Indian Cyclists Network

Pune-goa….
Chapter I - In which I go it alone!!
Oct 2004 – A year of planning to cycle Pune to Goa by beach!! ….. A year of looking for company. The posts on the net have only dredged up… Motorcyclists!!
Nov 2004 – This is it….. I’m going it alone!! On my trusty lokhandi (iron) Hercules twin bow cycle!!
The Plan – Very basic at this stage…. Cycle…. Explore coastline… Swim… Eat local food!!
The Route – Very basic at this stage….. Without accurate maps or Google Earth all I can come up with is…. Hit the coast….. Head south to Goa!!

Chapter II – In which I learn all about making plans!!
Day 1 – For today… I have a plan….. Head due west….. To the sea…. Swoop into the Konkan by Tamhini ghat (mountain road) and across NH 17 at Mangaon 110kms by cycle. Throw cycle on top of lal dibba (state transport bus)……….. Bus it to Dapoli….. Night halt at Dapoli………. Find shitty little traveling salesman lodge……… With toilet walls crawling with cockroaches!! Oops… Ugh… Ok so the plan didn’t cover the night!! Shrug!!
Day 2 – I have a plan for today also. No map, no clue of route… But such as it is…. I do have a plan!! Shake off roaches… ride to sea…. The mighty Indian ocean!! Swim at virgin beach… leave plenty of room for the unexpected!! Darn… :-) I’m good!!
As it is……… The plan expands… To include… Big creek…. Ferry boat ride…. Amuse locals…. Lunch in hut on beach…. with slightly inebriated fisherman …. No plan for night halt… But THIS guy’s hut is out!! Head for Hedvi beach…. Sunset swim… Find acco…. Eat Ghar-Ghuti Malvani Jevan (GGMJ- home made coastal food)!!

Chapter III – In which I things fall into place and then promptly fall apart!!
Day 3 – Hmmmm…. I dunno about plans anymore…….. How about…. Morning swim at virgin beach.…. Stick to coast….. Explore sea fort…. ride a bit….. Find someone to feed me GGMJ….. Afternoon swim at another virgin beach...…. Boat or hoodi across creeks…. Swim some more…Find someone to take me in for night….. More Malvani Jevan!!
OHKAY!! That’s a plan!! Simple and sweet… and I swear by it!!
P.S. Things get a little weird in the evening… I find myself talking to my cycle!!
Day 4 – I found a plan that works for me on day 3….. I’m not gonna challenge it’s beauty!!! Just add… Read on beach after swim…. Watch village cricket match in coconut grove…… Have nariyal paani (coconut water) fresh off the tree….. offered by the boys who cat-called me half n hour back!!
Also.…. call mom……
Ugh… Bad idea to tweek the umbilical cord when you are on the go!! Situation at home… Which I would rather not know about…. All plans shot to pieces….. Abandon Goa….. Head back by bus from Ratnagiri!!!

Chapter IV – In which I wait a year to complete my journey!!
Feb '05 – I meet another…. and worthy cyclist and introduce him to the fine art of off-beat tour planning!!
Mar to Sept – Bad weather for the coast trip….. Patience!!!
Dec '05 – I approve his company to complete the trip to Goa. My trusty cycle needs no approval!!
The plan – Start from where I left off…. Ratnagiri…. Aims and objectives remain the same!! Still no maps…. Google earth is still in the incubator!!
The route – as in Chapter I

Chapter V – In which I learn that 2 heads DO NOT a better plan make!!!
Day 1 – (or day 5) Get off bus at Ratnagiri…... Wash up at India’s cleanest public toilet ever!! Kudos to the family that runs it… Start pedaling south…. Sorry head north to Ratangad and then south…. Check out Purangad also…. Reach some creek at sunset…. Wait at jetty… Take ferry to god knows where….. Amuse locals with our lack of knowledge... Specifically of where we are!! Pitch tent…. In coconut grove… Find GGMJ….
Day 2 – I have a better plan for today…. I will single handedly lead us to nowhere!! Find the way out of here, wherever it is…. Wait couple of hours for boatman… Hire boat to get us out… Another sea fort…. Forget it’s name… ride…. Swim…. Eat GGMJ on beach….. Take hoodi (dugout boat barely wide enough for the cycle) across a lovely creek…. Push bikes on beautiful white sand beach!! Ride desperately in the dark…. Find campsite on beach in some nameless location!!
Stuck to plan!! My partner’s contribution…. His confidence in my planning ability!!

Chapter VI – In which I make it to Goa!!
Day 3 – No need for a plan….. One gets into the rhythm on the 3rd day!! However… Did not account for getting stuck at a creek….. End of road…… Not a soul in sight….. Yell for hoodi!! Also…. Did not account for frightened fishermen coming to check us out at night on another nameless beach!!
Day 4 – Plan to make it to Goa by afternoon…. Enough time to follow previous plans. Not on the agenda….. Getting sand out of greasy chain and gears!!! Mental note….. NEVER EVER…. However tired you are…. Put bike gear-side down on sand!!! Avoid main roads…. Take ferry boat into Goa….. Ride like hell to Calangute….. Catch a beer or two….. HIC!!

I like happy endings!!

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Comment by Rashmin Perla on July 18, 2010 at 11:18am
ride...no plan....hufff....puff...discover....wow
Comment by Zubair Lodi on February 3, 2010 at 1:28pm
Hi Divya so wen U planning ur nxt trip U ve riders to accompany U.......
Comment by Kaushik Iyer on January 5, 2010 at 4:04pm
Hey Divya... thats great writing. short & sweet... but I was hunting for details!!!! but I like the style.

I've recently done something just like this. but couldn't take it all the way to Goa.... But explored some great untreaded roads. It was great Fun.
Comment by Tejaswita Sawant on December 28, 2009 at 2:36pm
Would love to read your travelogue :)
Comment by Gautam Deshmukh on December 19, 2009 at 1:58pm
noww thats some style of riding & writing !!!! cheers Divya :)
Comment by Divya Tate on December 12, 2009 at 4:17pm
he heh... troll... is it that good or that bad??
thanks sujit!
Comment by Sujit Kolke on December 11, 2009 at 3:43pm
if u ever write a book ... i am one buyer and reader ... great writeup

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