Konkan Conundrum

Tripoto
2nd Sep 2017
Photo of Konkan Conundrum by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

We decided to ride. I did not ride since long, I wanted to do endurance. I was not sure if I could do it but then decided to give it a go. I plotted out the route. The plan was to leave Thane as early as possible to reach Amboli and stay there for a night. Next day, go to Sindhudurg fort then Vijaydurg fort and reach Amba village for another night stay. Last day of the ride, start the return journey via Bhor where the infamous Necklace point is located. Google showed that it is 1177 kilometers. We booked hotels and did our preparation. I changed the cone set of the bike and did a complete service. Hemant had to pickup my bike which was with Pace and Pixel Motors for a week for service, parts and tyre change. He received a soft rubber Pirelli Diablo Rossi II upgrade on the rear.

Day 1: September 2, 2017

Day 1

We started the ride at 7.30. Both of us were very tired as we did not get any sleep the day before because of bike repairs, and yes because Hemant had to buy riding jacket. He chose Solace Sprint jacket and Solace all weather gloves. We fueled up our bikes in thane, reset the trip meters. We stopped in Lonavla for breakfast where we saw a couple of Triumph Street Triples. Started moving towards Pune where we decided to take the second break. Hemant was getting used to new Pirelli, wherein I had already started cornering in Khandala ghat section. We crossed Katraj and the took a short break. Clicked some photos and then we started off, we were doing three digits on speedo by the time we were in Satara. It was around 10.30 when we crossed Satara. It was drizzling after Pune every now and then but no heavy rains. One Duke390 guy crossed us by showing friendly thumb.

We crossed Karad and there was a very beautiful ghat section road. Nice and wide road, good tarmac without potholes. Hemant already figured out that he had to prepare to catch up with me as he was not able to corner with all his weight and lack of confidence after his last adventure on kissing the divider. He knew that he was one unseen pothole away from red sirens again... So I was enjoying corners, shifting weight and bending the knee on each curve at probably 55 to 60 kph at least. Hemant told me that if I was Jon Snow, it wouldn't have taken 5 episodes to bend the knee, all I needed was a corner! It was good fun! Hemant wished that he had an action cam on him at that time to capture my adrenaline rush.

My right glove lost all the grip after 4 years of usage, my hand started to pain and so I removed the glove somewhere after Karad and decided to sit on it. Then the inevitable happened. We were crossing some over the bridge and in one of the annoying gaps on the bridge, I dropped the glove due to jerk and I kept on driving without realizing it. Hemant must have been at 50 meters distance, saw the glove flying. We were doing three digits so it took Hemant some good 500 meters to safely stop and turn back for the glove. Since I didn't even notice the mishap I flew ahead thinking that I am still sitting on the glove. Hemant fetched the glove and gave throttle extra twist to catch up with me. I took a quick pitstop as I could not see Hemant on the rear mirror. Then Hemant arrived with my glove. We decided to stop for food after Kolhapur. It was almost 2 in the afternoon when we crossed Kolhapur and got in a hotel for food.

Both of us were tired however excitement of open road was overpowering. The weather was nice and cloudy. After finishing our lunch at around 3 in afternoon, we started moving towards Nipani. Rain caught up on us and Hemant stopped to wear rain liner. Rain accompanied us pretty much till Amboli. Then we took Amboli road by turning right from Bengaluru highway at around 5.15 and stopped as we covered almost 450 kilometers. Restlessness was taking its toll on us at this point. Bad roads made it even worse. At around 6.15 in the evening, we were welcomed in Amboli village by a thick blanket of mist. Tripmeter was showing that we clocked 510 km. It was the very pleasant weather. We checked in the hotel, freshened up. Ordered food and were waiting for food. We were chatting and I was napping between every two sentences (That tired I was). Food was delivered and we immediately regretted ordering Chinese over there. It was nothing but salt rice. We had a little bit of it due to hunger and we slept off.

Day 2: September 3, 2017

Got up early, it was a beautiful morning. I was expecting fog to be present. But it wasn't there. We went out with bikes to take some photos in the forest, the light was beautiful. Captured some nice frames of the mean machines and the forest. We used all the gadgets for photography. Oneplus One, Oneplus Two, Garmin Virb Ultra 30 and Nikon D5200 with 18-105mm Kit Lens.

