FireLords @ Hedvi 2009

So, another weekend and another road trip, in our own special way. The feel of our Enfields thumping through the wind, on the smooth blacktop, is just unparalleled. This time we rode to Hedvi, a beautiful grey sand beach blessed with calm waters, on the Konkan Coast about 40 odd kilometres south of Guhagar. This place greets you with a big hug as you ride onto the beach coming out of thick foliage in the Hedvi Village.

The FireLords decided we would ride the onwards stretch, that is through Pune-Wai-Mahabaleshwar-Poladpur-Guhagar onto Hedvi, a distance of about 320 Kms in the dark of night. As per plan it was decided that one batch will ride/leave at 5:30 Pm and second will start post evening that is after office hours. But, the city traffic and brothely love made all of us start the ride together. So at 5:30pm Nipun rode to Chandani Chowk all geared up and with his bike all ready for the trip, as usual he was the first to reach, slowly the studs on their steeds rolled in. Siddhant, a first timer on one of our road trips then Amit and finally Ashutosh, Driving his new Scorpio.

The luggage went in the 4 wheeler and the Big Wheelers hit the roads. Riding towards Wai, Yogesh joined the heard of blazing bullets midway at shivapur. We were welcomed by the most beautiful of moonrises ever while riding on the highway. Our first chai stop at Wai, the ladies and the men treated themselves to good missal and chips with Nishant cracking over the top jokes with every bite.

Pushing onto Mahabaleshwar, where we had our dinner with a beautiful view of the moonlit valley beside us. The jokes never stopped coming and the biker humour had us in splits!
We left Mahabaleshwar and rode towards Poladpur, the ghat riding here was amazing, the moonlit views of the valleys were distracting to say the least. Surprisingly the temperatures were pretty comfortable for the night so we enjoyed all the more.

We reached the Goa highway and took another much wanted chai stop, biker gyaan sleepy ladies and over charged men sharing their version of the ride done with each other…saddled up again, we rode towards Chiplun. On the way Nipun had an unfortunate fall, misjudging a banked turn, the footpeg gave way and as he put it ‘I was on mother earth’. Nothing serious just a bent handlebar which our fellow FireLords ‘bent’ back into shape with their muscles☺. Nipun always says ‘My Enfield has a personality, a darn good one at that, when ever she thinks I’m getting too big for my boots, she brings me back to reality in her own naughty way – all in a bikers’ spirit this, awesome’. After all, everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don’t. Some can’t and that’s where you learn riding.

We turned off towards Guhagar and as we kept riding towards our weekend getaway the coconut trees and the warm sea breeze rejuvenated our city centric minds with every breath and blink. Treading the narrow roads covered with a carpet of leaves with our headlights lighting up the length of the pack and the 4 wheeler leading our way…really felt like I was on top of the world, only wishing I could capture the moment in colour.

Finally, we reached Hedvi, at 4am with our bamboo huts waiting for us and the high tide welcoming us with the sound of waves breaking on the sand. We lounged around for a while and then some of us went to sleep, the others, well boys will be boys and men will be boys too! Troubling the slumbering souls in their sleep.

Next morning we woke up with the sun peeking through the bamboo onto our beds, it’s the most wonderful way to wake up, I only wish I was lucky enough to live here someday. I had just one day in paradise and I was gonna make the most of it and who better to do it with, my very own band of brothers and their sisters ☺.

The morning started off with incredibly awesome kanda poha and omelette for breakfast and the riders waking up one by one to the sounds of prem ki nayiya, finding the other bunch having a ball, dancing away to glory on the number again and again. Twisting on twist and high on life! The best part about Hedvi is the fact that there is no cell phone network coverage in the area, so one is just with ones own self and is not constantly bothered by calls.

The afternoon came and we settled for lunch, spicy Konkan chicken curry with bhakris and the most amazing sol kadhi I have ever had! the perfect lunch. Now, naturally a little sleepy every one got off the bamboo stools and washed up.

Ready for the beach everyone? Amit and I, the two ‘lensgunners’ in the bunch, made our way to the beach with our bikes and the others too chose to follow suite. We got busy shooting the bikes on the beach and the others started drag racing on the sand! Its an uplifting feeling, a ride on the beach. Only, after a while the entire kilometre long stretch of the beach was criss-crossed with our bike trails! The locals building a dike nearby were very amused seeing the city boys having their fun, some of them even came up and complemented our steeds for its trademark beat.

After all the fun and a dip in the sea the ‘gentle’ women and men went back to the huts, though Amit and I hung around for the sunset, clicking away to glory at the perfect red dot in the evening sky above the Arabian Sea. After a while we too headed back to the huts.

We made a bonfire and lay around it, conversations, biker gyaan and life experiences were the talk. Some refreshing lemonade courtesy our caretaker ganpat and we were sorted. Nishant fell asleep and so did Siddhant…the others, well we just wanted more of this awesome setting.

Dinner came and we enjoyed mutton this time, with bhakris and rice, after which I treated myself to almost a litre of sol-kadhi. I’m in love with this coconut milk and kokam combo!

We then went to the gorge next to the sea, where we could see the water shoot up, into the air with large waves, lounging around there for an hour and then headed back after some night photography.

Back again, some were already asleep but we sat down discussing the ride, cracking the silliest jokes and testing Yogesh’s English at a whole new level. Slowly we realized we had to rest well for the ride back and so we went to bed.

Morning came again with us getting up with a nice chai and good breakfast, we packed up and got ready with our bullets. Thumping back through the same route via Mahabaleshwar where we stopped for lunch and the customary strawberry and cream.
The ride back was swift, it took us just 7 hours this time. Beautiful, with the views of valleys and mountains playing hide and seek with us while we rode back home. An amazing weekend with amazing friends and more importantly – amazing Hedvi.
We were so elated with the ride and the fun we were having that we missed our visit to the famous Ganpati temple at Hedvi, actually I feel this happens when one suddenly moves out of the concrete jungle and straight into mother natures lap, one just forgets what else one can do around.

(This article was originally written for Pune Mirror by Nipun & Yojang.)

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