Monday, January 08, 2007

New Year's Party at GOA

Last sunset of 2006.
Pix by Vicky and Ashvin.

New Year's at Goa was 1 of my wishes from even before my biking days. Having missed it narrowly last year and was hopeful of it this year and the eternal GOA buff Vicky was into goa since long. So a vacation at goa was planned. With many ppl in and out, it was finally me, vicky, nidhi and ashvin from pune were in for the party along with vicky's friend vijay who plans to come by bus.

Lot of confusion as to whether to go by bike or car. We were pretty much aware of the risks of not getting a shelter in goa with peak tourism season now. A car could be used as make shift shelter if we don get rooms. With 1 day to go vicky who had been lobbying a car ride, realized the boringness of it and calls up to say "car not happening dude, bike please :D". Though sanity had taken over my mind and had agreed for car, I still wanted it to be on our bikes and so be it :D. Another bike ride it is. Rooms? Will think of it when we get there :D

29th Dec 2006,

6 am at Maruthi mandir was the meeting point and as I was about to leave my house, vicky calls up and says he's already there!!. Man is he in a hurry to goa :D. I am late this time. Make it there to find nidhi standing in Tee n short!!. He's not coming due to parental pressure. Fuel up and leave bangy by 7 am. Still chilly in the morning we were hoping for the sun to come up soon but, we only find the 4 laner to tumkur with full of mist!!. My bike's tuning not good with a failed attempt at jetting. It’s now become so sensitive to tuning and weather. I keep doing trial and error with the tuning and it’s only by the end of the trip that I kinda get it to ok types.

But even with the bad tuning the p180 had no where to run. There was no trouble to keepup with the p180 goin in full flow. Even saw a 123 on the speedo. Though 125 is the record on my speedo but i wasnt riding then ;). We ride almost continuously to get to shimoga at 11 am for a brunch and start by 12. At least the boring straight roads are over now. But my bike is still struggling with bad tuning and kinda kills the fun on the curves. The stretch from shivmoga to sagar has got many sections with the road covered with shadow of the tree canopy. Some how we never seem to stop at these kinda places in ne of our trips. We gorge on the different kinds of twisties and make it to Goa border by 5 pm. Crossing margoa we stop for a break and this is where Vicky looses it. "We have been riding for the whole day but where the hell is Goan beach ?!?!" We carry on slowly from here. But traffic drives us nuts. We do payback with our own mad ride in goan traffic and reach calungut beach by 7 pm. My BSNL phone stops working even though its got roaming and lot of balance left. Its gonna be like this till we are in goa, so frustrating. 1 of the bolts holding the exhaust to the bore seems to have fallen off and worse the stud it self has fallen off from the bore. Cant put new bolt either. Was getting this air loss sound from there and I tighten the 1 bolt left. It seems to stop the noise. I just hope it holds for the rest of the trip. Cos the only way to fix it is to remove the bore, take it to leth and get it re threaded with new stud!!. Ne way optimistically carry on.

Resourceful Vicky finds us a place to shack up alright :). It’s a pre-historic structure for 2k per day for four. That’s the Goan rates and we take it. Its just 2 mins walk from the beach. Unbelievable!! That we could find such a place at New Year’s. It was so near to beach that we had to trudge our bike in beach sand some 20 meters to get to the room hehe. Ashvin and vijay to come the next day. From now for a couple of days we do the biking blasphemy of riding around with chappals, Tee and Bermuda :D. After all were just riding a couple of KMs slowly in the traffic and we wore much more than most of the ppl riding around there :)). Calungut beach has direct access and every one goes to the same beach. Its like a regular tourist beach. But Baga beach a couple of KMs to the inside which requires own vehicle to get to, is where the party is happening. Can find young crowd mostly there. And Baga beach is where we hang out the most of the time. We have a dinner at Italian restaurant. Though Vicky enjoys the Italian cuisine, I never seem to like Italian food and eat very lil. Let the drinking begin :D. Here I start my half yearly drinking ritual in goa. Its funny i never taste alcohol between ne where, but have it only here. Its the ambiance that matters too :D.

