i get pinged on gtalk.. as usual i surfing the net waiting for someone..jus anyone to ping at this hour.. Ulrich is drumming his way to glory on my speakers n i am totally engrossed in FB (my usual activity on the net when i say i'm surfing :P) anyways so its Devang (batchmate at postgrad) n he suggests we go for juice to the city.. i as always willingly accept his idea n before u know it we are standing near the highway along the road sipping avocado juice.. the next day (or the same since its technically early morning n the day has changed) was an off for me after a long time n i had nothing to do.. had thought of going upto Kappad beach, a serene n clean beach nt visited by many.. so he tells me why not go Mahe (a drive-in beach nearby bt nt so great as Kappad).. then i dunno wat struck us bt we just thought why nt make longer trip like to cochin mebbe.. both of us were ready to bunk our sunday classes n i had an evening class on monday so basically we had 2.5 days on our hands n tht seemed to excite us even more.. so we headed bac to the campus n googled nearby places within 200kms whc wr worth visitng.. lot of ideas popped up like cochin..palakkad..munnar.. bt we settled on Ooty cuz lot many places existed arnd ooty whc were worth covering.. so at 2.30am we decided tht Ooty it ws.. gt the printouts of the directions to and from Ooty frm the CC(computer centre) at 3 n the excitement just didnt let me sleep.. finally i slept arnd 4 i'm guessing..
0630hrs, 25th Sept '10 -
unlike my other usual days i got up on the first alarm(without snoozing :P) without any hassles.. got my backpack n me ready ready by 7.45.. went down my hostel and got my bike ready..took some pics all ready to leave.. 8.05 Devang comes n we leave campus.. petrol filling..cash withdrawal n desperate attempts at 4-5 petrol pumps to fill up my tyres(due to no current) took arnd 20mins n finally we set out at 8.30am for our unplanned adventure..
being my first long bike journey has its pros n cons.. for one i was visualising worst case scenarios in my head..wat if my bike breaks down in the middle of nowhr.. a complete disastrous end to a thrilling journey.. luckily for me tht didnt happen.. i had always thought of jus packing n heading off to venture a new area or place n had always thot it to be unplanned.. ppl who know me closely wud kno hw i dream of backpacking one day (ref: anna wud remember when we once decided in a mumbai local of bike tripping along the maharashtra/karnataka coast one day).. well to say the least this ws somewat close to realising tht dream :)
so with numerous stops for pee breaks..clicking pics..abusing kerala bus drivers we completed the wayanad climb (9 sharp hairpin bends with a horrible road condition) at 9.45 only to find a CCD right whr the climb ended..
|From Bike Trippin 25th-27th Sept 2010|
having a heavy breakfast of idli sambhar n aloo paratha (at CCD!! surprised :P) we again head out on the highway.. fortunately for us this stretch was like a biker's paradise.. with lush green tea gardens and the aroma of tea in the air this road was like butter.. so smooth n curvy tht i cudnt resist my hand at the throttle.. reaching the tamilnadu border there ws no sign of Devang as in the rush of adrenaline i had forgot tht he was behind me :P surprisingly immediately after crossing the border the road condition ws not so great as compared to Kerala standards.. had covered some 80 odd kms n ws in no mood to stop so i decided once i complete 100kms on my tripmeter wud stop n wait for Devang.. (absurd i kno dont ask me to reason tht one out).. anywho so the 100kms happened somewhr in the midst of tea plantations whr i found a spot to wait for my pal..nuthin muc to do other than peeing i decided to do some photography.. Devang arrives some 10mins later...
the ride upto the Nilgiris was great in the sense tht the vegetation ws much more diverse as compared to Kerala.. n sad to say tht God's own country has more or less the same trees every-freaking-whr.. i am soo bored of it tht this really seemed like a refreshing change to me.. so this time i drafted behind Devang to get a view of the scene arnd me.. we stopped at this breathtaking place whc had these really tall nilgiri trees.. the sudden temperature drop n the freakishly tall trees made us feel tht we wr in one of LOTR's earths.. the feeling is very difficult to describe and even pictures wr nt able to capture the grandness of tht place..
