God save the rest. This was not the end, we had to shell out another 200Rs at the exit gate. Again thanking the Railway policeman for doing his duty of signing us off, we paid him his dues. As if this was not enough, porters swarming us to unpack our bikes. Just imagine the plight of new comers to Bengaluru if this was the reception localites got. Can’t help it.. however it is, it’s “Namma Bengaluru”.

Thus ended our bike trip with a few new scratches added on our bikes, few more kms added to our tachometers and loads of memories/fun added to our hearts.

To summarize in few words, though we couldn’t see as many places as we had planned initially, we savored whatever places we could cover. Had pavs until we could have no more (Vadapav, usal pav, missal pav, pavs and pavs for all meals. God knows who taught those people to eat pavs). Drank to the hearts content ( sol kadi, kokam kadi, jamun juice, kachcha aam juice, amla juice.. wow so many varieties. Needless to say, boozers had their nights too). Winding roads, lush green fields, pristine beaches, mountains piercing the skies, forts adding a few more metres to the mountains, smiling people and lots of fun; that’s Konkan.

Here are some photos. And here are some more.