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Old 26th October 2015, 11:29   #1
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Default Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

Hello everyone!
I am quite thrilled to be writing my first travelogue on Team-BHP. I was accepted as a member on this forum quite recently, even though I've been reading all posts here regularly over the years.

I have been doing road trips with my friends from a long time, ending up having a ball without fail! One thing I had not done till date however, was a solo trip. Car or bike, I had never gone alone anywhere ( Unless a 100km solo ride on my bicycle counts? ) I had always wondered what drives the people who do solo trips. How do they manage without any company? Don't they get bored without having anyone to talk to?

I realized I had the perfect opportunity to find out for myself, firsthand how it would be this past week. A very good friend of mine was getting married in his hometown of Puttur. Friends being what they usually are, he hadn't let me forget the fact that I had already missed his engagement a few months ago due to unavoidable circumstances. I knew for a fact that he would make my life miserable if I missed his wedding too and I really did want to be there on his big day! The wedding was on 21st October. Big deal, so I would bunk office one day. No worries there. What got me thinking was the next 4 days of holidays ( 2 days off for Dusshera and 2 days of weekend ) I figured since I'm anyway going all the way to Puttur, maybe I could extend the trip by a few days and go see some places nearby.

The next question obviously was how would I go there. A few friends were taking a bus from Bangalore to Puttur for the wedding. I ruled that out since I was planning on extending my trip anyway. That left the option of a car. My trusty old i10 Magna has accompanied me on many a trip, with it's peppy 1.2L engine and 80bhp of power more than enough for my driving style. An accident during my college days had left me with a rather weak back. An hour on a bike in Bangalore traffic is more than enough to make my back cry bloody murder and leave me whimpering on a bed for a good few hours! The thought of a bike as a viable option hadn't even crossed my mind at that point.

I asked around to see if I could convince anyone to join me on this trip. Turns out, everyone had things planned for the extra long weekend and I was left without anyone to join me. People had been making plans for this 4 day weekend from months ago!! Turns out, asking people to join you on a roadtrip a few hours before you set out doesn't work as well as it's shown in all the movies. At least in my case, hehe.
So, just me. I was totally set on going on this trip, come what may. A car just for me? Hmm. Seemed like such a waste. Then my eyes fell on the trusty old RE Thunderbird lying in the garage. Do I dare? Everyone I spoke to felt I was a fool for contemplating it. 'More than 1000kms on highways on a 2-wheeler? Through ghat sections? When there is a nice car available? Sit through a hot afternoon on a bike when you can relax in a AC environment?' It almost felt like I was planning on climbing Mt. Everest with one hand tied behind my back. But wait! Are there not thousands of people who have done it? Surely it can't be all that difficult - a little voice whispered in the back of my head. And I'm glad I listened to it! Half the reason was to prove to my family that it could be done, and the other half, like I said before was to find out first hand how a solo trip would feel like.

So. Bike. First Puttur for the wedding. Then 4 days off. I didn't want to plan everything to the n-th detail right in Bangalore. I wanted to rough it out, take things as it comes. I had no particular destination in mind. I had seen a few pics in a recent T-BHP post about a beach near Udupi called Kemmannu which looked fabulous. I definitely wanted to see that. What next? I am an avid gamer, and one of the guilds I am a member of in one of the games I play has a lot of people from Mangalore in it. They all wanted to catch up for a drink. Done. That coincided nicely with my plans for seeing Bengre beach.
I decided to go all the way up to Gokarna and just chill on the beach.
The route would be Bangalore - Mysore - Periyapatna - Kushalnagar - Puttur - Mangalore - Gokarna - Bangalore ( route to be decided later - either back through Shimoga or retrace my path through Mangalore or find a 3rd alternative )

Phew! Now that was decided, I realized I had only 2 days to prepare for the trip. Oops. It takes longer than that to get your Enfield serviced in Bangalore usually! And that bike DEFINITELY needed a service to be done. I wouldn't trust that bike to be able to take me to Nandi hills, forget halfway across the state. I started cursing myself. Should have thought about getting the bike serviced before 10am on a Saturday! Every showroom/ service center I went to were either closed/fully loaded with work. They all asked me to come back next week. I started calling every single person I know who owns a RE to ask if they they knew of a good mechanic. Luck was on my side however, my cousin managed to find a guy who was willing to get his hands dirty on my bike before I set out. I live near Malleshwaram but ended up giving my bike for service all the way over on Kanakpura Road but it was worth it! The guys did a good job on my bike, it didn't give me any issues - almost. More on that later!

