Cycling in India : I can see Goa from here !!

Finally the madness was over, we are most definitely not celebrities although we certainly felt like it during the last couple of days, I suppose the highlight was the little kids asking for our autographs, you can’t really tell them that we’re not famous, they just looked so happy to see us. I’ll personally be delighted if one of them ever cycles round the world or even just in another country πŸ˜‰
Hisham dropped us of and we sorted our bikes and kit out, said our goodbyes and headed north towards Kasaragod, it’s a town with little to see but it’s on our way to Goa and being only 20 miles away and it already being late in the day it would do !
Well arriving in Kasaragod we checked at least 7 hotels and were told they were all full, our only option looked to be a train to Margao so we headed for the station. Hotel number 8 was across from the station so we thought we’d give it a go, lucky for us it had a room, nothing special but at least we had somewhere to sleep…..

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Our hotel for the night !!
Fortunately we only stayed one night and we were away early next morning, we looked out for a chai stall and as normal were not disappointed….

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The route was mainly flat roads so we made good progress, occasionally we were cheered at and photographed by passing kids in minibuses…..

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It takes a bit of getting used to but now I wave back and take photos, they seem to like that πŸ˜‰
Although for the most part the scenery is pleasant India occasionally throws you a curve ball and this was one of those days….

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Not to pretty is it ??
Still for the most part it’s all bustling villages like this…

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Stalls of beautiful fresh fruit, the colours coming to life in the bright sunshine, traders shouting hello, kids chasing you down the road and the constant car, truck and lorry horns trying to deafen you !
We pushed on through many such places until we found the right turn of the highway that takes you to Udipi, our stop for the night was this quite nice hotel, they even took our bikes and locked them up for us….

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Our room here as per normal Indian rooms, was fairly spartan but was large and clean…

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Naomi being the glamorous assistant there and showing of the room πŸ˜‰
We ventured out to an Internet cafe to catch up on emails etc but the signal was to poor to do much else so we had a mooch about before heading back to the hotel for a well deserved beer and a curry, we hit the sack early as we wanted to be up earlier than normal to visit a temple complex before leaving Udipi.
So here we are at first light on our way to the temple…

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As I said it is a complex so here are a few photos from around the site….

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Incredible place, even from outside, Naomi did venture in for a closer look but I elected to stay with the bikes, it’s not really my thing anyway !
We were soon back on the highway and still heading north, India yet again reminding us that we are so fortunate….

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So many people in India seem to have no option but to live like this, makes me realise just how lucky I am !!
We pushed on towards a place called Murudeshwar, it’s in the guide book but doesn’t really say to much about it, for us it was just going to be a convenient place to stay on our way up the coast !
But when we reached the turn of the main highway and swung left down the hill towards the town and the coast beyond it we were stunned, the guide book made no mention of this……

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Or this….

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Or this….

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Or this….

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In fact it turns out that the guide book had pretty much left out everything, we had a great time here, fortunately we arrived early enough to visit the beach, and take a paddle, we visited the temple both during the day and again later when it got noisy, brilliant ! We visited the big statue and the cave under it and took so many photos from all angles, it really was a lovely place to be πŸ˜‰
The hotel was also great as was the food on the restaurant next door….

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Our hotel and room !!
We were still smiling in the morning, it had been a fantastic place to visit, one of the truly unexpected treasures on our trip, we set of feeling good and headed for Gokarna !!
As was becoming our normal practice we stopped at the first chai stall and drank sweet, spicy tea, were never alone for long when we stop and are soon surrounded by curious people asking where we’ve come from and where were going….

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I don’t know whether it was just because we were on a high from Murudeshwar or whether India just threw all the good stuff at us in one day but the journey seemed even prettier than normal, here are a few examples….

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Although we felt great we did have a slight disappointment, we cycled up the hill just outside of Gokarna to get to Om beach, it was a tough climb as we were already tired and it was very hot. We arrived at the small carpark only to find that the beach and any hotels or guesthouses are at the bottom of a fairly steep and quite long set of stairs before a long walk across the sand ! We were a little disappointed as it wasn’t really possible with our bikes and panniers. We were very tired now and with the disappointment we just ran out of energy, neither of us wanted to cycle back over the huge hill to Gokarna so we cheated and put the bikes on an auto rickshaw and got a lift to a hotel in Gokarna instead πŸ˜‰
The rickshaws took us to this place….

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The people here were very friendly and our room was clean, large and shaded from the heat, we felt at home and quickly showered before walking into town for a look round.
As we set of for the beach Naomi upset a cow and it butted her, I found it funny but Naomi really wasn’t impressed ! The beach at Gokarna was not a patch on Murudeshwar but none the less we paddled…

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The sea was warm and inviting but we needed to eat and find an Internet cafe so we set of into town, we found an Internet cafe, but again a poor signal restricted us so we found a rooftop restaurant and ate, as usual the food was good, it normally was if you ate curry…we tried western food in some places but it was generally a disappointment !!
As we were leaving the restaurant we heard a lot of noise coming towards us, drums mainly, we stopped and waited for whatever it was….

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I’m assuming it was religious but never found out exactly what it was !!
The following morning came all to fast, mainly due to the fact that we were up so early, but it was worth it…..

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I love this photo πŸ˜‰
Our usual tea stop followed shortly after then we were ready for the fairly short ride to Palelum Beach, we’re in Goa now and Palelum is in the guide book, it’s one of the most recommended places to visit in South Goa, it’s still fairly quiet and unspoilt and it has a fantastic beach πŸ˜‰
As normal there was some beautiful scenery on our way to Palelum but there were a few odd things as well….

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I suppose the elephant would be a bit more odd here than in India but even so you don’t see many out on the roads !!
We passed through more busy little villages, over numerous bridges with views of the backwaters until finally the moment arrived……

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That’s right, we’d left Karnataka behind and had finally entered Goa, land of sun, sand, warm seas and cold beers, we were now on holiday πŸ˜‰
Palelum is right on the beach and as you approach you are almost surrounded by people trying to sell you accomodation, it’s a lovely little place though….

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We viewed several places before settling on this…

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Yep that’s our room, right on the beach, and what a beautiful beach….

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We’d finally made it to Goa, we’d cycled about 4000 miles, visited numerous temples, forts, palaces, and other assorted tourist places but now we were on holiday, we were staying for two nights in Palelum but I’ll tell you all about that in my next blog πŸ˜‰
Take care
JC

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About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
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