Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hampi Trip - 15th August 2008

I was in a situation wherein the biker in me was forcing me to care a damn about the results and go for a ride, and the other side of me forcing me to get the bike RC and then go for ride. Thats me, raghuveer 1 week before the Hampi ride. I had lost my Bike RC sometime back and though i tried the legal way of getting it done, nothing seemed to work. Then i caught hold of a agent and he kept me coming back to him like i was running behind a lawyer in a civil court. The day before the ride the agent told me that he would not be able to give the RC on time(before i was to leave for the ride) and would take few more days. I had to take a decision. Hampi, for some reasons had always been a ride which i wanted to do and was postponing for some reasons or the other. And then, no matter what i decided that i would go ahead...if cops check....i would weave a story or follow the good ol' system of "money" treats for them. I went and filled Rs 500/- worth petrol and then had the pollution check done(which had also expired a month ago). I was all set to go.We were to start on 15th Aug early morning 3:00AM. After a hectic day at work i reached home at around 11:45PM and then couldnt actually sleep. Switched on the TV and watched Netra Raghuraman win the Khatro ke khiladi show and then went to bed at 2AM. It had been just an hour when my alarm screemed in my ears and i woke up to start off for the ride. Packed my stuff, called Vikas(collegue at office you was my pillon) to make sure he is ready. I picked him up and reached the meeting point at around 3:30AM and Saurabh joined me there. Folks please dont mistake but saurabh had not come for the ride but just to see us off. Pramod, Deepu, Abinash(Nash) and Priya(accompanying Nash) also joined us and we had a quick tea and deepak was the lucky person to hone the role of a cashier for this trip. Handed him 500 bucks per each person and waited for Phani to join us. Phani, of late has been one of the most regular riders and its great to see him have so much passion for the same and participation too. He was actually working and came direct from work and managed to steal 2 days of leave for this trip too. Since Phani was getting delayed we moved on slowly with Pramod staying behind to wait for phani and both of them were to catch up with us on the way.Soon we were moving along well on our bikes(Nash &Priya, Deepak and Vikas & me). It was drizzling a bit and we decided to continue as it didnt bother us much. we had hardly gone a few kms that we noticed a huge traffic jam ahead of us(the b'lore highway is under construction, 4 lane, so one stupid truckker created a mess. After wasting almost 30-40 min on a road which shud have taken 15 min we somehow managed to wade through the traffic and halted for a tea once we escaped from the jam area. After tea, we started towards mehboodnagar and a small village after that was our breakfast point. I realized in all that commotion my ear ring had fallen off. Now i was prepared to get some sound beatings after returning back home. It also gave us a chance to witness a flag hoisting cermony(15th Aug). we then headed off towards raichur and once we crossed that i started to doze off on the bike(mind u i was the one driving). I stopped to wash my face and deepak offered red bull. Energized with the energy drinks we moved ahead and reached sindhanur for lunch. The place was more of a Bar than a restaurant. Strange enough on a dry day, it was running packed. We managed a different section and then a good meal. I dozed off for a power nap and woke up soon to drive ahead. Vikas, Phani and me stopped in between for some break(near manvi) and then moved on and all the riders met again at Ganagwati. We checked with a cop for the best way to reach hampi, but were not interested to follow the route he gave us. Meanwhile in all this riding from morning, adi, one of the ave riders had started off a day in advance for hampi and had booked rooms for all of us. He kept on messaging and checking on us from time to time.The ride from raichur till gangawati was very good and i must comment that KA govt does maintain the state highways of atleast this part pretty well. The traffic was also minimal so it helped. The road from gangawati to few kms before hospet is something which i wud not froget for a long long time. It was the most beautiful and lovely roads to drive. With curves and passages through rocky hills and sunflower fields all round with lots of greenry around the place as a biker u cud ask for nothing more in life. Once we crossed that area, which was for around 20-30kms, the nightmare started. First the roads all of the sudden from Katrina kaif look alike turned into an ugly, pimpled vamp. and then the tungabadtra dam flood gates were open and people had flocked from the entire karnataka