Posts by Ajay Ananth

A true Bangalorean who loves motorcycling, travel and food :)
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
Magical sunset enroute Kumta Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka

Beach trek in Karnataka from Kumta to Gokarna – Everything you need to know

Kilometres of pristine, non-touristy beaches, enchanting sunsets, camping by a beach with best friends, trek through small hillocks, forts, lighthouses overlooking the sea and taste delicious seafood – experience them on a beach trek from Kumta to Om beach in Gokarna, Karnataka.

Kumta to Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka
Kumta to Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka

Best time of the year to trek: October to January, after this it gets very hot followed by monsoons

Who can do this trek: Adult/teenage groups (friends, family, work colleagues etc)

Total trek distance: 30-35kms (best to spread this over 2 days with 1-night of camping on the beach)

Best way to reach Kumta: Since the start and finish locations are different – recommend to reach Kumta by bus, train, hired taxi (instead of own car/motorcycle)

Trek difficultly: Moderate (trek terrain has flat beaches, small hillocks, beach-side boulders)

Resting atop a green hillock and savoring the sea breeze enroute the Kumta Gokarna beach trek
Resting atop a green hillock
Not just flat beaches - navigating boulders on the Kumta to Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka
Not just flat beaches!!

Detailed Route:

  • Day 1: Kumta bus stand (either by walk or take a local auto) > Head Bunder beach > Vannalli beach > Mangodlu beach > Kadle beach > Baada beach > Camp/stay at a resort
  • Day 2: Baada beach > Nirvana beach > Kagal > Walk back to main road to Berkodi > bus till Aghanashini Jetty > Ferry from Aghanashini to Tadadi > Tadadi Ferry Service Point
    • From here you have 2 options to reach Gokarna:
      • Option 1: Trek further till Om beach
      • Option 2: Take a bus to Gokarna: walk towards Bharat Petroleum Tadadi bunk > board a KSRTC bus till Gokarna > Gokarna to Om beach (hire an local auto/cab)
Beautiful morning at Nirvana beach Karnataka
Morning Views 🙂
At Baada beach - Enchanting sunset on the Kumta - Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka
Enchanting sunsets ❤

Where to camp during the trek:

On most days camping on the beach is fine by the locals, but when we went there were some restrictions to camp – hence we approached a beach resort to camp inside their property and use the restrooms.

We camped at:

  • White heaven sea stay: Located at Baada beach (before Nirvana beach), the resort is run by Mr.Nagraj and his brothers.
  • Extremely hospitable and warm people
  • Clean western toilets
  • Food is absolutely delicious
  • Contact Number: Mr. Nagraj +91 9448611178
  • Google Maps link
  • Note: White Heaven Sea stay is a full-fledged resort with AC and non-AC rooms and NOT a camping site, but they allowed us to camp within their property at a nominal fees of INR 150 per person/night

Best time of the day to camp: setup your tents by 5pm – so that you have time to relish the sunset by the beach

Camping at White Heaven Sea Stay in Baada beach Karnataka
Camping at White Heaven Sea Stay – Baada beach
At Kadle beach - Magical sunsets in the beach trek from Kumta to Gokarna
More sunsets..

Details of Tadadi-Aghanashini Ferry

  • Ferry for people and 2-wheelers only
  • Fixed charge of INR 20 per person and INR 20 for a motorcycle/scooter
  • Mode of payment: cash or UPI only
  • Ferry timings: 7am to 7pm with an operating frequency of 15-30mins (detailed timings – see image)
  • Ferry contact number: +91 7022212857
Tadadi to Aghanashini Ferry in Karnataka
Tadadi to Aghanashini Ferry, Karnataka
Tadadi to Aghanashini Ferry time schedule Gokarna Karnataka
Ferry schedule – Tadadi to Aghanashini

Useful Information:

  • At Kumta: Clean toilets, place to change to trek clothes, and eat breakfast at Govardhan Restaurant Lodge, opposite Kumta bus stand (Google Maps link)
  • We did the entire trek on our own, without a guide or a trekking company and it’s fairly easy and economical too
  • No food or drinking water is available enroute the beach (so carry them)
  • Some popular beaches have shacks to eat a proper meal (but with the pandemic, it’s hard to say how many shacks operate regularly)
  • The sea is rough, so avoid going deep into the sea for a swim (there are no lifeguards around, be responsible and have fun)
  • Essential gear:
    • Rucksack with sleeping bag
    • 3-man tent for 2 people (ensures enough space to keep 2 rucksacks within the tent)
    • Portable changing room from Decathlon
    • Water: at-least 4/5 litres per person for each day
    • Food: snacks and food for the day and night
    • Torchlight
    • Sunglasses + hat + sunscreen
    • Minimal dry fit clothes
    • Garbage bag to carry back the trash
    • Carry oral rehydration salts such as ‘electral’
  • Camping etiquette:
    • Try to setup camp by 5PM – this way you get ample daylight to setup and time to sit back to relish the sunset
    • If you plan to camp on the beach: please check with the locals if it’s safe (but I highly recommend to find a beach resort and camp within their property)
    • Toilets while camping: find a good spot to poop, carry a portable change room to setup as a temporary toilet, after the duties please cover the poop with sand or mud
    • DO NOT LITTER THE BEACH – carry back all the trash food/empty water bottles
  • Where to eat in Gokarna: end the trek in Gokarna with a chilled beer and delicious sea food by the beach at Namaste cafe!!
Kumta to Gokarna Beach trek - best enjoyed with done friends
Beach trek – best enjoyed with friends 🙂

The Kumta-Gokarna beach trek takes you through beautiful, clean, non-touristy beaches – nothing more relaxing than sleeping and waking up to the sound of the sea.
With the entire beach to yourself, let the inner kid out and have fun 🙂

Beach sunset and friends - Kumta to Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka
When an entire beach belongs to us 😀
Fish meals with prawns rava fry and sole fish masala fry at JK Fishland Yediyur Jayanagar Bengaluru

Best Konkani Mangalorean sea food in Bengaluru at JK Fishland Yediyur Jayanagar

JK Fishland is an obscure small restaurant in Yediyur Jayanagar, but once you taste their Konkani-Mangalorean style of sea food – you would think twice of taking that “Mangalore food-trip” to satisfy the seafood craving.

Started 12 years ago, JK Fishland looks like a typical south-Indian darshini shod with steel chairs, cash-counter at the entrance and huge images of food-items over the open-kitchen counter.
But looks are deceptive, their seafood curries, fry and fish meals are lip-smacking and outdo the distinguished veterans such as Hotel Fishland, Kudla, Mangalore Pearl etc – in taste and price.

Chicken ghee roast with Neer dosa

Must eat:

  • Fish meals: thali containing boiled rice/white rice, 1 Neer dosa, 1 Bangda rava fry, fish curry, palya/subzi, chutney, buttermilk and a shot of rasam – all this for INR 90 only!!
  • Prawns ghee roast: this is master-class!! The best in Karnataka!!
  • Chicken ghee roast: the same ghee roast masala but with cooked boneless chicken (if one of allergic to shell-based fish – this is the best alternative)
  • Neer dose (1 plate contains 4 Neer dosas)
  • Sole fish masala fry
  • Anjal fish masala fry
  • Prawns rava fry: while the fry is delicious, the accompanying green chutney is the perfect side-kick
Absolute heaven!! – Fish thali with prawns rava fry + sole fish masala fry

Useful Information:

  • They serve soft drinks – such a meal is incomplete without them 😀
  • Buttermilk: can be ordered separately, best drink to calm a spicy meal!!
  • Seating is limited to 20-25 ppl at once (total of about 5/6 tables only)
  • Avoid weekends and peak lunch-time – it gets crowded (be an early bird and reach at 12pm/12:30pm for a more relaxed dining experience)
  • Taste of fish curry is way better than chicken curry
  • Ambiance: non-AC, family and kids friendly
  • Wheelchair access to restaurant: Yes, but the dining area is very small
  • Wheelchair access to toilet: No
  • Toilets: No toilets are present at the hotel for men and women
  • Parking:
    • Cars: no dedicated parking or valet parking (lots of by-lanes around the restaurant to park)
    • Motorcycles: no dedicated parking – one can park on the main road of the restaurant
  • Mode of payment: cash, UPI and cards (debit and credit) are accepted
  • Desserts: not available – there are lots of ice-cream and pastry shops in Jayanagar
  • For the Vegetarian: best to avoid – their entire menu is seafood and chicken only
  • Location: JK Fishland, Yediyur, Bengaluru (Google maps link)

Supremely delicious and affordable Konkani/Mangalorean seafood in Bengaluru.
Can’t wait to go again!!

