Woke up by 10 am and the rest of the gang was still fast asleep. Walked around the beach before we left. The night before when we reached it was close to 11 pm. Pitch dark and all we knew about palolem was what description we got from our friends. It was such a beautiful beach and a spectacular view. the blue water and the waves crashing onto the white sands of the curved beach, cute shacks along the beach and the Kankon islands on one end. It was a framed view of the Goa u picture.
We were low on petrol so we decided to head back via the highway. Both of us were hungry and tired. Got fresh at our room and headed out for lunch at the junction. U dont become part of Goa unless u take a post lunch siesta. We searched around for a mechanic to get brakes in shape before hitting the ghat roads. Being a sunday, none of the workshops were open nearby. THe initial plan of leaving on 30 , got postponed by another day, and with no regrets!!
Left for Vasco by evening. We met up with Deepus cousin who was working at a hospital in Vasco. We met up at Baina beach which had a similat setting as that of Palolem. There were no shacks, it was catering more to the local people. There were vendors selling peanuts, juice, paan and paanipuri. This area was not as posh or chilled out as the rest of goa i think. Most of the residents depend on the industries around the railway, airport and the maurmugoa port. When i spoke to my friend Karen, who is from Vasco, said Baina is more known as a red light area!
Karen and her family were leaving to the St. Francis church, so couldn't pay a visit. We headed off to Sarita Ribeiros house. She stays in her ancestral house near Porvorim. The house is almost 250 years old heritage building. The family has maintained the house extremely well. The also have a small museum and the old horse stables.
Headed off to Brittos for dinner. Luckily we were able to get a table. The food was amazing!! I have always missed out on Brittos before, but never again. The food is very reasonably priced. The servings are quite large and put together with the taste and quality, and the ambience, its a bargain.
With a satisfied tummy , we were all smiles. Soon it turned into a grin, thers always space for deserts. And Brittos, deliberately had put up the counter right at the entrance, imprinting those thoughts into your subconscious mind from the time u enter. Slowly with time it bubbles up filling ur thoughts with words like tiramisu, pinapple upside down, apple pie.. Burp!! satisfaction!! Hugged my best friend Vishwa farewell and head back on to the road. It was the last night in Goa for me, tomorrow we move on further south towards manglore. But its goa.. The party never ends.. got back to Jittus room. Home made rice and chicken curry with his friends and a bottle of Dalwhinne single malt. Talked and made plans to visit north kerala the coming January to see the Theyyam.
Monday morning and i headed off to the nearest RE service staion. By the time we found the place there was already a line of bikes up for service. No chance of getting the bike by afternoon. So i decided to buy the break liner and shoes and find a local mechanic to fix it. There is a Bullet workshop near the Margao flyover. Gave the bike and headed out for breakfast. Vivek took me around the market area, u get everything from antiques to spices in there. If lucky u can get those old card sets with naughty pictures. Saw the post office and the Municipality building, both restored / maintained in its original glory.
By around 12 the bike was ready. Got a big box of chocolates for the host. While shopping i accidentally called the middles aged owner.. AUNTY!! for which she got offended and refused to sell the chocolates. Gave the chocolates to the youngest kid, thanked aunty and we moved on.
Had a final goan meal before heading towards Gokarna. The plan was to drive to Bangalore and head towards Kerala via Ooty - Gudallore. As we spent an extra day in Goa we decided to skip bangalore. And who wouldn want to see Gokarna , the Om beach etc. With a distance of 130 km from Margao, we could be there by sunset. And move further to Manglore after sunset. The extra bags and fat on us din make any difference on the bullet as we steamed on trough the amazingly scenic NH17.
The view of the eastuary at Karvar and the immediate sections which run along the coastline is very beautiful. Alongside the sea is the Karwar Naval base which i have heard has one of the finest sections of beaches in that belt.
Once u pass Algeri signs of Gokarna beach keep popping up on the road side telling you that ur close. But the Official singboards kept saying 10 km after every two kilometers. The sun was touching the skyline made by the coconut tress, making it a race against time. To add masala to the race, two truck driver's inspired by the movie Duel were up on my tail. And they pick up speed very fast in the downhill sections, and loose momentum in the uphill sections. It def is a precarious situation to be in, so i pushed a lil faster keeping a safe distance ahead of them. Hardly 3 kms before the turn to gokarna we hit a sudden drop in the road at around 85 kmph. The excess luggage and our weight combined hit hard on the suspension. So hard that the tire hit the mudguard which came loose and locked up the rear tire. For a second i couldn't realise whether it was another piston failure, or break problem of even if the evil drivers had used spike strip of some sc fi gun to freeze my bike. All hell broke loose in those few seconds, the screeching tire, the back sliding out of control and the fear of the trucks running over us. By Gods Almighty's grace i had was able to handle the bike and bring it to a steady safe halt. When we tried to push the bike to the side we realised that the back tyre was completely locked up. In a desperate attempt to fix up the bike u pulled out my tool kit, slowly realising that it was a damage way beyond my capacity. By that time Deepu managed to talk to a person who said he could arrange for a Pickup to take us to the nearest workshop. Again i was back on the back of a truck with my bike heading towards the nearest workshop at a land unknown to me. For now i think its true what benji once told me, people make most mistakes during the last 20 or 30 odd kms before their destination. I did the same at Udaipur, Ajmer and now Gokarna. So guys always be extra caution to the end of ur journey and Extra Prayers.
We Headed back to Ankola to the mechanic. i was not sure about how much to pay the local guy who helped us with finding the auto and the auto wala. Reluctantly and to my surprise they came with an meager amount of 120 Rs. Gave them what they deserved and a lot of handshakes and thank yous. The mechanic generally doesnt work on enfeilds and politely refused to help us. with whatever little Kannadada i knew mixed with Malayalam i somehow managed to explain the situation in hand. This conversation soon became the center of attraction, and everyone had their opinion as to how the problem is to be solved. When the mudguard was pulled in the bars onto which the guard is fastened also bend inwards by almost 6 to 7 inches. Soon the mechanics from the nearby lorry workshop also joined in. Within an hour or two of heated debates, trial and errors, and raw crude force we managed to put it all together in place. With another heft bill of Rs. 100!! The workshop screamed out to the locals " now we specialise in bullets too".
The ride ahead was in the dark and a very cautious one. The destination for the night, Manglore was 230 kms ahead of us. We passed the Giant Statue of Shiva at We passed Kumta and Dareshwar and reached Honvar where we stopped for a break. We had dinner from Kamath inn.
From here the roads became bad, which later escalates to horiible. Long stretches of smooth tarmac which abruptly meets big put holed sections. with on coming traffic it was difficult to judge the condition of the roads. The drive was becoming stressfull. With time the traffic dwindled which eased some of the the stress. Somewhere near Shiroor we stopped in front of a temple where were we lay down under a lit up banyan tree. Both of us were exhausted and decided to push no further than Udupi. Felt so relaxed lying under the banyan tree, with 45 mins we were fresh and ready to move on. Reached Udupi by around 1.30 am and checked into the first hotel that we could find. Lucky for us they had hot warter supply. A good hot water shower and off to sleep.