Happy New Year 2007- Jog Falls, Honnavar

Happy New Year 2007
A much wanted break for me… Going for a long ride on my Bullet and check how the newly fitted CV carburetor works on tough conditions. I missed a ride on the Christmas holidays since busy with relatives to celebrate X’mas. So I was waiting for this ride to happen. Well, I’m talking about the New Year ride to Jog falls and Honnavar. The group was Swami, Chandra, Sandeep, KK and myself.

As usual I did not want to be a part of ride planning. We have experienced guys with us; Experienced on route, place, distance, road conditions etc. Chandra has a very good route map of India. By the way this ride was the first time I had real close contact with Chandra. A good opportunity to have some close contact with good photographers like him, Sandeep and Swami…

We planned the ride/trip for 3 days- Started from Bangalore on 30th Dec 2007 morning and come back on 1st Jan 2007 evening or probably at night. We assembled at the Cubbon park gate. I and KK reached there first. KK is coming for a long ride for the first time. He is going to be my pillion. When I spoke to him about the ride plan he showed interest for two reasons. One: He doesn’t have any other program for the New Year. Two: He wants to have a feel of the so called rides people do on bikes. Though I warned him of the difficulties of going on such a long ride he felt like adding a new experience to his credit.

Chandra and Sandeep came together and joined us at the cubbon park. That was the first time I’m meeting Sndeep, skin headed and looking bold but happy looking chap, never even heard of him before. But he was in touch with Chandra and Swami and made himself available for the ride. That was his first long ride on his new bullet. Sandeep is much into activities like site seeing, trekking and photography. As far as I know he doesn’t waste a single weekend or holiday without an adventure trip or a drive.

We felt a bit impatient coz swami is yet to join us. When we called swami to know the status, he is still at home struggling hard to come out in that cold December morning. Anyway he made it fast and reached us within half an hour. I always admire Swami for the beautiful works he’s done with his Canon S3. He is keen on photographing objects which others don’t find anything special about when seen around, flowers and small creatures like ants small flies etc. Sometimes I even feel that he's started turning his camera towards living objects and human expressions. I don’t know if it is because of my requests or influence.

We started the ride at around 7:45 from Cubbon park, filled the bikes from the Shell on the way and 'thumped on'. I and KK were feeling a bit hungry and so we too felt like filling and did the same a little far from Shell. That wasn’t necessary if we knew that there was the plan to stop at Kamat for an exclusive breakfast. But I found that idli’s at Kamat doesn’t come par with that at the local shop where we had the first fill up. Anyway when others had breakfast I and KK just topped up while going through the reports on Saddam Hussein’s execution in the morning daily. We pushed off after Chandra and Sandeep had a final check on the map for the correct route. Sandeep had been to Jog falls before, I heard from him later.

Swami jammed his breaks when he saw a Stone Age machine on road side which produces some kind of a cream colored liquid which people around seen drinking. Sugar cane extractor which produces sugar cane juice… Swami has discovered sugar cane juice... Hurray... He had two glasses while we had one each. He wanted it ‘without sugar’!!!. Swami had already fallen in love with the machine at first sight itself and as a result the operator earned 10 bucks extra. Had we got piston with us, he would have measured the rpm torque and bhp of the machine precisely. Swami took some pics of the machine and we left the place.

The next pit stop was on the high way side, on an old bridge, seemed abandoned as the traffic’s been diverted through the new bridge. When somebody wanted to lie down to stretch out, Sandeep brought out a plastic floor sheet to every body’s surprise. After taking rest for some time Swami was found performing some special Yoga there. No one has ever seen such a practice anywhere. We were the only lucky ones to witness that rare performance.

We stopped at Shimoga to watch sunset and take some snaps. Our initial plan was to stay at Shimoga and head to Jog falls in the morning. A phone call to Jog falls KASTDC changed all the plans. Rooms are available there and we are not sure abut the same at Shimoga. At sunset we are 105km away from Jog falls. Though it was risky to take the ghat roads at night we decided to do it; didn’t want to take chance on availing rooms for stay. Though different riding styles made big gaps between the bikes, all got sorted out on a ‘pit stop’.

The last stretch before reaching Jog falls was the ride of the day. The ghat roads taking to Jog falls, I think it was approximately 50km, was one of a kind stretch which any biker will love to take. Bullet produced the thump at its max while taking the uphill with the pillion, most of the times requesting one shift down from the top.

Had dinner on the way and reached Jog falls at around 10:00pm. KSTDC guest house there is an old building which is maintained in a very good condition. We even had a view to the falls from our room. A wonderful place to stay...

31st Dec 2007; we had break fast from the nearby cafeteria and as per the plan had a trek down to the falls; Chandra and Sandeep did not join the trek though. The water down was chill cold, but couldn’t resist the temptation to take a bath under the falls. Swami and KK were found busy clicking after the cold bath. The place is filled with rocks carved in different shapes by mere ‘water force’. Swami clicked lots of rocks for one reason- he is gonna rock the New Year. After some time I found him ‘flat’ down on ground clicking something else. Does that mean he is going to be flat after the so called rocking? I don’t think so. It took time for the return trek to the top. Oops... it was tiring. It is advisable to have the trek to and fro in the morning since the later hours of the day will be sunny down there.

I was waiting for the ride to Honnavar. The plan was to start at 3:00pm and reach there before sunset. Sandeep, KK and myself did the ride while Chandra and Swami preferred to visit the other side of the falls. (Chandra didn’t want to strain his right foot after he got a kick back on the bullet and Swami received a call at his 6th or 7th sense and decided to stay back listening to it) The 65km stretch to Honnavar through ghat roads seemed to take a bit longer than expected. But we pushed a bit hard to reach there before sunset. Sandeep had a very valuable time there, I think. He was too busy with his cam and wide angle lens, found him taking shots even at almost zero visibility. I won’t forget the dinner at Honnavar with delicious fish items... can’t forget a mishap too… I lost a 512MB card and my cam cover there. I still can’t figure out where exactly I lost it. While the return ride, Sandeep was in full josh, enjoying a moonlight tide only with the park light and the eye bulbs. Damn… my bikes fuse is gone and I can’t do that. We reached back at Jog falls at 10:00pm and joined Chandra and Swami.

At midnight I and KK ‘cheersed’ the New Year when others were sound asleep.

Morning at around 9:30 we left Jog falls and this time we took a different route via Chikmagalur and Mangalore NH. The route is picturesque. We rode with ease with much needed pit stops and reached Bangalore at 2am, 2nd Jan 2007. We straight rode to MG road, had tea and Bye Byed. A 1050km beautiful ride, I enjoyed every bit of it.

This story doesn’t end without mentioning what happed to KK after the ride. KK had a little fever while the return ride in the evening which was ignored. The next day I got a call from KK with an unfamiliar voice. Da, please come home and take me to hospital. Ooops... KK was hospitalized for one week nothing serious though… Fever and throat infection... I don’t publish his sick photo here for health reasons. KK just had another holidaying in the hospital for one week, that’s all…

KK got what he wanted from this ride… An entirely different experience which he won't forget in the near future...

By the way the CV carb on my bull works better compared to the old one which had 101 issues.

Jog falls ride albums: Jo's Swami's


You might feel the narration a bit funny and exaggerated about characters and some incidents in a few occasions. Intention is to prevent losing the spirit of the trip. Thank you for taking it in the right sense.

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