Day 2

Back to the hotel via a quick stop for Burji Pav (Scrambled Egg with bread). Checked out from the hotel, thanked the staff for good service and revved towards Sindhudurg Fort. The second day was entirely Ghat road. It was around 300 kilometers of ground to cover but filled with twists and twirling roads due to undulating forests in beautiful Sahyadri Range. We decided to take photos because on Day one was all about Eat-Ride-Ride More-Repeat. First, we stopped on a descend in ghat where sun rays were reaching the ground as golden arrows by pushing the thick canopy away. So Mr photographer(yea that's what Hemant called me at this point of time space continuum) spotted a nice frame and went into 'da lensman' mode with my entry level DSLR. We were enjoying the curves thrown by Amboli Ghat descend and we passed a lot of bridges on perennial rivers. One of the bridge had older bridge beside. Again we stopped there and I took some candid photographs of bike and Hemant. Hemant returned the favor by clicking my favorite pose of presenting a flower to my bike on my knees. Then we reached Sindhudurg Fort, roads were bad on the way to Sindhudurg but the scenery was very good. We went to the ferry point from where a small motorboat takes you to the Sindhudurg fort which is in the middle of the Arabian sea. Frequency was very less(almost like an hour of waiting time and there were already some 30 people waiting for the boat) and they were taking only 10 people at a time so we decided to drop the plan as it was almost noon. So we parked the bikes on the beach sand and did what we were doing all the way since morning, CAPTURE PHOTOS. A couple of riders were there on RE Classic and Mahindra Mojo, one of them came and said 'Hi' (in case if you were that rider who happens to read this blog, just DM me on Instagram). We exchanged pleasantries and parted our way to Vijaydurg.

We missed a turn and ended up in Devgad, it was almost 2 in the afternoon so after consulting Google we decided to take lunch in Devgad(Hotel Nikhil) and head towards Amba ghat. We did not want to miss beautiful ghat road of Amba and taking photos there. We took all seafood lunch (Visit Hotel Nikhil - serves great & Fresh sea food varieties) and were back on road. The road was not good so there were more breaks in between till Rajapur. Needless to say, we kept clicking photographs. While we stopped at Rajapur we met a guy who said he saw us near Karad the earlier day, he was on duke390. We chatted a bit, refilled our water stocks, discussed route and back on the road. It was almost 4 in afternoon in Rajapur, roads were better from Rajapur so we picked up the pace and reached Sakharpa and marched towards Amba.

No matter how much we hurried, curvy roads limited our progress and by the time we started climbing Amba, it was already dark. When only a 3 kilometers away from Amba village, complete darkness took over the road, the mist was covering the road, roads were getting worse due to heavy vehicles and we cursed our photography sessions because we missed daylight in Amba ghat. By 7.30 we reached the hotel. Hotel was well hidden and took some detective work to reach there. Now the property was good, rooms were nice (Mango Holiday Resort). We were the only ones in entire premises. The Sad part was the caretaker(a little guy - probably schooling) refused to provide any kind of services, not even hot water. After a lot of pushing around, we got lukewarm water for a bath. Around 9 we went out for food. Had food (Nothing special or amazing but something to fill your stomach) and went straight to bed with alarm for 5 in morning for capturing beautiful Amba ghat.

Day 3: September 3, 2017.

Day 3

Got up, suited up and reached Amba on our bikes only to find out there is no fog. Clicked few landscapes and went for breakfast(Again returned to the hotel. On the way, we had breakfast, burji pav again. Checked out, back in the saddle to complete return leg. We throttled towards Malkapur where we missed a left towards Karad due to lack of sign board. A couple of kilometers ahead we realized that and we consulted Google maps and found it eventually. At one point I thought let's continue towards Kolhapur as it was 40 kilometers only. But later when we took the en-route, I realized that would have made us miss the beautiful windmills and very photogenic scenery...

20 kilometers from that left and we found our wind mill spot on a hillock. Parked our bikes, took some photos and Hemant suggested me that there is one more frame merely 100 meters back. Promptly I went back on the bike to investigate, I reached there and Hemant could see his face brightening from his helmet visor... I raised a green flag signalling Hemant to join me. By the time Hemant reached there I already parked my bike on edge and ready to welcome Hemant with the picturesque view... It was the best spot so far. Nice light... Morning breeze. It was a bliss to be there. It was nice camping spot and we decided to visit again with tents. I marked the location on the map just to make sure I return to the same spot again in near future. But I don't think the map would be needed to return to such a beautiful spot... (Note to self: Definitely not during summer)

We moved on towards Karad. Next spot was the Necklace point. We had a rather disappointing lunch (Hotel Nisarg) at around 1 pm in afternoon just after Karad. Left from hotel Nisarg, it was scorching hot. Since we were on Bengaluru highway, we picked up the pace. Turned left after Kapurhole towards Bhor.

