Hampi

Over the weekend of 25th-27th September 2003, I decided to go to Hampi. Another trip to GOA was being planned by the Bajaj Pulsar group, but it did not seem to be materializing into something concrete. Hampi had been on my agenda for long time now, and this seemed to be the perfect time to go . Posting on the bikenomads group had Arpan and Ryan pitching in with GR (from Hyderabad) as being another proabable IF Quick Silver ( his bike ) would be back from some major surgery at the service center.

A day before the trip, GR confirmed, as did Navendu – who though not interested in Hampi* itself, was none-the-less interested in thumping his way through the countryside on his Electra 2004.

The plan was for Ryan to come over to Pune one day before, as Nav, Arpan and I were in pune. We would leave pune and meet GR at Bijapur – which afforded the added attraction of being able to see the Gol Gumbaz* .

Day 1 -25th September 2004
Starting Out

The day of the trip dawned with some trepidation of rains, which thankfully did not fall that day. As Ryan and I were getting ready and putting our stuff on the bikes, Arpan reached my house, and after a brief photoshoot, we headed off to the RTO petrol bunk where we were to meet up with Nav and also so that anyone who had to tank up could do so. We found nav to be already there , as we were around 10mins late in reaching.

Starting out

Breakfast stop

Started off and took the Sholapur road out of the city. The stretch around Hadapsar is not really good. And after that we were hit with a traffic jam of trucks lined up one after another. But, for bikes, its no problem to nip in between the trucks and keep moving, and after a few minutes of slow riding, we were out of the jam.

In front of us we could see the road stretching off into the distance, and beyond that loomed dark clouds. Hopefully we would not need to put on rain gear as the clouds did not seem too ominous. After around 2 hours of riding we had our first break – for breakfast.

The way to Hampi passes through Solapur , but that was one town we wanted to avoid. Thankfully there is a bypass for the town around 10kms before it , which takes you onto the road to bangalore. Unfortunately, the road is in really bad condition, but the scenery there is quite good. The sun having come out, we had a short photo break and soaked in the scenery.

The ZMA look
Mirrored Clouds
The Nomads

Inviting roads
Lazy Clouds

After hitting the highway, the road becomes better and we were doing better time, and reached Bijapur around 2pm. We were to meet up with GR at the golgumbaz, but at that place we could not see GR. Also he was travelling without a mobile, so there was no way I could contact him. Thinking what to do, when I get a call from GR. He was in a shop just across the road ! The wonders of modern communications ! We parked out bikes, and went off to sight see Gol Gumbaz*. GR and Ryan refused to climb up 7 stories to the wispering gallery at the top of the structure … we went nevertheless. The wispering gallery though had been transformed into a echo gallery by the tourists who had come there !

Me !
The Gol Gumbaz

At the top
Wispering Gallery from below …
… and from top

After spending an hour at the monument, we set off again, after deciding to have lunch on some dhaba on the way. Around 3:30 we stopped for lunch . People everywhere seemed to want to know if my bike was a foreign bike – and were very surprised when they got to know it is a Hero Honda bike.

The Dhaba was a pukka punjabi one with the the ‘khats’ and the planks on it. Had a late lunch around 4pm of rotis, dal and egg bhurjis.

Set off again. We passed by the kms hour after hour. Around dusk, GR and I stopped for a break as GR had to call up home. The others were some distance ahead of us and we let them go, thinking we would catch them up later. Once we started off it was pitch dark – and a few kms away we saw the blinking lights – which on the highway only meant our group. No one else i guess has working side indicators !! We stopped, and the villagers started gathering like moths to the bike. Unfortunately, none of them spoke hindi, and i can’t speak Kannada – so had a tough time to keep them away from the bike – which they all seemed to think was their property ! Finally, had to move off from that place – otherwise my bike would have become unrecognizable.

Surrounded !
Around 8 pm we reached ******* which is around 10kms from hampi. We were to stop at a hotel at hampi, but since GR knew of this KSRTDC guesthouse, we went there instead. It was quite a nice place and we got 2 rooms for us 5 folks. The dinner we had at the same place – which was ok – though quite salty.

