Short trip to Harihareshwar with Vinod

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels: , ,

After all the wondering about where would the ride be - whether Mumbai- Harihareshwar, Mumbai- Ganpatipule or Mumbai- Harihareshwar- Ganpatipule... Finally it was decided for a one day trip to Harihareshwar in the district of Ratnagiri, as Vinod was working on Saturday and Mumbai-Ganpatipule would have been too stressful to ride if not impossible. So the ride was on come sun, come rain.

Meeting place decided was the E.E. Highway-Kanjur intersection at 7.30 a.m. I just didn't want to ride on the yucky Thane-Belapur stretch standing on the pegs half of the time. This time I didn't let Vinod wait for long, he appreciates punctual people coz he is one of them. Vinodbhai in his usual riding gear jackets, knee-pads, his knuckle protection gloves - many times I've tried to steal them, but he's always caught me red handed ;) But this time a new addition, a brand new AGV, I tried it - woah!!! cool helmet with good padding making you feel as if it was custom made for you and the snob appeal of the AGV label is just great, as people generally associate the brand with the god of MotoGP Valentino Rossi. Anyways we aren't as good as him nor are our bikes. So time to make a move deciding the route to Vashi via Ghatkopar-Mankhurd link road. Toe-tap the shifter, into first gear and vroom off we are.

First stop is at Vashi at the IOC bunk for a refuel. I purposely avoided filling up my tank the previous night as petrol is cheaper in New Bombay by around 90 ps - 1 Re, so why miss on some extra kms. Fill in 400 worth of Xtra-Premium and Vinod for the first time tries premium fuel on his bike. So we ride on taking the usual Palm Beach stretch passing the scene of cops catching hold of bikers without helmets. I always say that riding in early morning is a treat and it was no different this time. Scarce traffic, clean road void of any bumps, cool breeze and Vinod's company, what else does one need - but frankly I was missing Satya this time as we all three have rode together many times and are well aware of each other's riding style. Cruise along at 80 kph till Sea-Woods before I stop Vinod for our first snap of the ride. The auto-timer clicking helps us to get us both in one snap without anyone's help. Thanks Sherzad for the cam buddy. So off we are again.

The first experience of some serious bumping experience comes alive after the Kharghar flyover - just cannot ride in a straight line, riding as if we were warming our tyres like F1 drivers. Couldn't understand ki sadak mein gadda hai ya gadde mein sadak. Pass through Panvel and hit our usual refreshment break at Palspe Naka for some hot vada and tea and in the meantime get our tyre pressures checked at an HP bunk nearby. Take right for the Mumbai-Goa highway - the best thing was that this time that the almighty did hear my prayers and no rains to spoil the sport enabling us to easily get rolling along at 80-90 kph. Ride further passing Vadkhal Naka- but no halting this time, stop for a small snap session on the highway, just couldn't resist the greenery on both sides. Got a helping hand this time from a gentleman who was from an Ashram carrying out a survey of the nearby villages, the snap surprisingly was never to be found :((

Time to move on and this time ride through some great stretches with occasional curves to add that dash of adrenalin in your veins. Happily took the curves and this time avoided following Vinod. I remember last time I was right behind him and hell he brakes while taking a curve instead of braking before it. Easily leaning off at 90 kph taking the S-curves like pros .. wow great feeling that. The ride continues for a distance before we hit a bumpy track again, up and down, down and up, something similar to an elephant or a camel-back ride. But major of the jerks were swallowed by nitroxs on our bikes, they're a good option on if someone goes in for a change of rear shocks. Roll on for some distance and we hit Mangaon Naka. Vinod our official enquiry specialist gets down asking from directions to Harihareshwar which we firmly get in no time. Ride through the crowded market and again take left for Mhasla Market passing over the normal rain tortured passes, but not that bad either. Since the cam had run out of batteries, I spot an electronics shop to buy some. Normal batteries don't work in digital cameras, and asking about energizer and duracells at such remote places would sound more of a joke. Ask the fellow if he's got rechargeable cells- he has them but too costly. Ask him for the charger, he has one, but where the hell do I charge the cells? Turn his shop upside down to find the right batteries, unfortunately nothing comes out. At last he asks me "Saab Duracell kyu nahi lete?" What???? Did I hear Duracell? De do de do I say happily. In the meantime Vinod is going mad outside waiting. Whats a trip without pics and anyhow I wanted them. I still had a doubt if they would work, bought two of those at 45 bucks, in they go and voila the cam works. Thank the shopkeeper as if he has given me those batteries for free and scamper towards Vinod who's fuming like hot idli's out steaming from a cooker :P

We leave the place and reach a local village with some school kids asking us for a lift - three of them and all trying helter-skelter to get onto Vinod Mama's bike. Cant take more than two and the last one bechara left with a sad expression on his face, I guess he didn't take note of me. I call him and he is more than happy to jump on my bike. We take them along, Vinod Mama's pillions get off earlier and mine wants to go further. "Dada mala tya zaadajawal soda" (get me down near that tree) he says. He gets down and runs happily towards his mom waiting for him outside on a small hillock nearby. Destination still to be reached, we move on. Travel some distance and Vinod wants to stop, a very rare scene, as generally he always wants to ride and I get the itches to stop to click snaps. Get the new cells to work taking a couple of pics. On our bikes again and we trot along slowly passing villagers, half of them staring with blank faces and the remaining half making us aware that our lights are on; everytime I had to signal that its ok and we are aware of it. Couple of minutes later me and Vinod both stop exactly at the same time. Our eyes are wide wide open (refer to the pic over the hills with a lake down far below). We're in paradise, pin drop silence, with the heavenly feel of the mild breeze blowing across our faces. I ask Vinod to close his eyes for a couple of minutes and I do the same. If anyone needs to meditate then this was the place, and why meditate with closed eyes to concentrate, you could have done with open eyes, such was the serenity of the spot. We're truly refreshed and all the grudges of the bumpy roads were forgotten, bits of stiffness in our backs and butts all disappeared. Boy, I should get a chance to stay at that place for a month, but. with good hoarded stock of food for the time I stay there :P Just kidding, but seriously if I get a chance I'll grab it. Still had some distance to travel and we're off that place as fresh as we had just started off. Finally we reach Harihareshwar and I aint too excited to see the place specially the parking lot, with bits of garbage lying around. Peek at the trip-meter reading 221 kms.. hmmmm..good distance of riding. The parking guys is over us to pay for the parking charges, but Vinod is smart enough to shoo him away saying that we have our bikes here we'll pay when we come back which we never do :P Not our fault he wasn't there when we came back ;D