Then we get to the beach, and its one big party floor. Kool music blaring in all the shacks, lot of hep crowd, dancing and partying. On the other side it was the calm sea with moon shining in full glory with a wide streak of moon light reflection on the sea. The view was soothing. Then I wanted to kill 1 more of my curiosity, and tried smoking for the first time. Must say its fun but I never seem to get it right. Of the 2 cigs I finished I seem to have gotten only a couple of puffs right!!. But ended up with burning sensation in lungs really horrible thing it is. Then I quit smoking as soon as I started :P. Some time there I really liked was being lil drunk, lil high due to cig, relaxing on the beach with calm sea, with moon light reflection, cold breeze, with music, lights, and party in the back ground. That was bliss. Felt free. Really enjoyed those moments.

Get to our room and crash.

30th Dec 2006,

Having already caught my sinus cold the previous day, I woke up to a sore throat, headache and body pain!!. Wat a holiday? Take some medicine and doze off and wake up by 12 feeling bettor and all ready to party ;). It was really strange great feeling. No riding, for a couple of days, no time constraints, just laze around in the most happening place in India. Walking along the beach with shacks, beds and umbrellas, and quite a visual treat looking at the best of desi damsels :D.

Took beer bottles and were walking on the beach having it. :D No one to judge and sab chaltha hai. Some guilty pleasures LOL. The last times we roamed on this beach we were like lugging our full baggage and even our helmet. Really enjoy every moment of it. We settle in a beach restaurant while we wait for ashvin. Vijay it seems has missed his bus and is coming the next day. Vodka is ordered even before our sandwich ;). Then ashvin comes along. Loud cheers as we greet each other. Me meeting him like almost an year since he moved out of bangy. He has a gulp at vodka even before he gets seated :)). Two's company and Three's a crowd. kool we got our own crazy crowd now :D.

Nothing much we do but laze around, get into water play in the sea. Stay around the beach till sunset.

Then we go towards vagetar beach, and check out some happening places there. Ashvin and me get ourselves hats and it seems to be an eye catching attire;) . An open/pub come disco-theque we get in. Not before thorough checkup of our stuff and the guards mistake the guys’ tripod for rifles :)). Get in and it had a trance environment with black light every where and ppl wearing weird dress that has some stuff that glows in the dark. Loud music, and it looked like most were stoned with dope ;). Then we check out primrose, but nothing much happening there. Vicky gets fascinated by the weird glowing paintings on the walls of the indoor trance disco-theque and tries out his photography.

Also find a Chinese restaurant with name as 'Two can chew' !! lol.

Think of getting back to Baga beach, but that becomes on hard task, with the narrow roads utterly jammed. Partying crowd throw all traffic rules to the drain and we try to squeeze through every possible nook and cranny to get ourselves out of there. We check out the sat night flea market on the edge of a lake. We not much of shoppers, but the guys with cams find photographic opportunities try to capture the colorful market and its reflection on the water.

Get near baga and try to have some food, which ends up in an argument with restaurant giving bad service. Witness a brawl and fist fight between the pub security, and drunken guy and his girl. It was funny :D. Then wat get to our room late and crash.

31st Dec 2006,

Wake up past 11.30 am!! The room’s got TV, fridge but no hot water!. Now that’s some logic. Its goa n ppl need fridge to keep drinks, party late sleep late and get up late and its hot by that time so who needs hot water LOL. Ne way Its the party day that we have been dreaming all our lives. !! err.. Okie that’s a stretch.;) Vijay finally makes it and joins us. We start of with a boat ride from calangut to baga beach.

It was a fun ride, as we near baga, we find ourselves amidst all kinds of water sports going on like, jet skies, banana tug ride, para sailing etc.

Get down at baga and this time surely wanna get into water and play with the half surf boards!! dunno wat they are called. But not before our lazy selves get some food. Italian restaurant it is again n I don’t eat much. We get into Zanzi shack, the most happening beach shack in baga and lucky enough to get ourselves a table to.

