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Old 21st July 2008, 20:34   #1
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Default Work and then Play!!!

Thursday
July 17th 1330 hrs,
Get a call from wife asking if I can accompany her to Manipal. First cribbed about the car having worn tyres et all. Then gave her the answer she knew.

Thursday
July 17th 1730 hrs,
Log on and check route info, decide on skipping Shiradi ghats altogether and go the Karkala way. PM Samurai, and the gentleman that he is, immediately calls up and we chat for about 15 mins. Gives me some more directions and I'm all set.

Friday
July 18th 0400 hrs,
Start from home, pick up wife's colleague from Malleswaram and head out onto Tumkur road.

0700 hrs we are in Hassan, enter town and stop at a hotel for breakfast.
0745 hrs, we are back on the road after topping up at a HP pump and take the Belur road.

This road is awesome, very well marked lanes with sparse traffic and well designed banking. Reached Belur, took left turn towards Mudigere.
The road to Mudigere is not as welllaid as the Hassan-Belur stretch but good nevertheless.

Reach Mudigere and ignore the road marked Dharmasthala and continue into town. Stop and ask for directions to Charmady and are told to turn back and go in the road heading towards Dharmasthala.

This road takes you into a different world. The Charmady ghats welcome you with cloud covered views and lush greenery.Contd..
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Old 21st July 2008, 21:06   #2
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Nice...

Hows the charmadi road condition??

Will be going to Mangalore this weekend, guess might take charmadi if the roads are good?

Waiting for part 2........

Last edited by lohithrao : 21st July 2008 at 21:08.
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Old 21st July 2008, 21:31   #3
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After crossing the ghats, we reached Ujire, past Ujire entered Belthangady and turned right towards Karkala just after the town limits.

Average roads till Karkala, at Karkala took the byepass even though Samurai had warned against it and drove a few extra kilometers to reach the other end of town.
Asked for directions to Manipal as the signboard is a bit confusing.

18th July
1215 hrs
Call Samurai, announced that we've arrived at his abode and get directions to his office.
Reach Samurai's office which is quite an impressive place all by itself on a picturesque hill. See the GV and the jeep parked outside and enter to meet the man himself.

We chat and before we know it is time to remember that we are actually there on work and so with quick apologies to Samurai and his wife who were actually waiting for lunch as discussed, we head out into town to meet up with my wife's colleagues who were waiting for her arrival.
Lunched at a local hangout called Dollops and then went to check in to our hotel which was called Valley view. Discovered rooms were not yet ready and kicked up a fuss as were supposed to have checked in at 1200 hrs itself and it was well past 1400 hrs. So they gave us the suite to freshen up. sat around and discussed options for saturday.
Samurai had told us about the white water rafting in Seethanadi, I was all for it but my wife was a bit apprehensive as she has undergone a spine surgery recently for a slipped disc.
Call up the contact and we were told that we could be accomodated only for the rafting but no stayover accomodation was available. Thoughts of driving to Devbagh were quickly discarded on account of the bad condition of the coastal highway.

Went for another round of official work and came back to the hotel for a quick swim and shower. By then it was time to call Samurai again and fix up an appointment for dinner. Samurai then arrived with wife and son and he took us to a place called China Town, the food was very good and we had a leisurely dinner.

After dinner samurai suggested we go to End Point which was very close to the place we were. We drove up to Endpoint and walked around a bit and Samurai asked me to check out the Grand Vitara, I took it for a spin and was quite impressed. Before we bid goodnight Samurai told us he'd accompany us the next morning to Seethanadi to click photos of the rafting venture.

Last edited by Samurai : 25th July 2008 at 19:39. Reason: removed repeated parts
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Old 22nd July 2008, 13:10   #4
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19th July
0800 hrs
We check out of the hotel, top up and head towards samurai's office where he is waiting for us. Samurai takes off and we struggle to keep pace, I then call him and ask him to stop as I wanted to ride with him.
We drive to Seethanadi river camp, this is a camp run by the forest department. We park and another small round of photographs happens.

Will continue this way in parts...
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Old 22nd July 2008, 13:14   #5
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We then meet up with the organiser of the rafting expedition and we are told that we will be taken further upstream to the starting point and since Samurai knew the place he offered to drop us off at the place. We get into our rafting attire (basically swimming gear) and we are zoomed off in the GV.
The following pictures of rafting are courtesy Samurai. I am shamelessly borrowing them. (The same are posted in his Travelogue too)
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Old 22nd July 2008, 13:19   #6
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Nice report there Luke and rafting would have been quite an experience and sharath's report about your trip and pics said it all. It seemed you really had a nice trip
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Old 22nd July 2008, 13:20   #7
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Contd. from above post

White water rafting can be described as sheer adrenalin pumping spells followed by complete calm. We need to carefully follow instructions being hollered out by our captain and do exactly as he says, we found out the importance of his instructions when one of the rafters fell overboard (discovered he's a team-bhpian too), and luckily escaped injury, then our raft got stranded on rocks and we had to get out on slippery surface to disentangle it.
One of the rafts tore one of it's compartments and began listing dangerously, so they asked people in that to distribute themselves in the other rafts.
3 hrs and 15 kms of back breaking effort later we reached the end of stage one, pounced on lunch which was arranged, like a pack of wolves. sadly we had to bid goodbye to the rest of the guys who were continuing on the full run, as we had to start back.