The guy promised to have my bike ready before Tuesday evening, the 20th of October. The plan was to leave Bangalore on Tuesday, stay over at my cousin's house in Mysore for the night. Then start early morning on 21st to reach Puttur in time for the wedding. Time to get the other stuff ready. I rarely use the bike, so my helmet was in a deplorable condition. At the very least, the visor had to be replaced. The helmet is structurally sound and the cushioning is still good. The visor looked like the scene of a WW-II battle. Pockmarked and scratched beyond recognition. Trip to JC Road on the cards then. I went over there and managed to find only one shop who had a visor in stock for my helmet. He was quoting Rs.650 which seemed a tad expensive. Got it down to 550 and boy was it worth it! For all it's flashy looks, it performed magnificently - specially at night. The overall light intensity was reduced by about 20% at night, but the upshot was no high beam from any vehicle managed to cause any sort of glare. The shop keeper had gone on and on extolling the virtues of this visor - 'UV filter ide saar! Olle quality idu. Guarentee koDtini, iDee bengaLoorge naan distributor aagidde Fastrack ge'( It comes equipped with a UV filter. It's a genuine article, I was the distributor for Fastrack helmets in Bangalore) I took all his claims with a pinch of salt, after-all he was trying to make a sale. But turns out, that visor actually works like a charm!

Got a call on Monday. The bike was ready much before the expected time. They told me I could pick it up. Pre-trip jitters started slowly. I didn't know what to expect. Maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew? Perhaps a small trip on a bike to Mysore to see if I could do it before attempting a 1000km ride? I managed to convince myself that I would see this through and double checked everything. DSLR camera. Check. Mobile charger. Check. Swiss knife. Check. Wet tissues. Check. Hand sanitizer and assorted toiletries. Check. I'm all set! What more could a guy want for a 3-4 day trip anyway? Right! Dumped all of that into a trekking bag and I was set to go. I figured I would take the bike to office, and directly take the NICE Road from EC to Mysore road after work and continue on from there.

Said bye to my parents, told them not to worry and said if the strain proves too much I would pull out of the trip and return home. And yes, I would not drive anywhere at night. Borrowed a Cramster armored riding jacket from my brother with those hard plastic protective armor at the shoulders and elbows and padded protection for the spine. Called up my friend to say I'm headed off and the conversation went like this
'Alright! I'm all packed, I'm headed out now, thought I'll inform you.
Cool. Are you sure you've packed everything? Got a rope?
Eh? A rope? For what joy?
How are you going to tie your baggage to the bike? Don't tell me you'll carry that 20kg backpack all through the trip! With your back condition, no less!'

Oops. Hmm. Dash back upstairs. I really did not think this all the way through! Asked my dad for rope and turns out the only thing available was a thick insulated electrical wire. I said no problem and took about 6 feet of that. I'm an engineer right? Should be able to figure out how to tie a bag to a seat with some cables.

All set to go! Reset the odo to 0 and headed to work. Was completely excited and managed to get an expected 0% of work completed throughout the day!
Attached Thumbnails
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-img20151020wa0008.jpg  

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Old 26th October 2015, 11:59   #2
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Default re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

The trip to Mysore was uneventful. The roads are good, the horrible speed breakers have been replaced by barricades which do a much better job. Traffic was manageable and reached my cousin's house in Mysore right in time for a sumptuous dinner. I was barely winded. Things were looking quite good.

Planned to start early next morning, stopping en-route for breakfast. As I reached Periyapatna, I was suddenly taken in with a desire to go see my grandfather's ancestral house. My mother's side of the family are all originally from there, but no one has lived there in the last 2 decades after my grandfather passed on. I was only a toddler the last time I visited there and had no memories of the house at all.

Called up my folks and asked directions and finally ended up here. The neighbours had a key and I requested them to let me inside to have a look around.

