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Old 7th September 2013, 16:16   #1
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Default 3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar

Hi Folks, this is my first travelogue on TBHP or anywhere else. Hope to write more travelogues and get better at this stuff.

So the journey was across three days in the end of January, 2013, starting from Chennai with Munnar as its destination. 3 friends astride 3 bikes covering 3 days.

Myself on my R15, sajesh on his 200NS and Subbia on his FZ16S.

It was mid January and a typical weekend me and my gang of friends were chit chatting in tea shop and all of a sudden my friend had this idea to do a long ride on a bike, something not less than 500km. After a round of discussion and lots of arguments later (others wanted this trip to be done in a car), (Me, Sajesh, Subbia and Deepan) 4 of us agreed to this trip on bike and started to hunt for a destination. We decided to stick to TN. KL and KA reserved for another long ride/Vacation. We had decided to vote between Kodaikanal/Ooty/Munnar. Since most of us had never been to Munnar a majority of the votes went to Munnar. So Munnar it is and we decided to start our journey on Jan 25th and reach back Chennai on 27th.

The route decided was Tambaram-Tindivanan-Villupuram-Trichy- Dindigul-Theni-Bodinayakanur-Munnar in total around 600km one way.

With the date fixed, we decided to get the bikes serviced before this trip. P200 and FZ16S needed general service, R15 needed an oil change, clutch bell adjustment and chain replacement whereas Deepz’s FZ had a major engine overhaul schedule and he dropped the bike along with my bike in the service centre 10-12 days before the trip and the service advisor told us that the FZ would be returned in a week’s time and mine would be ready in 3 days time. As promised, I got delivery of my bike but Deepz had a major issue and was not delivered as promised. The bike was delivered a couple of days before the trip. He was reluctant to join us because of the run in issue. So we 3 decided to go ahead and do this trip and hope he would join us for some other ride. This was an EPIC trip for us. None of us had undertaken such big rides earlier; the maximum was a 250+km ride to yelagiri hills.

D day 3:30A.M, subbia had arrived at my home and I was getting ready. By 4:00 we started out and the plan was to meet sajesh at a temple on the main road. Sajesh was already there, waiting for us. We had decided to take the first picture on the Tambaram flyover and this is the first picture of the trip.
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-starting-point.jpg
We decided to take a break every 100-150km depending on the situation and the next scheduled stop was near Villupuram and we also decided to maintain a constant speed so that we ride along side by side each other or at least are visible in each other’s RVM. While nearing Melmaravathur I was travelling at around 60 kmph as the roads seemed to be uneven and all of a sudden I started to weave across and I got a mini heart attack, I thought that I had a puncture in the middle of the highway at wee hours in the morning. My heart sank thinking that this was the end of the trip for me. Sajesh stopped by me and I told him to carry on and not to wait for me as I had a puncture and then he told me that it was not a puncture and he too faced the same trouble then I opened my helmet’ tinted lid to find that road works are in progress and the roads have been milled. With that sorted out we started to gun our bikes to catch up with subbia who never cared about this road works and went ahead. (He was ahead of me and didn’t know about my situation)

We caught up with subbia and took a break on the out skirts of villupuram and explained what had just happened. This taught us to stick together so that in case of emergency all 3 would be in the same place. After clicking a couple of photos we decided to have breakfast at perambalur another 100km away. It was a scenic but an uneventful ride hence I am not going to describe the ride. At the road side hotel we found a couple of cops having breakfast and they were intrigued by 3 of us all covered up with snazzy helmets and bikes. They came down and asked us some questions and were surprised about our plan to ride to Munnar.

3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-villupuram.jpg
Next stop was a fuel stop at Trichy and then we took the bypass to head to Dindigul, like a few TBHP members we too took the wrong turn and were headed to Madurai without realising it. Something seemed to wrong (Gut Instinct?) so we stopped by a road side shop to ask for directions and later realised that my instinct was right and we went through Manaparrai and joined NH45 Dindigul road. We reached dindigul by noon and had a sumptuous lunch in one of the restaurants (Ponram Briyani) that the locals had suggested.

