Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ride the Konkan coast

Just as summer was coming to an end I embarked on a solo ride on my Royal Enfield 500Classic ‘Desert Storm’ for a ride along the 500kms long Konkan coast in Maharashtra.
Kicked off my ride at 6am on a Tuesday morning to ensure that I do not have any problems for accommodation enroute as inevitably weekends bring on the hordes of tourists out to have a beach time!
As always my 1st stop was at Sai Snacks near Panvel for a hearty breakfast of ‘Kandey Pohey’ followed by 
a refreshing cup of hot chai to lead me on to NH17 onward to Alibaug.

Took a short break of around minutes just before Alibaug, and checked the route details as given by     

Mr.Kumar H.V. and rode on to Kashid and Janjira Murud to the Rajapuri wharf to get across to Dhighi on a 

motor boat. This point is common for boats that take you to the mid sea Janjira fort and also to Dhighi.

Once our boat docked in, we were told to get on and wait while they lifted the bike into the boat. Once in 

the boat the bikes were lashed on to each other and a pole in the boat. It took us about 20 minutes to get across after which the bikes were offloaded after we had got off. The process of loading and offloading the

bike into the boat was scary and was enough for me to promise myself not to do it ever again.
From Dhighi it was a beautiful ride all the way to Harihareshwar via Diveagar and Shrivardhan. Checked in 

at a homestay ‘Om Shree’ in Harihareshwar and was fortunate that they could cook up a decent lunch thali for me. The staff is very courteous and helpful. The room was clean air-conditioned and did have a tiny toilet but no wash basin. Had to pay Rs.1600/- for the room. All along the route there was no provision in any of the hotels/motels/homestays for single bedded rooms. I had to pay for a double bedded room with a miniscule reduction in tariff.

After resting for a couple of hours walked to the Harihareshwar temple and then on to the beach for a 

session of sun set photography.
Set off for Bhagamandala jetty (5kms away from the homestay) next morning at 9am as the ferry to take me

across to Bankot was at 0930hrs. This ferry was the type where I could ride my bike on and off the ferry so 

was a beautiful experience. Had 2 more ferry crossings before reaching Ganapatipule, Dabhol to Dhopave and Tasval to Jaigarh.
The route to Ganapatipule was very scenic as we passed through Dapoli and Guhaghar. The amazing part of 

this entire route is that from one village to another you either are crossing a ferry or going over a hill! And there is hardly any traffic all along. You own the road!

I checked in at ‘Atharva’ homestay in Ganapatipule. Paid Rs.800/- for a non-air-conditioned room. Clean room and toilet. Only tea/coffee/bottled water available. For meals you have to go out.

Spent the evening visiting the temple and the beach. Due to the popularity of this temple the beach just 

outside the temple is a litter bin. It is unfortunate that responsible tourism is not inculcated in our tourists.

Left for Tarkarli next morning at 7.30am and reached at 1.30pm. Checked in at ‘Leesha’ homestay for 

Rs.1500/- for an air-conditioned cottage. Had an excellent home cooked fish thali and as usual went to the 

beach in the evening for a cloudy sunset.
From Mumbai to Tarkarli had covered a distance of 650kms over a period of 3 days all along the coastal route. It was a delightful ride.
Rode back to Mumbai from Tarkarli on NH17, a distance of 543kms in 11 hours of sedate riding with breaks enroute for breakfast and lunch.
Overall an amazing ride!