We enter the premises, pay Re 1 as entrance charges, purchase flowers and garlands for the temple offering off-loading all our gear and bags at the shop. Wash up and get into the temple. Offer our prayers, one of them being each of our members getting their own SBKs one day. hehehe kidding guys. Come out of the temple and relish the wonderful surroundings especially the beach down below without a soul lurking around, the place felt so isolated as if it was reserved for the almighty to relax when he descends down to the earth. Click a couple of pics there and walk off for the next spot. Climb the stairs uphill with calfs totally stretched out and suddenly another wonderful scene. A path carved out of a mountain with stairs to descend down the sea. Getting down from the steps was a scary experience at some places coz of slippery moss around. Got down holding onto the rocks, reach the surface and wow, the only thing you can see is the sea from all sides and the only noise you can hear is the music of the waves hitting the rocks. What a place to visit!!! We take a small nap before getting on the move again.

The last portion of food we had was some 4 hours back and we were indeed very hungry. Paid the garland shopkeeper the money, gathered our stuff and we were on our hunt for hunger-quest mission. We were in a mood to have some home-made food instead of the same old restaurant ones. Guys on the Dapoli trip should remember what I am talking about. To our bad luck we come to know that the restaurants have to be informed well in advance to keep the food ready and it has to be a group rather than just two lean guys like us :( Fortunately we do find a restaurant where food was available, our hungry stomachs cry out a bit more after knowing that. Finally the food arrives- chapatti, rice, a vegetable dish, dal, peas, a small bowl of buttermilk, pickles, papad and chilly sprinkled salad. Ate all over it like hungry demons and took some time chatting in the process digesting whatever went in.

Time up to head back home. Start our bikes, let them warm up nicely for a trip exactly from where they came from. This time we plan to have less number of halts so as to reach before it gets dark. Left the place hoping to be there again some time. This time most of the halts were to attend calls of nature rather than for naps. Ride, ride and ride until we come to a small stream just by the road, cool clear water and we decide to wash up a bit. Green grass besides, I spread Vinod's jacket and lay down staring at the sky till the time Vinod gets fresh. My turn for the procedure and Vinod is down on the grass. I have a nice cool facewash and click some snaps of our machines. After a break of 10 minutes we're off the place. Not going very far and comes another beauty of a place, the waterfall. We aint going to miss this one for a snap too.

Move from the place passing through villages again and some nice curves where accidentally I realise that I am scrapping my shoes. Great feeling that. Vinod passes me and a scary moment arrives - instead of taking a curve he heads straight on off the track and I am almost close to banging him right behind. On enquiring he says I wasn't visible in his mirrors and he was looking for me failing to realise a curve was approaching. A little bit here and there and he would have been down some feet. Thank God, nothing terrible happened.

We keep riding non-stop crossing Mangaon, Wadkhal before I stop for a refuel as my bike came down to reserve. My bike had already stalled earlier and poor Vinod had to come back to check if things were alright. So now comes the part we didn't do on that trip.. Ripping time. Vrooooom, riding real fasssst, I just dig my mind deep into it and was tough coming out of it. The max I did on was 110 kph on the speedo, but most of the time was doing 100 but constantly maintaining it, my wrists were refusing to get back to the idle position. Swaying, taking curves all at that speed. awesome experience. Suddenly I realise that Vinod was left far behind and just before getting to a bad stretch of track, I come out of that wild state of mind and wait for Vinod who arrives some 5 minutes later. Ride together from thereon with Vinod stopping over to buy some vegetable from the local villagers who had set up their shop on the highway. From thereon no stops, passing Panvel, the ridiculous Kalamboli stretch till Belapur before taking left for Palm beach. Trot along slowly together till Vashi, Vinod was against my suggestion to drag as it was raining. Reach the highway, a farewell hug and thanks for each others company on the trip. Vinod is off to his place and myself to my friends place at Vashi. Look at the odometer to find its about to hit the 38,000 kms mark... 37,999.9 and slowly the 3 zeros come up. Well every 1000 kms is like a landmark to a biker as a century to a batsman, they celebrate like hell and why cant I take a pic at least? The duracells are totally exhausted and not going any further. Had to do something, didn't want to miss the exact 38000 kms reading. Got the batteries out of the cam and placed them on the engine to warm up. Picked it up after a couple of minutes and bingo it did work :D

Went to my friends place, relaxed for some time and rode back home. Riding along a thought came to my mind, why do people talk about going to heaven after they die when you can experience it right here, I mean the places we saw were indeed no less than paradise. Take out some time of your hectic life to experience things that you aren't even aware of what you're missing.

The pics HERE