We got info from the security at ponram that the roads between Theni and Bodi were being laid and asked us to be cautions. We decided to stick to the plan was boy was it a huge mistake. It was true that the roads were being laid but it already had a dusty road which was smooth enough for the heavy vehicles to whiz past us even cars were doing more than 50kmph. We had hard time with the dust as vehicle passed us. Since we had covered 450 odd km by noon, we thought we would reach Munnar by 5 or 6 PM. Because of this road the travel time had increased considerably. We then reached Bodi and we decided to take the state highway to reach the hotel. The hotel that we booked in Munnar was 8km away from the main city and it was in Chitirapuram. The state highway was another mistake as there were no clear board on the so called highway and the locals were not of much help either, all they said was to “stick to the road on the left and go straight”. There were numerous fork bends and numerous 3 way roads similar to the SH. So we had to stop by each passing village to get the directions. To make matters worse, the hotel was a nice 15 mins ride from the main road the hotel had changed its name recently.
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3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-fun-ghat.jpg
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-fun-ghat-2.jpg
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-fun-ghat-3.jpg
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-fun-ghat-4.jpg
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-fun-ghat-5.jpg
Finally with lots of local help, we finally reached the hotel by 8:30 PM. The hotel offered amazing value for money and the staffs were extremely friendly and got attached to us after hearing that we were on a bike trip on 3 sports bike.

The next day was spent sightseeing and mostly riding in the ghats. I had pain in my wrist and decided to be a pillion in the 200NS. There is nothing much to do in Munnar all the places are crowded with newlywed couples so we just decided to ride for a while and call it a day. Before heading to the hotel we wanted to fill up our bikes and only then the attendant informed us that the bunks usually opens at 8 AM and closes at 8PM. (we had a problem at hand, we planned to start out the return journey by 5 AM the next day). At around 6 30PM we dashed to the hotel to get my bike refuelled and all 3 bikes were brim with petrol. After chatting for a while, I decided to sleep whereas sajesh and subbia were still chatting. Later in the morning I got to know that these 2 had been awake well past midnight.
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-view-room-2.jpg
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-view-room.jpg
We had planned to take Munnar-Udumalaipet-Dharapuram-Karur-Thuraiyur-Perambalur-Thindivinan-Chennai.

We woke up around 4 AM and boy it was cold. We postponed starting time to 5:30AM. After bidding goodbye to some of the staff and couple of photos we started and as we reached Munnar, the temperature had further fallen and we were finding it difficult to ride.
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-return.jpg
A couple of km down, we found a tea wala serving piping hot ginger tea. We were not able to feel the heat and it just felt a bit warm. We were surprised when the tea wala told us that his day starts at 2AM and he brings tea from a small town in TN a good 50 odd km from Munnar. We thought this guy’s skin must be made from polar bear’s fur or something. After 3 cups of tea, we again started only to be stopped by the cold. We had not even covered 5km and this cold was literally killing us and we stopped at least 4 times before we covered 15km. At a point of time, the cold was too much that I had to remove the gloves and put my hand on the engine case. All this drama ensured that it was 7 AM and we were still on the outskirts of Munnar.

Finally the Sun came up and God that was an amazing moment for us. We started to wring the throttle and the road between Munnar and Udumalaipet though not even is simply amazing and we were ripping past at 80-100kmph. The ghat section is simply superb and one should experience it as words cannot do justice. The rising sun only added to the beauty of the moment.
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-return-through-ghats.jpg
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-img_5311.jpg

We reached Dharapuram, had some snacks and continued on. The rest of the route was through villages and the roads were excellent though undivided 2 lanes, there was not much of traffic. Subbia and sajesh did not have enough sleep and it had its effects on them. We rested close to a tree for close to 30 mins. FZ was a thirsty bike and needed to be refuelled in Karur while I and sajesh decided to not to refuel as we had plenty of fuel left. Somewhere after Kulithalai, there is a diversion to be taken to reach Thuraiyur and then Perambalur. I was ripping my bike and missed this diversion; I went a good 20 km and came back while the 2 waited for me.
3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar-rest.jpg
We carried on towards Perambalur and the 200NS sputtered to a halt close to Thuraiyur. Time for reserve fuel to kick in and we decided to get the 200 to get refuelled in Thuraiyur. We reached Peramballur around 3 PM and decided to have lunch. Post lunch I had to stop to get my bike refuelled and did it on a highway.