Anjal fish masala fry

2008 Yamaha YZF R6 In India

Living with a 2008 Yamaha YZF-R6

It took me a few kms to break out on to open roads. But by then, it was too late, I was smitten.
The 2008 Yamaha YZF-R6 is a brilliant sport bike that blends performance with mind boggling handling. Any one who rides one and doesn’t instantly want to own one should really get a full physical for they might be dead.

Since it’s debut in 1999, the YZF-R6 has smashed lap records on racetracks and set the heart racing on twisty mountain roads.

Touring on a 2008 Yamaha YZF R6 in India

How does it ride ?
This motorcycle truly comes alive beyond 9000rpm. However compared to its predecessors the 2008 R6 sports a more “usable mid-range” translating to good behaviour on the street and canyon roads.

The low-end is pretty dismal 😦

What’s impressive is the “best-in-the-class” handling courtesy a stellar chassis – it’s a “point-and-shoot” devil that hunts down apexes and inhales corners at a ludicrous pace.

2008 Yamaha R6 ownership experience in India

City Commute:
The R6 is a very docile motorcycle below 4000rpm, while it can survive in stop-go traffic, pot-holed roads and the massive drone of dust – its happy place is an open road or a racetrack.
These low speeds manifest as enormous heat, blasted towards the rider’s legs and the delta box frame – not at a pleasant place to be.
How to avoid heat from the motorcycle at a traffic light – do not sit on the motorcycle while waiting for the green light, instead put the side-stand and stand next to the motorcycle.

Pillion comfort: doesn’t exist – the rear seat is put out to make it road-worthy.

Ride review of 2008 Yamaha YZF R6 in India

Touring:
The riding position on the R6 is somehow naturally comfortable and I found it much comfortable/relaxed over my Triumph Daytona 675R.
The seat isn’t well cushioned for touring, but then this wasn’t designed to munch miles in comfort.

Tank range: expect a full-tank range of 200-230kms on the highway

Luggage:
Best bet is a tail-bag, tank-bag or a combination of both. Kriega’s US-series of luggage would be my choice to strap on the R6.
Underneath the rear seat of the R6 are in-built loops to strap the Kriega luggage.

Suspension:
The front fork has separate high and low speed compression damping, rebound damping(both non-adjustable), only preload can be adjusted.

2008 Yamaha YZF R6 In India

Ride height adjustment:
Yamaha offers mechanical shims that allow one to change the rear ride height.
Even the front ride height can be altered by purchasing longer fork tubes from Yamaha

Cost of service: Avg of INR 8000 – INR 10,000 per service (includes engine oil and oil-filter replacement)

What I like about the Yamaha R6:

  • Razor-sharp and crisp handling: the chassis of the 2008 R6 is designed to reduce braking effect through the frame. The motorcycle is super agile, yet stable , oozes confidence to turn fast. It’s the best-handling 600 PERIOD
  • Engine: It’s an absolute screamer that revs all the way till 15,800rpm (although the tachometer shows 18,000 rpm :p) – it’s a such a phenomenal engine that Yamaha retained the same engine all the way till the 2020 model.
    • For the 2008 model, the engine was updated with better intervals and a higher compression ratio of 13.1:1 over its predecessors (12.8:1)
  • Mechanical ride height adjustment: Yamaha offers OEM parts to alter the ride height at the front and rear of the motorcycle – super cool !!
  • Build quality: The quality of the switches, the fit and finish of the body-panels and the quality of paint are supreme.
  • Access to service the motorcycle: It is so easy to take off the body panels and access the internals for a quick oil change or to clean them – kudos Yamaha !!

