The Magical Agumbe
Continuing the West coast ride story
“Is there a temple up there?”, the old lady asked pointing towards the bunch of college students who were running up & down the stairs which takes one to the Sunset view point at Agumbe.
“Oh! Yes. There is one. And he is the God’, Srikanth pointed towards the late afternoon Sun. The old lady was bewildered. We both exchanged smiles & went towards the view point.
We were at Agumbe, the Chirapunji of South India, the Malgudi of Swamy & his friends. En route view point we briefly stopped at the Agumbe town trying to find the school which Swamy attended in the Malgudi days series.
It was 4.30 in the evening and we had another hour & forty five minutes for the Sunset (6.15 PM) as per the guy at the handicrafts shop. It was too late for us to reach Udupi to catch sunset at the beach. Hence we decided to witness the Sunset. We parked our bikes & roamed around. The place was bit noisy because of the two groups of tourists, both being college students. Their chatters, pranks took us back to our college days. We climbed up to the view point & back couple of times. And then we tried to explore the dense trees above the viewpoint for a better view of Sunset, but had to come back as there was no visibility. We walked up & down the road, sat on the roadside discussing on the plans for next three days, and then sat silently enjoying the surroundings.
Some 15-20 minutes before the sunset we moved to the viewpoint. It was an amazing experience watching the Sun changing colors every moment. I tried to capture the sunset in my camera & then I realized that I was missing the live action. I decided to give a break to the camera & enjoy the view to the fullest. We sat silently watching the Sun going down inch by inch. Those moments, though of shorter period, are impossible to describe in words. We said good bye to the Sun and were back on the saddles.
Daylight was reducing quickly & we had another 50+KMs to ride. It was fun riding down the narrow Agumbe ghat road. Though of shorter distance, it has 14 hair pin curves within a distance of 7-8 KMs & the height drastically reduces. By the time one covers 8-10KMs from the viewpoint, he will be at almost sea level from a height of 826 meters above sea level.
With Sun down, darkness glooming, tired souls, droopy eyes, we rode down the narrow roads towards Udupi. After 75 minutes; by 8PM, we were roaming in the alleys of Udupi, lost searching for the Udupi bus stand. Due to construction work, we had to detour, ride around aimlessly just following the flowing traffic. Next was the tough task to search for a hotel, then Rajesh Naik (a fellow travel blogger, an avid traveler & an amazing personality – more details on him in a separate post :)) came to our rescue. We dumped our luggage, freshened up & had a lazy dinner (stretching 3.5 hrs) with Rajesh & Srikanth (Srikanth #2, another fellow blogger).
And so was our day one, covering 440KMs, visiting couple of heritage & pilgrimage centers, spending time at a water reservoir & an unforgettable sunset.
Route taken on day one: