I got up from my bed on the terrace as the sun came up and had a tasty breakfast of a Konkan-style upma, garnished with mangoes from the surrounding farm. And then dessert of super tasty, juicy alphonso mangoes. Mmm, mmm, good! The farms around Ratnagiri are known to produce the tastiest alphonso mangoes. The name comes from the Portuguese admiral, Afonso de Albuquerque, who brought this exquisite variety with him when he conquered Goa.
From the farmhouse near Nate, I rode the small coastal roads up to Ratnagiri and then got back on NH-17. Compared to yesterday's peaceful ride on the southern portion of this highway, today it was all busy, even though it was a Sunday. There was lots of overtaking of slow trucks and buses and I was kept alert in dodging the suicidal driving habits of oncoming small cars and vans. The game of chicken is full on on India's highways. The bigger the vehicle, the more they can bully oncoming traffic to make way for them. This is the same driving style in most developing countries and I've gotten lots of experience in riding with these kind of drivers by now. It's a bit scary at times but it's also enjoyable if you can play the game and my bright lights and loud horn help me compete with the auto-rickshaws and Tata Nanos.
I reached the outskirts of India's largest city, Mumbai and then had an hour and a half of painful clutching through first and second gear through traffic. I cut across this whole mega city from the southeast to the northwest and got to Juhu. I'm staying with an old friend from Kodai School, Arunoday Singh, who's come back from studying film in the US and UK and has started his career in Bollywood. He's got a beautiful place right on the beach at Juhu, perfect for relaxing for a bit before heading inland.
Watch the video postcard of Jay's ride along the ghat sections of NH 17 (taken with his helmet-mounted camera)
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Got questions on his trip and the countries he's visited, and the strange laws and customs he's encountered? Join the live chat at 2:30 PM Indian Standard Time (+5:30 GMT) on Monday, May 13.
Not for nothing is the mango feted as the king of fruits. The mango season brings much joy to the hot summers of peninsular India.
Read more: Mango Memories