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Old 16th June 2012, 10:59   #1
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Default Chasing the Monsoon

The travel bug that ups its head by Thursday mornings didn’t miss its appointment with us this time too. The ‘spirits’ at the haunted bungalow at Bonacaud (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travelogues/107986-search-haunted-bungalow-bonacaud-trivandrum.html) (In Search of the Haunted Bungalow at Bonacaud, Trivandrum) which had thwarted our 5 attempts to locate the bungalow were grinning so widely at us that we decided to back-off for some time from Bonacaud .

“Where next?” was the question doing rounds in our mind. In the recent past, some of the non-Bonacaud trips somehow managed to produce near-close encounters with the wild animals even though we weren’t much keen, making forest trips out of consideration too. Then, the calendar slowly flipped through the days and JUNE came in and JUNE often brings with it the ever fascinating rainy days.

During lunch one day, my inbox suddenly glowed with a new message from the ‘rain man’ in our group. Very few rain lovers I’ve came across was such a hardcore rain enthusiast like my friend. He was an expert in forecasting rain, who sometimes proved more accurate than IMD. “I assume that it would hit the mountain ranges in short time and put anchor in the ghat section. Round up others and we are off this weekend..stock up all old Hindi, Malayalam and Ilayaraja songs”. As usual, hectic calls went back & forth, and notices issued to respective better-halves. By evening, we were grinning more like the ‘spirits’.

By Friday evening, cool winds were blowing in from the direction of the ghats, pointing that our rain man’s prediction was on course. Woke up few times at night and around 2Am, Saturday, I could find the sky a bit reddish towards the ghat side - The eternal seductress was somewhere around the corner, showing her ankles and it was for us to chase her down.

5Am, Saturday – packed up all the music, memory cards, tripod, cameras and we were off for the chase. Somehow, Yesudas’s immortal "Chand Jaise Mukhde Pe Bindiya Sitara Nahin Bhoolega Meri Jaan Yeh Sitara Woh Sitara..” kept looping innumerable times during the early morning drive and slowly, it was turning to be one of the best drives we had ever made. Sighh..how we wish someone would sponsor our trips and transfer salary to our accounts every month end. The drives were mostly along the Trivandrum-Thenkasi road and the Agasthya ranges.

Sharing some scenes from the drive:

Our 'partner' in this year's drive enjoying the rain
Chasing the Monsoon-angeleyes-q5.jpg

Come on guys, we got miles to go
Chasing the Monsoon-dsc02650.jpg

'Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear'- as another June is upon us, the objects in the mirror has caught up. from last year's drive
Chasing the Monsoon-218352_198815330163522_6286383_o.jpg

Cozy drive
Chasing the Monsoon-478311_398594580185595_967325590_o.jpg

Rain often takes us back to colorful childhood
Chasing the Monsoon-326932_271124369599284_218917071_o.jpg

Almost there
Chasing the Monsoon-329574_261600403885014_866122609_o.jpg

Soft sprays in windshield, mirror like roads, cool breeze through rolled down windows, clouds in horizon signaling another round of rain, open nature..ride of life
Chasing the Monsoon-220798_198647166847005_7864837_o.jpg

Last edited by Mysticeyes : 16th June 2012 at 11:08.
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Old 16th June 2012, 11:20   #2
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Default Re: Chasing the Monsoon

These pictures are so soothing to the mind & eyes for us Northeners who are braving out the 45 C dusty environment and like a "पपीहा" looking towards the horizon & the sky, every now-and-then for some drops to quench the parched body.
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Old 16th June 2012, 13:13   #3
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Thanks for sharing buddy! Bonacaud trip was a great read for me. Please share if you find the bunglow. I'm bit far else I'd love to join the team explorer.
Thanks for sharing and keep revving this monsoon.
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Old 16th June 2012, 16:18   #4
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Default Re: Chasing the Monsoon

Hi,

The pic of the 2 kids on cycle was beautiful - great composition! Looking forward for more pics.
Saw some great shots of Pathanamthitta in the movie "ordinary" - any chance of introducing some more new locations to tbhp?

Cheers

Vindy
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Old 16th June 2012, 17:01   #5
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Default Re: Chasing the Monsoon

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Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
The pic of the 2 kids on cycle was beautiful - great composition! Looking forward for more pics.
+1 to that!
And so does the white beast in the green back ground!
It sure would have been fun driving in that emerald surroundings.
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Old 17th June 2012, 08:24   #6
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+1 to that!
And so does the white beast in the green back ground!
It sure would have been fun driving in that emerald surroundings.
It sure was. Driving in rain is something else, especially when there's a vehicle that sense what you want and gives back the confidence. Back in 2009 November, we got caught right in the middle of a storm caused by the depression near Kanyakumari. We were in my Fabia, driving through NH 44 (erstwhile NH 7) to Madurai then, unaware of the developing storm. It started raining around 10Am and the sound of rain drops pounding the car is still fresh in mind. It was still raining as we halted around 8Pm at Madurai. If it wasn't for the control the car gave me back, thanks to the grip and feedback from the lovely hydraulic steering, we could've never got past Thirunelveli that day

