The second half of the last year flew by faster than I expected. The last couple of months were packed with travel plans. Started off with annual friends trip to Taipei in early November, Ezhimala later that month and finally a couple of weeks in Philippines till mid December.
It was going to be a great end to the year. Didn’t mean it couldn’t get even better. Getting last week off from work ensured I could squeeze in one last thing that was on my mind since I moved back to India six months ago: a long road trip. I’d travelled for a couple of days to Pondicherry during September but it was just for weekend with a tight schedule. I wanted to ride longer at a more leisurely pace, and through a better terrain. After a short glance at the map, Goa was decided. All route options were wide open, I could take the national highway or go through the lush hills of Western Ghats or take the coastal road the entire way. I decided to do a mix of highway and the forests eventually. In the process, broke my person best for the distance covered in a single day, mostly because I lost my way a bunch of times that ended up raking more than 150 odd KM to the final number, making it 720.
Most of the popular spots were booked well in advance but I did up getting bunk beds in different hostels. I wasn’t asking for anything more than that. Hostels are fun and especially this time of the year, Goa was full of folks who’d come there for the “celebrations”. Since I’d already had my share of partying for the year, I resorted to cafe hopping, reading and random riding. Not many pics of this trip though, I was too lazy to pull out the cam while riding. Takes too much effort and breaks the flow. But as always, I regretted that as soon as I looked at the ones I actually did end up taking.
Had to take at least one beach pic. Walked a LONG way on this beach to get to a much recommended restaurant. Found the restaurant, food didn’t turn out to be that great. Enjoyed the walk though, so I guess that makes up for it.
On my way back, I started at exactly 0600 and I was shocked how cold it was. I was not prepared for it and after braving the chill for twenty odd minutes, it was evident I could not go further without making some tweaks to my gear. So, I took out a few T-shirts from my backpack and stuffed them in my jacket to at least keep my torso warm. Also gulped down a couple of cups of chai at a small roadside eatery. This helped significantly and I took a mental note to always carry a warm layer next time around.
I managed to reach home by nightfall and like it always is, the journey back was way less exciting. Nevertheless, I was glad to be back but itching at the same time to plan the next trip soon.
I have a good riding calendar set up for this year, just need to make sure that the plans stay on track !!