It was around 1.30 pm, and we decided to stop at Jaigarh for lunch. Now, one of the reason
I do bike tours is to taste the local cuisine. The idea is to stop at non fancy
little places where locals eats
. After a bit of searching ,
we located a small local eatery where some
truckers had stopped as well.
The place served some great bangda( mackarel
) thali. Here again, Krish, Sumit
and others had started getting bored with the konkani
cuisine. Sumit complained about lack of variations and said he can't take any more
of that konkani
fish curry. But, it was my first lunch of the trip and there was no way I was going to give up. I gorged on the fish and topped my glass of solkadi
I finally get to my share of Magic
I was still looking out for the 'spectacular' part of the ride and even starting to get a little impatient. A lot has been talked about the amazing views the route offers, but they had eluded me. Post lunch, the terrain seemed to have eased a little and the climbs were more gentle. It continued for another 10 km like that and after a sharp downhill, we found our self on a road right next to the beach. My first real view of the sea and the sand. Someone said 'lets
get on to
the sand', and we rode right on the beach.
It was one one of the hardest sand beaches i
have come across and the ride along the sea made the day. The evening sun shinning
, the cool breeze on our face, the hard sand beneath the tires with not a soul in sight. I finally had my share of the Magic I was so looking forward to. For 5 long kms
, we had just the sea waves giving us company and then we got onto the tarmac again. One more hill and an hour later, we were at Ganaptiphule.
Unlike Guhaghar, this was a much bigger town. After a shower and visit to the famous Ganaptiphule temple, we walked down to one of the eateries that the locals recommended. Everyone was super hungry and we gorged on the food. Food was great, and that place seemed to be a hot
fry was the best I had in a long time .
On the walk back, we stopped by an ice cream parlour
and chit chatted on
the great time we had over multiple cup
Day 2 ( Ganapatiphule - Ratnagiri-Pawas-Adivare ~85 km)
We were all ready to start by 7 am, when one of us noticed that Varun had a flat. Apparently, Varun had missed inspecting his tire before the trip and has been having frequent flats since the last 4 days. On inspection, we realized there was actually no rubber in multiple places. Every change of tube in no time resulted in the next flat. It took some ingenious effort for the team and we eventually managed to start the ride at 8.30 am. Now we were not sure if his time is going to last even for the next 5 km. The plan for Varun was to somehow reach Ratnagiri and then try looking for some tires. And just hope for the best:-)
After a nice long climb, we were at the outskirts of ganapatiphule, entering bhandarphule. Memories flashed back and I remembered my trip 15 years back when me and 2 of my roomates had taken a bus down here from pune and stayed at one of the cliff view resorts at Bhandarphule. From bhandarpule we had taken many walks down to Ganapatipule. 'The town has changed', I told myself .The familiarity made me feel good though.
The Magic was Back!
The terrain kept heavily rolling. The road cut through the western ghats like the day before, but this time we were right next to arabian
sea offering us terrific cliff views. The Magic was back. It kept on like that for a pretty long time, and we kept shuffling between riding and taking pictures. It was the best part of the trip for me !
Cycle touring can be taxing on the body, and mind
. Many times, when the going gets tough, I tend to ask myself why
I am doing this? Is it worth the suffering ?
Part of the answer lies in roads like those that makes
you forget all the pain.
The Tire Hunt for Varun
After many breaks, we reached Ratnagiri. On priority was to find a replacement tire for Varun's Bergamont. It was not going to be easy because the rim sizes used on these bikes are slightly different than the local rims. I mean different sizes. And guess what ?
We actually found a shop who has tire
for the rim! We were elated and celebrated the occasional
with a lavish spread of breakfast on one of the local udupi
we were greeted with some relatively flatter roads. The terrain was barren with open fields on both sides. We pushed on hard to cover some lost time, but the afternoon sun with and the occasional long climbs made it harder and harder. Finally
we stopped at a lone shack on top of one climb.
After 30 min or so, I woke up to the radio playing some lovely old kishore kumar songs and amidst some vada pav and misal pav related discussions. Aparently those were the 2 options available to eat. All of us feasted on both, and followed up many glasses of Kokum Sarbat.
The long rest has recharged us. It also helped that it was nearing 3.30 pm and the sun was not at its notorious best. It was time to move on.
The Adivare Sun temple and the flock of Hornbills
Vijaydurg was still around 50 km away, and we wanted to reach as close to it possible while the daylight lasted. Krish was as usual ahead of us when we saw the sign for the Kanakaditya sun temple, a 800 odd year old
temple located in the forest. I realised
Krish has missed the turn and Kedar, a friend of us ,
had told us repeatedly not to miss ' The Adivare temple'. We tried calling Krish, but there were
no phone signal. The rest of us continued to the Kanakaditya Sun Temple.
The route goes through forests and some steep hills, and it was a good little adventure ride. We temple has lovely architecture, the place was serene. We sat there for a long time ,
soaking in the serenity and chatting with the pujaris.
Just when we were about to start our ride back, I noticed a huge bird fly by, making a whosh
sound by its wing. 'Hornbill' ,
I whispered in Varun's ear. Never seen one before in real life, and I was thrilled. Soon we discovered the area has loads of Hornbills residing around in multiple trees. They seemed to be in harmony with the local people, and nobody seemed to care!
Krish A, the Flying Mascot!
The Adivare town was 3 km away, it was getting dark. Our headlights were on by the time we reached the town. 'Your friend was waiting for you for the last 1.5 hours here!' one guy screamed. 'He went looking for you', another sighed. 'Where were you all?' , one more curious local wanted to figure out. We explained we could not co ordinate
as phone signals were not working. and assured them not to worry. We told 'Krish would be back soon'. And so was Krish, in 20 minutes. We checked into Adivare temple guest house that night – the only accommodation in the town and used a local tailors phone to call our home .