19th July
1530 hrs
Came out drenched and exhausted after the rafting experience, a jeep took us back to the main camp where we had parked our car and all our worldly belongings. We changed into dry clothes and were offered a welcome cup of hot tea. Paid up the parking and rafting charges and started out towards Theerthahalli.

Crossed the Agumbe ghats, this road was in good shape the last time I had gone, but now it is falling apart. The concrete road is breaking in slabs and each slab shudders whenever a vehicle passes on it.
Drove past Agumbe town which remains as sleepy as ever. Our destination was a resort in Theerthahalli called Vihangama.
We were clueless of its existence, but since we had no options at Seethanadi, this was suggested by the person organising the rafting.
We were very tense about the kind of accomodation we would encounter as we had been told it was a place which was between a homestay and a resort.
We were floored at the very first view itself. Here are some pics:
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Old 22nd July 2008, 13:22   #8
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We drove into this beautiful place by the river Tungabhadra to be welcomed by a serene atmosphere. This resort (or homestay) is situated in a 25 acre plot of arecanut and is run by a very sweet family. Vihangama offers rooms at 1500/- with additional costs for meals. It has about 8 rooms on offer, which are spread out over the campus. We were the only ones in the place as they had not taken bookings as the family was out of town, but a last minute change of their heart meant we were accomodated and looked after the lovely Deepika, the young daughter-in-law of the house.
We checked in, had tea and then decided to wind down with a few games of table tennis.
Dinner was served at 2030 hrs, after which we fell into an exhausted slumber.
20th July
0730 hrs
Wake up to bird calls and went for a walk. Took a few pics of the flora and fauna around
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Old 22nd July 2008, 13:24   #9
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0830 hrs
Breakfast is served and we pack and lounge around some more trying to hold back time as we know that it is back into the rat race from the next day.
Finally with a heavy heart, we check out at 1130 hrs and head towards Shimoga. We crossed shimoga and stopped at a dhaba in Kadur for lunch.
By this time we were within cell phone range and the calls started. Arsikere, Tiptur, Gubbi flashed past and we stopped just before Tumkur at the Tumkur dairy for ice creams and flavoured milk. Took the Tumkur bye pass and joined the never ending stream of trucks on the six lane expressway.
1645 hrs, we were at Dobbspet, took the road going down the flyover and turned left towards Doddaballapur as this road is newly laid and is totally traffic free. The next 60 odd kms is easily done within an hour and I had to stop by at my workplace for some crisis and were stuck there till 2030 hrs.
Finally reached home by 2100 hrs and thus had another trip under the belt.

Routes taken:
Onward journey:
Bangalore-Nelamangala-Hassan-Belur-Mudigere-Charmady-Belthangady-karkala-Manipal
Return journey:
Manipal-Hebri-Agumbe-Theerthahalli-Shimoga-Tarikere-Kadur-Arsikere-Tiptur-Gubbi-Tumkur-Dobbspet-Doddaballapur-Bangalore.
I would like to thank Sharath (Samurai) for having taken time off his busy schedule to be with us. It was really nice spending time with you and your family. Thank you for your suggestions and we had a whale of a time due to your inputs.
Regards.
Hari.

Note:
Mods kindly delete the initial posts in which the photos are not uploaded. Also edit the title to photos uploaded. Thanks.
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Old 22nd July 2008, 21:40   #10
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Thats good report I guess you need to reload few pictures of initial post or you might have covered all by now. Let me make plan in 1 year about Seeta Nadi Rafting. Looks like its very interesting place.

Vihangama is very good place to stay, they provide 5 star quality service. My father appreciated their business model with excellant execution of agriculture cum homestay (one can say it is more than Resort). I loved every food they prepared. Very good place to stay. .:: Vihangama ::.

Regards,

Ravi.

Last edited by ravibhat : 22nd July 2008 at 21:45.
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Old 27th July 2008, 09:13   #11
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Where are the shots from end point?
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Old 27th July 2008, 09:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
we found out the importance of his instructions when one of the rafters fell overboard (discovered he's a team-bhpian too), and luckily escaped injury, then our raft got stranded on rocks and we had to get out on slippery surface to disentangle it.
One of the rafts tore one of it's compartments and began listing dangerously, so they asked people in that to distribute themselves in the other rafts.
3 hrs and 15 kms of back breaking effort later we reached the end of stage one, pounced on lunch which was arranged, like a pack of wolves.
Looks like you guys had lot more excitement in the first part itself, we had much tamer experience in the first part.

Talking about exhaustion, I wasn't exhausted even after finishing the full run. But the effort of carrying the raft 100-150m uphill surely did me in. You missed that fun part since you didn't continue.
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Old 27th July 2008, 12:06   #13
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Well Sharath, we did not do the full run as you know because
1) We did not have a place to stay as yet
2) We really did not know what to expect

Anyway, I'm sure to be back to do the full run and maybe more.

The pics from end point are :
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Old 27th July 2008, 12:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
Crossed the Agumbe ghats, this road was in good shape the last time I had gone, but now it is falling apart. The concrete road is breaking in slabs and each slab shudders whenever a vehicle passes on it.
And you took you car there??? Last time (first time for me) it was horrible. We were on GV and watching a Civic going through hell in front of us. Poor city cars..
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Old 27th July 2008, 12:42   #15
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Quote:
And you took you car there??? Last time (first time for me) it was horrible. We were on GV and watching a Civic going through hell in front of us. Poor city cars..
Did it with clenched teeth. But the car took it pretty well I should say.
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