Cycling.. Just like marathons..

The endless road. You ride alone. Get together sometimes. When you ride, you want to stop. When you stop, you need to get on again. Riding can be painful but you still want to do it. There is beauty everywhere. The beaches, the rivers, the forests. You immerse in an illusion. Tend to think you are part of what you see. How fast it fades. How soon its all over.

On the 20th morning, we started to trace the route. From Panjim base camp, we rode to Dona Paula. We were to take a launch boat from here to Marmugoa port. With no boat in sight, I enquired with a local about the launch boat set to depart at 9 AM. "Sir, no ferry or launch boat have come here for the past 20 years"!! Baffled, I asked another one, "Can I get a launch from here?". The answer this time was "Sir, no launch.. Only breakfast is available".. Okay.. I moved on.. Meanwhile, someone spotted our launch boat. It was a contract boat reserved for us only and hence no one knew. We carried our bicycles onto the launch, crossed over the waters towards Marmugoa and started our unforgettable adventure. At marmugoa port, we had to lift all our bicycles from the boat to a platform several feet high several times. It's not easy to explain this...
Marmugoa Boat to Port
Well, words and images are no match for the real thing. The real thing means much more to the one who experiences it. The sea looks different while on a boat. The rust smells fragrant on the port. The sun is welcome at a river side. And is just not so at the beach sands.

Anil at Sea

From Marmugoa port till Majorda beach, we cycled under blood sucking sun on black tar. Majorda beach to Mobor beach is one of the longest beaches in India. We ourselves cycled some 22kms along the beach and the beach is longer than that. The sand is quite hard, so our bicycles don't sink in. Although I was very excited about this stretch, the sun sapped out most of my energy by the time we reached the other end of the beach. From Mobor beach to Assolna was along the road and a short Ferry ride. In this land crisscrossed by rivers and backwaters, ferry boats are a common feature. Wherever a bridge is yet to be built, the government operates boats ferrying people, vehicles etc from one end to the other all through the day.

Oh, and I forgot another interesting thing that happened in the day. In the morning before leaving Panjim, we were led by the youth hostel to attend a bicycle promotion event by FM 92.7 and sponsored by Avon. A short promotional bicycle ride through the city, a free t-shirt, some snacks and a lucky dip happened within 1 hour. The lucky winner was one of us, Avik...

Avik and Avon

A nice event to start the day and a nice ride of about 50 kms later, the cycling came to an end at Assolna football grounds in the evening.

Just like the contingent of fighter planes that went over our heads while we cycled along a not so pleasant, rather hot, dry highway near Dabolim, I know that the time has also flew by. I can come again for this same event again but I can never experience the same.

To be continued...

  1. Biking in Goa - Part 1 - At Panjim
  2. Biking in Goa - Part 2 - Panjim to Assolna
  3. Biking in Goa - Part 3 - Assolna to Netravali to Dudhsagar
  4. Biking in Goa – Part 4 – Dudhsagar to Bondla to Panjim