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Old 7th March 2008, 09:51   #1
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Default Weekend trip to God's Own Country

My wife's birthday was on the 29th Feb. As a special gift, I wanted to take her away for the weekend 1st and 2nd March. After a long research at the wealth of info on TBHP, zeroed in on Kalpetta. Called and booked a room with Harithagiri (Thanks to AKRoy's post). The trip was to be surprise for my wife, so she did not know where we were going.

Started from Bangalore at 6 AM, 1 hour behind schedule. Took the Kanakapura Road and then the NICE road to Mysore road. Hit Mysore road at 6.30 AM and started crusing at 100. About 5 kms to Ramnagara, an unfortunate eagle decided to stoop for some roadkill. Too late to avoid and hit the poor bird. When I stopped for a crossing a bit later, I saw people staring curiously at my car. So pulled over and found the eagle stuck to the front grill...



Stopped for breakfast at Kamat. After the usual Idli/vada/Coffee routine, hit the road again and was at Mysore Ring Road by 8.30 AM. Decided to take the Ring Road, instead of going through Mysore. Bad decision. Took a wrong turn and ended up inside Mysore City anyway.

Managed to get out of Mysore and on the way to Nanjangud pretty soon though. Reached Gudalpet by 10.45 AM. After a coffee break, took the right to Sultan Bathery - Thanks to all the post by TBHPians.

The road was initially good, but got progressively bad. Wife was upset that I was taking her on a holiday to an unknown place which is reached by horrible roads. However, once we entered the forest area a dramatic change - Wife was happy with the nature and the roads were being laid. Crossed into Kerala close to noon and the road condition turned superb.




Checked into the Hotel at 1.00 PM. After a nice lunch of Fish, Chicken, rice and paranthas rested for a while before heading off to Pookote lake. After a 20 minute pedal boat trip around the lake and shopping for local stuff headed back to the hotel. We had booked for an ayurvedic massage at 7.00 PM.



My massage was great, but my wife was not very happy with hers. She felt that the woman who attended to her was not up to the mark. After a couple of glasses of scotch and nice dinner hit the bed. Though it was way too early - 9.45 PM - for me, I was asleep even before my head hit the pillow.

Woke up to birds calling at 6 AM. Plan for the day - another surprise. Had breakfast and checked out by 9 AM. At Sultan Bathery took the road to Ooty. THe roads are decent upto
Gudalur.




From there to Ooty is a nightmare. Nothing worse than having to take hairpin bends at 10 kmph going uphill on a pothole ridden road..

Reached Ooty by 1 PM, but the destination was faraway. After a quick bite, took the road to Kotagiri and from there to Mettupalayam. There was this guy - with family and kids- in a Palio Diesel who pulled up behind me and started honking. Could not understand what he wanted me to do. I guess he was expecting me to drive off the cliff so he can overtake. Anyway, at the first oppurtunity, let him pass, only to find him pulled over for a toilet break 10 kms further. Passed by at then it was action replay. Again let him pass and again found him pulled over- a youg girl in his car was carsick. So, I also pulled over walked up to him and told him that I will wait right there and start after him. The guy went red in the face and said nothing.

Later encountered a small block due to a crash. Waited for 5 mins and the road was half clear when the cops let cars pass by. I happened to pass the Palio there, as the driver was not in the car. Soon enough he again caught up with me, but this time for a change, no honking or no trying to pass. He just kept behind me all the way to Mettupalayam. I felt good that I was able to put some sense into him.

Reached Mettupalayam and headed further to Coimbatore. Was in the outskirts of Coimbatore by 4.30 PM. I was not yet ready to head back into city traffic. So called up Mavrick of TBHP and asked for help with directions. Mavrick put me on to a friend of his, who suggested I should take the Avinashi-Bhavani-Salem Route. No way.

After some local enquiries, decided to head to Sathyamangalam. Reached Sathy by 8.00 PM. Booked ourselves into a lodge there - The A/C Suite was Rs750 per night!!!! - deciding to leave early morning. So much of jungle driving without spotting any wildlife was a let down. So decided to give it another shot.

