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DIY Rid to Velas-Ladghar
#1
I have never camped before? , said Sajeesh, Sanjit and Shainoj  in unison during one of our IBR meets.  That set me into action to plan a Riding-Camping trip. A trip with no concrete plan; no fixed destination; just the riders on their bulls !!! And boy ! Planning I did.

It was the month of March and weather was on treading the thin line between hot and cold. Perfect for a ride. We decided to ride down the Konkan coast. A quick run through Google map and a rough plan was made. Start on the 19th morning ride as far as possible, camp on a beach, start early the next day, riding as far as possible, camp again in the night and get back on the 21st.

Knowing how religiously we all follow the IST norms, Sajeesh and Sanjit came to my place on thursday night so that we could start at 6am the following morning .However Sajeesh?s sneezing trip kept us awake half of the night and we eventually woke up only at 6am!  Hurriedly we (Sajeesh,Shainoj,Santosh(Maccha),Sanjit and Me) started our journey at 7am and headed towards Panvel where we took a quick snack break at Datta vadapaw centre. The adventure by now had already begun with Maccha losing his Number plate which he quickly fixed using a SelloTape, and Sajeesh and Shainoj took wrong turn and headed towards Lonavala instead of taking Goa highway. Finally the five bulls hit NH17 at 9am. After couple of pit stops, that included countless cigarette breaks and Sajeesh taking a power nap, we reached Mang aon from where the real journey was suppose to start. After a downing couple of ?Ganne ka juice? the ?Bull started their Parade?

The idea was to explore the beautiful Konkan interior roads, ride on the beautiful beach kissed roads and click lot of pics. Route taken was Airoli-Mangaon-Mhasala-Dive Agar-Shrivardhan-Harihareshwar-Bankot-Velas our destination. Total Distance roughly 230kms.

The road between Dive Agar to Shriwardhan is beautiful. It runs parallel to the sea on your right with a breathtaking view. While shooting this wonderful ride, Shainoj dropped his iPhone and in the process lost his SIM card in the ditch besides the road. Luckily our official photographer Sanjit, with his trained cameraman?s eye, managed to find it. We reached Harihareshwar at around 5pm and realized that we hadn?t even had any lunch. Found a roadside Egg Burjipav center where we ended up hogging more than 20 egg burjis, 5 plates of bhajis/pakodas and 10 cups of tea, all for the princely prices of Rs.350/-.

To reach Velas one has to take tow his bike on a ferry, cross Savitri River and reach Bankot jetty from where Velas is only 6-8kms. Again this is one the most beautiful rides on the Konkan coast. The view of the road running parallel to the sea is serene and hypnotic. One has to ride down the road to experience how beautiful our country?s interiors are.

In India they say that the distance is measured in Time and not in Kms. The journey that was meant to be covered in 5hrs took us 10hrs. According to our calculation, we were supposed to reach Velas at 4pm, but we touched base at 7pm. But this time it was pitch dark and we could barely locate any place offering food and lodging. No camping to night boys! There are not hotels or restaurants in Velas. One can find accommodation at any villager?s wadi(Local Bunglows). These wadis have simple facilities and offer with tasty sea food.

Velas is a sleepy quite village on the Konkan coast, famous for being the hatching ground of the Olive Ridleys turtles. Every year this endangered species lay thousands of eggs on the beach. Velas is also the birthplace of Great Maratha Peshwa Nana Phadnavis

Next morning we hurriedly started for the beach to witness the hatching of little turtles, but as luck had it, it was not the day the turtles chose to see the world. This is the beach where Sajeesh discovered camouflaging skills. He could now blend with nature while attending to the nature?s call. To the clueless foreign tourists he looked like an avid Wildlife photographer. We explored the beach, did our customary posing for Sanjit as he clicked pictures.  Found network on our cell phones after 15hrs, made quick calls to our loved ones and decided to start for our next destination, Tawsal Beach, another off-beat location on the Konkan coast.

Velas to Tawsal is another 150km ride which we had planned to complete in 5hrs. After a lot of pit stops, that included the usual cigarettes breaks, search for petrol, photo shoots, we reached Dapoli at around 2pm. Before leaving Sajeesh had announced that we won?t go back ?Until he sleeps in his Singaporean tent?. Realizing it was too late to reach Tawsal, we decided to take a detour and camp at Ladghar beach.

Ladghar beach is only 10kms from Dapoli , It is covered with colored red/orange pebbles and boulders, ideal making it possible for us to ride on the beach.  We found a nice spot to pitch our tents on the beach. Sanjit did some documentary shooting while we were struggling to pitch the tents.

Hired a room in a resort (Rs.700/-) to dump our bags, ordered fresh pomfrets and surmais for dinner, we hit the beach with our bulls. Had the most amazing Off-Roading experience of my life. We rode for miles on the untouched beautiful virgin beach. With Sanjit as usual clicking pics.

Reached back to our base camp before sunset and before the high tides. Everybody had a quick shower and settled down on the beach.

The time spend on the beach watching sunset, with a bon-fire, whiskey, cigarettes, fresh fired fish,  cool breeze, moonlit skies, the distant rhythmic melancholic sea waves and faltu bakar, got etched in our memories for ever.



While camping it is advised to carry an insect repellent and be vigilant for any signs of wild animals like foxes or hyenas. I was told in the morning that all the wild animals within the radius of 10kms have left because of my snoring. So for the next few days, beach was the safe place!

On the morning of 21st, after an extended round of bathroom sessions by Shainoj, and some paragliding on the beach, (Maccha got us a good bargain, Rs.800/- for 5 people), we started our journey back.

Riding back home was equally exciting. Pit Stops, Refueling, food breaks etc. Our bulls performed well! Luckily we didn?t have any breakdowns and our ride was mishap free. The roads, being in the excellent condition added to the pleasure. Banking on the curves was very thrilling.

Highlights, Discoveries of the ride:-

    Never ride and shoot with iPhone at the same time
    Sajeesh found out that he is allergic to Cats
    Sanjit?s sleeping posture reminds of ?The Flimfare trophy?,
    Snoring can drive wild animals away, along with giving Maccha ears sores
    Always carry extra booze. You never know when you?ll run out of it !!
    One can carry a whole month?s ration in his saddle bag. Hail Shainoj!

All-in-all a memorable ride of the IBRians. Total cost per person came to Rs.2,000/- (inclusive of booze and food, paragliding) for 3 days + petrol costs. This was the first of the DIY series ride from IBR. The thumping continues!

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There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path
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#2
Amazing one Abhi..never read this before..i can imagine what an awesome ride it must have been..

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There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors"
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#3
Good one , now please share the pictures of the DIY ride !! Looking forward to them.
We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.
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#4
Good one abhi Bhai

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cheers
phani reddy
ride safe ride hard
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#5
Superb ... nicely drafted !
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*** You can't buy happiness but you can buy a Royal Enfield and that's pretty close. ***
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#6
This ride is from the early days.. Don't know how it's back on forums
There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path
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