Now Vicky is happy, and says "We are not moving from here till next year ;)" Then Ashvin quotes "Lets take turns going too the ATM" LOL. Its party time, with awesome music and vodka on the table. Guys and gals getting on the table and dance.

Me and Ashvin really wanna try out the *half surf board*. But find only 1. Ashvin takes it first while I try to look for another 1 but no luck at it. Then it’s my turn. Its not easy says Ashvin. Hell yeah it’s tough to balance on it. It takes a lot of physical effort to handle it against the waves. But I got it right a few times and jumped on it at the right time when the wave came in and I was carried some 30-40 feet on the board all the way to shore till I hit the shore sand. WOW that’s fun. But its gonna cost me now. This much physical effort is gonna get me cramps all over. Though I had hint of it, I got carried away played too much. Get to the shack shower and by the time I get into dry cloths I am done. Cramps all over and I am immobilized for some half hour and I just sit on a chair unable even to get into the shack. Now this is turning out to be 1 wrong time to loose my health. Not only the cramps, I catch cold, stomach had gone for toss already, now I got this head ache and fever too. Damn!!. The funny thing happens. I signal Vijay to get me water and he mistakes the sign and shows me the tiny vodka bottlet. LOL. Vicky fetches me water to drink alright. And tell them to carry on and I will join em in some time. It’s kinda routine for me. Finally I can move, all tired and get in the shack and settle in the chair.

I am so damn tired that I catch sleep. Where? In a beach shack with loud music blaring and ppl dancing all over shouting n all!!. It seems some ppl were even bowing to me, like how on earth can a guy sleep in such an environment!! LOL. Very funny haha. Finally wake up by 7 PM and have fun in the environment for some time. Party is going on in full steam. But slowly see young crowd being replaced by non regulars there. It’s New Years Eve and e'1 drops in there this day. It’s getting too cold n my jacket's in the room. I need it very badly. So tell the guys that I go get it and will join em. I am completely tired and we got no bikes this time. Decide to walk to calungut beach all the way. It was nice walking along the beach. With great effort I get to the room. N I feel like I can sleep for eternity now. But it’s New Years Eve for heaven's sake and this is wat we came for. I set alarm for 9.30 pm and slept. Snoozed till 10 and just when I was finally getting out of the room the guys show up who had also walked all the way.

It seems the partying began too early and guys got real tired and e1 gets flat. 11.15 By the time we cajole ourselves to get out. After some brain storming on different approaches to baga we take our bikes and get to baga just minutes before 12. Park our bike and dodge the crowd to the beach just in time, and its fire works all around. Fireworks along the whole beach. It was awesome experience.

The beach was crowded to the full and not much place to stand. We great each other 'Happy new year 2007'. Ashvin climbs up a heap of beach shack beds to place his tripod and get his shots. Stay there for quite some time. And soon head to have dinner. N we thought we gonna party till 3-4 am. Not a chance. Room and snore it is.

1st Jan 2007

E1 up by 9.30 and time to head home. Me aching all over feel like I am in no position to ride all the way. Totally drained of energy. No way I am gonna get ne transportation in the peak season and I can’t imagine spending couple of days there. Feel home sick due to bad health and by now e1 pissed off with the over crowded place. Have some thing light and we leave. Bid bye to Ashvin at the deviation. Vijay now rides pillion with Vicky. All I want now it get in KA border and have a heavy south Indian meal.!! Really dunno how am gonna ride all the way. I even put some electrol in a liter water bottle get energy. Already feel the cramps in my hands till we ride to panjim. Have idlis at Kamat's and ride around panjim city a bit. It’s an awesome city. Very less traffic, laid back kool roads clean places, does not look like a typical Indian city.

