2022 BMW G 310 GS Ownership review in India

A day with the 2022 BMW G 310 GS

BMW’s G 310 GS has been the ‘economical gateway’ into BMW Motorrad’s Adventure universe

While the initial offering of the 310 GS didn’t see many takers, the current avatar of the 2022 BMW 310GS has started to win hearts of the entry-level adventure riders.

What has changed in the 2022-model from the 2017 ?

  • Massive price cut from the 2017 model 🤩
  • Refined Livery, that resonates more with BMW’s big adventure motorcycles such as ’40 Year GS’ , ‘RALLYE’ 😍
  • New, elegant-looking All-LED headlamp 
  • Ride-by-wire throttle that delivers smooth and crisp on/off throttle response
2022 BMW G 310 GS Review in India
New headlight – looks good and offers good throw at night

As a Dual Purpose Adv:

The G 310 GS excels on smooth tarmac, broken roads and encourages beginner off-roaders to take on more challenging landscapes.

Despite the relaxed geometry, the G 310 GS boogies through the corners with utmost fluidity.

The plush suspension tackles the rough urban pavement and bumpy off-road terrain with poise.

The Metzeler Tourance on/off-road tires allow the G 310 GS to trundle over moderate obstacles on the trail.

One Size Fits All Ergonomics:

Don’t be fooled by the intimidating stance of the G 310 GS – for it fits short and long motorcyclists alike.

BMW Low Seat for G 310 GS: For shorter riders, the 15 mm low seat (835mm > 820mm) makes it easier to climb on and off your bike and gives you easier access to the ground.

BMW High Seat for G 310 GS: For the giants, the 15mm high seat (835mm > 850mm) is also available.

The motorcycle comes with 4-level adjustable clutch-lever and brake-lever to accommodate the spectrum of tall and short riders.

The taller riders don’t feel cramped in the OE configuration of this motorcycle.

City Commute:

The adv geometry doesn’t deter the G 310 GS from navigating tight gaps in traffic and the soft suspension absorbs even the harshest city terrain with ease.👌🏻

Ride-by-wire throttle, crisp fueling and anti-hopping clutch come together to provide a smooth riding experience.

Pillion Comfort:

Soft, wide pillion seat coupled with neutral sitting position and long-travel suspension translates to fantastic comfort for the pillion. 

Except the lack of power, 2-up touring is a good, pleasant experience.

Touring:

Acres of space to mount luggage (tail luggage + side panniers), soft, long-travel suspension and well-cushioned seats provide comfortable experience – but is limited with a meagre 11.5L fuel tank and dismal 34hp power output — such is the life of a 175-kg motorcycle with a single-cylinder 313cc engine.😀

Touring on a 2022 BMW G 310 GS in India
Comfortable motorcycle to tour | On-road and off-road

Cost of Service:

Avg of INR 6,000 (includes engine oil change, oil-filter replacement, labor)

Full tank range

  • City: 250 kms
  • Highway: 300 – 330 kms

Must have accessories:

  • 12v Power Socket: located near Instrument Cluster, it is an add-on accessory – useful to charge the phone or sat nav device
  • CentreStand: the G 310 GS does not comes with a centre stand from the factory, BMW sells as an accessory

What I Like:

  • Sharp Handling: unlike a typical ADV, the G 310 GS corners well and turns on a dime
  • Soft Long Travel KYB Suspension: that gobbles all the undulations on road
  • Comfortable Seats: for both rider and pillion to cover long distances 🥰
  • Long Service Intervals: 10,000 kms or 1 year between each service 👌🏻
  • Quality Panels & Switch gear: the quality of plastics, overall fit-and-finish feels like a full-import motorcycle
  • Elegant-looks: the G 310 GS is a very aesthetically pleasant looking motorcycle

What I Dislike:

  • Instrument Cluster: is an eyesore, the legacy monochrome LCD display while shows adequate info, lacks the ‘oomph 😞
  • Non-Switchable ABS: without the switchable ABS, one can’t slide the back wheel 
  • Clunky gearbox: Decent upshifts but downshifts are not smooth. Finding N is a task.
  • ADV Protection: Except the OE plastic bash plate. Hand protectors, metal bash plate, engine protection guard are a miss. (They are sold separately by BMW Motored as Accessories)

Conclusion:

The BMW G 310 GS is a suitable entry-point to BMW’s celebrated GS range. Like any budget-friendly ADV, the baby GS has its quirks, but it also provides a welcoming environment for developing riders. 

Living with a 2022 BMW G 310 GS in India
A great beginner’s ADV ❤️
Luxurious Pet Friendly Vacation Retreat at L'Attitude by the Lake Kamshet Pune

L’Attitude by the Lake Kamshet Pune

Overlooking the pristine blue waters of Andre dam and lush green hills of the Western Ghats, this 2-acre serene pet-friendly stay in Kamshet is the perfect getaway from Pune for a lazy, luxurious vacation with family and friends.

Previously under SaffronStays, now run by Ama Stays & Trails of The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) aka the Taj Hotels Group, L’Attitude by the Lake is an eco-friendly, ultra-luxurious villa-bungalow crafted-beautifully using reclaimed wood, mud & exposed brick.

L'Attitude by the Lake Kamshet Pune by Ama Stays
Overlooking the waters of Andre dam – view from the main bungalow 🥰
Cosy Interiors at L'Attitude by the Lake Kamshet Pune
Cosy Interiors ❤️

Features and Amenities:

  • Type of accommodation: Bungalow with separate rooms/entire place
  • Number of bedrooms: 5 (Spacious AC bedrooms with double beds, extra beds/mattress can be arranged on-request)
  • Number of bathrooms: 5 (attached to each bedroom) + 1 (common)
  • Swimming Pool: Yes (regular – not heated)
  • Best suited for:
    • Groups, Family and Friends
    • Girls night out
  • Number of guests allowed: 10 adults (check with the resort before booking)
  • Alcohol Consumption: allowed, carry your own alcohol & mixers (they don’t sell alcohol, mixers, soft-drinks at the homestay)
  • Smoking: smoking is allowed except in the AC bedrooms
  • Games include:
    • Indoor board games like Taboo, Pictionary etc and carrom board
    • No outdoor games 😞
  • Children allowed: Yes
  • Common area
    • Spacious, beautiful, cosy indoor seating area with TV
    • Comfortable dining area 
    • Massive outdoor verandah seating area with swing
    • Separate fridge to chill beer, mixers etc
  • WiFi: Free WiFi for guests
  • Free parking (non-sheltered) within the resort premises for cars and motorcycles
  • Food
    • Indulge in lip-smacking authentic Konkan & Maharashtrian veg and non-veg food. So damn good that I wanted to take cooking staff back home 😋
    • Incase you want other cuisine, the staff can cook them (on prior request)
    • Barbecue: in the garden overlooking the waters of Andre dam
  • Work-cation: Although I feel sorry for someone who has to work at this beautiful place 😢, their WiFi is good and can support work bandwidth.
  • Wheelchair Access to the homestay: Yes, only to the main bungalow (only 1 bedroom & bathroom of the main bungalow is accessible by wheelchair)
  • Perfect for long walks: Serene outdoors for long walks 💚
  • Pet-Friendly
    • Spacious outdoors for pets to roam
    • Please inform the staff about your pets, so they can make necessary arrangements for their food & stay
  • Medical Emergency: They have a doctor-on-call, please inform the staff for any specific-needs
Swimming pool at L'Attitude by the Lake Kamshet Pune
Delicious food and BBQ at L'Attitude by the Lake Kamshet Pune
Delicious food and BBQ with a view 😋

Do Not Expect:

  • Bar & Cocktails: Inspite of the 5-star luxury, there is no bar, cocktails to order
  • Spa & Gym: No
  • Access to Andre Dam/Water Activities: While this place offers magnificent views of the water-front, shore of the Andre dam is not accessible from the property + No water activities like kayaking, boating etc 😞

Useful Information:

  • Check-in after: 3 pm 
  • Check-out before: 12 pm noon
  • Staff: extremely friendly, accommodating – they speak very good Hindi, Marathi and English
  • Price: INR 6,900 per person/day (includes taxes, 3-meals a day, coffee/tea, snacks)
  • Location: L’Attitude by the Lake, Kamshet, Maharashtra (Link to Google Maps)
  • Distance from Pune city: 55kms
  • How to book: Visit website
Weekend holiday retreat L'Attitude by the Lake Kamshet Pune
The nights are even beautiful 🤩
Mushroom pizza at Baba Au Rhum Anjuna Goa

Baba Au Rhum – Best Cafe in Anjuna North Goa

Named after the rum-infused French dessert, Baba Au Rhum is a French cafe-restaurant, bakery, pizzeria in Anjuna, North Goa.

Its claim to fame is the delicious fare of english breakfast, coffees, pizzas, breads, cakes, burgers, croissants, pasta, craft beer – augmented with great music and outdoor seating under the trees overlooking a paddy field.

Hummus Platter with Fried Mushroom at Baba Au Rhum Anjuna Goa
Hummus Platter with Fried Mushroom 😋

Must Eat:

  • Hummus Platter with Fried Mushroom: This starter served with bread and veggie sticks is absolutely delicious, especially the hummus 😋
  • Plate of French fries: Served with 3-dips of tomato ketchup, mayo and mustard sauce –  the fries are very tasty and compliment the beer
  • Eggplant Parmigiana (Veg): Thin slices of eggplant layered with tomato sauce, fresh basil and plenty of parmesan and mozzarella cheese – supremely delicious. Hands-down the “best veg main-course on the menu” 😍
  • Mushroom Pizza: Thin-crust 13-inch pizza, loved the taste and texture of the pizza.
  • 4-Cheese Pasta (Veg): If you are a cheese-lover – don’t miss this, extremely cheesy and delicious pasta
  • Vietnamese Coffee & Cold Coffee: Loved them both, right balance of coffee and sweetness
  • Croissants: This is the best croissant in Goa – choose between a regular or an almond croissant
  • Baguette Sandwich & Croissant Sandwich: While we couldn’t try these, most of the patrons and staff vouch for their deliciousness.
Eggplant Parmigiana at Baba Au Rhum Anjuna Goa
Eggplant Parmigiana 😋

Useful Information:

  • Best Cafe for breakfast, after late night partying in North Goa
  • Don’t miss the  Bakery and Desserts Menu at the cafe entrance
  • Online/Phone Reservations to book a table: Not accepted
    • Anticipate a waiting-time at the cafe, since it gets crowded during popular hours especially during the tourist season
  • Staff is very helpful and polite
  • Alcohol and Smoking Info:
    • Full-bar menu of Cocktails, Wines, Hard-liquor, Craft Beer (tap and bottled) and Branded bottled beer are available
    • No Hookah 
    • Smoking inside the cafe is allowed [No separate smoking and non-smoking areas in the cafe]
  • Ambience
    • Casual, Non-AC, Outdoor cafe with music, 
    • Family and Kids-friendly: Yes, but limited [since there is no separate smoking/non-smoking areas]
  • EV Charging Point: Not available for cars & 2-wheelers
  • Wheelchair Friendliness:
    • Entry and seating areas of the cafe are accessible by wheelchair
    • Wheelchair Friendly Toilets: Not available
  • Parking:
    • Cars: No valet parking, one has to find a car parking spot on his/her own around the by lanes of the cafe
    • Motorcycles: can park right outside the cafe
  • Toilets: clean, separate western-style toilets for men & women are present in the cafe
  • Hours of operation:
    • Tuesday: Closed
    • Wednesday to Monday: 9 am to 5 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm
  • Billing Info:
    • 22% VAT is added to all alcoholic beverages
    • Service charge is added to all food, beverage orders (along with CGST & SGST)
  • Mode of payment: they accept Cash, Credit/Debit Cards and UPI
  • Location: Baba Au Rhum, Anjuna, Goa [Google Maps Link]
Plate of fries at Baba Au Rhum Anjuna Goa
Plate of fries with 3-varieties of dip 😋

Due to the pandemic – the quality of the food across the other popular cafes has deteriorated with the change in cooking staff and other reasons. However Baba Au Rhum has managed to retain the delicious taste of food since.

If you don’t mind the smoking, Baba Au Rhum ticks all the right boxes of delicious food, lovely ambience, great stuff and good music to deliver a wonderful dining experience in North Goa

Cafes that serve the Best Hot Chocolate in Bengaluru

Best Hot Chocolate in Bengaluru

Its Hot Chocolate Weather in Namma Bengaluru 😍

☕️ Discover the cafes that serve the best hot chocolate in Bengaluru and how to identify a cafe that makes great hot chocolate ☕️.

How to find a cafe with great hot chocolate?

It’s all about the ingredients – before ordering a hot chocolate, ask the waiter/cafe owner/chef on what they add to the hot chocolate.

  • Stay away if its a hot chocolate/cocoa powder especially the ones you get in a supermarket 
  • The main ingredient of a decadent hot chocolate is good quality ‘dark-chocolate bar’ or ‘dark-chocolate chips
  • Cafes with delicious, rich hot chocolate make a ‘Chocolate Ganache mixture’ (a thick paste made of quality dark chocolate bar melted with butter, fresh/whipped cream, milk and sugar in secret proportions), this chocolate ganache determines the thickness, flavour and % of dark chocolate in the hot chocolate drink 

☕️ The below list of cafés in Bengaluru making delicious, rich hot chocolate use good quality dark chocolate bars/chips and not ready-mix cocoa powders to create a sinful indulgence.

Smoor Lounge – Multiple outlets across Bengaluru

It’s an expensive affair, but their pastries, desserts, cakes are delicious nonetheless.

Attentive staff and plush, comfortable ambiance.

  • Types of hot chocolate served : Belgian Classic Dark, Classic Milk, Spiced hot chocolate, Hazelnut, Caramel Hot Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Cafe 
  • My favourites: Spiced Hot Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Cafe
  • Price: INR 230 to 250
  • Location: Smoor Lounge across Bengaluru (Indiranagar, Jayanagar, Koramangala, Kamanhalli, RMV 2nd Stage)
  • Parking: limited private parking Smoor customers for motorcycles and cars 

GroundUp Coffee, Jayanagar and Residency Road

The new wave of coffee shops that procure, roast and serve coffee from single-origin heritage estate. Limited food/snack menu, decent coffee (hot, cold, cold-brew), but their ice teas and hot chocolate are brilliant.

Cafe ambiance is good, more inclined towards a working cafe, than a place to relax with friends.

  • Types of hot chocolate served : Signature Hot Chocolate 
  • My favourite: Signature Hot Chocolate 
  • Price: INR 240
  • Location: They have 2 outlets
  • Parking: free public parking for motorcycles and cars
Signature Hot Chocolate at Ground Up Cafe Jayanagar Bengaluru
Signature Hot Chocolate at Ground Up Cafe

Happy Belly Bakes – Multiple outlets across Bengaluru

Delicious all day breakfast, crepes, pizzas, waffles, pastas, quiches, kombucha, Ice teas and an array of desserts such as pastries, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, cheesecakes, gingerbreads, cake sickle and cupcakes 😋.

The Primrose road outlet (near Trinity Metro Station) sports a mini-library with comfortable seats, cosy interiors and friendly-staff.

  • Types of hot chocolate served: Hot Chocolate, Dark Hot Chocolate
  • My favourite: Dark Hot Chocolate
  • Price: INR 140
  • Location: Happy Belly Bakes across Bengaluru (Primrose Road, Benson Town, Indiranagar)
  • Parking: limited private parking Happy Belly Bakes customers for motorcycles and cars

Lavonne Cafe, St Marks Road

Everything they serve is delicious – croissants, coffee, pastas, pastries, sandwiches, english breakfast, ice tea and more 😋.

Complimenting the delicious food are the ever-polite staff and comfortable, pleasant ambiance of the cafe.

  • Types of hot chocolate served: Classic, Raspberry, Peanut butter Hot Chocolate – all served with marshmallows
  • My favourite: Belgian Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows (Classic)
  • Price: INR 250
  • Location: Lavonne Cafe, St Marks Road (Google Maps link)
  • Parking: paid public parking for motorcycles and cars 
Best Hot Chocolate - Classic Belgian Hot Chocolate at Lavonne Cafe Bengaluru
Classic Belgian Hot Chocolate at Lavonne Cafe

Aloha Drinking Chocolate, Indiranagar

They make ONLY Drinking Chocolate and its extremely delicious 😋. They serve hot and cold drinking chocolate with generous amounts of dark chocolate, made with organic milk and no thickening agents. They even have Vegan Hot and Cold drinking chocolate.

Order via Swiggy/Zomato or Takeaway only (No Dine-In).

  • Types of hot chocolate served: Classic, Salted Caramel, Hazelnut, Chilli, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Orange, Coffee (Choose between organic milk or vegan milk)
  • My favourites: Classic Hot Chocolate, Chilli Hot Chocolate, Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (all with organic milk)
  • Price: INR 218 to 268
  • Location: Aloha Drinking Chocolate, Indiranagar (Google Maps link)
  • Parking: free public parking for motorcycles and cars 
2022 Honda CB300R Ride Review in India

A day with the 2022 Honda CB300R

Inheriting the design-cues from its elder, powerful siblings the CB1000R and CB650R, the 2022 Honda CB300R flaunts a ‘neo sports cafe‘ look that translates into a compact and elegant looking motorcycle.

Astride the motorcycle, the 2022 Honda CB300R evokes one feeling – “Spirited and Agile”. 😍

It is incredibly peppy to ride, raring to pop a wheelie but not edgy like the KTM.

A sweet 30bhp single-cylinder engine mated to a crisp 6-speed gearbox equipped with an assist and slipper clutch wrapped in a compact frame, makes it a nimble motorcycle to flick in and out of traffic and on winding roads.

Living with a 2022 Honda CB300R in India
Love the headlight ❤️

City Riding:

It is a smooth operator in the city – the smooth, linear power delivery with no jerky throttle, light clutch, comfortable suspension, neutral riding position – deliver a peaceful and good riding experience in the city.

Highway Riding:

This 30-bhp single doesn’t feel short charged on the highway. It can cruise at 100-120kmph all the day and has enough punch left to make an overtake.

Pillion comfort:

While the pillion seat is flat, it has very little space (especially when a medium-heavy built rider is at front) + the rear foot-pegs are higher, making it uncomfortable for long rides.

City commute with pillion is manageable for short distances.

2022 Honda CB300R First Ride Review and Impressions
Styling: notice the beautifully crafted exhaust pipe 😊

Luggage Options:

The plastic fuel tank rules out mounting a magnetic tank bag. However a Kriega tank adapter can help mount a Kriega US-5, US-10 bags at the front.

Rear luggage options are plenty – tail-bags, saddle-bags can be mounted.

How does the CB300R fare with short riders?

With a seat-height of 801mm, anyone above 5’2 – 5’3 would be able to flat-foot the motorcycle.

Is the CB300R women friendly ?

Being a compact, lightweight, smooth motorcycle with reasonable seat height, the 2022 Honda CB300R is sure to be a hit with the women riders.

2022 Honda CB300R - Women friendly motorcycle in India
Should be a comfortable motorcycle for women riders!!

Mileage and Full-tank Range:

The CB300R comes with a small fuel tank with a full-tank capacity of 9.7 litres.

  • City Mileage: 25-28 kmpl
  • Highway Mileage: 30-33 kmpl
  • Real-world full tank range: 200kms

Suspension:

The overall suspension setup is good, but towards stiffer/sporty side – enables the CB300R to corner well and hold the line. Mind you, it is not uncomfortable at all, but not as plush as a regular commuter.

Front Suspension is a USD fork made by Endurance in India (while the previous BS4 CB300R came with a Showa unit)

Rear suspension is a preload adjustable (7-level) mono-shock.

Brakes:

Brakes on the CB300R are progressive, offer good bite and doesn’t feel stiff/wooden.

The Dual channel ABS with IMU doesn’t intrude in a good way, delivering safe braking.

Cockpit view of the 2022 Honda CB300R India
Basic LCD instrument console + good quality switchgear 👍

What I love about the Honda CB300R:

  • Fueling and Engine: Smooth power delivery and refinement
  • Gearbox: Gearshifts are crisp, no false neutrals, assist and slipper clutch is light
  • Handling: very agile and extremely compact motorcycle
  • Mirrors: offer good visibility and doesn’t vibrate at good speeds
  • Overall Motorcycle: is super fun and smooth to ride ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What needs improvement?

  • Fit and Finish: Some components look like test-mule version and not full-fledged production model – notice the exposed cable duct on the left side panel (refer image below)
  • Placement of horn and indicator so weird
  • Price: It’s assembled locally (unlike the previous BS4 version which was a CKD import ) With no major updates wrt features and heavy localisation of components(USD fork is Endurance unit vs Showa and MRF tyres replacing the Michelin) it should have been priced at-least INR 30-40K cheaper
  • Features: Misses out on Adjustable levers, riding modes, mobile connectivity
  • LCD Instrument Console: is very basic [offers good readability in sunlight and at night] for the price point and what it’s competitors offer
Poor fit and finish - exposed wire routing on the 2022 Honda CB300R in India
Notice the exposed wire routing on the left side panel – looks straight out of a test-mule 😞
Touring on the 2022 Honda CB300R in India
Super fun to tour ❤️

The Honda CB300R is an absolute hoot to ride – in the city, out on a highway and on winding roads!!

