Saturday, 10 November 2018

Josegiri and Chembirika - from the hills to the shore and home

Josegiri is one of those postcard-perfect towns. A tiny town with rolling hills as the backdrop, it is an unexplored place. Josegiri is 50km away from Kolichal and is an interesting ride through some of the tiny hamlets - Malom, Chittarikal. Cherupuzha is the next major town, from where a deviation will take you to Payyanur in Kannur district. After crossing the Cherupuzha bridge, a left turn will take you to Kozhichal, Josegiri. There is another route to Josegiri from Kannur via Thaliparamba-Alakode-Udayagiri. If you are taking a bus, it is easier to get a bus from Payyanur to Josegiri.


A 2.5 hour ride through scenic route and a good breakfast at Kozhichal brought us to Josegiri. There are very few shops at Josegiri, so either you book a resort with meals or do this as a day-trip. To get a good view of the mountain ranges surrounding the place and give those legs a good stretch, there are a few walks you can do - Thirunettikallu, Tabore Cross, Kottathalachi mala. Otherwise, there is no point in staying at Josegiri for more than one night. Temperature at night is pretty low, thanks to the higher altitude of this hilly village. Santa Maria and Misty Mount are two resorts in Josegiri. Anil is managing a farm - Pukayuni Farm  (Tel:9446835631 dbl Rs 1500), very basic accommodation and food, nothing fancy. We stayed here for a night and continued to Kannur via Alakode. You will be excited if you love the twisty winding roads with good tarmac . We had to ride this way, to fix the burnt clutch plate of our bike at Kannur KTM, the nearest to Josegiri.

After spending 3hrs at the friendly KTM service center at Kannur, we got the burnt clutch plates replaced and continued to Kasargod. We didn't want to stay near Bekal Fort, as in this trip we didn't want to do anything familiar. Chembirika beach is not one of those crowded beaches. The landscape is unique with moss-filled rocks. Listening to the sound of waves crashing on the stones, one can enjoy the sunset sitting on the bigger rocks. Chandragiri Fort is not as popular as the Bekal, nonetheless, it offers a spectacular view of the sea and also the harbour where fishing boats are parked. Bekal beach is around 20km from here.

We stayed at yet another AirBnB homestay -Devanganam -  near Chandragiri river. Vinod's parents at this home are eager to meet new guests and they provide breakfast. Good enough for a couple of nights, if you don't want to stay at a hotel in Kasargod.

Our return route was through Cherkala-Mulleria-Jalsoor-Subramanya. GMaps. On this route, you will cross Kerala-Karnataka border couple of times. Criss-crossing the border without any check post, you will be riding through thick forests and hilly roads. Adoor temple is on this route and is in a serene location, which makes the detour of few kilometers worth the while. Roads are mostly good unlike the Sullia-Panathur stretch. Expect lots of traffic on weekends when you are near Kukke. Don't forget to stop at Doddathota to sip excellent coffee from Kamat restaurant, next to the Doddathota Post Office. Kukke temple was very crowded as usual. Staying at Hotel Dwara was pleasant (Tel: +91 9663921878, +91 8762492702, dbl Rs 1005 through GoIbibo). All good things come to an end. We were ready to complete our last and 10th day of the trip, riding back to Bangalore, after breakfast and superb black coffee at Ossor. Our routes are not always the shortest and practical. It might be insanely longer but close to heart.

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