Day 1 (Aug 29) : Bangalore-Hasaan-Chikmangalur-Traikere-Bhadravati-Shimoga-Sagar-Jog Falls

Day 2 (Aug 30) : Jog Falls – Bhatkal-Murudeshwar

Day 3: Murudeshwar-Bhatkal-Kundapur-Halady-Agumbe-Sringeri-Chikmangalur-Hasaan-Bangalore

It was still dark when I woke up. I had left the balcony door open overnight to be able to hear the waves crash the shore. That provided a good lullaby and I had slept well, ready for the ride home.

Dawn was just break when I mounted the gear on the bike and rode down to the guest house office. After waking up the person on duty to collect my advance, I headed out of Murudeshwar. I still wasn’t sure where to cross the ghats. The options on the plate were: Agumbe, Shiradi, Charmadi ghats. Someone at the homestay had recommended that the roads on the Shiradi ghats were the best.

Problem was that to get to Shiradi ghat, I had to traverse the pot holes of NH17.

Now I have been on NH17 twice in the last few years and I absolutely hate it. As the name says, it is a National Highway and it brings shame to the name. What’s there to hate: heavy traffic (both local, long distance & trucks), undivided and snakes through numerous towns and villages. To add to the agony of the rider, it also does the duty of local city/town/village road. Which means cows, dogs, carts, pedestrians and road side carts throng the highway.

However, this was early in the morning on a Sunday. So I had to content only with trucks and long distance traffic. Unfortunately to compensate there were potholes, some as deep as a feet or two.

Within an hour I was fed up and decided to take the first road that would take me east and over the ghats.

Stopping at a petrol pump, I enquired about the options. Fortunately there was a local road leading to Halady from where I could take the Agumbe highway. Bingo! That’s how I would get home.

JogMurdeshwarAgumbeBikeRide_234
Leaving the coast behind to Halady

The local road was surprisingly good and traversed through a mix of forests and fields.

Halady was a small junction with a few shops. Food was top of my mind as I hadn’t eaten anything since morning. I stopped by a small place and had a fill of Kerala Parontha with 3 cups of coffee. The hunger now satiated, I looked forward to climbing the Agumbe ghats.

As I started off, the rain started off. Starting with a drizzle, it soon began to pour.

With no sign of rain letting down, it was time to dig in, head down and ride. And that’s what I did. The altitude rose and the visibility reduced. Before long Agumbe was gone.

As I descended to Sringeri, the rain dwindled down. The forest was dense, the road slick. Riding was fun again.

JogMurdeshwarAgumbeBikeRide_238
Slick road through dense forest

Past Sringeri the coffee plantations started. Yet I was surprised to see some tea estates too.

JogMurdeshwarAgumbeBikeRide_247
Tea estate on the Chikmangalur Hills
JogMurdeshwarAgumbeBikeRide_253
Tea Scenery
JogMurdeshwarAgumbeBikeRide_271
Tea Scenery

The most welcoming part of Chikmangalur was the absence of rain. Two days ago the rain started from here. Now it stopped here too.

JogMurdeshwarAgumbeBikeRide_278
Rain stopped a little before Chikmangalur

Past Chikmangalur, it was quite warm. Riding all morning through the rain had exhausted me. I searched for a grass knoll and found one a little before Yagachi Dam. A half an hour power nap and I was ready for the home stretch.

JogMurdeshwarAgumbeBikeRide_284
Nothing better than a grassy bed with wild flowers for a power nap

A quick break at Belur for coffee and puffs.
I wasn’t prepared for the traffic at Nelmangala. The jam at the junction of Hassan Road & Tumkur Road stretched a Km. Fortunately a two-wheeler can find small gaps to squeeze through. The remaining traffic is nothing to write about. I was home by 2000.

Stats

Km – 1085
Accomodation – Rs1350/- (500 + 850)
Fuel – Rs2200/-
Food & Others -Rs 725/-

Advertisements