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 a fascinating ride through small hamlets - Malom, Chittarikal. Cherupuzha is the next main 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 the 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 surrounding mountain ranges, give those legs a good stretch, 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. The 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 manages a farm -Pukayuni Farm(Tel:9446835631 Dbl Rs 1500) basic accommodation and food nothing fancy. Staying here for a night, we 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 centre at Kannur, we got the burnt clutch plates replaced and continued to Kasargod. We didn't want to stay near Bekal Fort, as on this trip, we didn't want to do anything familiar. Chembirikabeach 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 large rocks. Chandragiri Fort is not as commercial as the Bekal. Nonetheless, it offers a spectacular view of the sea and the harbour where fishing boats are parked. Bekal beach is around 20km from here.

We stayed at another Airbnb homestay -Devanganam- near the 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 the Kerala-Karnataka border a 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, making the detour of few kilometres 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 prolonged but close to heart.

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