@Nanguneri SEZ Nov. 2009
Chasing the Monsoon-nanguneri.jpg

NH 44@ Valliyoor, the flooding caused by rain on left side, Nov. 2009. It was just 20 minutes after the rain had started
Chasing the Monsoon-valliyoor.jpg

Quote:
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Saw some great shots of Pathanamthitta in the movie "ordinary" - any chance of introducing some more new locations to tbhp? Vindy
That location is Gavi. But, Gavi wasn't shown much in the movie except for the last bridge sequence. Most of the portion shown was from the Peerumade area with hairpins. There was a movie in early 80s named 'Captain' which captured the real Gavi. There are 2 routes to reach Gavi - through Pathanamthitta or through Idukki. The road from Pathanamthitta is having some restrictions now unless you've booked a tourist package at Gavi.

TN in at its lushness and approaching rain during August 2010
Chasing the Monsoon-244143_198952463483142_8087607_o.jpg

Remnants from British era
Chasing the Monsoon-340736_275825735795814_1769004901_o.jpg

Chasing the Monsoon-335787_271964406181947_543740216_o.jpg

The night drive in a good olí Amby. Sitting beside taxiwallah, watching him move one hand deftly over various switches and controls and the other hand thumping on the steering wheel, the music of rain and wipers take you down the memory lane, back to the time when you had daydreamed of the day when you would arrive somewhere in an Amby.
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Old 17th June 2012, 12:48   #7
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Lovely pictures with enticing text...wish was there thread.
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Old 18th June 2012, 06:47   #8
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Is the NH7 prone to flooding in Nanguneri area? That photo of yours looks ominous.

Does the Bonacaud road also break up during the rains?
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Old 18th June 2012, 09:54   #9
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Is the NH7 prone to flooding in Nanguneri area? That photo of yours looks ominous.

Does the Bonacaud road also break up during the rains?
The rain was so intense in the nanguneri-thirunelveli stretch during the drive and not so heavy from thurinelveli onwards. Guess that would explain the water-logging you see in the pic. A point to be noted is that at that time, draining off was not proper and at places where there were bankings, water was pretty high on the road even in near Madurai. We saw couple of vehicles in front of us skidding off from slightly when they negotiated even the slight curves in NH and initially, we were also caught unaware of the slips at banks.

Bonacaud road remains battered and no one bothers to relay it as there's not much traffic except for the State RTC bus trips or occasional vehicles plying by

A pic of same spot at Nanguneri, taken during March 2012
Chasing the Monsoon-dsc02612.jpg
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Old 18th June 2012, 11:03   #10
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Default Re: Chasing the Monsoon

@Mysticeyes. Loved the picture of the audi with the misty background. It has a beautiful feel to it. Same with the kids on the bicycles.
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Old 18th June 2012, 11:34   #11
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That are some lovely pics.. looks unreal from the place I am in. baking in 45 Deg C with no sights of rain (well.. it did change a lil this morning).

Of course Yeasudas is wonderful in all weathers.. may I suggest "Ye tera zikr hai.. ya itra hai" from Guzarrish while you drive. I recently fell in love with this song. And I must add, courtesy my friend with whom I just did a Rishikesh-Lansdowne trip. I had heard this before but didnt really notice. I was forced to re-think and realise the beauty of this song when he casually said "it is so beautiful that I can even dance on this one".
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Old 18th June 2012, 11:51   #12
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Amazing pics Mysticeyes. What a drive it must have been

Cheers
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Old 14th July 2012, 09:13   #13
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Amazing pics Mysticeyes. What a drive it must have been

Cheers
It was indeed. But the monsoon seems to be playing hide & seek this year and totally unpredictable. Still we manage to set off on some trips as and when there are indications of steady rain

zig-zag
Chasing the Monsoon-dsc_0474.jpg

well..something interesting ahead
Chasing the Monsoon-dsc02680.jpg

unmistakable signs
Chasing the Monsoon-135576_166077326770656_3078504_o.jpg

can things get better than this?
Chasing the Monsoon-336051_422221844489535_1999893294_o1.jpg
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Old 14th July 2012, 10:29   #14
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Cannot help but drop a line here; a line I'm sure isn't new to you at all... the last set of pictures in particular *literally* took my breath away!
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Old 18th July 2012, 12:05   #15
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I must say as a north indian born and brought up and Bombay - i have not seen much of TN. Through your lens it seems beautiful!

More so now since I have moved base to the desert country - monsoon is a rarity which we enjoy only on those rare annual trips if timed correct.

Another thing that immediately comes to mind while I was looking at your pictures that these areas - the real rural India is rarely seen, shown or thought about when we discuss India as an NRI but the kind of options we have back home to drive, see and soak our souls with is unbelievable.

Thank you so very much for sharing these lovely pictures - you have made my day.

*** Sigh *** we have another 2 months of 45+ C to get by, so keep it coming. :-)

cheers!
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