• City: Kanpur

    Day 5: Harihareshwar to Alibag

    I woke ravenous. Willing to eat a raven even!

    http://cyclingmonks.com/wp-content/uploads/hm_bbpui/4492/wl35ua3h0fozcqou6wq66gd5ncsinpz5.jpgThe guy invested more in his flags than his boat!

    The uncle of the lodge expected me to be half-dead with hunger and he woke me up with tea and biscuits. 10 minutes later there was more tea, this time accompanied with parathas and a big fat omelette. The home cooked food was mouth wateringly delicious. Properly ‘fed up’ I left for the beach.

    Harihareshwar Beach was not much better than Juhu Beach in Bombay. It was teeming with people and icecream carts. I ended up spending less than 5 minutes there. Even the temple was overcrowded.

    The place was a bit of a let-down and I ended up leaving earlier than anticipated.

    The ride was slow and easy, with not too much of climbing. But the climbing from the previous 4 days had taken a toll and I was struggling.

    As a result, I focused more on the pedalling aspect, rather than the travel.

    My legs, like this building was in ruins!

    I finally reached Dighi. The last ferry of this route. It was a much larger crossing than the previous two places, but ferries were more spaced out. As a result, I didn’t get a ferry and jumped into a tiny boat with my bike.

    The boat rocked and rolled, as I held onto my bike for dear life. I was a little afraid.

    Then the boatman nonchalantly started pumping out water from the boat, as it filled up. A proper handpump, stuff you see in villages, just to keep you from being swallowed up by the river! I was suitably afraid for my life by then, mentally writing my last Will & Testament.

    On the far side of the river lay Agardanda, besides which was Janjira Fort. A fort in the middle of the sea. Which is why I thought that the name, Jaljira would have been more apt!

    Jaljira Fort…err, I mean Janjira!

    All day it was a nice cool easy ride along the coast. It was pleasant.

    The highlight of the day was not the coast, it was biryani. After eating enough pao to last me a lifetime. The missals and the vadas included. I finally got something different to eat in Mazgaon.

    The biryani was fantastic. I knocked down a couple of plates before the shopkeeper could blink!

    With body, heart and soul satiated I moved on to Alibag to meet my dear friend, Sumit.

    But as is the case with Sumit, the meeting is like an Indian Railways train. It is always about to reach, but never arrives.

    Sumit was to join me in Goa and ride down to Alibag. Then that plan got cancelled. He was then to join me midway and ride to Alibag. Then that plan got cancelled. He then was to join me 20 km outside Alibag and ride together. And then guess what…that plan got cancelled as well!

    Eventually we met a few kilometres outside the town after dark. Spotting each other by our blinking headlights.

    Once I met him, I knew what was in store…

    Food. Lots and lots of good food!

    A relatively flat day of riding…

    You can see the full ride data and route on Strava