A few weeks back an event invite popped up in Facebook. It was for the Royal Enfield's road trip to watch the Kambla races. I am no motor-biker but the itinerary and Kambla races piqued my interest.
I contacted the organizers to see if we (an innova and kids) could tag along. It was a bike only trip but they were nice enough to share all the details if I wanted to do it on my own. So, planning began and the a wonderful weekend came to fruition.
Day 1 - Bangalore -> Dharmashtala. I found a really nice cottage by a shallow stream on a plantation. Stream of Joy - Trip advisor had lots of good things to say about it and it turned out to be an amazing stay. The shallow stream with a tire tube swing, bamboo raft and a macchan to hang out and spend the night on was an amazing experience. An evening excursion to a famous temple nearby to hand feed a thousand hungry fish followed by a jeep ride to a Jain temple overjoyed the kids. The home cooked food was local, vegetarian and very delicious.
Day 2 Part 1- Dharmsthala - Kambla Race. We left our cottage around 10am and spend a good half an hour looking at how bowls and plates were made using palm stalks at the plantation. Then we were on the road and with a little meandering made our way to the Kambla race. A large field by a river had enough buffaloes being bathed, fed and decorated to confirm that we had reached the right place. I had heard conflicting reports about this traditional race - especially concerning the treatment of the buffalos and their ability to run. The race tract was not very long and after watching a few races I was more concerned about the human runners that had to keep up with the beasts.
It was hot day and after watching some thirty races and meeting the motorbikes we decided to make our way to Mangalore.
Day 2 Part 2- Dharmasthala - Mangalore was a two hour drive. Based on trip advisor and a great expedia deal I had chosen to say at the Taj Gateway hotel. In a way it was nice to get into an air conditioned hotel as it was turning into a hot and humid day. We ate and relaxed before visiting the beach. Camel and horse rides along with jet skiing kept the older kids busy while by little one was content sitting by the edge of the ocean while the waves pushed him around. A short, slightly crowded beach with lots of snack stall could not compete with the beached of Goa we frequent but was still a beach and that always means fun.
Day 3- Mangalore to Bangalore. While the kids wiped out from the beach slept my mom and I made our way to the fish market around the corner. Mangalore is famous for its seafood. While we did not buy any fish we had a great time looking and taking photos. The fisherwomen were very friendly and happy to pose for the photos. The variety of fresh fish was worth seeing.
From Mangalore to Bangalore it was an eight hour drive with a few breaks for food. We left at noon and were home by eight pm. The roads were good and the drive comfortable with some nice scenic views as we traversed the western ghats.