Motorbike touring, friends, food, fun etc
A long overdue motorcycle road trip finally materialized last week. That is the reason why I have been away from the blog for more than a week. Now, most people would find this strange, because blogging while traveling is one of the trendiest things for many. Well, I can only say that I am not of that kind. Anyway, coming back to this trip, my partner in crime was as always Abhijit, and no wonder then that after planning a trip to Kochi, we ended up in Shiroda in Konkan. Planning for one destination and ending up in an entirely different part of the country has become our signature by now and because the main plan goes for a toss at the last minute, the details of the trip like what route to follow from one place to the other, or where to stay, for how long, departure time, arrival time etc. all remains undecided. I mean there were times when we would be having lunch at about 2 pm in the afternoon, not knowing where we were planning to put up for the night. Yet, all the trips that I have been on with Abhijit have gone smoothly, every one of them. Strictly speaking, in terms of the riding skill we put up on display, I thought this was the best trip out of all those we have done together till date. The coordination, I thought was fantastic and even though the heat got pretty oppressive in those middle hours of the day, the enjoyment quotient was right up there. The way we negotiated the roads, the twists and bends, the consistency of speed, everything was exceptional. Of course we needed a generous supply of fluids to stay hydrated and to soothe our parched throats every now and then.
Wahetever exhaustion the body and mind tends to feel after almost a 500 km long ride, disappears the moment one smells the sea breeze and hears the sound of the sea waves. That is one big incentive why we keep riding to the Konkan coast. Mr. Jagdish Narsule's Silver Sand resort, right on the beautiful and relatively quiet Shiroda beach, is a favorite and hence frequented by us on many occasions. The day we reached the color of the sea water which was a vivid mix of turquoise and marine green was a comforting sight. A barefoot walk in the hot sands and the lukewarm water on a clear evenning watching the sun set into the sea, was just the right remedy for my aching left big toe, probably sore from changing the gears all day. This does not happen usually, so I attributed it to the recent gout attack which I had suffered a few weeks ago. Mr. Narsule is an awesome cook and it is a cardinal sin to not have his special fried tiger prawns, one which we did not wish to commit at any cost.
The next day's plan of action was dependent on the state of my toe. Abhijit greeted me in the morning with "How's the toe?" instead of the usual "Good morning". Since my reply to the question was very encouraging, we decided to head to Alibaug to visit our good friend Nilesh, who runs a resort in Nagaon (close to Alibaug) along with his wife Janhavi and son Sahil. Nilesh is a talker, Janhavi is a wonderful, wonderful cook and Sahil is an entertaining musician and a singer. Incentive enough for us to ride 460 km back to back. Stretches of bad roads did slow us down considerably, but it was well cpmpensated by the sheer pleasure of riding on the stretches where the highway road work was completed. The evening at Nagaon was all about conversations, jokes, where Nilesh was in exceptional form, music and more delicious food. I slept like a log that night.
The next day we headed to Karjat, home territory, also not a bothersome distance from Alibaug. On this occasion it was sugarcane juice, couple of glasses each, that kept our hydration levels up. Karjat is always relaxing and lazy. Time exhibits a strange dichotomy at our Karjat house. It feels like it is standing still, but also passes quickly without really the need to do anything. The weekend was as lazy as it could get, just the pace we were looking for after almost 1000 km of riding in two days at 90 to 100 km per hour. I stayed back alone for a day after Abhijit left. Riding home from Karjat is something I can manage even of I am woken up from a deep sleep, which of course I did and it took me just a little over two hours to reach home at Bavdhan. After all the distance was only one-tenth of what we had covered in the last two days.