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A nine-day motorcycle exploratory trip that starts and ends in Goa; twisting roads, off-roads, rainforests, wildlife, and the Western Ghats in all its glory. This circuit is as heady a mix as the cocktail it's inspired from. Among many things that happened under the colonial rule, as a Moto enthusiast, Karma Yatri's favorite, is the unmistakable footprint on the Western Ghats, in the form of plantations, tea, coffee, rubber, and spices. Whilst it, unfortunately, resulted in large scale decimation of pristine forests, it opened up to motorists one of the most spectacular circuits anywhere in the world!
You will stay for eight nights in various accommodations including hotels and boutique homestays. The start of the trip sets the tone for the rest of the journey and the end of the trip is an intimate moment to reflect, relish, and basically have one big party. The properties Karma Yatri uses at various locations, that serve as start and endpoints of the itinerary, are unique and carefully selected.
During this tour, you will be accommodated in premium hotels and homestays at all stops. The properties combine the best in hospitality that the region has to offer, great food, and the ability for you all to behave like a group. Please note that although Karma Yatri provides blankets and duvets, it is recommended that you carry a sleeping bag for added comfort.
Arrive at the airport and Karma Yatri will transfer you to your beachside hotel in the Northern half of this sun-soaked state. Sun, surf, pristine beaches, nightlife, food, everything that makes the start of a perfect holiday! Meet the Karma Yatri team and the other riders. Take a short spin to check out your motorcycles and get a feel for the traffic. Soak in the first of many gorgeous sunsets and enjoy the gentle surf of the Arabian Sea.
Churches, bridges, islands, and ferries, the first half of today takes you inland to parts of Goa that are less touristy than the beaches, yet offer a diversity of culture and landscape. Perfect for a motorcycle adventure, the roads are in great condition and trace across the countryside in a dark pattern of electric cable-like interconnections.
Get on barge-like ferries and cross onto the larger river islands and further cross over to Old Goa’s historic quarter. Riding along stunning architecture, proceed towards the southern extremity of the state, settling down to yet another gorgeous sunset.
From the ocean to the deep jungle, the twists in this ride are just about to begin. A secret road that takes you through the heart of the forest, onto a dirt track leading to a small stream. You are suddenly at a border checkpoint and as you check, you are informed that on crossing the stream, you have entered the state of Karnataka.
You are now in a proper hill country and the associated twisties. Long sweeping bends and sharp flicking switch-backs as you course through low mountains, blanketed in forest cover. Finish the ride in a plantation bungalow in the midst of Beetle-nut palms, surrounded by the cacophony of cicadas, monkeys, and birds.
Great roads through the lush countryside. An invisible dividing line between manmade cultivation and natural forest, the road bears testament to the slow and steady press of humanity into these once impenetrable forests. You are approaching the historic heartland of coffee, Chikmangluru. This is where the first (smuggled) seeds of coffee were planted in India by the sage, Baba Budan.
A special detour onto a road passing through one of the oldest privately held plantations showcases cultivated biodiversity that has been nurtured and managed for over a few centuries.
A forest within a forest would be an apt description of this region. The specificity of coffee plantations needing the shade of tall trees ensures that the ecosystem is not a sterile monoculture of coffee bushes. Several high peaks have viewpoints that allow for great riding stretches that are a mix of on and off-road. Enjoy the hospitality of a plantation bungalow and hear tales of generations that have nurtured the lands they live on.
A short road trip to a 5th-century living architecture site, the temples of Belur will transport you to a time of impeccable craftsmanship of art that was patronized by the rulers of this region. One of the iconic sites of South Indian temple architecture, this diversion in the road trip is a reminder of the historic footprint of the land you are traveling through.
Another gorgeous stretch of tarmac that traverses the western ghats before you descend towards the coast. A short break by the lighthouse of Kaup before a final stretch along a gorgeous lesser road that’s sandwiched between the ocean and a freshwater lagoon.
A beautiful highway along a landscape of water, speckled with islands of lush green teeming with birdlife and picture-perfect small boat fishermen practicing an ancient art form that allowed a sustainable existence with the bounty of nature.
You are in a back-water country which in part is fertile cultivated fields and in part an island of mangrove forest, all interconnected through a series of bridges that provide a fitting viewpoint of this dramatic landscape. Hippie vibes await at Kudle, a reminder that Goa is just a couple of hours away.
Ride along Highway 66; it's not a verified fact but this is possibly a take on America's Route 66 or it’s an interesting name coincidence? A brand new, multi-lane expressway that stretches along the West coast from Mumbai to Kanyakumari. The re-entry to Goa is rather nostalgic, like coming back to meet a dear friend.
Slowly make your way towards the capital, your journey, a truncated series of stops for chai, coconut water, or a smoke. Somehow an attempt at prolonging this final day, savoring every last bit on the road, reliving this adventure on two wheels.
The road can be your best friend or your worst enemy, so Karma Yatri advises you to always ride keeping in mind your safety and of other people traveling with you. It’s best to stick to your side of the road, avoid overtaking, keep in pace with the group, and follow hand signals from the road captain.
The terrain gamut goes from excellent tarmac to instance of some dirt/off roads, two-lane highways, one-lane paths, Ghat roads, and loads of dust, but all this is not without its own fun.
You will be spending nights in comfortable hotels and homestays for the duration of the trip. Phone and internet may not be available in some areas but this is not constant. Whilst Karma Yatri provides all meals, the snacks, beverages, and alcohol during the course of the trip are on your tab. Make sure all your electronic devices are charged and maybe a spare battery and data cards for your camera is a good idea. *Temperature
The winter season in India is the ideal time to visit the south, as the humidity is relatively low, day temperatures do not climb too high and the nights are pleasant and cool to cold in some areas. Some occasional light rain showers are not uncommon in certain areas; though rare. The temperature in the day can climb up to 30 degrees centigrade and in the nights it drops to a pleasant 17 to 25 degrees; in some cases, it can drop a little lower.
Make a list of the things that you need to bring along: luggage, passport, and tickets. Also, mark all your bags inside and out with your name and address, both home address and your holiday address. To be on the safe side, weigh your bags to ensure you don’t exceed the baggage requirements of the airline.
Travel insurance is becoming a must so do consider getting one because you do not have to worry if your bags are lost or if your flight has been canceled or even if your passport and wallet are stolen. It is always best to get yourself and your family covered as mishaps do happen when traveling.
You do know that it is possible to travel with hand-luggage only, rite? Just that you will need to know the airline rules for carrying liquids, otherwise, you may have to remove them at the security checkpoint! In order to handle jet lags, stay hydrated by drinking lots of plain water during the flight, avoid tea and coffee.
Goa International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Goa International Airport (GOI). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Please send Karma Yatri an inquiry for more information.
Depending on your starting point as there are multiple options. Please send Karma Yatri an inquiry for more information.
Take a long distance bus (Volvo Ac) to Goa. Please send Karma Yatri an inquiry for more information.
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