Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bangalore-Mangalore: The FISH-y Trip: Day 2 (final day)

Continued from the last post (Day 1)...

Sunday, 11th Dec, 2006:

Plan to wake up was 6:00 AM so that we could visit Naveen’s college at Surathkal. But all of us were very tired especially Ashu, who drove more than 400 km last day. So we chose to keep on sleeping. We woke up and got ready at 8:00 AM. The Fish-y trip continues :)

Tried contacting Shetty but in vain. His phone was not reachable and the landline at his place was dead. So all five of us hopped into Naveen’s car and left for Malpe Beach, Udupi. Again, Ashu was driving. Malpe is mere 6 km from Manipal. It is a small fishermen’s village hence as expected the air on the way to the beach was full of fishy smell. Gopal and Pandey both being pure vegetarians were having hard time keeping away from passing out :). Soon we could see the Arabian Sea. Beautiful blue sea! This was the first time I visited west coast of India.

We could see many fishing boats on the horizon coming back with night long catch. Also, the sea was dotted with many small islands and Naveen told us that we will be visiting one of them.

We kept ourselves from jumping into the water because of lack of time. We thought that we will enter the water only on the island’s beach thus saving some precious time. Remember, tomorrow is Monday :(

We tried contacting Shetty yet again but again “This number is not reachable!” We moved to the place from where we had to take the boat to island. We parked our car and had a quick breakfast. Idli, Dosa, Veg Pulao and KesariBath. We entered the gate to the area where boats are parked. Parked our car and proceeded towards the ticket counter. Again an unsuccessful try to call Shetty.

The ticket to St. Mary’s Island costs Rs.70/- per head. We boarded the boat at around 10:00 AM cursing Shetty for not coming on time. Actually we were a bit worried also because he left quite late last night and there was no news from him since then. Finally Shetty called few seconds after we boarded the boat. He was on the way. We told him to catch the next boat to the island.

The journey till St. Mary’s was amazing. The water was dotted with rocky islands and fishing boats. We were wondering which amongst them is the St. Mary’s Island.

After some time it became clear and we could see our destination. A serene island lined up with coconut trees, rocks and small beach. Wow! My first visit to an island!

We had to change the boat in between as the big boat cannot go till the coast so we boarded a smaller boat on the way! It took around 40 minutes to reach the place.

We just wanted to jump into the water. Naveen took us to farther end of the island where the rush of people won’t be there. And soon we were lying in the shallow water.

One thing that amazed me there was that there was no sand on the beach. The beach was full of sea shells. Quite interesting. Isn’t it? :)

By noon we were out of the water. There was a stall selling frsh fried fishesJ. We had Anjil and Bangra fishes there. By this time Shetty aslso arrived. Shetty, Gopal and Pandey roamed around the island and I, Ashu and Naveen devoured the fishes. :)

We took the 1:10 PM boat back to Malpe. Our initial plan was to leave Udupi by 1:00 PM but we were very late. By the time we reached hotel, washed and checked out, it was already 3:00 PM and our stomachs were grumbling of hunger.

Again, to continue our Fish-y trip, we dropped Gopal and Pandey in a veg restaurant and proceeded to Hotel Fishland. Again our host was there smiling as usual and hurrying into the kitchen to give special instructions for cooking. Shetty was amused to see that he did not bring any menu. We told him about our last visit.

We started off with fried masala prawns. Delicious! Then we were served with some delicious fish kebabs. The kebabs melted as soon as we put them in our mouth. One of the tastiest things I ever had! He didn’t tell us the name of fish. Later he told that it was baby Shark! After that we had Indian Salmon, one of the costliest fishes. I also tasted Neeru Dosa for the first time. Neeru dosa with prawn curry was amazing! Our tummies were full by 4:00 PM and this huge meal for four cost us only Rs 450/-! We are planning to go there once again :).

We left the place at around 4:10 PM. This time we did not want to climb the steep slope to Agumbe and the bad 20 km stretch between Aldur and Chikamanglur so we took different route. We moved to Karkala which would have been around 40 odd km from Manipal. Karkala is also well known on archeological map of India but we skipped because of lack of time and proceeded to Moodabidri which is around 16 km from Karkala. From there 60 km good stretch till Belathangdi. Next place enroute was Mudigere around 40 km from Belathangdi.

There was very nice ghat road in between and Ashu was amazing at negotiating the curves without a power steering. It reminded me of the expertise which generally experienced drivers for hilly routes in Uttaranchal have. Everyone was impressed by him.

As soon as ghat section ended, we saw the worst road. You see it was not one of the worst roads but it was THE WORST road, I ever saw. We moved at a speed of 5 km/h and Shetty was far behind us. This will give you the idea what kind of road it was. Covering some 15 odd km on this road ate up a lot of time and it was well past darkness.

Finally we reached Mudigere. From there the road Belur was good. Nice estates (Could not identify whether tea or coffee in the darkness) on both sides of the road. Soon we were in Belur. Shetty filled his fuel tank and we moved towards Hassan. The highway which we took was fabulous. Soon Shetty was above 100 and out of sight. We reached Hassan at around 11 PM. We had dinner in a highway dhaba just after crossing Hassan. I guess the name was Gangotri Dhaba. The suggestion here is that do not eat there! It’s not good.

Oh, I forgot to tell that on return journey there were three people per car. From here, I went to the back seat of the car and Naveen came to the front and I had a nice sleep J. We came to know that Shetty was napping while driving so they stopped on the way to refresh. We reached Bangalore at around 3:15 AM while Shetty’s car arrived at around 4:40 AM. I had to sleep at Naveen’s place and Bhadra dropped me at my place in the morning enroute office.

The trip was fabulous with just my bike missing! We have to go there again on bikes. Highways, Hills, Sea Beach, Island, everything was there like a masala hindi movie! :)

Will be back soon with another trip. Till then Hasta La Vista !!!

Fast Facts:

Forward Journey Route:

Bangalore ----30---> Neelmangla ----150---> Hassan ----40---> Halebeedu ----17---> Belur ---24---> Chikamanglur ----89---> Sringeri ----56---> Agumbe ----56---> Manipal ----3 ---> Udupi

Hotels are easily available at Manipal. Great seafood at Hotel Fishland, Manipal.

Must visit: St. Mary’s Island from Udupi.

Return Journey Route:

Udupi ----3---> Manipal ----40---> Karkala ----16---> Moodabidri ----60---> Belathangdi ----36---> Mudigere ----32---> Belur ----34---> Hassan ----150---> Neelmangla ----30 ---> Bangalore

Will upload all the pics from the trip soon.


Ashu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kam said...

Nice pix again bro! I would also wanna go to St. Mary's island. Beautiful!!

Ashish said...

we will go there soon bro on our bikes !!! :D

Anirudh/अनिरूद्ध said...

kaafi umda post likhi hai bandhu.....
..*slurp* mm fish...*sl;urp*

Ashu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ashish said...


dost dubara hi nahin tibara le jaayenge tumhe :)

Debonair said...

yummmm ... i didnt know there was more Fishland coming my way in this post :) .... that guy is seriously doing great social service ! .... and even though I dont know if you guys have already had the bike trip, let me say I'm VERRRRY interested :) do let me know @ 9980197416 if u ppl plan a trip some weekend :)

anjali gupta said...

Hi..I really enjoyed reading your travelogue. Manipal city is situated just 1 hour away from Mangalore. Being in the charming city of Manipal, you can always enjoy your holiday by visiting the places in and around this enchanting town. Explore various hotels in Manipal and enjoy your stay.