The combination of smooth-power, agility, compact dimensions of the motorcycle and a sporty suspension elevate the riding experience on the CB300R and never fails brings a smile. 😊

Entrance from the main house to the swimming pool Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara

Avriti Sierra Retreat Homestay in Ramanagara Karnataka

Located just an hour away from Bangalore city, amidst a lush farm of mango trees and verdant monoliths of Ramanagara, Avriti – Sierra Retreat sports a minimalistic beautiful villa with private swimming pool and a delicious fare of home-cooked food.

Minimalist staircase of the main house at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
❤️ Love these stairs..
Spacious Gazebo overlooking the swimming pool at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
Sitting area at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
Dining area at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara

Managed by Ayatana group, this minimalist homestay accommodates:

  • A main-house with swimming pool, common area overlooking the pool , dining area, common bathroom, kitchen, a cozy reading room/office, 2 massive bedrooms with separate bathrooms and a massive terrace overlooking the hills of Ramanagara
  • 4 independent double-rooms located separate from the main house, with access to an outdoor dining area in a gazebo, and the common swimming pool
  • All bedrooms with views of either the swimming pool or the large monoliths of Ramanagara , or both
Main Villa with swimming pool at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
Main villa
Comfortable bedrooms at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
Beautiful and spacious bedrooms 😍
Open bathroom with natural light at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
Naturally-lit bathrooms..

Features and Amenities:

  • Type of accommodation: house/entire place
  • Number of bedrooms: 6 (all rooms have double beds, extra beds/mattress can be arranged on-request)
  • Number of bathrooms: 6 (attached to each bedroom)
  • Swimming Pool: Yes (regular – not heated)
  • Best suited for:
    • Groups, Family and Friends
    • Girls night out
  • Number of guests allowed: min 6 – max 16 people (check with the resort before booking)
  • Pool breakfast: Yes, breakfast served in an floating tray in the swimming pool.
  • Barbecue: Yes
  • Games include:
    • Outdoor Basketball and Volleyball court
    • Indoor Table Tennis table
    • Indoor board games like Taboo, Pictionary etc
    • Indoor carrom board
  • Children allowed: Yes
  • Common area Fridge: to chill the beer, juice, mixers etc
  • WiFi: No
  • Free parking (outdoor) within the resort premises for cars and motorcycles
  • Food: delicious home-cooked veg and non-veg food is available. During the booking, the food menu is shared for the guest to select and finalise.
Kitchen at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
Coffee by the swimming pool at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
Coffee by the pool ☺️
Beautiful staircase leading down to the Swimming pool at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
Excuse the multiple shots!! In love with these stairs 🥰

Do Not Expect:

  • Work-cation: They have a small reading-room, workspace, but NO Wifi to support work bandwidth, however there is 4G-coverage on mobile network
  • Pet-friendly: No
  • Smoking: Not allowed
  • Wheelchair Access to the homestay: No
  • Air-conditioning: None of the bedrooms, common-areas have AC 😦
Reading room and workspace at Avriti Sierra retreat homestay in Ramanagar
Reading room and workplace🤓

Useful Information:

  • Check-in after: 12pm noon
  • Check-out before: 11am
  • Staff: very friendly, they speak very good Hindi and basic English
  • Price: INR 4,000 per person/day (includes taxes, 3-meals a day, coffee/tea, snacks)
  • Location: Avriti – Sierra Retreat, Ramanagara-Kanakapura road, Ramanagara town, Karnataka (Link to Google Maps)
  • Distance from Bengaluru city: 50kms
  • How to book:
    • DM them on Instagram/FB
Beautiful views from the rooms and terraces of Ramanagara monoliths at Avriti Sierra Retreat homestay in Ramanagara
View from the Terrace 🙂

Avriti- Sierra Retreat Homestay is the perfect quiet getaway from Bengaluru city to unwind with your loved ones.

**NOT a Sponsored Post**

Yamaha Aerox 155 scooter review in India

A day with the 2022 Yamaha Aerox 155

The Yamaha Aerox 155 is unlike anything we have encountered. 

Built on the maxi-scooter format, the Yamaha Aerox 155 immediately stands out from the regular-fare of flat floorboard scooters in India, thanks to the X-design motif, which covers the fuel tank and engine bay.

Aerox review - Living with a 2022 Yamaha Aerox 155 scooter in India

How does it feel to ride the Aerox 155 ?

Don’t be deceived by the silent humm upon starting, powered by liquid-cooled, 4-valve VVA 155cc motor derived from the R15, the Aerox has oodles of power across the rev-range.

The combination of linear power and smooth yet crisp throttle-response deliver a fantastic riding experience.

Mind-you, the Aerox doesn’t quite have that instant rush you get from an EV scooter, but once it gets going, it’s very rapid and linear, and doesn’t lose momentum until the speedo is showing triple digits.

City Riding:

With 15ps at disposal, the Aerox 155 is zippy, fun to tackle gaps in traffic and shrink the distances between stop lights. Weighting in around 126kgs, it’s effortless to ride in the city.

The massive under-seat storage space of 24.5L makes it practical for shopping runs and the office-commute.

Highway Touring:

Never before has a scooter felt so “in-elementoutside the city, the Aerox is comfortable out on the highway, holding speeds of 90 to 100 kmph feels natural and not-strained.

Where it truly-shines is on a winding road, the Aerox 155 feels almost like-a-motorcycle through the corners, holding a line brilliantly.

Ride Quality and Suspension:

Unlike most petrol scooters in India that use a monoshock, the Aerox gets twin shock absorbers at the rear that are set up on the firmer side. 

However the front fork sports a conventional telescopic shock absorber that isn’t as stiff as the rear.

Overall, at high speeds or on smooth pavement, there’s little to complain about, but going over bumps at city speeds isn’t the most pleasant affair

Yamaha Aeroz 155 scooter ownership review in India

Is the Aerox good for short riders ?

With a seat height of 790mm, it slightly taller than most scooters, hence riders below 5’4 won’t be at ease.

For the tall riders (above 6ft), legroom is in short supply. The front fairing constantly brushes the knee and the prominent step in the seat, holds back the rider from sliding back on the seat. In tight braking situations the knee rubs into mobile storage compartment knocking it open.

Pillion Ride Experience:

The pillion seat is decently flat and wide, sitting back-to-back is comfortable, whereas sitting sideways isn’t possible.

Although the visible grab rails are missing, the shape of the under-seat cowl provides a comfortable grip for the pillion.

Mileage & Full Tank Range:

Inspite of such performance on tap, the Aerox’s stellar fuel efficiency in the city is courtesy its excellent Automatic stop-start system.

  • City: 40-50kms per litre
  • Highway: 55kmpl at a steady cruise of 70kmph
  • Expect a full-tank range of 180-200kms

Yamaha YConnect App:

The Aerox 155 connects with the Yamaha YConnect Motorcycle app via BlueTooth, unlike SIM-enabled connection on modern electric scooters.

Hence we don’t get features such as on-screen navigation instructions and music control, but you do get call notifications and SMS alerts.

Last Parking Location: At the outset this seems like a useful feature, but this only has details of the last time the scooter was connected to the phone over BT and cannot be used to trace a borrowed or stolen vehicle. 

Where the Aerox 155 lacks:

Since the Aerox would compete with other 150cc ICE rivals and even electric scooters – it misses out on the following:

  • Features:
    • No keyless operation , while the international variant has this feature
    • Full-function LCD/LED display with SIM-enabled features such as vehicle tracking and full-navigation 
  • OE Replacement Tyres: The current tubeless tyres on the Aerox 155 are NOT available in India. Hopefully, owners will have more tyre choices available by the time these ‘Made in Indonesia’ IRC SCT-005 OE-tyres wear out.
  • Front Smartphone Charging Pocket: too small, doesn’t fit a typical smartphone
  • Under-seat Storage Amenities: NO charging point in the under-seat storage space 

The Yamaha Aerox 155 is the ONLY AFFORDABLE maxi-scooter out there, that is an absolute joy to ride in city-traffic and even on the highways. A masterclass engine coupled with fantastic handling makes this the most fun scooter in India and yet is practical enough to make the domestic-errand runs.

Yamaha Aerox 155 scooter in India review
Turkish bread with hummus Tomato bread and olive salad at Turkish Central Restaurant Doha Qatar

Delicious Turkish breads Shawarma and Fresh-fruit Juices at Turkish Central Restaurant Doha Qatar

Established in 1988 by Mr.Bedi Kizilkaya, Turkish Central Restaurant on Al Mirqab Al Jadeed Street serves delicious fare of Turkish, Arabic and Mediterranean food.


From Appetizers such as assorted Mezze platter, hummus, salads, French fries etc to main course grills, Turkish breads, shawarma sandwiches, shawarma meals, BBQ with rice, Pies (Fatayar), fresh fruit juices and even sweets like Kunafa – they have them all and they make them absolutely good!!

Plate Chicken Shawarma meal with kebabs bukhari rice turkish bread and fresh mango juice at Turkish Central Restaurant Doha Qatar
Slurrrrppp!!
Turkish Breads, Fresh Mango and Strawberry Juice, Plate Chicken Shawarma Meal, Bukhari Rice and Kebabs…

Fret not if you are a Vegetarian – their assortment of breads (Turkish breads, tomato bread etc), hummus, falafel, baba ghanoush, olive salad taste supreme over the non-vegetarian fare.

Loaded with grilled shawarma, pickled veggies, tomato breads, lots of French fries – their plate chicken shawarma meal tastes brilliant and even the smallest portion seemed daunting (after gorging on the Turkish breads and hummus – slurp!!)

Must eat:

  • Mixed Appetiser: a vegetarian platter containing 6 different types of Arabic mezze such as hummus, Olive salad, baba ghanoush, garlic sauce, chilli salad, filtered yoghurt etc [the best accomplice to eat with meat/Turkish breads/French fries]
  • Plate Chicken Shawarma Meal: this is the best shawarma I have tasted so far!
  • Fresh Fruit Juices: Mango, Strawberry, Watermelon, Kiwi etc – they have at-least 10-15 types of fruit juices
  • Kunafa: cheese kunafa is delicious – perfect sweet to finish the meal 🙂
  • Garlic mayo or Garlic sauce : this dip used to be complimentary, but now they charge extra (best dip to eat – don’t miss to order)
  • Hummus: smooth and flavourful
  • Olive Salad: a simple salad made of green olives- brilliant !