Day 2
A Day at Hampi

The day dawned fine. After a lazy breakfast and cuppas of tea, we decided that we just had to get ready and set off to Hampi. Nav had no inclination to come to Hampi, so he was to start back, taking a differnt route back – which would take him through belgaum. However, before we said our goodbyes, Gr decided to try out Nav’s electra for the feel of the bullet and my ZMA. Overall , he liked the bull , the zma was a bit too quick for him 😉

Lazy Breakfast

Off we went to Hampi. Its difficult to describe the feelings, so I will just upload some pics with the descriptions . That way it will be much better. Click here (opens in new window)

On the way back , both GR and i tried some night photography. Here are the results.

Sunset at lake
Coloured skies …
… and earth

Eyes of the ZMA
Believe it or not, this is a night time
pic. and it is not the sun over at
the top. Its the moon…
… This moon

Day3

We started off fairly early in the morning, with Gr leading the way. It was a beautiful sunrise on our right side as we rode on the empty roads. After sometime, the roads became really good, and I decided to rip, so after signalling to the group that i am going ahead, i went into full rip mode – crouched on the bike. Tweety was no longer the amiable machine which had appealed to the villagers 2 weeks before – it was a yellow lightning streaking through the overcast gloomy day.

The speedomoeter crept up and i was doing 135kmph. I ride fast, but still did not have much idea about going constant at 135kmph. The max that i had achieved before on my CBZ had been 120. And I was brought back into reality with a sight which I will remember for a very long time.

A group of three crows were on the road , having their morning breakfast of some unfortunate creature that had been the victim of some automobile. I rememer clearly that i was approaching them quite fast. They also saw the yellow projectile hurtling towards them and started to fly off. And I remember thinking why the heck were they flying off in slowmotion – when i suddenly realized that it was not them flying off in slow motion, it was me approaching them faster than they expected. I hit the brakes, but still i think i grazed one of them with the front fairing.

Phew! That was close.

After some time, i saw a dog in the distance. Instantly i slowed down to 80, and then 60 around the point where i was to overtake it – honking to make my presence felt. No more taking chances. I can handle the fast moving bike – but how about the people and livestock on the road who had no idea about how fast this wasp moves ?

Starting off

Waiting for the others

after the 135kmph dash

After approx 20minutes of riding full stretch, i stopped for the others to catch up – ready with my camera to take their pics.After a wait of 30mins, which was when I was almost going to get on the bike and turn back , that they turned up. GR and arpan were overtaking some truck and i missed getting them , but was able to capture Ryan. Later on I got to know that GR had some problems with his gloves, and they had been trying to fix it for a good 15-20mins.

Ryan

For breakfast we decided to stop at a Kamat at Sangam*. It was off the way, but we decided to check it out anyways. So, after having our fill of idlis and dosas, we went to sangam. Well, apart from a lot of water and 2 huge gates we did not see anything. Kind of disappointing.

Tweety ?

An enormous ‘Rath’
Huge gates
umm… dunno !

We continues on our way now, and our main aim was to reach a place before solapur where we can say good byes to GR while we went on our seperate ways , and have lunch while together. Around mid afternoon we reached ******* and had a good lunch. Setting off after that , we managed to find the solapur bypass once again, and hit the road to Pune again after waving our goodbyes to GR.
There after we went quite fast. Mostly the bikes were kept in the 90-100 range , and apart from an extened tea break we mostly kept to the saddles till around 6pm. At 6pm, Ryan called for a butt break. We were only some 20kms from pune now, and this was to be our official last stop before entering pune. The sutta break done, we hit pune around 7pm – and were immediately swamped with the Ganesh processions . Most of the roads in pune were a milling mass of humanity and to move the bikes there at speeds of 5kmph was a real torture, especially when we had been going 100kmph for the most part of the last few days. Somehow we threaded our way through the traffic and hit my house around 8pm. 1 hour to move through the traffic which would otherwise not take more than 1/2. But, I guess we were lucky not to get caught much !
– the end –


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