(Chikkamagalur – Kalasa – Kudremukh – Udipi)
Started at 7:30 am, the initial stretch for about 10kms was bumpy, followed by some of the best twisties I’d ever done, second only to Munnar, there were the odd rough patch here and there but for the majority of it the roads ROCKED!. We were throttling in excess of 60kmph around corners, the strip was lush and serene, trees on both sides, coffee plantation, and a river on our left, now..now.. does it get any better than this we thought, soon to find out that the better was en route. Veda, wanted to shoot the ride with his camera, so I helped him tighten the camera strap around his neck so that the camera was at about chest height, The camera was rolling and we got a couple of neat videos, actually they were pretty good considering that they were shot riding. We spot and off-road trail that lead to the river, we took it and shot a few snaps there, our next stop was Kalasa.
We reach Kalasa, Veda had been here before about a year back, he lost his phone, and one of the locals there had helped him a great deal, so Veda wanted to stop by his shop and say “hi!”, we were busy gobbling food, while Veda walked up and met his good Samaritan, Veda was surprised to see that that man actually recognized him. Veda spoke to him and came back, “We need to try Gadbad, in Udipi” he said. We were done there, and started to ride to Kudremukh, I simply loved the winding roads, so I sped ahead, a few kms uphill was the check post, I waited there for a good 5mins, no sign of the guys. So I rode back, there was no reception on the cell phone, so calling was out of the question, so now…where do you look for a bunch of guys on a scenic road stretch, sided by a stream..?hmm.. well, I’d look for them in the most broken down off road that lead to a place where any one with an ounce of sanity would not take a bike in, and sure enough there our boys were. They had spotted an off road that lead to a river that was knee deep at places, I rode down and got my bike in to the water, the water was cool, the pebbles below and the crystal clear water made the place look.ROCKING!. Couple more photos and we packed our saddle bags back on the bike and rode towards the check post, the guard at the post gave us a slip to enter the reserved forest, picked it up and rode on.
We rode into Kudremukh, it was a sleepy town with a hand full of people, it was an iron ore mining plant previously untill the SC declared Kudremukh as a reserved forest and sanctuary so the ore company had to go. We rode up to a dam, that was built for pollution control, Pictures are not allowed, but we managed to convince the guard who happened to be from Pondy, to allow us to click a few shots, that he did, and we moved on, down the road and into the forest, the sight we saw, I cant explain it well enough, but it was majestic, to say the least. Golden yellow grass, backdropped by lush green hills, and a perfect road that lay between them,I can write on and on as to how the grass was, how the blue-green river was and on and on.. but honestly you’d have to be there to feel the place, and this place ROCKS!, five minutes into this place and this place own3d us for life already. Cameras were clicking, we dint even have to look for a photo shot, turn point and shoot every thing looked amazing.
After the photos, we rode out of the section, slowly, we wanted to visit another water fall on the way from Kudremukh to Udipi, by the time we reached that place the evening was closing in on us, and the guard had locked the entrance to the falls, Veda managed to talk the guy into giving us a 15min window where we could quickly go take a look and walk back, about 200 steps to the waterfall said Veda. “You go” said Praveen to me, and I did, the water fall was nice, high water, deep gorge, it all looked great up until the point where I had to climb back up, huffing and panting like it was nobody’s business, managed to make it to the road,Phew! “finally” I thought. Veda picked up the guard and dropped him a few kms down the road, and off to Udipi it was.
Reached Udipi, at nightfall, found a place to crash, dumped the stuff, Veda recommended a eat-out here in Udipi that was very famous, so thats were we were headed, we go to this place called “Diana”, we ordered food, and top it up by one Gadbad each. Gadbad is a layered dessert, it has layers of fresh fruit and dry fruit that is sandwiched by ice cream, served in a tall glass, it tasted good, and had Steve hooked. We finish the grub and head back, by then we notice that Veda’s bike is leaking oil, the ride at Kemmanagundi had taken its toll on the bike, fortunately, it wasn’t very bad, it was leaking drops of oil, we decide to top up oil.Udipi again was one of those towns that slept at 9pm, so we had to fish for a gas station, buy, top up oil and head back to crash.