Western Ghats of Maharashtra in Monsoon 2011


Monsoons have brought the beauty of Maharashtra. It’s been almost 2 years since I am residing in Pune but haven’t gone on a proper ride. Have done a lot of small rides, one and two days ride, but never been on a longer one. Srini( Steve), my Chennai xbhp friend called me one day and asked about a pic which I posted on facebook. It was from my ride to Lavasa. He asked if August was a good time to tour in MH. I immediately told him a yes. I knew it would be big one! He said Yuvaraj , another Chennai xbhpian might also join us. We got in touch with Gaurab, famously known as MG in the biking fraternity, to cut out a plan for our ride. We had 7-8 days in our hand and we planned to stick to the Western Ghats of MH.

I met MG during one of the Pune Xbhp meets and discussed about the plan. I also got good inputs from Nitin of Bladerunnerz ( a bike group based in Pune) There are a lot of ghats running in between the two parallel highways NH4 and NH17. That covers the Western Ghats in MH. The plan was to do all those ghats starting from the southern tip of MH. Dates were 13th-19th August, 2011. Steve and Yuv will be starting from Chennai on 13th and will reach Belgaum. I will start from Pune and meet them at Belgaum the same day.

With the bike getting serviced and a last moment shopping for the ride I was all set for the ride.

The Ride – Day 1 August 13th 2011

It was decided that I will start from Pune after they cross Bangalore. I was waiting for Steve’s call. He called me at around 10 30 and informed that he had some electrical issues with his bike and was getting it fixed at Bangalore. He asked me to start after an hour. I have got just 360 odd kms to reach Belgaum while they will have around 500 kms from Bangalore to reach Belgaum. So at around 12 noon I sent SMS to them and started from Pune.

It was a laid back ride for me. It was four lane roads on the smooth NH4 for me all the way. I faced few showers in between. I was taking a break for every 100 kms. With music in the ears, butter smooth highways, it was a relaxed ride. On the way I overtook a bulleteer who was on a ride. I guessed seeing the luggage he had and the riding gears he was wearing. I waved hands at him when I overtook him.

After some 200 kms the high engine temperature indicator on my bike started to blink. I was doing only 80-90 kmph and didn’t take the bike beyond that. Engine didn’t look stressed. Still the light was blinking. At my next stop for lunch I called Praful and asked about it. He told me that the sensor might be exposed to dust or water and could show wrong indications. So I stopped worrying about it and ignored the indicator. When I was some 50 kms before Belgaum I called Steve and asked about their whereabouts.

Steve informed me that the electrical issue of his bike has come up again after the service at Bangalore and they will not be making to Belgaum. They planned to stay at Davenagiri that night. I carried on towards Belgaum. I saw the Bulleteer again; he had stopped by the road side. There was rain shower all of a sudden so I pulled over to wear the rain pants. When I was wearing, the bulleteer came towards me and asked if he could use my phone. I gave him and he made a call to one of his friends. After that we engaged in a conversation. I asked where he was headed towards. His bike was Goan registered. He told me that he was back from a solo Leh – Ladakh ride! I was amazed that he is riding solo all the way. I asked him how long he has been riding. He asked me what the date was!!!! Then he told it’s been a month since he got out from his home in Goa!!! I was awestruck when he asked me the date!!!!

He was Ahwin from Goa who did his studies at Belgaum and he was riding back to Goa via Belgaum to meet his friends. He guided through Belgaum and helped me find a good stay for the night. I got his number and bid a bye to the fellow biker.
The room was good. I dumped my stuff in the room and went out to explore the city. One of my colleagues Raghu had told me that Paratha corner in Belgaum was famous. So headed to Paratha corner and took parcel. The place was very crowded so preferred the parcel. After getting the dinner rode around the city. After having dinner went to sleep.

Day 2 log