|From Bike Trippin 25th-27th Sept 2010|
on the way up the Nilgiris we saw 2 cyclists riding thr bikes along with us all the way up (:-O i kno).. Devang struck up a conversation wid one of them while on the bike.. n the 4 of us stopped at the point on the way up just to chitchat.. these guys turned out to be working at TechMahindra and wr preparing for a cyclothon whc ws going to happen in Himachal next month.. we inquired hw he manages to cycle all the way up.. to whc he said he has done 900kms over 5 days n for practice he cycles arnd 150kms on weekends for the cyclothon.. it just reminded me of the statement my father used to make often 'people fail to realise n utilise the human body's potential n end up underestimating it largely'..
after crossing Gudalur we wr approaching Ooty after 5hrs.. the temperature suddenly dropped to such an extent tht i had to stop n pull out my jacket.. so much so my hand failed to further twist the throttle once the bike reached 50kmph.. it ws freezing n my fingers wr numb n my teeth wr literally chattering..
finally we reached Ooty..183kms frm Kunnamangalam, Kozhikode at 1400hrs.. none of us knew wat the city looked like so we wr not sure if we wr in the heart of the city whr we wanted to crash..somehw we felt like tourists so touts around us stopped us to arrange for rooms.. we ignored them only to be bewildered hw to proceed.. approaching the main market we thot we'd have lunch first then look for a place.. unlike Kerala hotels the service ws the first thing tht caught my eye..it ws just too prompt and the food we ordered was on our tables in precisely 5mins.. feasting on the dum biryani we wr done in 10mins flat.. thr was a shop outside the restaurant with all this imported stuff.. davidoffs..Rothams..cuban cigars worth 750 bucks.. even zippo lighters were available..we wanted to buy leather gloves to save us from the chill while riding.. bt the quality being too cheap we left it at tht.. we went back to this place whr the touts wr fleecing ppl n inquired with one of them for rooms.. sitting on my bike he asked me whr i was from n wat i did for a living.. n delightfully this guy (infact all the ppl we met in this trip) knew hindi very well.. had this very bad notion of TN whr ppl refuse to speak hindi (must be still valid for places like chennai).. anyways so he takes us to 1 shady hotel whc we refuse to take. n a nice cottage below a hill whose rent was 2.5k.. we thot it wsnt a good idea to spend so much just for a night's stay.. so he took us bac to the place whr we had lunch.. apparently thr ws a hotel right above which we completely missed :P n booked a decent room for a decent 1.2k.. both of us immediately crashed out only to get up at 7.30..it ws now time to wander in the city by foot..
we had stumbled upon a barista while coming so we thot lets hang arnd thr for a while.. after a few attempts at shopping for gloves going in vain we decided to chuck it.. got a pack of Marlboros n headed to barista..even by 9 the city looked pretty alive with people n lights.. it nw started to rain so we had to opt for a rick who fleeced Rs 35 for displacing us a mere 2 kms.. we had to call the bugger again to drop us bac to the hotel..now we needed a few beers so we asked the driver to take us to some good bars.. we ended up being in some desi bars..the kinds wid dim lighting n arbit music :P.. we jus bought some beers n headed bac.. after a light dinner by 10.30 we thought of walking arnd.. the city ws as good as shut as we were the last customers at dinner..
at a distance we found a decent looking bar whc ws part of a hotel.. we gav it a try n went inside with our beers.bt the place closed by 11 and we cudnt get beers of our own inside.. so we headed bac to the room.. it ws so freaking cold now tht i ended up wearing 4 pieces of apparel.. (obviously on my upper half..lower half it wud be next to impossible ;)) over beers n marlboros in the chilling balcony we spoke of college life.. hw ppl getting married soon.. hw we cant do tripping once we r 'set' n finally deciding whr to head 2moro.. arnd 1am we finally hit the bed n looking forward to another eventful day ahead.... (look out for Day 2)