I was supposed to update this blog as soon as we returned back home from our BIKE TRIP down South with our legs on either side of the wheels but laziness has its way with my mind.
Okay, at last, I’m here. It was a truly phenomenal journey and it was for three of us (including my colleagues, Tushar and Lawrence). We set out on this 4000 km road trip on 1st of December and returned home on evening of 15th December. Needless to say, hardly anyone from my family was approving of this endeavor and most wanted me to stay back and don’t even think of it. But thankfully, my Amma was in Manipal at that time so it was pretty easy convincing my dad!
Well, talking of this trip, statistics don’t count. 4000 km or 15 days on road or 5 states we touched, hardly matters. What matters is that we made 2009 memorable. We decided to do something and we did it. It was Tushar who masterminded everything from the roadmap we’ll be following to the halts we’ll be taking. We had just two bikes, as I don’t own a bike so I was pillion-seated most of the time with the camera and handycam in tow.
We crossed Maharashtra and stepped over to Karnataka through Solapur and then circled Karnataka around Bijapur, Badami, Hospet, Hampi and sticking in via Shimoga, Jog Falls and then stretching downwards toward Mangalore and Manipal. After this, we decided to sneak into Kerala and we vroomed till Kasargod, visiting two completely empty and beautiful beaches on the coast. After returning back to Manipal, we were to draw into Tamil Nadu so decided to catch NH-48 and reached Mysore, touching Hassan and Shravanabelagola (Gomateshwara) on the way.
After Mysore, it was upward climb of Chamundi Hills and Nilgiri Hills!! We then crossed the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border through Bandipura Forest (former lair of Veerappan!!)and reached Ooty and I have to admit it was a lame trip since the climate was too chilly for us and the ambiance was for hunky-dorky honeymoon couples, not for sunburned bike-runners. So we came back to our base, Manipal, suffering bad roads, rowdy truck drivers and reckless bus drivers.
Now the real road was waiting for us. NH-17. The road which I first saw in that movie, Dil Chahta Hai and fell in love with it. Its one of the finest roads in all of India and best suited for bikes. We invaded Goa and frolicked naked feet on beaches where foreigners seem so homely compared to our novelty. After Goa, it was ride home and we left Panjim City early morning and took the northward direction towards Panvel and rushed home safely with no casualty.
We took lots and lots of pics and videos too. It amounts to more than 17 GB on digital scale. But frankly speaking the moments we had on road were the real gems, the real souvenirs. There were kids waving hands to us from road side, farmers herding their cattles, womenfolk carrying water pots on their head, birds of different color and cry, hills and landforms unimaginable, good road, not that good road and bad road, bridges over rivers, endless trails of human faith, heaps of filth and garbage, surprised looks on youth thanks to our cruisers!
There was hardly any mis-happenstance. Everything was so cool and so fine in detail that it felt like a movie. This was the longest in recent times I guess when I was sans any Internet facility. No newspaper. By the way we were surprised to know that Telangana issue was burning while we were happy burning petrol.
All and all, I can say it was a job well done. The only crease was Lawry losing his cellphone and Tush, his glares! Other than that, I guess it was smooth. Oh, I almost forgot to say, I lost my nose out there on the road. Its still a bit burnt. But I am happy 2009 is leaving me on a happy note and I hope that 2010 brings with it more road trips, more traveling and less stagnancy for India is too huge a country to cover in one lifetime.