It's a 'toTTi-mane' style of architecture, with a central open-air courtyard of sorts with a washroom sunken into the floor and has rooms and other areas leading out of this. A very unique style of architecture many city dwellers don't get to see these days.

Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-img_20151021_082934.jpg
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-img_20151021_090444.jpg
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-img_20151021_090451.jpg

The roads were empty and managed to make good time. Stopped for breakfast on the way at Athithi Comforts near Kushalnagar. It's very hard to imagine that anyone can manage to ruin the humble idly-vada but these people managed to do just that! The idly was harder than diamond and the vada looked like something best left buried under a ton of rubble. There was half a centimeter thick layer of oil on top of the sambhar! Best avoid this place in the future. At least the washroom was clean.

Reached Puttur on time and the wedding went well. I won't elaborate much on that. Had a heavy lunch and didn't feel like getting back on the saddle till late evening. Managed to reach Mangalore by 5pm, well before it got dark.

Now, since I was alone without any family or ladies present, I could afford to save some money by staying at some of the more shady lodges and hotels. I opened the agoda app, found a nice discount going on at a 3* hotel and booked a room for the night. Entered the location on Google maps and followed the route diligently only to find out G-maps had led me to a totally wrong location!

Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-screenshot_20151026122317.png

This was the location shown on the map, bang in the center of the city. Upon reaching there, I spent quite some time trying to find out where in the middle of this ramshackle building I was led to was the entrance to the hotel. The pictures on the app looked so nice ,this surely couldn't be the place! Spoke to a shopkeeper nearby and he said in over 30 years of running his establishment there, he had yet to come across a hotel by that name anywhere nearby! Hmmm. Called up the hotel to ask them where exactly I had to come and they told me that it was actually in Mukka, and not Mangalore at all !! A good 17kms outside Mangalore along the Mlore-Surathkal road. Sigh. -1 to Google Maps. Never in all the years of using the maps have I been led so far astray. The room itself was nothing to write home about but the food deserves special mention. I liked everything I ordered. Went to town to meet my friends, ended up having a nice time and came back to the hotel.

End of day-2. Back is fine and I've quite enjoyed the trip. Some random photos of the time so far. Have to say, the entire city of Mangalore was celebrating the festival with full gusto. Lights and music everywhere and such a humongous crowd thronging the streets, soaking in the carnival atmosphere, specially near the temple.
Attached Thumbnails
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-dsc_0469.jpg  

Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-img_20151021_110029.jpg  

Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-img_20151021_105133.jpg  

Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-img_20151021_201207.jpg  


Last edited by Rehaan : 26th October 2015 at 18:36.
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Old 26th October 2015, 13:32   #3
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The next day saw me all excited to finally get to some beaches. I am a voracious reader and all I wanted to do was to sit on a beach, hopefully with some food or drink if possible and read a book all day! Bliss!

Started off on time from Mangalore but by the time I reached Udupi, I came face to face with my bane - bad roads and repair works! Took a deviation off the highway to head down to Bengre beach. The approach road was an absolute pleasure to ride on, narrow twisty roads meandering through coconut groves. Here's a small sample for those of you who are not aware -
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-screenshot_20151022131155.png

The sea on one side and the river on the other, separated by a narrow strip of tree infested land, with the beach formed at the estuary. Truly serene and quite a sight for sore eyes! The beach was deserted and very clean, compared to some of the other beaches I have seen in recent years.
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-dsc_0475.jpg
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-dsc_0482.jpg
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-dsc_0480.jpg
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-dsc_0479.jpg

The icing on the cake was I managed to catch the last few mins of a troupe performing a traditional dance in tiger paint and costume.
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-dsc_0472.jpg

After spending a relaxing time at the beach, I decided to continue on to my final destination - Gokarna. However, the roads got progressively worse with diversions every other km. Potholes aplenty and my misery was further compounded by having to pull over every few kms to adjust the bag tied on to the back of the seat. Note to self - Make better arrangements for luggage next time without fail! I finally despaired of it, and removed the bag and put it over my shoulders and continued on to gokarna. I had totally forgotten about the 4 day weekend, and I was reminded of that in a spectacular fashion by having to endure a traffic jam where I was stationary for 30 mins in a small town like gokarna! I genuinely wasn't expecting that much of a crowd and consider myself to be very lucky to be able to find a room upon arrival. Late at night, when I was taking a stroll I found countless families and couples running around to find any sort of accommodation.

