Tuesday, 3 February 2015

REOs of Mumbai Republic Day 2015 Ride

Royal Enfield Owners rode to Salute the Indian soldiers and promote Road Safety 

This Republic Day, 26th January 2015, the Royal Enfield Owners rode to Salute the Indian soldiers’ and promote the Road Safety initiative taken by the Navi Mumbai police. The REOs, as they are lovingly called were on their 11th Republic Day ride, this year. They have always carried social messages that have had great impact on causes they supported. The women bikers got to lead the convoy of the REOs, certainly a mark of respect for the fellow women riders by the brotherhood. The ride was possible in the first place with the support and encouragement of the DCP traffic of the city and his team.
The ride kickstarted from the regular venue, the Centre One mall, Vashi and will be going up to the Ramsheth Thakur International Sports Complex at Panvel, Navi Mumbai. The event is a regular feature of the Republic Day celebrations in Navi Mumbai. More than 1400 Royal Enfield Owners were expected to participate in this prestigious event..... and yes we had a lot of them ... All for the pride of the brotherhood!
The Bull, Royal Enfield Bullet, is not just to pump the adrenalin rush but it makes the rider responsible, disciplined, follow brotherhood and take up social causes in a big, organized way! Nigel Rich, a member of the REO is the person who spearheads the rides. They have organized many rides in the past. Their Independence Day Ride, Republic Day Ride and the One Ride in the first week of April are yearly events that carry social messages. The rides are received very well by the people, their last year Republic day Ride had the message, Ride for Safety. They are cheered on with enthusiasm and have their own fan following now.
We see youngsters misusing the powerful bikes leading to accidents due to rash driving. The highways and other roads that are great to drive on witness these accidents almost everyday. The Bikers, through these rides carry the message that safety and responsible driving provide the thrill and excitement of biking making the experience enjoyable and fulfilling. Speed needs to be supported with a sense of safety and responsibility. It’s a habit that can be inculcated at an early age and make road safety a way of life!
They have very strict rules for the riders to follow, that in turn brings in the behaviour of responsible riding and road safety. The bikers .... oh did I say bikers? its looked at as being the indisciplined, speeding hooligans with tattoos and gum in their mouth. What a wrong perception!! Sincerely pity that one...When it comes to the brotherhood, they take pride in their machines, have so much respect for their rides and the message that they carry in each one of them. They are all my Heroes, who do so much for the society but all in the name of enjoying their unity and their rides.
Swatchh Bharat Mission I guess should be strongly taken up by the REOs. It'll have the entire youth of the country united in the cause with even more enthusiasm and ofcourse Fun! These are a few things no one teaches youngsters. They love the bikers, to them they are the most macho and fun people. My sons are an example, they simple adore superbikes and have watched Dhoom so many times that I don't even have a count of, I am sure they don't either!

Its always such privilege and a moment of pride either to be a part of the rides or just be the spectator. Bravo REO!!.... salute to your Tribe!
Jai Hind

Check out the video of the ride, courtesy RE Aniket Chavan

All pictures with due courtesy to the photographers

The Konkan Holiday - Part II


The reason why I even have parts to my post, this is the first time I am writing a post this long! I feel India that too the interiors, lesser known places, still not a part of commercialised bandwagon, have a lot to offer to the tourists. A travellers delight indeed. Why would one want  to go from one city to another. A rustic holiday or what we better call it as Eco-tourism is a must from time to time especially for the city dwellers. Its a refreshing way to travel and see the world.

Finally, part II of my post on Konkan holiday is here. I am becoming a bit forgetful I guess, I had made a promise that I would write about the other two destinations in Konkan that my family visited after Devrukh. We had plans to to stay 2 days in Devrukh and then go to Kolhapur and be back to Mumbai after staying there for a day. But Devrukh had a great impact on our tourist senses and O'Nest homestay and their warm hospitality made us hang in there a little more in the beautiful Konkan region. It was very difficult to get hotel bookings, being the peak holiday season (Christmas vacation)

I spoke to Abhijit the incharge at O'nest homestay, He was one person who I was in touch with over the phone right from making the booking there, he kept guiding us through our drive from Mumbai till we were there and he was waiting to welcome us. It felt nice that he checked on us when we were not there at the time of arrival. Pleased with our experience at Onest Homestay, told Abhijeet that my family loved it and I wish to visit other places in the region, he told be about 2 more of their own resorts but he said that being the weekend, there were no rooms available. I am not someone who gives up "just like that". so wanted to see what best could be worked out. Abhijeet told me that the owner Mithil Pitre might be able to help. I knew about Mithil and the trip was planned after talking to him. He was at their newest property Nakshatra Resort at Bhadarphule near Ganpati Phule. He said that there were no rooms available there but their second resort Oceanopearl at Ganeshghule had a room available. This is what we wanted to hear we left Devrukh, early in the morning of 28th December 2014.

Thiba Point
The drive from Devrukh to Ganeshghule was about 2 hours. But we stopped on the way at the tourist spots. The drive was fantabulous as any 'youngster' would say! Ratnagiri was beautiful the view was breathtaking ...from the high points looking at the sea below and the winding roads were truly things to behold.

At Ratnagiri, we saw the Thiba Palacewhere the last king of Burma (Myanmar) Thibaw, stayed in exile. It was built in 1910–11 we were told and that  the King and the queen stayed there between 1911–16. The palace had tombs of the royal couple. It was functioning as the Government Polytechnic college. The renovation and part reconstruction was on when we reached there so didn't get to see inside the palace. The Palace is magnificent , beautiful brick red in colour and the courtyard and beautiful royal garden in the front lawns. I felt a lot more could have been done to the palace. Also heard that the polytechnic was being shifted back to its original loacation, I am hoping that the palace gets its heritage glory soon. 
Ganeshghule beach
From there we left for the Thiba Point and Thiba garden which was hardly 10 minutes drive away from the palace. The view from this place was mesmerising, the deep valley and the meandering sea, that appeared like a river and  had formed a beautiful delta. The garden had a few rides and park for children.

The coconut garden
We reached our beach homestay Ocenaopearl by lunchtime. Got a room facing the coconut garden and the beach. I was certainly wonderstuck, the place was so beautiful. We just dumped our baggage in the room and headed to the beach. Not just any beach but a virgin beach and it looked like our own personal beach! Can you ask for anything more? We spent a good time at the beach and then headed to the dining room and had an amazing seafood thali. Evening was left free for a few places we wanted to visit around the resort.

If you follow my blog then you must have guessed what would be on our list of places to see, you are right the ancient Kanakaditya temple. Temple of Lord Surya (the Sun God) at kasheli. We were told the temple is more than a 1000 year old. We saw the ancient temple and its premises with many smaller temples and two wells. There was a dharamshala just outside the temple, saw some people staying there. I have very fond memories of the temple and the memory of my beautiful black and grey pashmina stole from Darjeeling, gifted to me by a very dear teacher of mine, that I happen to drop outside the temple while getting out of my car.

Kanakaditya temple
Then we drove to the Kalika temple, another ancient temple of Goddess Kali. It was evening by the time we visited both of these ancient attractions. We reached Oceanopearl around 8 pm. Ordered our dinner and sat in the coconut garden, under the moonlight, have a little party and then the Konkani dinner.... all this was Bliss,... simply put. We wanted to try the third property of the owners, now that we had a feel of the two and an amazing experience so couldn't resist the third one but again getting rooms was an issue. I called Mithil and asked him if he had something for us. He said that they had a cancellation and hence a room had become available for us at the Nakshatra Resort. I was delighted and my family super excited to extend the holiday.

Next morning, 29th December 2014, we headed straight to the beach took a couple of coconuts with us. Had a good time at the beach also had the tender coconut water with warm courtesy of  my husband (he managed to work on the coconut with his Swiss knife) and by 11 am we were back, ready to check out and head to Bhandarphule near Ganpatiphule, our next destination.

Up Next, our stay at Bhandarphule and visit to Ganpatiphule.  

Check Oceanopearl at