state to see that(atleast it felt that way seeing the huge crowd and the almost 3-4kms of the traffic jam created because of that). after struggling thru the same we somehow managed to complete again a journey of 10-15 min in 40 min of dust, pollution, honks and maddening crowd. Hampi was another 20 odd kms and i was struggling to drive because of the tiredness. Soon we reached hampi and adi was waiting for us to guide us in.. The security didint allow us to go in with the bikes and asked to park in public parking and take the bike later to our guest house. We walked to the decent enough rooms(thanks to adi for booking these for us). The place had no mobile conectivity so no one to call and tel our safe reaching news. We shared our experience for the day and then after tea(which was literally too much to drink, felt like almost 300ml...) we freshned up and went to pick up our bikes. We then went for a ride among the ruins except Nash who decided to go back to guest house and catch some sleep(we went to small town nearby to pick beer actually). It was almost a full moon and we swicthed off the lights of the bike and rode in a straight line, it gave an errie feeling at the same time was thrilling. we picked up some beer and on the return pramod took some snaps of the bike in the dark with parking light on. I didnt even know my vehcile had parking lights, it was a enlightment session to me.We headed to the guest house and then started the drinks session with "cheers" to many more rides. Done with that we chit chatted we went for a walk near the river and noticed that the mobile signals were on full here. called our families and were ready to hit the sacks. A refreshing sleep and woke up next day(sat 16th aug) around 8. Came to know from pramod that Nash had left to hyderabad because Priya was not keeping well.Some more buckets of tea(trust me felt for the first time the term cup of tea should be changed in hampi and renamed as bucket of tea) we started for Daroji Bear Sanctuary. We had almost reached the place when a sign board showed that the sanctuary was open from 1 in the afternoon and we had almost 1.5 hrs spare. So we hit a field nearby and started our picture session. we moved on and saw one more beautiful spot with sunflower beds and we again had a small picture session. Done with that we reached the sanctuary and after making 25 bucks a person we went to the watch tower. The way it works out here is visitors stand on a 2 storey watch tower and the forest officials put some food for the bear in the sactuary area near the tower and the bear come for the food. We waited some good 1 hr before we sighted 2 bears. and then after some time it was the whole family which came for lunch. we sighted some peacocks and bear enjoyin food together and then we headed back to guest house. by now each one of us very hungry and we visited a roof top restaura called CHILLOUT. After chilling there for some time and long waiting for the food to arrive, we ventured out and went to the almost flooded river bank. Pramod and Deepu decided to visit the temple, and the rest of us went back to the guest house. In the evening Vikas and me went out to see some of the ruins and returned back and soon pramod and deepu arrived with some booze for the group. few more drinks and food and i was all set to sleep as vikas, phani and me were returning back whereas pramod, deepu and adi decided to spend an extra day at hampi.I woke up at 3AM and woke others. We were all set to start by 4 and then headed towards kampli which would be a shorter route (60kms less) to gangawati than going via hospet. but as luck wud have it, the bridge near kampli was flooded and we had to return back to hampi and take the hospet route. we wasted 1 gud hour because of this(damn that local guy, who suggested this to us). Also had share of scares, wherein i went into a pothole with the bike but due the speed (100kmph) i managed to come out of it unhurt and safe. Also phani broke his legguard, my chain gave me a scare and the indicator lamp on my fuel tank went off because of the speed breakers. we reached raichur soon with a petrol fill in my bike at manvi and had breakfast there. My bike for this tour gave me a milage of 36-39 and i was not really happy abt it. guess the reason cud be i was with a pillon or i might have put up a lot of weight from the last time i went on ride. We took minimal stops and reached hyderabad by 2 in the afternoon. It was an amazing ride for sure. and a great place to visit. i was able to acomplish a long awaited dream of visiting the place. though for the start i hated the place(the traffic jams took a toll on my brain and thinking) , day 2 actually changed the complete picture. i wud probably visit this place again this time for more number of days. Awesome ride and experince for sure!!!
Link for pics

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