The upshot was, by the time I reached and checked in, I was exhausted and my back was killing me. Ate my dinner and crashed into deep, dreamless slumber.
Attached Thumbnails
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-dsc_0474.jpg  


Last edited by Rehaan : 26th October 2015 at 18:37.
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Old 26th October 2015, 14:32   #4
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The next day saw my refreshed all excited about going to the beach and relaxing. I had heard so much about Namaste Cafe on Om beach, I headed straight to it and had a really nice breakfast. Took a nice long walk on the beach, had the customary dip in the water, came out for some sun and then went to a shack on the beach for lunch. Found a secluded corner without too many people around and settled under the shade with a book till evening. Best way to spend a day ever!

Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-fb_img_1445846705121.jpg

Since I didn't want to spend another day in Gokarna, and I didn't want to ride at night, I decided to leave by about 4pm so I would be able to reach Honnavar by dusk. I would spend the night there and continue on to bangalore the next morning. I checked out of the lodge and reached Honnavar right as it started getting dark. I went to a few lodges and hotels and unfortunately all were booked! The next hotel I checked, the room looked as if it was the spot for a bloody murder, with red paan-spit adorning the walls everywhere, a dingy bulb swinging slowly from a wire suspended from the ceiling and peeling paint everywhere! I hastily left the establishment to check the next lodge where there was fungus on the "white" bedsheets! This was the last straw. I came out and was in a conundrum. I most certainly didn't want to stay in a places like these. Being alone meant I could cut some corners on the accommodation but there were limits to what I could tolerate. Since I was no longer confident of getting a room here, should I continue on towards Sagara (90kms away) or somehow spend the night in filth and squalor.

It was 7pm and getting dark. Sagara was 90kms away. I looked at my fuel tank - needle shows half tank of petrol left. Should be okay right? I should be able to cover 90kms in about 75 mins. Easy enough. I head out. Cruising along at 80kmph as usual, headbanging away to glory, tripping to my favorite metal band - Opeth, life was good. A few kms on, the road started climbing upwards. Uh-oh. Ghat sections. Totally slipped my mind! Forget cruising at 80, I was reduced to crawling up in 1st/2nd gear at 25kmph. I thought it was gonna get quite late indeed. A few minutes into the ghat, I noticed something quite alarming. When I go up an incline, the petrol indication shows a different value, more than half tank. And when I go down an incline, the needle moves quite a lot in the other direction! I don't know how much fuel is actually left in the tank! I start tensing up, there is obviously no petrol bunk on the ghat section, it's just one narrow road with dense forests on either side and very little traffic - either human or vehicular. I hope I manage to reach Sagar without incident.

36kms before Jog falls, the bike stops. I was taken aback! Surely I should have managed to get a few more kms out of the bike. What was the odometer reading when I last filled fuel? I don't remember. Then I remember, the fuel line is still set to 'Main'and not 'Reserve'. I turn the valve to reserve and press the starter. Voila! It starts. But now, I'm really nervous. I don't think I'll be able to reach Sagar. It's more than 60kms away. I am driving on reserve, up a ghat section, almost never touching even 3rd gear. It's pitch dark and the higher up I go, the foggier it gets. Soon, even on high beam, I can barely see 20 feet ahead. Progress slows to a crawl. And, if I pull my helmet visor down, the inside of the visor is getting totally misted over rendering it opaque. I'm forced to ride with the visor up and soon my face is numb all over. I can't even feel my nose and worry gives way to outright panic! Headbanging to Nile - Even the Gods Must Die is suddenly replaced by fervent pleas to every deity to ensure I reach a safe spot for the night. I am confident of not making it to Sagar. I remember a guest house near Jog falls. Its about 30kms away now. Should be doable. I stick like a leech to this tempo traveller (so ridiculously overdone with blinking LEDs and garish lights that it would have put Govinda's pants to shame!) ahead of me, hoping the reduced air drag on my bike should result in improved fuel efficiency. I am trying to come up with contingency plans. I do not relish the thought of having to push a behemoth Enfield up a ghat section at night. I can barely pull my own weight as it is. I'm making a mental list of people I can call and talk to throughout the night if I break down in the middle of the road. I do not want to fall asleep by the side of a forest either. What a nightmare! Damn me being so pricey! Maybe I had to simply put up with a dirty room in Honnavar itself and none of this would have happened. But now I've come too far to turn around also!

