Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Solo ride to Vittal and back,

Mumbai – Vittal – Mumbai, a distance of just 1982 kms that I rode alone on my Royal Steed for a week in November 2019, has topped my personal best ride list, better than even the 72 day 14072 kms ride that I had done with Aditya Raj Kapoor or the week long Spiti ride that I did with Dr.Alap Mehendale, which were amazing to say the least.

This was a liberating ride for me. I had no peer pressure to keep up to any particular pace nor did  

I have to keep up to the time table set up by somebody else. I stopped when I wanted to and rode when I wanted to at a speed that I thought was best suited to the moment. At the end of the ride I have no regrets on having missed out on capturing some lovely moments of the journey that I will cherish as I captured them all without feeling guilty of having trespassed on somebody else’s time.

I started off at 07.50 am, after a leisurely breakfast of Brun maska pao at home (Bandra east) and headed towards Kolhapur on a cloudy day that was perfect riding weather. Had a beautiful peaceful ride of 351 kms and checked in at Sai International Hotel at Yelur in the evening at 4 pm. 

Witnessed a beautiful sunset, had a great dinner and rested well to set out next day for Sirsi, a distance of 333 kms. This was yet another great ride made fun and adventurous with Google maps which guided me on less travelled routes.

In Sirsi, I stayed at a chilled-out hotel that cost me just 700/-, opposite to the famous Marikamba temple. 

Once I crossed the border to Karnataka from Maharashtra, I realised that food and stay are amazingly value for money, yummy and inexpensive. Had some great medu wadas and a tummy filling thali before resting well for yet another day of riding to reach my destination Vittal, 300 kms away.

From Sirsi to Vittal it was riding in the mountains most of the time. Hence the tree shade was there to filter the sunlight and some amazing sights all along. Had my lunch in KSTDC’s Mayura restaurant in Agumbe. The Mangalore bonda was a meal by itself!

Reached home in Vittal in time for some yummy heavy snacks at 3pm.

Had a wonderful week of temple festivities when the town comes alive to the drum beats, clarinets and saxophones climaxing in a Rath yatra.

Decided to return via the coastal route till Karwar before turning into the interior mountain roads to reach Belgavi. Rode via the patch of road with the sea on one side and the river on the other. Was a beautiful ride all the way to Karwar where I checked into a hotel recommended by a friend, had sea food that Karwar is famous for and started next morning after breakfast for Sai international Hotel in Yelur. This road via the ghats was bad in patches but nothing unmanageable and a great experience.

Had another restful night before starting out on the home run next morning. This route was all along the highway which would have been extremely boring if not for the diversions for ongoing work enroute, on the highway.

Reached home in the evening, feeling on top of the world.

Did my bit for the environment by not buying any plastic bottled water enroute. I kept refilling the bottle that I had carried from home, with purified water available in all the hotels I stayed in.