Useful Information:

  • Ambiance: Basic, fully air-conditioned restaurant
    • Separate section for family
    • Family, kids friendly + best visited in a group
  • Complimentary Bread basket: With every order, a bread basket containing Turkish bread, Tomato bread etc is served – which is absolutely delicious, we gorged on this and later had to parcel most of the main course 😀
  • Bukhari Rice: If you are an Indian, don’t order, since the Bukhari rice is non spicy and tastes flat (the Turkish, Arabic breads beat the rice in taste)
  • Expect a waiting time outside the restaurant, don’t get worked up by the queue, the food is worth the wait 🙂
  • Avoid Thursday evening/night – it gets very crowded and waiting times kinda become infinite
  • Food Service is quick, Don’t hang around, be considerate of the people waiting outside to eat
  • Parking:
    • Cars and motorcycles: no dedicated parking place + No valet parking + finding parking on the road is tough
    • Recommend to park them near Al Mirqab Mall and walk to the restaurant
  • Service options: Dine-in, Delivery and takeaway
  • Accessibility:
    • Wheelchair accessible parking: NO
    • Seating: NO
    • Restroom: NO
  • Payment: cash and cards (credit and debit)
  • Timings: Open all days of the week – 11am to 1:30am
  • Toilet: Present, separate for men and women
  • Location: Turkish Central Restaurant, Al Mirqab Al Jadeed Street, Doha [Google Maps Link]
Turkish bread with hummus Tomato bread and olive salad at Turkish Central Restaurant Doha Qatar
Tomato Bread, Hummus, Olive Salad & Turkish bread – just brilliant !!

Turkish Central Restaurant is the beacon of fresh, delicious, value-for-money Turkish, Arabic, Mediterranean food in Doha.

Bring your best appetite to eat, get as many friends/family to share the meal 🙂

bil-hanā’ wa ash-shifā’ 🙂

Moto3 Starting Grid - Qatar GP 2022

The MotoGP Experience – Everything to know to watch a live MotoGP race in Qatar

Planning to watch a live MotoGP race in Doha Qatar ?

This detailed guide will help plan your MotoGP trip to Doha – from race tickets, transport to racetrack, visa requirements and other useful information.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and the information provided is based on my personal trip to MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar on March 4 to 6, 2022.

General Grandstand Fanzone at Lusail Circuit Qatar MotoGP 2022
Engaging the fans outside the General Grandstand – Grand Prix of Qatar 2022
2022 Qatar MotoGP race start at Lusail International Circuit Doha
Grand Prix of Qatar 2022

Held in the month of March, The MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar is held at the Losail International Circuit or Lusail International Circuit in Doha and is the only night race in the entire calendar making it visual-treat to watch under the lights.

Meeting the Moto2 and Moto3 riders at Lusail circuit - Qatar MotoGP 2022 - Pedro Acosta Augusto Fernandez Jaume Masia
Riders – meet and greet 🙂
Fanzone at Lusail Circuit Qatar MotoGP 2022
Fanzone at Lusail Circuit Qatar MotoGP 2022

How early to start planning ?
Sometime in November-December of the previous year, MotoGP release the schedule of venues and dates for the upcoming races of the next year.
The window to buy race tickets open usually in late January or early February for the Qatar GP in March.

Types of MotoGP tickets and Cost:
For the Qatar GP, one can choose from the below different viewing areas:

General/Main Grandstand: The Main Grandstand at the Lusail International Circuit is located on the Main Straight, facing the pit boxes.

  • Best place to see the starting line, podium ceremony
  • Cost of tickets: QAR 700 per person for a 3-day pass
  • Flexibility to choose from 1-day, 2-days, 3-days pass
  • Includes Free transport in air-conditioned bus from Lusail Metro station to the racetrack on all days
  • The ticket will get you access and contains detailed schedule of free-practice, warm-up, qualifying and race for all 3 days across Moto3, Moto2, MotoGP and Honda Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup

MotoGP VIP Village: The MotoGP VIP village is located in the pit building, above the pit garages, inside the paddock area.

  • Best place to view the starting line, Turn 1, as well as the podium ceremony after the race.
  • Ticket includes paddock tour, pit-lane walk, 5-star hospitality
  • Cost of tickets: QAR 5500 per person for a 2-day pass
2022 Qatar MotoGP race tickets
2022 Qatar MotoGP race tickets

Note: Every race track have different types of zones/viewing areas, hence configuration of tickets and prices vary.

Where to buy MotoGP tickets?
While there are multiple websites to sell race tickets, consider the following on where to buy:

  • MotoGP Website:
    • Tickets are sold on the official website of MotoGP via a ticketing partner (Platinum Group)
    • Tickets at the cheapest price (no agent commission or extra charges)
    • Ticketing support (via email, chat, phone) is brilliant
    • Only International bank-issued credit/debit cards are accepted (International cards issued by Indian bank entities don’t work)
  • Other websites:
    • Price is higher, but more payment options and custom packages that include stay in Doha, transfers, food etc

Visa requirements for Indian tourists:
Visa is issued on-arrival for Indian passport holders upon showing return air tickets, MotoGP tickets and hotel reservation.

