Long weekend ride to Konkan – Day 2

Day 2: 03rd Oct 2009

After finishing the work at mathh, we left at around 11.30am to catch the ferry from Bagmandla. The road is the same one that goes to Harihareshwar, except at one intersection, one has to take left, rather than to take right and end up in Harihareshwar. This left road is small, but very beautiful. While riding, a small but loooong mongoose crossed the road checking us out!

The ferry’s timings were not clear to us, as some told us that they were 30 mins apart, one hour apart and someone even told that they go when the boat is full! Anyway, we were there in time to catch the 12.30pm ferry. Cost was 3rs per person and 15/20rs for bike (forgot the last part).

Getting on the ferry

View from ferry

It lasts only for some 10-15 mins, but saves a great amount of road travel. After alighting on the other side, we headed left, and too a very small right turn that comes up after about 10-12 kms, just after the MSEB work sight. This turn is very easy to miss. This small scenic road takes us to Kelshi.

Kelshi is a small Konkani village nested away in farming. Never before have I seen (in Maharashtra) so much kheti of rice, and such beautifully placed houses right in the fields to keep watch. Riding to Kelshi is a very peaceful and enlightening experience every biker should have!

We reached Kelshi, and after asking for directions, went to Mahalaxmi temple there. Nice temple, but no photography allowed. We later headed to a Darga there, where Shivaji Maharaj had also visited. The road to Darga is steep and in poor condition.

The masjeed at Darga

The Darga, which had a great view of sea

Word of advise for Konkan riders. Even if you see that gates of a temple/darga are closed, don’t worry, it will usually be without locks. You are supposed to open the doors yourself, take darshan, and close the door on your way out. The system operates on trust!

While in Kelshi, we didn’t see the sand dunes formed by some ancient tsunami, because we didn’t know what to ask for directions. Later I found out it is called ‘VaaLucha Dongar’. So anyone planning to visit can go there.

After the Darga, we headed to Asud bridge. Now the small birds and animals in our stomaches were beginning to rise and ask for food. But there was no hotel in sight. Rains started to catch up with us near Asud bridge, so we geared up for rain, and marched ahead.

Crossing Asud bridge

View from bridge

We headed to Dapoli through Harnai. The road is a seaside one, and is very good for lazy cruising. Even the sea side road from Dive agar to Shrivardhan doesn’t come close to this one in terms of beauty.

While we were still riding through Asud, we found a left turn “Kadyavarcha Ganpati” meaning Ganesh on a cliff. Knowing it was a very old temple, we headed there. The road slowly went from slightly slanted to steep to holy cow steep. I think the last few turns were 45 degrees!

My GS has a habbit of inserting a neutral gear between 2nd and 1st. This hasn’t bothered me at all, as this just means one more slap of the toe to the gear lever. But near Kadyavarcha Ganpati, this could prove fatal. While negotiating the last 45 degree steep road, I put the gear from 2nd to first, it fell as neutral. The bike stopped then and there, and started rolling backwards 😮 With bike’s 150kg + 15L fuel + 2 riders + luggage, the front brake was not able to stop the rolling 300kg weight. I couldnt’ engage the rear brake, as was putting both the feet on ground to be uprignt. Suddenly while rolling backwards, i spotted the gear indicator that showed ‘1’, and noted I had the clutch pressed. Released the clutch and gave good accelerator, the bike vrooomed and came to a stop, and then slowly came up to level ground! That was the scariest experience of this ride.

There is a good amount of parking at Kadyavarcha Ganpati temple, with small shops selling puja thalis and refreshments.

There is even a small footprint of Ganpati, just 2-3 mins of walk ahead!

View from Ganpati footprint

I could spot a durg from there, maybe Suvarnadurga.

Overall the place was calm and quite. Good to visit.

Again came down to main road, and headed to Harnai, with both eyes open for hotel. We passed through a Koliwada, and a market place. Later we came to know one could buy very good quality of fish here, at good rates. Just ahead of Harnai, we finally spotted a hotel named ‘Sagar Kinara’. Had our lunch with kingfish at 4.30pm!

While having lunch, we enquired whether there was any beach at Dapoli. After realizing Dapoli is just a commercial town, we though it would be better to stay in Harnai only, as Dapoli is just 10 kms ahead. Started searching for a budget hotel, and finally settled in ‘Ruchi Sanskriti’, a hotel with great service. The lady there was so nice, I was feeling as if I am staying at my sister’s house, and not just in any hotel.

Just as we checked in, rain gods showed up, and washed up Vesta and other things thoroughly. After the rain subsided a bit, we visited the Harnai beach, which was fully deserted at around 6.30pm

Had Pompret and mandeli gravy for dinner, and crashed in early. This was Kojagiri night, and we planned to be awake. But we were tired as hell, and monsoon was so much that even the other clubs who had dance programs etc had to shut down! In fact at around 4am, I woke up by the heaviest sound of rain I ever heard in life, and was thoroughly scared thinking how would I ride back home if this rain continues!

to be continued….

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