Left Sathy at 7.00 AM. The drive from there all the way to Chamrajnagar was great. The road did have some bad patches, but good on the whole.



Stopped for breakfast at Bama's in Hasanur. Great place, great food. We really loved it and my wife thought that this was the best meal in the whole trip.




After promising each other that we are coming back to this place, proceeded to Chamrajnagar. Managed to spot only a peacock, but wife was thrilled.



The road from Chamrajnagar to Malavalli was smooth - with a few bad patches, none longer than a couple of kilometers. From Malavalli, decided to take a risk and take the road to Kanakapura (The road less travelled post remembered). Was plesantly surprised to see road work progressing briskly and was on solid smooth roads after 10-15 kms of construction. Should someone want to try this route after a couple of months, it will be a nice alternate to the Mysore road.

After passing narrow roads through Kanakapura (I had to remind myself that I was still on a National Highway), reached home safe and content at 1.30 PM.

All in all, a great trip. Looking forward to going back to Hasanur though..

Cheers,

Rajan
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Old 7th March 2008, 10:01   #2
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Awesome. Sathy - mysore road is a really beautiful stretch. Not sure if its still that way.

Somehow.. I feel very sad abt the eagle.
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Old 7th March 2008, 10:15   #3
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A sorry sight that eagle. But a good travelogue though
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Old 7th March 2008, 10:18   #4
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That was quite a driving holiday - more driving, less holiday which is just the way I like it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
From Malavalli, decided to take a risk and take the road to Kanakapura (The road less travelled post remembered). Was plesantly surprised to see road work progressing briskly and was on solid smooth roads after 10-15 kms of construction. Should someone want to try this route after a couple of months, it will be a nice alternate to the Mysore road.
This is good news, finally!
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Old 7th March 2008, 10:28   #5
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Nice narration and pics.. which camera do you use?
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Old 7th March 2008, 10:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revved_up View Post
Nice narration and pics.. which camera do you use?
Thanks. I use a Canon Rebel xTi (EOS 400D) with either the 18-55 mm lens or the 75-300 mm lens.

Cheers,
Rajan
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Old 7th March 2008, 10:51   #7
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That was quite a nice story and good pics (except 1). Hope your wifey was impressed with your surprise.
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Old 7th March 2008, 11:04   #8
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How did the eagle get stuck there??? How did you manage to take it out??? Was it alive????
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Old 7th March 2008, 11:17   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
That was quite a nice story and good pics (except 1). Hope your wifey was impressed with your surprise.
Yes she was happy. Thanks for asking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swapnil.rahate View Post
How did the eagle get stuck there??? How did you manage to take it out??? Was it alive????
Looks like it was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I just grabbed its wing and legs and pulled it out. Unfotunately no. It was dead. Thanks for asking.

Cheers,
Rajan
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Old 7th March 2008, 11:30   #10
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Real good pictures. I like the summary. Thanks for sharing...
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Old 7th March 2008, 11:41   #11
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Nice travelogue!

Was it tiring for you being the lone driver?
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Old 7th March 2008, 11:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
Nice travelogue!

Was it tiring for you being the lone driver?
Thanks. . I did not find it tiring at all. I find a 30 min drive in city traffic more tiring than a 6 hour drive on ghat roads.

Cheers
Rajan
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Old 7th March 2008, 12:34   #13
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Nice travelogue with pics!! Looks like you and wife had a nice time and sadly her next suprise will come after 4 years only.
never seen an eagle stuck like that, didnt you realize that you have hit something...

Abhi
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Old 7th March 2008, 12:53   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Nice travelogue with pics!! Looks like you and wife had a nice time and sadly her next suprise will come after 4 years only.
never seen an eagle stuck like that, didnt you realize that you have hit something...

Abhi
Thanks.
I saw the Eagle stoop down to the road and heard a noise. So I knew I had hit him. But I did not expect the Eagle to be stuck in the grill.

Cheers,
Rajan
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Old 7th March 2008, 13:20   #15
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Nice travelogue Rajan. However, you should have refrained from posting the eagle picture as its quite a sad sight and took some bite out of the story. Nevertheless, a good narration.
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