Ride up the Coast

The next day started (unusually for me :)) with a rejuvenating bath and nutritious breakfast. The bath is one of the highlights of one’s stay at Kasturi akka’s house. It has two huge metal containers:one hot water and the other cold. Both of them are inside earthen chambers. There is something about these baths that washes away all tiredness and fills one with energy.
I started from her place at around 8AM. Today’s ride was going to be along the coast and the destination being Karwar. The route was Agumbe–>Someshwar–>Kundapur–>Murudeshwar–>Gokarna–>Karwar.
First up was the famous Agumbe ghats consisting of 13 steep hairpin bends. At the bottom of the ghats was Someshwar. From here i took a right towards Kundapur. This route was dotted with small hamlets. One interesting thing to note was the abundance of red flags in some of the villages. This region is known to be sympathetic to the Naxal cause. I reached Kundapur by 10 and in another 1/2 n hour was in Maravanthe. It is an amazing place where you have the river and the sea on either side of the highway!!

Maravanthe,from a previous trip

It was quiet hot so i continued riding. Just before Bhatkal, i came across a beautiful place just off the highway. It seemed tempting and and on venturing inside found the place teeming with bee-eaters and doves. I explored the place for about 1/2 an hour and then continued onwards. These are the kind of “luxuries” that riding on your own allows 🙂

Next stop was Murudeshwar. This place is famous for housing a gigantic statue of Shiva next to the beach. I reached Murudeshwar by noon and found the Shiva statue grotesque. Decided to make better use of time and had a great lunch comprising of grilled King fish and beer.
Back on the road i was heading towards Karwar with no major stops planned. Crossed the river Shravathi at Honnavar. The rains had multiplied the volume of the river.

Around 2:30 i was crossing Kumta when a saw a milestone reading Yana:16kms. I had heard a lot about this place and its amazing rock formations. With ample time on my hands i decided to take the detour. I drove though beautiful hamlets and thick wooded areas to the point from where the trek of about 3kms to the rocks starts. Now the only issue was that i needed to find a place to keep my huge bag. So i walked up to the nearest hut to ask if i could leave my bag there. The hut belonged to Buddhu. He gladly agreed and i began my trek. After about half a kilometer i realized that the path was bike-able. So i went back and got my bike. But about a kilometer onward i came across a steep slippery slope. It looked dicey but i wanted to test my bike. It started well but about half way up it began slipping badly. It was so slippery that i was finding it difficult just to stand up let alone pushing the bike. I was finally able to get my bike to a standstill against some rocks and proceeded on foot. It was very hot and i was exhausted from trying to “save my bike” (hence no photographs:( ). I reached the rocks but what seemed more tempting was the shade of the temple by the foot of the rock outcrops. I slept there for about half an hour and then slowly turned back. In Buddhu’s hut, there was no one to be found. So i took my bag and left a thank you note.

I started back my journey to Karwar and reached by 6PM. Karwar is a port town which has a sizable presence of Indian Navy. After some looking around, i checked into OM lodge for 180/night. It was  a decent room with a clean bathroom and a TV. When in Karwar, one must have seafood. Hotel Amrut is recommended.  The kalamari was particularly delightful. With a full stomach and a tired body, sleep came pretty quickly.


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Bitten by the wanderlust bug.

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