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Western Ghats

Inland from the coast of Goa is a plateau and hills rising to between 600 and 1000m. This is an area of lush vegetation, forests rather than jungle interspersed with small farmers growing rice and coconuts, arenca nuts etc. The air is slightly cooler, the roads partly shaded by large trees and mostly in very good repair. A bit of a cycling paradise!

Cycling up from the coast to the Western Ghats. (Clicking on most images should open it at full size)

Our first town was a small place called Yellapur. The whole area of the Ghats is potted with wildlife sanctuaries and reserves.

At times it feels like riding in a Southern European landscape, tall trees, bright skies, warm but not too hot. The northern area was well wooded but as we headed further south we have entered the coffee growing region. Vast areas growing coffee, but in the shade of mature trees, giving at least the appearance and feel of extensive forests. The road is bounded by "Coffee Estates" and a couple of times we have seen posh looking modern 'Planters Clubs' which must be a throwback to earlier times when the British managed the tea and coffee growing estates. We have yet to enter the tea growing areas.

Coffee plants growing as an understory to mature trees.

Coffee beans drying in the sun. They have to be sun dried for three or four days before being bagged and sold on. The next part of the process is hulling and then roasting the bean.

Over the last six or so days we have been cycling around 80kms a day from small town to town in a southerly direction, trying to pick our way on the smaller roads without having to do too many extra hills. I think our max height so far has been just over 1100 metres.

Looking at and photographing the way ahead.

Ken and John enjoying a refreshing coconut.

Watermelon is also a welcome revival


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