bike n me
I started off at 730 AM for Mumbai, decided to take the coastal route home.
As a kid, I often travelled on train via the Konkan coast towards Goa and Kerala and looking at the roads, I used to wonder what would it be like to travel on these routes, would it be risky to travel at night here. I used to look at the sceneries and wish that I could stop and click photos of the place
Today, I was going to live a childhood dream!
When I left Panaji, there was a lot of fog around and visibility was poor. I had to go slower than usual. But it cleared off in a couple of hours. By 9, I was cruising past Kudal. On my way to Ratnagiri, I saw signboard that said ‘Vijaydurg 53 kms’. I took that turn, and I am glad I did! The route to Vijaydurg was scenic, all along the coast of the Arabian sea. I reached Vijaydurg by 1215 PM, explored the fort a bit and left for Ratnagiri in half an hour. The route continued along the coast and I was cruising at an easy speed with the sea breeze in my face, halting at will to click pictures. I reach Ratnagiri at 230 PM, had my lunch and left for Ganpatipule via the Are Ware road. The scenery got better, I parked for a cup of tea by the sea, sat down and rested a while. The entire setup was beautiful – sea, beach, tea. The rest was needed before I started off on the final leg of my journey.
Are Ware Road
I left Ganpatipule at 430, the scenery still fresh in my mind. Home was a little over 300 kms away. After the coast, it was time for the mountains. The ghat road was pretty smooth and I had a beautiful view of the sunset. By the time I reached Khed, it was getting darker. The road got rough in patches. The problem was, there were no dividers on the entire stretch and the headlights of incoming vehicles blinded me. I had to go slower. I stopped for dinner at a dhaba in Mangaon at 10 PM. Although less than 100 kms were left of the journey, this leg was the most difficult as the roads deteriorated further and riding was tougher. I wasn’t used to riding like this! I followed a couple of bikers for a few kms before they took a different route. There was just one more stop for tea before I could reach home.
It was 130 AM by the time I reached home. It was a relief to be back. I had back ache due to the heavy rucksack and knees hurt as well, ageing they say. ?
The entire journey, the ride, was something that I could only dream off as a kid, wondering if it could be done. I always pictured in my head what it would be like to ride along the sea and how it would be like to be the lone biker at night on an isolated route like this! And I did it all. I had ticked off one the oldest wishes on my ‘To-do’ list.