Chasing the clouds

Location: Bangalore

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Newyear ride - 2008

26Dec2007 Fri:

Newyear rides are always special..this is the third newyear we are going for it..almost the same route and almost the same team.. Kamal,Pradeep,Moin and myself.

Evening started early from office..i met the team at Kunigal sharp in time unlike my usual 'late comer' image. We were supposed to reach Sringeri for the night stay but the team decided Chickmagalur for the night boycotting the last 80kms. Even then it was a good progress covering 320+ kms on day 0 ...its a 5 days ride.

Sat: Its obvious that the previous night chat session went too long..and the next day's late start was something which nobody was in the mood to complain about. We reached Agumbe to have a late lunch in the recenly discovered hotel during the last trip..their chicken curry is one of the best. After a heavy lunch of rice/chicken/fish, the team takes a qucik nap in the Agumbe guest house.

By 4:30PM we were up and riding towards Kundari..the road towards the top was as usual deserted and twisting through forest. The moment we reached the top, the team found that the place was worth enough. I was here in Kundadri 6 months back and i am
wondering how the weather conditions makes such a dramatic changes to these places. That time it was like dense fog constantly blocking the visibility..showers all the was all green & wet everywhere..and now its all golden brown and the view is crystal clear..we could see a long on the surrounding paddy fields and distant hills. We saw a beautiful sunset there..few funny photo sessions..and some chat till it got dark..and then we were riding down towards guest house. We had infact ordered for dinner to the guest house keeper..he had prepared a decent chicken meal..and again one more late night chat session.

I got up at the unusual 5:15 in the morning..a quick shower in the cold water and a strong coffee in the only shop in Agumbe..and i was out towards Sringeri. I wanted to visit the temple early in the morning. The 20kms ride to Sringeri was expected to be fun..but a slight miscalculation..i had neglected the Glove & Jacket and soon i found the freezing winds piercing my hands & fingers. A small lake i saw enroute had a heavnly look in that morning..Sun was not out yet and it was very cold..and the lake water which would have absorbed the previous day sun was still warm..and thats how the whole lake had batches of smoke above and it was a stunning view.

Sringeri temple had good amount of people even in that cold morning..the ornage sun light was making the temple glowing. Spent an hour there and returned to Agumbe. By this time, the rest of the team proceeded the ride and i caught them at Sagar for Lunch. Later we went towards unchalli falls through interior roads..saw a river enroute and the team decided to take a bath right there. For Unchalli falls, i was going for the third time and now only i can see the complete dimensions of that was tall/wide and falling deep into the valley.

Later we caught the coastal NH at around 9pm and reached Goa at 11:30. Straight away we hit the Palolem beech where there was a party going on. We were like dead tired and in dirty cloths riding all the way from Agumbe through some bad roads and night ride..and it was a shock to see such a party happening in that late night..we were into it anyways and we came out only by 3:30am. :D

Morning, we covered rest of the distance and reached Calaungte beach. It was a mad traffic inside Goa all the way but we didnt have much of problem as we were in bikes. It was 2:30pm very hot & sultry..we found a nice resort near Baga beach with swimming pool/shack & didnt even bother to get into the room & freshenup..straight away settled down in the shack and started chilling out. Evening sunset at Vagator fort..stayed there till dark and got down to Anjuna beach. It was calm and decent crowd there..still we found something was missing..its the last day of the year and we needed more :-) Meanwhile, kamal was already in mood and he was dancing all the was like every beach side shack was playing different different music and we had to change our dance steps every time we cross a shack.. :D

Later we moved to Baga beach..there, all the beach shacks were in full josh and completely crowded. We found a shack close to a stream and it was relatively a calm place. Our chairs & table were arranged next to the beach waves and we were there for the rest of the night. As the time passed, the crowd started dancing more & 12, all the beach shacks made a non-stop fireworks for 30 mins..the dark sky was completely decorated for 30 mins and the entire crowd stopped dancing and kept staring the sky with jaws down..the best newyear experience i ever had!! :-) Later came back to hotel at around 3am and had a swimming in the pool. :D

Today was a no riding day..we spent most of the time in Calaungte beach doing all kinds of water sports available there. In paragliding i like the bird view of the huge white boat piercing the blue water towing us. Banana ride took the shit out
of everybody. There was a tiny guy sitting in the rear end of our boat..and he kept toppling the boat every time making the team gulping the salt water. I think, We should carry that guy once in our bike pillion on a zig-zag traffic cutting ride..
:D..and see how he topples there.. :D Later that night, the goan crowd came to normal..candolim beach was pretty calm..we settled down in a nice restaurant in Aguada road.

It was nothing but a boring ride back home..had a minor accident but managed to get out without any impact. Started from Goa by 10:30 in the morning and reached home by 12 night. Like every other newyear ride, this one was special.