  • With the pandemic, Qatar needs one to pre-register/ upload documents such as vaccine certificate, passport, air tickets online on Etheraz website – the approved Etheraz document needs to presented at the Immigration
  • One has to download the Etheraz app on his/her mobile which indicates the status of vaccination and COVID-19 negative report
  • For detailed and latest information, please visit Ministry of Public Health Qatar
  • When I visited, there was a mandatory 2-day hotel quarantine required for Indians (this regulation keeps changing – so visit the public health website for latest travel rules)

Reaching the Lusail Circuit from Doha city:
The Lusail circuit is located away from the city of Doha on the Al-Khor expressway.
Transport options to the racetrack include:

  • Paid cabs from Uber or Karwa
  • Take the Metro on the red-line to Lusail QNB station at QAR 2
    • Free shuttles/ bus from Lusail Metro station to the racetrack organised by LCSC( included on Grandstand ticket)
    • Exit towards Al Kheesa from the metro to board the free/paid bus to the racetrack
Free shuttle service bus from Lusail Metro Station to Lusail racetrack for MotoGP
Free shuttle service bus from Lusail Metro Station to Lusail racetrack for MotoGP

Useful Information:

  • The MotoGP race is a loud affair – especially for kids, so carry ear plugs for kids and adults
  • Being a night race, expect cold winds after sunset, carry a wind-cheater or warm jackets
  • Carry Binoculars and Sunglasses
  • Food and water is available and is slightly expensive, so feel free to pack Food from your favourite restaurant and water to carry from the outside
  • Experience beyond the race: just outside the Grandstand is Fan-zone entertainment area with concerts, food stalls, aircraft acrobatic display on race day, Shops selling official merchandise, riding gear, souvenirs etc and various activities for kids
  • MotoGP is kids-friendly: they have numerous free activities in the Fan-zone for kids – painting, video games etc
  • Meet the Riders: meet MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 riders in the Fanzone, outside grandstand on Friday-only (look out for the announcement for the meet and greet)
  • Other Facilities include
    • Clean and separate toilets for men and women
    • Prayer room
    • Feeding room for babies
  • Wheelchair access to Grandstand and Toilets is available
  • Carry charging cables to Charging your phone, Go-Pro – feel free to request the shops to hook up a charging point
  • No additional fees to carry DSLR camera, Motion cameras like Go-Pro to the racetrack
Post Race music concert at Lusail Circuit Qatar MotoGP 2022
Music concert at the track
Painting at Kids area at Lusail International Circuit Qatar MotoGP 2022.JPG
Painting the MotoGP canvas
Video games for kids at Lusail International Circuit Qatar MotoGP 2022.JPG
Honing the skills!!
Air acrobatics display at 2022 Qatar MotoGP
Air Display on race day
Fireworks at Lusail Circuit Qatar MotoGP 2022
Beautiful fireworks after the race 🙂

The hysteria of fans, hustle of the paddock and energy of riders elevate the live watching experience with a befitting end to the MotoGP night race with mesmerising fireworks and a beautiful ballet of lights!!

Until next race then..

Timelapse of the MotoGP Race Start!!
Best Gadbud icecream in Kumta at New Simla icecream parlour Kumbeshwar road

Best seafood lunch and ice-cream in Kumta Karnataka

Kumta is a bustling town surrounded by Arabian Sea on the west and Aghanashini river to the north that ultimately meets the sea – creating a triple ecosystem of sea, freshwater and estuarine fishes to savour 😀
While I haven’t encountered a “bad” (read NOT FRESH) seafood in Kumta, one seafood restaurant stood out.

Utsav Hotel, Kumbeshwar temple road, Kumta
Popular among locals, Utsav Hotel is a small, no-frill restaurant serving delicious fare of Mangalorean-style seafood at very economical prices.
A fish thali costs INR 70 !!

Best fish thali and chicken ghee roast in Kumta t Utsav Hotel
Best fish thali and chicken ghee roast in Kumta
  • Must eat: Fish Thali, chicken ghee roast, Anjal masala fry, prawns fry
  • Ambiance: non-AC, family and kids friendly
  • Parking: no dedicated parking space for cars and motorcycles (motorcycles can be parked in front of the hotel, not possible for cars)
  • Mode of payment: Cash, UPI
  • No toilet for men and women
  • No soft drinks are available
  • Timings: 11:30am to 3:30pm and 7pm to 10pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: Utsav Hotel, Kumta (Google maps link)
Utsav Hotel Kumbeshwar road Kumta Karnataka
Utsav Hotel, Kumta

With the main course over, next building houses a popular ice-cream shop serving delicious Gadbud ice-cream 🙂

New Simla Ice-cream Parlour, Kumbeshwar temple road, Kumta
Hidden in a basement, they serve the best Gadbud ice-cream in Kumta.

Best Gadbud icecream in Kumta at New Simla icecream parlour Kumbeshwar road
Best Gadbud ice-cream in Kumta
  • Must eat: Gadbud, Lighthouse ice-cream
  • Ambiance: non-AC, family and kids friendly
  • Mode of payment: Cash, UPI
  • No toilet for men and women
  • Timings: 10am to 9pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: New Simla ice-cream parlour, Kumta (Google Maps link)
New Simla icecream parlour in Kumta Karnataka
New Simla ice-cream parlour in Kumta

After such a meal, walk down to the beach to relish the sea breeze and catch a nap under a tree 🙂
Or if you aren’t lazy , head to the beautiful Mirjan Fort about 15kms from Utsav Hotel.

Useful Information on Mirjan Fort:

  • Mirjan fort is located about 15 kms from Kumta
  • Best mode of transport: motorcycle/private car , there are buses/auto-rickshaw which ply from Kumta to the fort
  • There is NO entrance fee to visit the monument
  • Parking: speak to the shops outside the fort to allow parking of the car, motorcycle and return the favour by buying snacks, cool-drinks, tender coconut etc
  • Fort Timings: 9 am to 6 pm (all days of the week)
  • Carry water, sunglasses and a hat while visiting Mirjan Fort
  • Fort-tour guide: Not available
The magnificent Mirjan Fort in Karnataka
Mirjan Fort – you beauty!!
At maravanthe beach - motorcycle touring on a Hero Karizma
Mandatory photo stop at Maravanthe beach