3pm by the time we leave panjim. Some time into the ride I start feeling bettor and get comfortable. BIKING CURES!!. Now I know I can ride all the way though not fully fit. Twisties is just wat is required and the fun begins. We even find some cars racing on the curves, we follow carefully. But they still were slower than us, kinda the wait for the right time to pass and so we do. It gets dark now with Honnavar still some 80 kms to go. Now I ride by Vicky’s headlight. Riding as a team we pass every vehicle and get to honnavar by 8 pm. Tired !! Is 1 word e1 voices. In KA finally, I hog on south Indian spicy thali much to my satisfaction :D. Now wat to do? Halt are proceed?. Its only gonna get very cold. We had previously thought of stopping at gokarna and to join Arun and gang for the rest of the ride but, we were so tired that just wanted to back to bangy, me more so.

We vote to go ahead at least till sagar. Pack ourselves with extra layers. Nice curvy night ride in store. Then we get on to NH209 and some more fun for the day. We still maintain 60-70-80 in the narrow twisties comfortably. Passing every vehicle that comes in our way. Vicky an expert by now for leaden in dark. We get to sharavati valley view point. Its dark but its full moon day and we could see the whole valley in bright moon light. We could see the road too. Just for fun I took off with headlight off and ride in the moon light. It was fun could easily find the road even in tight twisties, though only the pot holes were tough to avoid. Ok its too slow, headlights on and let the ripping begin. Then some this white Scorpio, who wants to get ahead, though he gains on straights, was slowing down at the curves and that’s when we used to pass him. He he, he must be scratching his head not being able to get ahead of us. :D Get to sagar by 10 and leggo the Scorpio. Yeah he do be sitting all warm inside with the heater and can race all the way to bangy. But we feeling pretty cold and tired decide to call it a day at sagar.

Find a very nice hotel/lodge outside sagar, with big rooms and cheap (comparatively ;) ) much welcomed. We take a 4 bed room for the three or us :D. Lil food and well earned slumber on the nice comfy beds.

2nd Jan 2007

Wake up lazily by 9.30 and all we got now is some normal ride to bangy early and rest. Or so I thought. Just after terikeri Vicky gets off the main road takes a right and stops. Me : "wat ra?", Vicky with a grin on his face : "Kemmangundi". Me instantly nods agreeing. Yeah y not? We got the whole day, now how can we waste ne part of the day at home ? :D. Plus it felt something missing in this ride, not going around good vistas and lot of crowd too. Off we go towards kemmangundi. Beautiful scenic narrow roads through interior villages. A welcome detour. It was a lazy ride now looking around. Nearing kemmangundi the road worsens. WTH how come the roads got so bad. The next 80 kms is like offroading through Himalayas all the way to chickmanglur!!. The roads are now in real bad shape. But the stunning vista around compensates for it. Get to kemmangundi but don’t get in as hebbe falls or Z point will cost us a day. Vicky suggests mulliangiri. Vijay not used to riding so much by now is real unnerved and wants to get home soon. Well we din think the roads to be so bad.

From the there to mulliangiri is one awesome stretch to ride, mesmerizing views all around. Almost nil traffic and wide landscape all around. Enjoying every moment of it. Reach the last motorable point of mulliangiri and stay there for quite some time. Din feel like climbing upto the summit due to lack of time. But it was fun spending time up there under the cozy winter sun. Get to chickmanglur by 4, now on its boring straight roads till bangy. 1 last daylight full throttle rip session till Hassan. I stop and Vicky goes ahead. Then I see my goggles on the road which Vijay seems to have dropped. Wat a coincidence for it fall right where I had stopped!!. In Hassan by 5 and have some lunch.

Now its fast night ride. Easily maintain 100-105 and we decide to avoid going to nelamangala and get stuck in mad traffic all the way to south bangy. Instead we take a right 7 kms past kunigal towards magadi, through we could cover some 50 kms without traffic plus we do get one more twisty section ;). Though the distance is same it would save us almost half hour plus as there is no traffic. This stretch had half the road blocked at some places as they were dug up. We see a single truck coming out of a curve and normally pass it only to find our side of the road blocked !!. We both narrowly avoid it getting to the right lane just as the truck passed!!. Damn.

Finally in bangy with by 10.30 pm. Bid byes and our faces lit up after having a wild party and at home by 11 pm. 1487 kms on my trip meter.
Wat a vacation. Too good. If only I had not lost my health but cant have every thing :).Justify Full