Mumbai – Tarkarli Bike Ride: Day 1

Mumbai – Tarkarli Bike Ride: Day 1

Pre

Since long time we wanted to go to Tarkarli, but never had a good chance or time to go. This time, it was a relatively last-moment plan since it was decided only a week ago of my birthday as opposed to my a pre-planning of a month or two before for long bike rides. In this short time, had to research for stay and routes for this bike ride. Finalized a hotel in Devbaug, which is a part of a long beach extending from Malvan to Tarkarli to Devbaug, where it ends.

After researching at lots of places for which route to take, decided to go via following:

Dombivli – Panvel – Lonavala – Pune – Satara – Kolhapur – Gaganbawada Ghat – Kankawali – Malwan – Devbaug

We were leaving on Saturday and were returning on Monday. It left us with only a day to enjoy at the actual place. Anyways, for us its always more about the journey instead of destination. I know it sounds cliche, but it is the truth.

Dombivli

The day arrived. Woke up early in the morning at 4AM. Had slept at 2AM so only had only 2 hr sleep. Supriya was still asleep while I went through my preparations. Once she woke up and done with morning chores, we were ready to leave for this epic ride. We wore our jackets left our house with bags, helmets and other stuff and when down where bike was parked. I started the bike and let it to warm up for the cold weather.

Lonavala

We left the building at 5:10 a.m. and headed from Dombivli to Panvel to connect to legendary Old Mumbai-Pune highway. Since we left at 5 in the morning, it was still dark and I had to ride slowly. It was very cold and there were almost no vehicles on the road. We reached Lonavala at 7Am and had breakfast at the Kamat’s hotel, famous amongst bikers from Pune and Mumbai. In fact, we were their first customer for the day. After a breakfast break for half an hour, we left lonavala and headed towards Pune.

Pune

The sun was up, visibility was better and view was amazing. Since it was a Saturday, there was not much traffic on Pune highway, but still enough to slows down. We were running out of petrol so took a stop at a petrol pump and filled the bike. We crossed Pune about at about 9:30 a.m. the route from Pune towards Satara is superb 6 lane highway, and we were maintaining a good speed of 90-100kmph. There are only few obstacles where they are building bridges on busy junctions, which slowed us down. At one such bridge diversion before Mahabaleshwar turn, a local man started honking like crazy. Irritated, I slowed down to let him go ahead. He however, slowed down his bike and informed us that a strap of saddle bag was hanging and was touching the tyre. We stopped by the side of road and then adjusted the bag and resumed the journey.

After Pune, we faced a lots of squids. I remember specially a guy who was riding Gixxer. We were on Dominar and riding on 90-100 is piece of cake for Dominar. I was bored anyways so decided to play with this guy. I overtook him and then again slowed it down so he can overtake us again. Repeated it 2-3 times just to have fun. Since we were short on petrol, we took a break for petrol and never saw him again. We were riding at decent speeds and reached Kolhapur at 1PM.

Kolhapur

375km in 8 hours! This was bad speed for a long journey. Kolhapur was very hot. From here, our route till NH17 was a single lane road. We took a break in city to drink the water and again when we were on road to Gaganbawda Ghat. While we drank water, I checked the saddle bags for the status for any strap hanging from the bag. I noticed that one of the strap itself was entangled with real chain sprocket. Thankfully there was no problem. Supriya requested shopkeeper for a scissor, cut out the straps and removed it from the chain sprocket. Also notice that since the straps between the two saddle bags were not tight, the bag on right side was touching the tyre and due to friction, bottom part of the bag worn off and it was exposed! It was not very big so our things inside were safe. Tightened the bag straps and left towards Gaganbawda ghat.

Gaganbawda Ghat

By the time we reached gaganbawda it was 3 p.m. Road from Kolhapur to gaganbawda was straight and slightly curvy road however there was a time when suddenly there was a sharp slope ahead of us and only sky was visible. It was the start of the mesmerizing start of Gaganbavda Ghat. On the first turn of the Ghat there were two small rickshaws selling ice cream and watermelon plates. We decided to take a halt there as we hadn’t taken a lunch break. Both ice cream and watermelon was 30 rupees each. The ice cream was bad but the watermelon was fresh. We felt slightly better and hoped that the road ahead looks good and hopefully there won’t be any mishaps. How wrong we were.

As I started the bike and reached a speed of 10 to 15 KMPH, I felt something moving on the left hand side of the handlebar. From the handlebar it moved on my lap and then it hit the hot, rough tar road surface below. I immediately recognized it was my phone which was on a stand on the handlebar for navigation. MY PHONE HAD FALLEN OFF! Unfortunately while falling it had also lost the case which I had for my phone and it was lying face down on the road. I Immediately stopped the bike and picked it up. Thanks to the case it was not broken, only a few minor scratches on the screen. After some detective work, we found that it was because of the missing rubber of the corner of the mobile stand. We resumed the journey.

After Gaganbawda, i decided to use my old OnePlus 2 for navigation which does not have any simcard. Funny how Google Maps works without network connection. Once we descended the ghat, it took us from a route which was short in distance, but the road quality was bad because without internet, it does not take road quality in consideration, just shows you the shorted route from point A to B. This was disastrous for us since THERE WAS NO ROAD BELOW OUR 2 WHEELS AT ALL. Only potholes. It seemed that the “bad patch” was not leaving us, figuratively and literally. It took us 1 hour to do this 20km patch from bottom of Gaganbavda to NH17.

Tarkarli

Finally at 4.30ish, we reached NH17. From here we had to continue for 20-30km and then take a right turn towards the sea coast. We hoped the road quality would became better now that we are on a NH but no. It was still bad. There was road connection work on at most of the length of road. Good work for long term, not for us at that time. We were tired due to the bad patch before. After taking the turn towards Malvan, I rode like a maniac and didn’t take a stop for next 40km till we reached our hotel. After riding 552km for 13 hours, we finally reached hotel at 5:50PM.

The room was directly on beach. After going to room and changing, we immediately went to beach, but the sunset was missed. The water was very grey and there was a lot of waste on the beach. All this after we thought it couldn’t get any more disappointing. We had dinner and immediately went to sleep.

First Attempt

First Attempt

HI All!

As you must have rightly guessed from the domain name, my name is Sumit and I live in Dombivli city near Mumbai. I work in a private company and love to travel, mostly on my 2 year old motorbike – Bajaj Pulsar RS 200. I’m almost always accompanied with my wife Supriya who loves to travel as much as me, if not more.

This is my first attempt to write a serious blog in long time. The blogs I had previously written are the ones I wrote when I used to blog about technology about 9 years ago. This is first time I will be trying to write about my travel journey.

I own this domain since the longest time – almost 9 years now – but never used it for any purpose. The domain name was registered because it was the only Top Level Domain name available with name “Sumit” in it.

I got idea of writing blog after our exciting bike ride to Mahabaleshwar in this month – April 2017. I will be mostly be covering our journey in words and pictures wherever possible. Be on lookout.