Chasing the clouds

Location: Bangalore

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Kodachadri / Gokarna - Apr2009

started by 6:30am in the morning. there was a little confusion on how to enter the NICE road but once IN, it was a breeze. Soon crossed Nelamangala/Tumkur and proceeded towards Shimoga. The morning ride was refreshing and trip meter was running fast. Crossed Shimoga in the mid day hot sun and reached Sagar by around 12:30 for a delicious lunch consisting of Rice/Fish curry/Fish fry with few cups of curd and a glass of butter milk to go in.. :D Then enquired for the route to proceed..supposed to go towards Sikaripura and in somewhere between catch the ferry and proceed to Sampagatte. This part of the route from Sagar was new to me and the ferry part was ofc interesting. The road from sagar goes through vegetation, some villages and at the ferry point opens up a huge lake(check out Wikimapia how huge it is!).

Ferry took the bike and me to the opp shore and then proceeded to Sampagate. Had some local made 'Lemon Sarpath' which was pretty chill and tasted heavenly..took 2 bottles of it to tackle the hot sun. This part of the world used to be very remote but now there is a brand new road with speed breakers and KA tourism signboards stating Kodachadri with how many kms to go & all.. Kali yuga!! Soon i hit the much awaited jeep track..before that, crossed a small dam which i could make out from Wikimapia earlier. The jeep track was not so challenging since i am doing this thrid time here..only worry being not to hit the rock too much to avoid punchers. Reached the open plains by 5PM..this is a fav stopover place with a lot of wind blow!

With the jeep track on the right side leading to the Kodachadri temple, i took the walking trail on the left leading to a small peak. From the peak top, the trail proceeds on the ridge to the subsequent hills and i parked the bike there and proceeded on foot. Initially it was pretty hot and i was gasping but soon the clouds started gathering up. Again like the typical Kodachadri style, the fog & clouds started hitting from below. The scenary was dramatic.. similar to which comes in rajkumar duet songs like all dry & brown but they put artificial smoke to resemble fog. It was so similar now..the grass plains were very dry but the fog & cloud what you call taht i dont know was was so creepy and unreal but i enjoyed it in full. After following the trail for some time through few small peaks, the view of the Varahi dam appeared.. again i could recognize that point from Wikimapia. The fog was flowing pretty fast throught the plains and i just sat there for a lot of time.. so unreal.

Later came down to pick the bike. Saw a group of 10 spirited students from shimoga coming by walk with all that shoutings and whistels. That tells me a calm kodachadri night is ruled out but i didnt mind much. Crossed them and reached the IB and picked the same room which i stayed last time as well. Went to that small hotel and had a chat with the people..had a nice hot food of rice & sambhar. Later the students who stayed along in IB had putup the camp fire infront..they were on high spirits dancing / shouting and all..i am sitting and watching both..their presence as well as the series of cold/calm /blue hills around. After some time, saw some series of torch lights at the distant and came to know that some 20 trekkers from blr are walking up the hill in night. Later went to sleep.

04Apr2009 Sat:
Got up early and i found myself walking on the hill by 6:15am. I was eagar to visit the Ganesha Guha. I somehow started liking this place from my last trip here. The morning walk was refreshing and took it slow enjoying every minute. Could see the set of people(the ones trekked previous night) sitting on the opp hill top waiting for the sunrise. But the sun came out of the clouds very late and shining. Went to temple and worshiped Shakarachariya. Then came down to the hotel and had breakfast of chapathi and curry which were made pretty fast just for me. Had a nice talk with the people and later checkout the place. Climbing down was uneventful and pretty hot / sweating. Came down the hills, went through that tiny road and reached the ferry point. The ferry guys were actually leaving to the opp shore but by seeing me they turned back with a big smile as they remembered me from previous day. Now the ferry was carrying just me and my bike. The ferry guys were talking to me with the usual questions 'coming from where' 'going where' etc..later they suggested me that riding alone must be boring, and i should be taking a girl along next time..and once the girl is on the back, the bike can sail at speeds staying like 90 / 100 / 90 / 100 with out any problems etc .. and i took them all with smile! :-) Clicked some nice shots of the lake. Later reached Sagar at around 12:15 and headed straight to the same hotel and yea.. Rice / Fish curry / Fish fry and lots of curd..!! :-)

Later at around 1:30, i was on the move towards Gokarna.. the ghat section after the Jog was nice to ride. The early morning trek and the heavy meal made me sleepy very much and i found it tough to stay on bike. Till Gokarna it was a fight with sleep and i reached the resort by 5pm. Immediatly hit the shower and cooled off little bit. Later in the evening went to the kudle beach view point and sat there till the dark.

05Apr2009 Sun:
Wanted to checkout few places around Oom beach before the sun gets got up early and started at around 6:30 Am. The ride to Oom beach in that morning hours was refreshing and i enjoyed it throughly. Next to kudle beach there is a small hill and there is a temple atop which i have been missing in all of my Gokarnar this time i headed straight there. The road went through bushes and ended...little offroading and then i reached the temple where no one was around. The view behind the temple was very nice as the sea in all 3 sides and the thick vegetation and the road in one side. Spent lots of time there in the top. Noticed a foreginer family little down inbetween the bushes..seems like they were trekking from Kudle to Oom and figuring out the way out around this hillock where i was standing in the top. They shouted for my help to show them the way ahead but i hardly could make out any as there were lots of bushes. Later they just disappeared down and i couldnt see them again..guess they figured out their way to Oom, even if not, it wouldnt be a big deal for them to climb up and catch the road. While coming back, noticed a local guy and his son picking wild berries in the bushes..he then gave me the cashew fruit to eat and then i realised the whole place is filled with caschew trees and its the season. :-) Bought few cashew fruits with nuts from him and i picked few myself on the way back.

Later i spent the mid day mostly sleeping and watching TV as it was pretty hot to go out. Later in the evening, had a bath and went to Oom beach. Walking on the evening beach is always a pleasure. I knew one of the beach shack over there make very good coffee and i orderd for one. It was so thick/strong and tasted very nice. Later reached the end of the Oom beach and climbed up the hill towards the Paradise beach. At the top most position, the view was very nice and i sat there for the sunset. Few of the foreginers also sitting in the other side of the hill watching the sunset. It seems like they are maintaing a custom that when they meet people at hill top relaxing, they say a friendly "Hello" while passing. Without knowing this, i scared the first guy who said "Hello" to me with a series of questions like "What? What do you want?" etc.. :D Later got the clue, and replied a friendly "Hi" whenever the passerby hippy says "Hello" :-)

Came back after dark and had one more round of coffee in the same place..walked slowly till the end of the beach. The beach was almost empty as the weekend is over..the moon was bright and it was a nice experienc to walk there. Came to bike and headed towards the Gokarna town at around 8:30PM. Its a very old town with classic old style shops and lengthy streets. Had a lazzy walk around checking out the shops one by one. Few shops have all sort of pooja items made in bronze and i picked few for my wife. Got some fruits and came back to the resort.

The next day morning took it slow..had a stroll around the resort..then had the breakfast of my favorite egg dosa and poori. Packed and left at around 10:30am. I knew the ride back home will be eventless and i just wanted to finish it off before its dark. Skipped the lunch.. took only few breaks and reached bangalore outskirts by sunset.
This was another relaxed and memorable ride with Kodachadri evening trek being the chilling experience.