I come across this Omni parked by the side of the road. A group of men are drinking and playing cards by the roadside, using the car's headlights for illumination. Should I approach them? I don't know how drunk they are. I muster up courage and ask them where I could get my hands on petrol. They inform me that the nearest petrol bunk is in Sagar. That's too far away for me. I pester them some more. They tell me to go ahead for a few more kms till I come across this place called 'Mavinagudi' and if I was lucky, I could manage to get some petrol in the black market there. Finally! Some good news. I am determined to reach this hamlet as soon as I can. As far as I am able to work out, there is almost 20kms left. Every passing milestone in the dark reduced my anxiety by a fraction. About 5kms left by my calculations. * Shudder * *bike makes weird noises* This does not look good!
I coax the bike along and it's complaining every single step. I finally see the check point up front. A whole cluster of lights. A few enterprising folk have put up some makeshift stalls near this checkpoint that's at the intersection of two roads. I have never felt happier seeing a police jeep in my life! I am now coasting along for the final few metres and the bike gives one last gasp and comes to a complete stop! Talk about timing eh?! I walk up to the first shop after the check point like I was informed and go
'sir swalpa petrol konDkobekittu' (sir I wanted to buy some petrol)
He gives me this greatly exaggerated Who? Me?! look and says blandly he's never sold petrol in his life. I'm completely nonplussed. Eh? I'm quite sure this is the shop I was told about. He asks me where I heard this 'rumour' that he sells petrol. I told him some locals down the road informed me about it. He points to another shop and tells me to go check there.

I go ahead and ask the same with no change in result. Hmm. Not what I was expecting. Were they having me on or does someone actually sell petrol here? The shops there made me play around, each shop pointing me onwards to another shop. A thought stuck my mind. Are they playing hardball with me because I didn't buy anything from their shop? Seems unlikely, but what do I have to lose? I saunter over to the n'th shop they've pointed me to and go "ondu coffee koDi"( gimme a coffee) After a piping cup, I ask "Tinnakke yen ide?"( what do you have to eat?) After ordering a bread omelette, I discreetly lean in and ask "Petrol idya?"( do you have petrol?) A slow nod of the head. Success!! I ask for 2 litres, more than enough to take me to Sagar and conclude the transaction. Suddenly the hills seem so beautiful again under the moonlight!

I ride down without any further event to Sagar. Finding a lodge or a room becomes extremely hard. I was not expecting this again. Everything is full. I don't want to ride to Shivamogga. That's a further 74kms away and it's already 10pm. I decide to head deeper into the alleys to find any place that will have a room to spare. I finally found one extremely shady lodge. They informed me that there's no room to be spared but I see one solitary key hanging on the wall behind him with room 104 written on it. I practically beg him to give me any room under the sun. I just want a place to spend the night. I don't care about TV or other amenities. He obviously took me at face value, because he led me to what was probably being used as a storeroom by them. No TV. no chair/table/wardrobe. Not even a mug and bucket in the washroom. But I'm too exhausted to care. I just wanna sleep.

Last edited by Rehaan : 26th October 2015 at 18:37. Reason: removed 1 reference to drinking beer
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Old 26th October 2015, 14:55   #5
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Next day I wake up early. Want to leave with enough time to spare because I'm expecting heavy traffic leading back to bangalore. The road is a nightmare. If the road is continuously bad, everyone will obviously go slow and be extra cautious. The problem I had with this road in particular was that it's very well laid out 90% of the time and then out of the blue you'll end up with a gigantic crater on the road. The problem is further accentuated because of the fact that there is ample tree cover on both the sides, leading to shade on the road which makes it harder to spot the potholes.

