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Old 10th April 2008, 01:02   #1
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Smile A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago

This is a not a travel I have done recently. I was inspired another thread discussing about old family cars in the vintage section. I took about 2 weeks framing this and collecting the images.

We used to regularly travel to Munnar which was quite close to where I studied.
I did my graduation at a sleepy town called Piravom about 30kms away from Cochin. So the only getaways we had were either at the local "Kallushaps" (toddy shops) or to Cochin. Hence Munnar became our favourite destination. This writeup is from one such visit to the Queens of the Hills.

I was just 19 at that time, so dont flame us for riding without Helmets. We were too ignorant or not bothered about safety at that time. I just wanted to ride on.

This particluar trip went like this:
As per information given to family members we were having a joint study plans at our friend's farm. Our exams were around the corner and our parents accepted. We guys moved together as a gang and called ourselves "Team RAMPAGERS". We had custom Tshirts and stickers on our bikes too.

We all headed out to Kothamangalam where we needed to collect a friend. His father was too strict and the joint study didnt go down with him. So he had to escape saying he is going out to visit his aunt.

So we hit the road around 5pm. Wheather wasnt at its best. Was very cloudly at the time we started and the downpour began shortly. All of us got fully drenched.
But we were not going back. Determination and fire of the youth was at its heights. We reached Adimali around 8pm. We all needed to refuel our bikes and stomachs. We were ready in 20 minutes for the ultimate climb. Munnar is 30kms from Adimali. Typical ghat section, with many hairpins. This was going to be one hell of a ride.

Once we started climbing, we realised we were not prepared. The visibility was ultra low. We were confronted with heavy fog and strong drizzle. We were running the RX100s with pathetic 6volt headlights. Luckily mine was retrofitted with gypsy reflectors and high output halogens.
The bullet was having issues with the electricals as such. So I had to lead the way with my indicators flashing. The guys on the bullet suffered a minor fall while overtaking a jeep. Nothing much, so we continued.

Visibility improved a little after a while. That prompted us to open throttle. My 88 RX100 was roaring to go. My bullet friend felt bad that we 3 RX's were enjoying. He gave chase and overtook us. We booed and let him go. After a couple of minutes we saw them parked searching for something in the dark. The bullet's new mega silencer fell off. After a 15 minute search, we found it under a bush, fixed it and continued.

We reached Munnar quite late and searched for a hotel. We landed at the Sree Narayana hotel whose owner was known to my friend's father. We begged the guy not to inform his father. He oblidged and shared a few drinks with us.

This is where we stayed:
A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-8.jpg

We got up early next day, had breakfast with the owner and left for Mattupetti. The drive was around 14kms from Munnar. We visited the indo swiss cattle project and the dam. We had tasty carrots as snacks. On the way back, we visited a tea estate called (if I remember right) Kurukmala. We got some tea which is said to be better than Kanan Devan tea. We also brought pure honey and some local brew from people who looked like tribals.

Few images from Mattupetti:
A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-12.jpg
A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-13.jpg
A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-14.jpg

Once we got back to Munnar, we wanted to go to Rajamala, a sanctuary about 13kms uphill. The climb to Rajamala was very steep. The RX100's performed extremely well, so did the bullet. We switched bikes and I got a chance to ride the bull.
I must say, I was amazed at the bull's handling and I became a believer of the legend. Rajamala is a very protected area. Littering is not allowed and we were watched very closely by the guards. Trekking is not allowed or suggested beyond a certain point.

Rajamala:
A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-11.jpg
A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-16.jpg
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We bribed our way and used our friends contacts to some areas otherwise not open to general public. But we couldnt have much fun as the guard we bribed was following us to ensure our safety. The area was very rocky and he might have been concerned.

On our way back, we visited many tea estates. Munnar hills is full of them. We reached the hotel and it was packup time. We thanked the owner for his hospitality and urged him to keep his promise.

