It all started over a round of beer 1 month ago while deciding to attend a friend’s marriage scheduled on 11th march. Now being the kind of guy who loves driving I started a parallel discussion of my own about leaving 2 days earlier and visiting the western ghats on the way to Udupi (which was going to be our last halt for the next 3 days).
So as planned 8th morning the clock struck 4AM, I was up with a smile (one one of the few times I get up at that hour and smile) , washed up ,new clothes on, a cup of hot self-made coffee and the engine was started.
Patted my beauty to help me get back home safe ,loaded the goods and pulled the car out of the garage.
Saying ‘Bye Bye’ to my parents I left to pick up my friends who stayed en-route.
First-stop 6kms away at my friend’s place.
Hoping that ,that guy would be ready I woke up early to reach his place , then I realize he is still bathing, Thankfully my other friends were done with their stuff at least
Had another cup of coffee made by his mother and left Bangalore at 6:30AM
Bangalore-> Nayandahalli -> Tumkur rd -> Bellur Cross -> Sakalespura -> channarayapattana -> charmadi ghats-> Mangalore ->Udupi
Bangalore-> Nayandahalli -> Tumkur rd -> Bellur cross
Toll Roads and are fabulous to drive on. Go as fast as you can and dare to, No one to ask.
I managed 160kmph
Sakalespura(ghats) -> channarayapattana -> Charmadi Ghats->Mangalore->Udupi
Single lane but good roads
The ghat section is now a good stretch of asphalt but going fast is not advisable 60-70kmph at some points but mostly slow. Roads are good all through
After the Ghats end all the way till udupi its a single lane road one can touch 120kmph sometimes but on an avg its best to keep it below 100kmph
I averaged about 70-90kmph
(I’m sorry guys I dont remember the Highway numbers as its been some time)
Soon after the tumkur toll we stopped for a cup of coffee again and fully charged we were planning about what can be seen on the way to Udupi.
We had breakfast for about 45mins as if it was no ones business and left by about 8:30 and next stop was suppose to be Udupi .
Once we encountered sakalespura ghats I was reborn thanks to my Fiat, the handling ,road grip …….. Nothing more to say.
Just chuck it in 3rd gear roll the windows down and enjoy the nature’s beauty and man’s achievements
En-route we were passing via Manjarabad when it occurred to my friend that we can go visit the fort there built by Tippu Sultan (it was on outpost). So we reached that place got out and started to hike at about 12:30PM,
Its a small walk to reach the fort enclosure and we had nice fun talking about the colonial era.
We climbed up and then “what a beauty”….
We could see the entire western ghats from the top and even at 12:30PM there was no hint of heat and we thoroughly enjoyed the stay there.
None of us spoke to each other, just sit and enjoy for as long as time permits .
After a session of photos (which lasted 45mins) we finally made our way back down had coconut water and off again towards Udupi(or so we thought)
We reached Mangalore at 4:30PM and again it was bright ,windy and humid now this calls for a beach ,we all thought and as luck would have it we knew one that just fit the bill and fit very well indeed.
The beach is called, “TaneerBahvi” (translated means “Cold water well) this is right adjacent to “new mangalore port”.
Though its all over on the internet not many people bother visiting this place and hence we “HAD” to go there
Its was a slight deviation from our actual route but then who cares we had no time limit anyway
After reaching this place we were mesmerized by the calmness of that place , waves hit you every other moment from below while there is a silent smile that the cool breeze brings in you , all in all makes one forget about everything even oneself and just look at the sky,water and sun and think of nothing else in between.
After a peaceful time on the beach and some lunch later we hit the road again and reached Udupi at about 5:45PM.
Again enroute we stumbled upon another beach (in udupi outskirts) called “kapu Beach”, we were thinking we should come back in the morning to see the sunrise there and just then saw a hotel close by .
Without thinking twice we just moved in
(Distance from hotel ->Beach ,== 2km)
This hotel was to be our resting place for the next 2 days to come .
All tired and sweaty we bunked in a room for 500Rs a night, ordered coffee and almost as soon as we came in ,we were out on the road to take a look at the Kapu beach.
This was a better beach in terms of population and lighthouse and the usual evening crowd.
The guys jumped into the water straight away while i was happy fiddling around with my camera and taking photos.
We stayed there till 8:30PM and decided to leave when one of us promptly said, “Dude how about dinner on the Beach”?
Dinner?, Beach,? at 10PM?? errr…….
But then who cares we said OK and came back to the hotel ordered food, parceled it and hit the beach and by about 10PM there was not even the slightest hint of anyone alive on that beach , just what we wanted
Ate well sat hearing the roaring waves come ever more closer to the shores and onto us , Completely tired we left to finally wind up day 1.
As planned woke up , had energy boosters a.k.a coffee, and left to visit the “Sri Krishna Temple” in Udupi, Darshan over Bunked in for free lunch there at 12:30PM and on the road again, destination “St marys Island” (off the coast of Mangalore)
The drive through Mangalore city , then through the wharf was all but delightful except that we bangaloreans had to bear the heat everything was fine.
Payed up 200rs took a speed boat to the island 30mins on the ocean and we were on “St marys island”, its peculiar in a sense to see a beach nestled away from the mainland amidst deep ocean ,so it was a sight never seen for all of us and fully thrilled we jumped into the salty water and started playing water polo…
Hmm so what did we use for the Ball then???? A floating coconut
The whistle started to blow signalling that we needed to hurry up as the boat was leaving, happy that we were wet in a humid and hot place we came out ,climbed up the boat and went back to the mainland.
Sat there for a while ,watched the sunset and left back to our room hoping to again have a beach dinner shortly (we were famished )
Reached our room by 9PM , bathed to get the sand from every small pore in our body and sat down for a while. One guy said “Do we need to go to the beach for dinner?”,
Another guy said “Do we need to go to the beach for dinner?”
Another guy dialed 9 called room service and ordered dinner
I was asleep
There ends our Day 2.
Day 3 was only a get up and go back to Bangalore and we had planned to leave by 10AM and reach by 4-5PM but the twist to this was that we woke up at 10AM,
Not in any mood to hurry we took our own time but decided to pass the ghat section before sunset at least as I dont like Night driving.
But everyone including me was so tired that we left udupi only at 3PM .
Nothing else to do we took our time and reached Mangalore by 4:30PM and stopped for lunch we come out and and realize that our beloved sun has started to rise for our western friends
So the experience of driving in the ghats in the night had also come true.
We managed to safely clear the ghats and reach tumkur rd by 11PM (with ample stops in between) had dinner at a dhaba and safely reached home by 12:15AM
I can now cross ghats off my list and add it as the first trip of 2012.All in all it was a wonderful trip with great friends ,
Drive was lovely and so was my Fiat
Full set of photos can be found here on my flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/renegade_5105