To make matters worse, the most horrible speed breakers on the earth have been installed on this road!
Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)-img_20151024_090111.jpg

There is no discernible pattern to these speed breakers. I found anywhere between 10-18 of these in a row, with no standard distance or height being followed. A bunch of them didn't even have the white paint on top, making it extremely dangerous.
As soon as I crossed Arsikere, I took a deviation and joined NH-75 ( the Belur highway) which is truly a pleasure to ride on. While the Honnavar - Shivamogga road had a serious dearth of CCDs, I found a couple of them on this highway from where I joined till Nelamangala. However, true to my predictions, traffic became dense right from Yediyur and was insane by the time I reached Nelamangala. It felt just like riding through Whitefield at rush hour on a weekday.

Needless to say, me and my back didn't enjoy this last bit of the road and I was glad to reach home in time for dinner. Have a full day of rest on Sunday before I head to the grind of office on Monday.

So. Was this enough to let me know why people do solo trips? I would say yes. It's kinda difficult for me to put this across in words, but I felt at peace riding the bike. The flashing scenery, the faint music in the background, the steady hum of the engine. It felt very calming to me. Almost like the hum of a river in the background. The bare minimum of the brain is occupied to keep the bike in motion with all due safety and the rest of the brain takes a vacation! Would I do it again? Definitely!
After being abroad on work these last few years, I have come back to see that the quality of roads have improved very noticeably atleast on the major highways in Karnataka. However, driving etiquette leaves a lot to be desired. The sheer number of people who drive breaking rules with all impunity is staggering. Forget trucks and autos, even private cars are used at night with only one headlight I'd say if you have the money to buy a Corolla then you should have the money to fix a faulty headlight too! It's criminal!

Almost 75% of the people don't bother to lower their headlight to an oncoming 2-wheeler. I've noticed people lower their high beams more often when I'm using my car on a highway than a bike. This was the first time I was riding my bike over such long distances, both on highways and interior roads. By the time I came home, the odo read 1349 kms and I enjoyed every km of it. Well, almost!

Thanks for reading, hope it was fun.
Regards,
Shreyas Cashyap

Last edited by Rehaan : 26th October 2015 at 18:38.
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Old 26th October 2015, 18:38   #6
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Default re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th October 2015, 11:58   #7
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Default re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Great adventure!

I've several friends in the hospitality/lodging industry as far as I know, such reserve (a fully equipped room that's not available for rent) rooms in lodges are usually those with a "reputation".

For example, a room where a suicide had been committed.
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Old 27th October 2015, 12:44   #8
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Brilliant write up mate! You have a very enjoyable and involving writing style.

Quote:
One thing I had not done till date however, was a solo trip. Car or bike, I had never gone alone anywhere. I had always wondered what drives the people who do solo trips. How do they manage without any company? Don't they get bored without having anyone to talk to?
These are the exact same thoughts that went through my head when I first got my Thunderbird. Initially, the fear of a breakdown always made me wary of riding out solo, because I wasn't that mechanically gifted (not that I am now either), but then you gradually realize that solo riding really helps you discover yourself and what kind of rider you are (as I'm sure you discovered in this trip).

Quote:
This was the location shown on the map, bang in the center of the city. Upon reaching there, I spent quite some time trying to find out where in the middle of this ramshackle building I was led to was the entrance to the hotel. The pictures on the app looked so nice ,this surely couldn't be the place! Spoke to a shopkeeper nearby and he said in over 30 years of running his establishment there, he had yet to come across a hotel by that name anywhere nearby! Hmmm. Called up the hotel to ask them where exactly I had to come and they told me that it was actually in Mukka, and not Mangalore at all !! A good 17kms outside Mangalore along the Mlore-Surathkal road. Sigh. -1 to Google Maps. Never in all the years of using the maps have I been led so far astray.
I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been. Faced a similar situation when I was in Goa and Google maps took me a good hour off course and almost got me stuck in some narrow village by-lanes. Times like these remind you that in India we have the benefit of people power. No matter how remote the area, there's a good chance you'll come across someone who can help with directions.

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few minutes into the ghat, I noticed something quite alarming. When I go up an incline, the petrol indication shows a different value, more than half tank. And when I go down an incline, the needle moves quite a lot in the other direction!