A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-9.jpg
A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-10.jpg

This where the Bullet guys fell on the way to Munnar, see the marks
A very Nostalgic Travelogue - 10 years ago-15.jpg

We left by 3pm so that we could reach our homes before dark. Luckily for us, mother nature was kind to us. We had a enjoyable trip downhill stopping a few times for tea and of course nature calls. Kindly excuse for the poor quality of the images. There was no digital cams in India at that times. I think the shots were taken on my autofocus Yashica.

Last edited by mail4ajo : 10th April 2008 at 01:06.
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Old 10th April 2008, 01:36   #2
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Memories!. Nice pics. Thanx for sharing them.
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Old 10th April 2008, 01:56   #3
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naishhhhh

very very intersting. inspired me to dust up some of my pics from that era too. thanks
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Old 10th April 2008, 11:57   #4
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Good one dude. Great pics. ust be missing all those times na?
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Old 10th April 2008, 13:21   #5
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Nostalgic travelogue indeed mail4ajo, it reminded me of my great school / college days.

Abhi
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Old 11th April 2008, 02:54   #6
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Adi poli!!
Nice to recollect the good old days,times spent with friends & a whole lot of fun stuff done in the carefree days of college.
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:55   #7
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Yes, That was a adipoli kalam. School and college days are the times that will never return. You are so free at heart and mind, no pressure from family, society and work.

I have got so much satisfaction after I wrote this. Since this is on Tbhp, it shall remain.
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Old 11th April 2008, 19:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
Yes, That was a adipoli kalam. School and college days are the times that will never return. You are so free at heart and mind, no pressure from family, society and work.

I have got so much satisfaction after I wrote this. Since this is on Tbhp, it shall remain.
Great write up Ajo,10 years back i was studying in Mar Athnasius college in kothamangalam,and used to frequent munnar.That hotel i used to stay as he is a family friend.Really Nostalgic.And then i was riding a Suzuki-shogun
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Old 11th April 2008, 20:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shebin View Post
Great write up Ajo,10 years back i was studying in Mar Athnasius college in kothamangalam,and used to frequent munnar.That hotel i used to stay as he is a family friend.Really Nostalgic.And then i was riding a Suzuki-shogun
Were you into rallying? We may have crossed paths. I used to frequent the foot holds of MA college and Jawahar thearte. and ofcourse the bars...

There was a mechanic called Unni (not sure) where we used to tune our bikes. On the way to thundam.
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Old 11th April 2008, 21:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
Yes, That was a adipoli kalam. School and college days are the times that will never return. You are so free at heart and mind, no pressure from family, society and work.

I have got so much satisfaction after I wrote this. Since this is on Tbhp, it shall remain.
So true. The only tension used to be getting through the exams & completing 1 more year in school/college. Its amazing how much our lives change after we start working & get married. Almost feels like there's not much time available to do the fun things.

I guess thats one reason why a lot of people in their 50s-60s go back to school to get a Bachelors degree,in the US. I've had a 61-year old lady as a student,and she told me just that. She wanted to get back to the days of being in a college,and feeling fairly young at heart.
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Old 11th April 2008, 22:23   #11
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I've had a 61-year old lady as a student,and she told me just that. She wanted to get back to the days of being in a college,and feeling fairly young at heart.
So you teach at an University? Which one?
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Old 11th April 2008, 22:44   #12
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Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
As per information given to family members we were having a joint study plans at our friend's farm. Our exams were around the corner
So How did the Exams go?! I beleive it must have been super, after your sincere joint study session.
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Old 11th April 2008, 22:47   #13
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Smile Hey! Ajo This is an amazing travelogue. Are you still in touch with these guys?

I guess if you are, then you can plan out a comeback tour.
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Old 11th April 2008, 23:30   #14
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So you teach at an University? Which one?
Illya maashe! I used to teach as a Masters student in Ohio. I had to teach a course to the undergrads in the Univ. I work for a biopharmaceutical firm in Houston.
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Old 11th April 2008, 23:39   #15
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Nostalgic travelogue. Great write up.

Those were the days!!
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