Coast to Coast 2021: Lakhpat to Morbi

The tour, personally for me, was starting from today. I woke up before sunrise around 6am and got ready. It didn’t take much long for me to pack since most of the items from the saddle bags were not taken out. I planned to reach Dwarka today. It was just a marker I put on the map just to check for myself whether I will be able to reach or not. By looking at the atlas page, it seemed possible.

Sun rising slowly…

The people at the Gurdwara, gave me a some toast and tea following which I went on to see the Gurudwara from the inside. My first time entering into a Sikh holy place.

Toast and Tea made up for light breakfast.
I’d planned to reach here by today evening…
From the inside of the Gurudwara…

It was great, visiting a holy place of importance since it was very old and protected under Gujarat Heritage sites act. I felt good having able to see such a prominent site. After taking the ‘Prasad’ offered by the caretaker, I left the place around 9 am.

Thanks for letting me stay in Gurudwara.

The roads were single lane ones, with most of the stretches in good condition. My next stop was to visit the Koteshwar Mandir followed by the Narayan Sarovar lake. One of the 5 sacred lakes of India as per the puranic Vedic texts. Most people regard Koteshwar as the most extreme western most point of India.

Cruising along with almost no company to me..
Only these guys accompanied me…
There were close to like 500 cattles, all prodding along the road at the same time. There was nothing much I could do rather than to wait.
We can see BSF strongholds at after every 10 kms, proximity to International border (pakistan). Once such truck was seen carrying water.
BSF Checkpost board @Budhbandar
What a Grand Entrance!!
Elderlies welcoming me…

I wanted to take the lord’s blessings before the start of the ride and hence I had planned to visit this temple, very well known in Gujarat and around. After spending some time around seeing the views and clicking pictures, I headed for Narayan Sarovar lake.

Koteshwar Mahadev Temple.
This is the farthest westernmost point of India. I was not allowed to go beyond the barricade, not even for a photo!
Thanks BSF for keeping us safe.
Inside the Narayan Sarovar complex, which houses a temple and a large courtyard.
Behind me is the Narayan Sarovar lake..

At around 10:30am, I left Koteshwar and was on my way towards Dwarka taking the coastal route. Before the start, I had marked the villages on the atlas page which were helping me now to navigate. Reaching out to Google Maps was a NO-NO.

Almost all the area seems to look like a desert. The camel is often the main animal used for hauling here.
Small Village huts made out of mud and brick
Waiting at the cross roads and rechecking the directions as most of the names were in Gujarati language.

I was running low on fuel and the indication marker was lit. I had completely forgotten about looking for a petrol bunk. As a matter of fact, I had not spot even a single one even while coming towards Lakhpat from Bhuj. There was no chance of finding a bunk ahead as I was riding through deep village roads. When asked around, people said that the next bunk was 100 kms ahead on the main NH highway. They assured me that normal grocery stores stock up petrol supplies in bottles which really gave me a breather.

A quick pitstop at one of the small stalls alongside the road for quick snack and tea break.
From where the hell I was supposed to get a petrol bunk on this road.
This store saved my bike from stalling in middle of nowhere.
Topped up on 2 ltrs of fuel which was enough to take me to next petrol bunk. Didn’t fill up much as I doubted the quality of it. Got it @100rs/ltr
Windmills and more windmills stretched alongside the road.

After the petrol debacle, I was also running low on cash and for that matter, had to look out for ATM’s so that my journey ahead would become smooth. I doubted, whether Cards/ Gpay/Paytm would be of much use here.

Wading through a buys weekly bazaar in one of the villages.
The first petrol bunk of the day was located at Naliya.
Scratching my brain about my whereabouts and inferring from a faded board…
In many cases, I got the feeling of whether I was going in correct direction or not. I had strictly told myself, no matter what happens, using Google Maps was barred. Don’t know that was stupidity or the adventurous side of me.
These people must be wondering, from where the Hell has this ALIEN come from.
Holding strong in this harsh desert weather…
Found a dead run over baby alligator right in the middle of the road..
Passing by village roads while curious school children give a look..
Loved the alignment of the flags…
Keep Holding on…..
Common mode of transport in this region of Gujarat…
Before hitting Mundra, my rear tyre was low on air and so used the battery operator tire inflator to solve the issue. A person got down from the car just to see what I was doing sitting right on the road side!
Just yesterday I had crossed Bhachau on my way towards Lakhpat and today, I was heading again towards it from a different route.
Riding on SH46

Taking the roads close to the coast had more disadvantages than advantages. The roads were narrow and often the road quality was not upto the mark. Also, being a port area, there was huge traffic of heavy vehicles.

I had to take right towards Tuna port which eventually was going to lead me towards Gandhidham.
One has to be really careful while riding past these big machines.
A long stretch of heavy vehicles lined the highway after Gandhidham.

Dwarka, was not even being seen on the distance boards. The next big city was Morbi which was still 100kms more. After crossing Gandhidham, I reached Maliya where I took a break of tea and had some snacks. The lunch had been skipped.

Watching the sun go down…

Just as it got dark and I was few kms away from Morbi, the bike refused to start after refueling up. This was my first breakdown of the trip. A blown fuse! The conclusion was reached after figuring out the issue for quite some time as well as phoning my service guys. For the first time in the history of the bike, a fuse had been blown. The exact reason could not be found and since I had a spare one, I didn’t pay heed to the cause of it.

The time was around 8:30 pm and by now, it was decided that Morbi would be the resting place for today.

Replacing the fuse right beside the petrol vending machine..

I decided to again search for a Gurudwara here, just like yesterday, since my stay in this city was totally unplanned. To my luck, I found one but it did not have rooms for people to stay. With that, began my journey of finding my first hotel of the trip. Google was accessed and after traversing the same road many times and visiting 2-3 hotels, finally, it was decided that I would be staying in HOTEL JK. Earlier, I rejected this hotel since it had only 1 vacancy and that too in a shared dorm but after finding that most of the good hotels in the city are booked, I had to retrace my steps back here.

Since, it was only matter of few hours, I took the offer. It was indeed a good one. 150rs for the night. Perfect deal for a budget traveler like me. The only thing that was to be neatly arranged was my luggage since the dorm was open and right opposite to the hotel counter.

By the time everything was settled, it was around 10 pm following which I had dinner at their restaurant below. I was way long from my day’s target of Dwarka. Dwarka, from Morbi is close to around 250 kms, which was a long way to go and so, to cover up the distance, I decided to start early the next morning.

As per my original plan, I was supposed to reach Bhavnagar. But, looking at the deficit now, that was not achievable since I was going to spend some time exploring around Dwarka. So the next viable place for me to rest tomorrow was Porbandar.

I decided to inform Milan (my ex-company friend from Porbandar whose marriage I had attended in 2017 in Porbandar itself ) about my travel plans so that some thing could be figured out.

Hotel JK in Morbi.
After a tiring day, a meal like this was really heaven for me.
No Gujarati meal is complete without having a jar of buttermilk by the side.

I slept around 11 pm and put an alarm for 5 am. I really wanted the head-start tomorrow and try to cover as much distance till dusk and see where I could reach.

Categories: Coast to Coast 2021, TravelTags: , , , , , , , ,

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