Headbanging to Nile - Even the Gods Must Die is suddenly replaced by fervent pleas to every deity to ensure I reach a safe spot for the night.
That's Royal Enfield for you. Quite tricky in semi-urban areas where fuel pumps don't come up too often. It also works the other way, where it looks like you have no fuel and ask the petrol pump attendant to put in almost 4 figures worth. Lo and behold, 300 bucks later you're looking at a tank that's seconds away from spilling over like boiling milk. That's why it's best to open the cap and physically check the tank.

Last edited by Tushar : 27th October 2015 at 12:46.
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Old 27th October 2015, 14:15   #9
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You have a flair for story telling, mate ! This just doesn't look like a debut travelogue at all. Wonderful writing style. Very early into the post, you sucked the readers into your tale. Looking forward to more such posts !
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Old 27th October 2015, 14:37   #10
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Thank you for the kind words Tushar, sandeep and venkat! Will surely write more every subsequent trip I go on! Consider me truly bitten by the solo riding bug now!
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Old 27th October 2015, 17:09   #11
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Hi ,I enjoyed reading your thread and the way you had unfolded the story. Riding solo definitely has its plus points and the sense of fulfillment is very unique. Hope you do more of these trips and write about them.
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Old 27th October 2015, 17:23   #12
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I went to Gokarna sometime back and i think i was lying down at the same spot as you (well, i guess so).

Enjoyed the interesting read. Kudos!
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Old 27th October 2015, 18:23   #13
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Originally Posted by shreyascashyap View Post
I was suddenly taken in with a desire to go see my grandfather's ancestral house. My mother's side of the family are all originally from there, but no one has lived there in the last 2 decades after my grandfather passed on. I was only a toddler the last time I visited there and had no memories of the house at all.

Called up my folks and asked directions and finally ended up here. The neighbours had a key and I requested them to let me inside to have a look around.

It's a 'toTTi-mane' style of architecture, with a central open-air courtyard of sorts with a washroom sunken into the floor and has rooms and other areas leading out of this. A very unique style of architecture many city dwellers don't get to see these days.
Very nice writeup! Solo rides are the best! Good time to contemplate or just ride with an empty mind. Even better if you love reading. Take along your favourite read and just doze off at the end of a ride. Bliss!

Loved the pic of the old house. Reminded me of days when I used to visit my grandmom. Her house had a nice central courtyard as well.
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Old 28th October 2015, 10:36   #14
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The next hotel I checked, the room looked as if it was the spot for a bloody murder, with red paan-spit adorning the walls everywhere, a dingy bulb swinging slowly from a wire suspended from the ceiling and peeling paint everywhere! I hastily left the establishment to check the next lodge where there was fungus on the "white" bedsheets! .
Whav, lovely writeup! The journey from Honnavar to Sagara was thrillingÖit was reliving the blockbuster RangiTaranga again!
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Old 28th October 2015, 11:37   #15
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So. Was this enough to let me know why people do solo trips? I would say yes. It's kinda difficult for me to put this across in words, but I felt at peace riding the bike. The flashing scenery, the faint music in the background, the steady hum of the engine. It felt very calming to me. Almost like the hum of a river in the background. The bare minimum of the brain is occupied to keep the bike in motion with all due safety and the rest of the brain takes a vacation! Would I do it again? Definitely!
shreyas mate what a wonderful and simple way of narration you have, thoroughly enjoyed reading your solo(and adventurous) travelogue. I too have two RE Thunderbirds and they are a bliss to have on long rides. Your solo ride experience is similar to mine. Among the numerous trips/rides I have done in groups, the most I enjoy is doing solo trips/rides. There is something mystical and intriguing about solo riders and I am one among them. Sometimes it feels let's just go with the flow without planning a thing. Our lives have become so process oriented and mechanical that we plan for anything and everything. The thrill and adventure of unknown circumstances tests our as well the motorcycle's ability to come out of the situation successfully. I wish you many more rides in the future. The feeling of being one with the nature, machine and one's own self cannot be experienced in a car, for that one needs a motorcycle.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 28th October 2015 at 11:38.
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