What I don’t like:

  • Limp Low-end power: it’s a complete lack-lustre. over the years the R6 has become very track-focused, sacrificing a bit of street ability in the quest for better lap times.
  • No braided brake lines: our Indian temperature isn’t kind on the OE rubber brake lines which tend to make the brakes spongy. Switch to steel braided brake lines for better brake feel and performance
  • No fuel gauge: considering this motorcycle will be used on the street and highway, a fuel gauge is needed
Living with a 2008 Yamaha YZF R6 in India

The R6 casts a powerful spell. It left me aching to own it. Never before have I wanted a motorcycle to be mine so badly

So persuasive is its appeal and promise that I’m sold. I’d buy it in a heartbeat. If only I could.

Mixture and snacks at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly Karnataka

Breakfast and snacks at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly SH169 Karnataka

Since 50 years, Hotel Bhuvaneshwari in Bajegoly has been a popular food-stop for locals and travellers due to its delicious food and a super clean kitchen.

Located in Bajegoly town, on the highway connecting South Kanara Border, Sringeri, Kudremukha, Kalasa, and Hornadu to Belthangady – Hotel Bhuvaneshwari serves a delicious fare of:

  • South kanara breakfast regulars – Neer dosa, poori bajji, idly-vada, Mangalore buns, biscuit rotti, goli bajji, pulav and more
  • lip-smacking condiment snacks – mixture, tukudi, murukku etc
  • Sweets – sanjeera, malpuri, laddu, jalebi etc
Puri bhaji breakfast at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly Karnataka
Simple and delicious puri bhaji
Mangalore buns and neer dosa for breakfast at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly on SH169 Karnataka
Mangalore buns and neer dosa – a staple breakfast of South Kanara

Must eat:

  • Mangalore buns
  • Neer dosa
  • Biscuit rotti
  • Puru bhaji and chutney
  • Goli bajji (served only in the evening)
  • Sweets such as sanjeera, malpuri (all sweets are served with a handful of fresh mixture)
  • Mixture: made fresh everyday by the masterchefs – the mixture and other savoury condiments are Super crisp, fresh and tasty (DO NOT forget to parcel multiple packs of mixture for the journey ahead :))
  • Kashaya: ditch the coffee or tea for a cup of this hot herbal drink that’s super soothing and tasty
Malpuri or malpua sweet at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly Karnataka
Mangalorean style of Malpuri or Malpua

Useful information:

  • The hotel is crowded over weekends by locals and tourists (expect a waiting time for large group or during peak time)
  • They also sell regular snacks like biscuits, chocolates, cool drinks, ice-cream etc
  • Ambiance: non-AC, family and kids friendly seating
  • Large groups: be prepared to sit in different tables and share your table with strangers (unlikely that the entire group would get a combined table)
  • How to order: find a seat, order with the waiter, eat and then pay for the food before leaving at the hotel entrance counter
  • Wheelchair Access to restaurant: Yes
  • Wheelchair access to toilets: No
  • Toilets:clean and separate toilets for men and women are available
  • Parking:
    • For cars and motorcycles: free parking at the entrance of the hotel
  • Mode of payment: cash and UPI (no cards are accepted)
  • Timings: 7am to 8:30pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: Hotel Bhuvaneshwari, Bajegoly town, Karnataka (Google maps link)
  • The road to Hotel Bhuvaneshwari (SH169)– from Mangalore/Karkala/Nitte/Katpadi is very-well-laid tarmac offering stunning views of the Kudremuka range – best relished on a motorcycle 🙂
Stunning views of the Kudremukha national forest range between Karkala and Bajegoly SH169 Karnataka
Enroute Bajegoly – stunning views of the Kudremukha national forest range!!
Karkala to Bajegoly highway SH169 - one of the best-roads and scenic highways to ride a motorcycle in South Kanara Karnataka
SH169 – One of the most scenic highways to ride in South Kanara Karnataka

Simple ambiance, fresh food, snacks and reasonable prices make Hotel Bhuvaneshwari a must-stop hotel on the Mangalore-Sholapur highway(SH-169) in Karnataka.

Mixture and snacks at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly Karnataka
Do not forget to pack some mixture for the journey ahead
Ride to Kudremukha and Bhagwathi Nature Camp on a Hero Karizma
What lies beyond good food – even better vistas!!
Enroute Bhagwathi Nature Camp after Bajegoly