Passing Elephants in Bandipur, India

  • by

Two of us, landing in Calicut and departing Goa. We are not following the coast to the north though. We head South East to Nilambur to call on friends there and then up the ghat to Mysore. Now a Deccan ride up through Karnataka through Hassan, Chikmagalur, Shimoga to Bijapur. Then trough Belgaum, down the ghat to Goa.

We are both on the new maroon coloured Vivente World Randonneurs, me with a BOB trailer in tow.

In the border area between Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka it is a no-man’s-land when it comes to taking responsibility for the roads. The good thing is that, due to isolation, this is where you see wildlife.

In Bandipur we regularly see elephants. There are signs warning about tigers but they are scaredy cats and off in the forest. We think so anyway.

Sign announcing “upgradation” and “2 laning”. Sometimes the signs warn of “4 laning”.

Very pleasant country south of Chikmagalur. The number of animals on the road suggest a horn would be a good accessory. In Mysore a few days ago I managed to buy an autorickshaw horn which is really doing the trick.

The farmers are getting their grain crop threshed by spreading it on the road and have passing vehicles run over it. I help out.

You never know which way animals will go. A horn works but a bell does not seem to.

Many of the roads are poor but there is occasional patching up. The steamrollers are also used just to flatten out existing roads that have developed bumps.

Gol Bumbaz in Bijapur. It was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. But you can visit this site and not be swamped by tourists.

Heading SE to Belgaum we are on superb roads.

The road changes up in the range. There is a 20km stretch between a mine and a rail-head where the mining output (iron ore) is all transported by lorry. The road is terrible.

The rear carrier is Taiwanese alloy and I think I might try the German Cr-mo Tubus one. I should also get a rear light to run off the dynamo. The trailer is good but it is more difficult to fly if you have both a touring bike and a trailer.

I’m including this shot to show the autorickshaw horn. As you can see that 20 km of road was pretty dusty.

A very big paper dosa. India takes the prize for bike tourer’s food quality and its availability.

In Goa we adopt a new system of packing. Apart from some pallet-wrapping plastic that I have brought wrapped around a bit of doweling, the packing is done with things bought on the ride to the airport. Coir rope, bathmats, newspapers.