It was getting pretty late and next day we had to go to office so ripped our bikes. Our plan was to stop only for fuel. We were close to Melmaruvathur and FZ needed to be refuelled again. After that it was plain sailing and we stopped for a while near chengalpet toll and reached Tambaram by 9:30PM.

We had loads of fun on the curves and also had two photo sessions for getting the right picture.

Following is the overall mileage of the bikes:
1. FZ: 32kmpl
2. 200NS:38kmpl
3. R15:42kmpl

This was the longest trip on a bike for us and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I decided to pen it down only a couple of hours back, hope you guys enjoyed it.

Cheers!!!

Last edited by katchkamalesh : 7th September 2013 at 16:41.
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Old 10th September 2013, 10:08   #2
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Default Re: 3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar

I am glad that all three bikes have been captured by the lens.
Usually the camera guy is left out :P (Always the case in our group)

Fuel FE for the FZ is a little disappointing, considering the more fun rides delivering more. (Was it perfectly serviced before the ride?)
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Old 10th September 2013, 12:34   #3
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Default Re: 3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar

Awesome ride. The most I have rode a bike is 250 and that itself was tiring.
And it was pretty brave or plain dumb to plan a 5AM start from munnar. Its too freezing cold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katchkamalesh View Post
We decided to stick to TN. KL and KA reserved for another long ride/Vacation. We had decided to vote between Kodaikanal/Ooty/Munnar. Since most of us had never been to Munnar a majority of the votes went to Munnar. So Munnar it is.
By the way, Munnar is very much a part of kerala
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Old 10th September 2013, 13:11   #4
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Default Re: 3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar

Good to know you guys had a safe and fun trip. Thanks for the wonderful pictures.

While driving in groups, discipline is very essential. Wear the right gear. Never leave anyone behind. Cell phones don't work all the time.

Last edited by HillMan : 10th September 2013 at 13:14.
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Old 10th September 2013, 13:48   #5
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Default Re: 3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar

Quote:
Originally Posted by parrys View Post
I am glad that all three bikes have been captured by the lens.
Usually the camera guy is left out :P (Always the case in our group)

Fuel FE for the FZ is a little disappointing, considering the more fun rides delivering more. (Was it perfectly serviced before the ride?)
Yeah we made sure that all the 3 bikes were in the frame.

And regarding low FE the rider weighs upward of 90 Kg and he had push the bike to keep up with the decided speed i.e 90/100 kmph

Quote:
Originally Posted by revintup View Post
Awesome ride. The most I have rode a bike is 250 and that itself was tiring.
And it was pretty brave or plain dumb to plan a 5AM start from munnar. Its too freezing cold.



By the way, Munnar is very much a part of kerala
Lolz Agreed. And yeah it was a stupid decision not a brave one

Quote:
Originally Posted by HillMan View Post
Good to know you guys had a safe and fun trip. Thanks for the wonderful pictures.

While driving in groups, discipline is very essential. Wear the right gear. Never leave anyone behind. Cell phones don't work all the time.
Thanks for the feedback After that incident we stuck to each other for the rest of the journey.
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Old 10th September 2013, 14:02   #6
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Default Re: 3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar

Great trip you had. Now that you have learnt your lessons in riding as a team, hope you have many more such memorable trips. And since you planned TN and ended up in KL, will there be one more trip inside TN to make up for that
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Old 10th September 2013, 18:20   #7
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Default Re: 3 days, 3 buddies and 3 bikes. A ride from Chennai to Munnar

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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Great trip you had. Now that you have learnt your lessons in riding as a team, hope you have many more such memorable trips. And since you planned TN and ended up in KL, will there be one more trip inside TN to make up for that
We are planning to ride to Kolli hills, sadly we have not been to able to zero in on the day. Someone or the other has some work and the plan is postponed. Hope to do it soon.
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