The Coastal Saga
As a kid, I watched in awe, how my dad rode his Yezdi… the two-tyred vehicle seemed way bigger and louder than other, similar vehicles which my uncles rode… My dad told me stories, of how he wished to tour around the world on his motorcycle and see each and every corner of the earth… I was just 3 yrs old when Dad left us… his dream unfulfilled. Well, I am living his dream now, mine as well.
I strongly believe that life is a continuous journey and not any particular destination, and with this belief I started traveling in and around West Bengal on my Royal Enfield Classic 350. Ahh…You might think why a motorcycle ? why by road ? Flying down or traveling by train would make the journey more luxurious.. Right..?
But for me traveling is not only to visit a point of interest and get back home. Traveling for me is all about exploring the unexplored, knowing the unknown, meeting wonderful souls from different culture, taste different food and share experiences.
My trips started to grow with confidence, from a day to few days.. from few days to a week and to few weeks. Meanwhile I was planning for a bigger trip, a trip of a lifetime… That is when the idea of ‘The Coastal Saga’ was born… This time was special as I wanted my wife to join me in this 10,600 kms ride ( including city rides ), across Southern and Central India. We planned to cover West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand, and so we did…
We set out for our journey on the 25th of January 2014, celebrating our birthdays and our 1st Wedding Anniversary during the course of our 45 days road trip. However, this ride would never have been a success without the constant support and patience of my pillion, my life-partner, my Wife… It was her endless trust in me that kept me going and gave me all the energy and strength I required to fulfill my dream….
Ooops… I forgot to introduce ourselves..
My name is Chandan Roy, a 27 years old Electronics Engineer by profession from a small town Halisahar around Kolkata , chasing his dreams, genetically too much attracted towards technology and machines. But when its too much of it and I need a break, I choose to escape from my daily life on adventurous trips.
Rituparna Bose Roy (Ritz) my lovely wife, a teacher and a former Journalist in Broadcast media. Born in Siliguri, North Bengal, brought up in Delhi and now married to a crazy guy in the picture above. She is a great explorer but never thought riding on a motorcycle will be such fun and adventure. She did ride on short trips for a day but this was the longest and unimaginable trip for her which lasted over a month and half.
A glimpse of our route
The Journey in detail
25th January, 2014
Home to Rambha, Odisha- 640 kms
A day before everything was packed, the vehicle was loaded, and now it was all sleep that we both needed get charged to hit the road as we had to leave home at midnight. But we were so excited that we could not get ourselves to sleep.
The clock ticked and at 1:00 am we left bed, freshened up within an hour. Now it was time to leave. My parents were really supportive for the trip but everyone got emotional as no one knew what is waiting for us one the road. Hugs and kisses with loads of blessings we left home by 2:30 am.
Rolling out of the gate disturbing the silent midnight with the heavy thumps of our Royal Enfield and riding along the town roads, a lot of questions coming into our mind, cheering ourselves that we started . Right then after 3 Kms of riding I figured out that we left back one of the essential gear back at home, it was the rain covers for our saddle bags. Without any thought we rode back home to get them.
Now after around 45Kms of riding along the city we touched the NH6, which take us to Kharagpur. It was January, we were trapped in fog, not heavy but there was safe visibility. We rode around 102Kms and reached the “ Sher E Punjab” Dhabba at Kolaghat. A renowned Dhabba where a lot of bikers meet up and people drive down for good food.
It was really cold at 5:00am and we decided to have some tea and wait till the sky lit up. By 6:00am we geared up again and hit the road. Our next stop was for breakfast cum lunch just 150 kms before we entered Bhubaneshwar.
We parked our vehicle and entered a restaurant. The waiter came up asking what would we like to have. His language immediately confirmed that we have made our entry into the first state, Odisha. We both looked at each other and smiled with joy. Had some good food and took some rest for an hour and headed towards Rambha, a place by the Chilka Lake in Odisha, the second largest lagoon in the World.
As we entered Bhubaneshwar, Ritz started feeling unwell, and it was getting bad very fast. We had to pull off the road and got her a bottle of cold water. I figured out that it was just too much of excitement, less sleep and dehydration due to dry weather and wind. we stepped into a restaurant and had some food and a lot of water. I was planning to put up in Bhubaneshwar for that day and start again in the next morning, but within an hour and half she started feeling better and insisted me to stick with the plan.
Now another 200kms, approximately 4 hours of riding would reach us Rambha, and it was already 4:00pm at noon. The road was silky and darkness was chasing us, without any hesitation, keeping safety in mind I twisted the throttle and kept a decent speed of 90 – 100 kmph. By around 8:30pm we sighed when we saw a reflective board on the highway pointing an arrow towards Rambha.
Another 6kms of riding and we reached the Panthanivas, where we had a pre-booking. The manager welcomed us and showed us the room. We were tired, covered with dirt and was hungry like a beast. A quick shower and we lead ourselves towards the restaurant. Good sea food and rice was more than enough to relief the hunger and recharge ourselves.
Sitting in the balcony and recalling the whole day was making us feel something not experienced before. Riding solo and covering 640Kms was not much for me, but siting behind as a pillion was really a hard job. But Ritz successfully accomplished it in the first try. Wow.. Hats off, hats off to my my baby..:).. She became a great inspiration and strength for me to meet more challenges ahead in this trip.
26th January 2014
Rambha to Araku valley – 420Kms
Ahh.. 26th Jan. This was a special day.. Guess what..? No..no.. I am not talking about the Republic Day.. Its Ritz’ Birthday….Yepiee.
We woke up around 6:00 in the morning, and I left for a bakery shop. Unfortunately I could not find anything and had to celebrate her birthday with a small cupcake and a candle. I was quite apprehensive that she will be disheartened, but she said she loved the cupcake and the candle idea. This was the first time she was celebrating her birthday with a trip.
By 8 O’clock we were loaded with gears and left Panthanivas. Riding through the village till the highway was a bit difficult due to Republic day marching of school students. We had to take narrow lanes and fields and after an hour of riding we were on the HN5. Unexpectedly we had a superb road but a sunny morning which made us stop every hour or half, but we could hardly find any shade so we just had to be happy with making some sitting adjustments, drinking water and make a move again.
Almost more than half of the route to Araku is covered by 12:30pm and we were into the second state Andra Pradesh. Just by the milestone in the picture beside was a large shrub where we sat down for some shade. Already missing home, so we took our phone out and switched it ON to call back our creators. Before we could make a call both our phone started ringing and coincidentally the calls were from both the homes. They wished Ritz a Happy Birthday. We spoke for a while and started again. Now it was time to refill both the stomach as well as the motorcycle. We stopped at a gas station to refill and asked for a good place to have food. Wow.. Again a different language in reply, it was little hard to understand what they wanted to say, but we could make out that there is a small village ahead where we can find food.
Riding through the village in search of a place to have lunch made us stop at a busy four way crossing on the highway where we could see a local dhabba. We parked the motorcycle and stepped in. Everyone almost stopped eating and were staring at us. In a minute I realized that we were so comfortable with our riding gears that we took off the helmet but forgot to open the balaclava, which made us look like kidnappers.