Sunday, March 22, 2009
The first place of interest on the highway was Maravanthe Beach. It was about 10 Kms from Kundapur and the road to Maravanthe was the best stretch of National Highway in Karnataka. The road was about 30m from the sea and on the other side was a beautiful stretch of Backwaters. A glimpse of that sight is offered in the picture above. Riding that stretch was indeed a pleasure except for the occasional over-speeding heavy vehicles throwing me out of the road. This time, more than anger, I felt sympathetic to these drivers – they are on one of the most beautiful roads and still could not enjoy the beauty of it! I could recall some lines from a poem that I read long time back – “No time to stand and state”. I think its appropriate to reproduce the lines below.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare
The road then diverts back into the mainland. I spotted two boys cleaning their bikes in a motor cycle cleaning station. I wondered if I could give a bath to my bike too! It has not been cleaned for over 14 days now and it has served well for the trip so far. It was done for just Rs.10 and the cycle was washed for the first time! The bike was made to look fresh and got a new look for the remaining trip.
The next town on the map was Baindoor where I planned to have my breakfast. On reaching Baindoor, I noticed an advertisement for a beach resort by name ‘Sai Vishram’, a vegetarian and non-alcoholic resort. I took interest and decided to hit that place for breakfast. It was a tough ride towards the resort. The road to the resort was a steep climb and the view from the top of the hill looked great. A small temple below the hill and the view of the beach was eye-catching.
It was really a good initiative to start a resort which does not permit alcohol, smoking and non-vegetarian food. Sai Vishram seems to stand out compared to the various other beach resorts that I saw on the west coast. They may not be as ‘successful’ as the rest of the resorts but sure to have a better standing in the long run. The resort was not operational on the day I visited as there weren’t any tourists there. The restaurant functions only for the inmates and hence there was no chance of me getting a breakfast. The admission process is restricted and happens only through referrals. After a good conversation, The resort people were kind enough to fill my water bottle and also offer me some fruits for my journey ahead!
I hit the next town, Shirur for breakfast and proceeded to Bhatkal for lunch. The afternoon was spent in a browsing centre. The next place of interest was Murudeshwar. A 2 Km diversion from the highway would take you to Murudeshwar and somehow the diversion did not interest me. Given my limited knowledge about these places, I wasn’t aware of what I was missing though! After couple of kms, I stopped for a tea on a roadside stall. The tea stall owner enquired about my whereabouts and started conversing in Tamil. He hails from Karur and has been in Murudeshwar for over 17 years with business in restaurant and finance!
I tried to enquire about how he reached here but could not gather much about the origins. I recalled the dialogues from the movie Parasakhti in the 1950’s, the translation of which goes like this – ‘Tamilians – born in one country and earn their livelihood elsewhere’. It still continues and you see Tamilians everywhere in the world in different capacities.
Honnavar is located on the banks of the river Sharavathi. The name of the town in someways resembles ‘Hannover’ in Germany! The bridge over Sharavathi offered me some splendid views. Firstly, the Konkan Railway bridge on the eastern side – It happens to run over 2.3 Km making it the longest of the Konkan Railway. I could not capture the ‘Big picture’ though. Secondly, the busy shipping port and the sunset on the western side. The view of the sunset from the bridge was splendid. I stayed on the bridge for about half-an-hour to fully enjoy the sunset and was delighted with it. You can see my fully loaded bike on the bridge.
The sunset over the river Sharavathi was a joy for ever.
Post sunset, I reached the town and stayed there for the night. I also managed to get some decent vegetarian food there, which was a tough ordeal there.
Kundapur – Maravanthe – Baindur – Bhatkal – Murudeshwar – Honnavar
More images from the day’s ride here