Reached necklace point. Hemant was little disappointed because he was not happy by looking at the scenery. Just U shaped river, but I was very excited. Probably it was the hot weather, dehydration and rear battering 900+ kilometers of ride that was making him disappointed/disinterested. That disappointment vanished after I showed him the edited photos of the Necklace point. He was very happy. We sat there in the shade of the only tree that was present, the canopy of that tree was not bigger than Prasad (one of our huge mutual friend) even though he shed few kilos now. We finished leftover water stock. The clock was showing 3.30 in the afternoon. We left and picked up the pace, till Katraj I took the lead, and from there once the Pune traffic was approaching Hemant went into beast mode. We filtered through traffic and reached Lonavla. We realized that we covered 100+ kilometers in just 1 hour 20 minutes. We bought more water, sat for 20 minutes and chilled out bit.

We reached Chowk junction where we are supposed to part our ways, Hemant towards Karjat and I towards Thane (another 70 kilometers for me). I was very tired and on top of it, my right hand was paining badly and swollen. I set my phone on handlebar mount with directions on Google maps. I bid him adieu at around 6.30 in the evening. Hemant took 20 minutes to cover 9 kilometers of distances full of potholes.

On the other hand I reached Thane at 8.30 pm in the night because of heavy traffic at Airoli Toll and road work near Ghansoli.

Riders:

Jegan aka motowanderer on Honda CBR250R

Hemant on KTM Duke390

Eye of the Photographer:

Nikon D5200 with Nikkor 18-105mm

GARMIN Virb Ultra 30

Oneplus Two

Oneplus One

Safety Gears:

Jegan: Rynox Tornado Pro Tri-Series Jacket, DSG Primal Gloves, Scoyco K11 Knee Protectors, MT KRE SV Momentum Helmet

Hemant: Solace Sprint Jacket, Solaces All-Weather Gloves, Mototech Knee Protectors, Studds Shifter helmet

Here are the pics from the trip:

First photo of the trip

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Second photo of the trip

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Somewhere near Amboli but not Amboli

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

A Selfie/Groupie or whatever you name it - Why not?

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Amboli Ghat

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Backyards of MTDC Resort Amboli

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Into the woods

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Into the woods

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Bidding adieu to Amboli Ghat

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Something that pushed me to capture this photo - Not sure what

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Yea, I had to do such mischievous things when Hemant had to capture a frame

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

I thought we should be there in the frame as well

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Posing - Definitely not... I was lying...

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Love never fades

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Mean Machines

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Hemant aka heman_beast (Psst.. That's his Insta name)

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

That frame with clouds in the background - Vivid colors

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

On the way to Devgad

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

My Love

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Another selfie at Sindhudurg Beach

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Chilling out at Sindhudurg Beach

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Chilling out at Sindhudurg Beach

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)
Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)
Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Sunrise at Amba Ghat

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Curves at Amba Ghat

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)
Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)
Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Near Malkapur, Shahuwadi

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Near Malkapur Shahuwadi

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

A good decision - you will know why in upcoming photos

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

I wasn't referring to this photo... but wait

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Almost there... but for now, the windmill is just running fine...

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

That View!!

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Cinematic - Isn't it?

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Yea... I bend knees and I even lay down to capture the perfect shot

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Mesmerizing??

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Into the woods - but this time... It is dry...

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

I ever knew, this is how you fuel up the rickshaws

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Not just the lights are dope... This guy has a subwoofer system in his Auto Rickshaw - At Amba Ghat

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

At Amba Ghat

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Profile Picture Photoshoot - Take 1

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Take 2 - Mango Holiday Resort - Amba Ghat

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Somewhere we don't know but between Karad and Malkapur

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Necklace Point

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Movie Poster or just a Poser?

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Just trying to think hard, so that I will get a good photo - I know, it doesn't matter

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jegan Somu (motowanderer)

Until next time I burn the rubber to bring you another great story!

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