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Old 29th June 2009, 09:21   #1
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Default Ride from Bangalore to Nagercoil - better late than never

The title works two ways. This ride was actually done on the first week of this month and I am posting it so late. Finally made it from Bangalore to Nagercoil on the bike after these many years of thinking about doing the ride! I'd even mentioned it on my blog all those years ago.

To be frank, me and J wanted to do this ride with some friends (Bluetooth and Horny) from the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club but somehow they all had to drop out due to some personal reasons. I had already applied and got my leaves approved for a week and so was quite disappointed that we did not start off on Saturday 30th May. Then we thought we might start off on Sunday but that also got cancelled. Utterly pissed off, I was getting ready to go to office the next day. But J said that we could still do the ride alone and I thought why not and we actually started packing only on Sunday night. Thanks to Ashok, he'd loaned me his Cramster saddlebags and the Cramster magnetic tank-bag. If you are any tourer, you should get these. Nice stuff and hold quite a bit too. Finished packing at around 23:30 and we were supposed to wake up at around 03:30 next morning and leave the house by 04:00 hrs!

But get up early we did and we actually managed to leave the house by 04:15 in the early morning. Quite chilly and no rain but it was damp and the roads were wet with incessant rain the previous night. Made it past Electronic City Phase II in good time and then had some problems with the huge lorries near Attibele just before Hosur. Roads were quite slick with slush and mud and was constantly on the lookout for these lorries sidelining us into the barricades. Made it through and Tamilnadu invited us soon after. We reached Hosur and went "over" it just after 04:50. Kept pushing and did not actually want to stop for some time but found that the speedometer cable had come loose and stopped at Krishnagiri at around 05:45. Put up my first Twitter post....

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Continued onward and reached Salem at 07:30. Thought that was pretty good speeds - 200 kms in 2 and a half hours. Stopped to fill up on fuel and had a nice breakfast at some hotel just on the outskirts of Salem. The one thing that amuses me is how people discuss "these wierdly dressed bikers" and ask us questions as to where we are from and where we are going.<br /> <br />
Started off again and one good thing about the highways is how you can by-pass all the small towns with some disdain. Though it does make for a more "boring" journey, I would rather sacrifice travelling through towns to make up on time. J actually missed marking the timings on small towns but she did get some good pics on her mobile. The EOS 1000D is not a very small camera to be easily clicking away from the pillion seat!<br /> <br /> <img src=

I was warned by members of Team-BHP that the roads between Dindigul and Madurai weren't great and had quite a bit of traffic on it. Good that it wasn't all that bad except for one place just before Madurai where a mini-lorry nearly swerved into us. But that was the only "incident" in all of this ride.

Entered Madurai before we even knew it and was near Fatima College by 13:00. Though I had lived and studied in Madurai some years back and my sister did her B.Sc from Fatima College, I really don't remember much of the directions around town and had to ask people for directions. Before we knew it, we were caught up in an insane traffic jam in the center of town where a large lorry was trying to bust its way out of a very small street. J calls Madurai "Mad-urai" for the mad sense with which people ride, walk and drive in this city! There are new one way-sections but I rarely saw anyone really follow them. We were getting roasted in the heat and the slow movement of traffic was really making us tired.

I really believe now that this slow movement and the heat was making us more tired than the long ride! 450 kms in 8 hours. Not bad. Lost directions that a helpful member from Team-BHP had given us and finally ended up stopping near the Periyar bus-stand looking for a decent place to stay. Ended up at a clean place - the Taj! Naa, this was just Hotel Taj. But decent looking and a clean loo - most important. Quickly carted up the bags and ordered some food and crashed out. The guy had warned us that the AC would be off from 4-6 since there was a power cut at that time. I remember hogging lunch and lying down. Remember the AC go off and quickly come back on. Got up around 7 to get some dinner. I actually told the guy at the reception that his warning was no good - the power had not gone. He actually laughed and said that it had actually gone off. Damn! So tired...

Damn, it is so nice to talk to people at Madurai. Always helpful, they give you directions without any anger and even advise you the prices of ricks and other transport. And the food is just so good. Got into a small shack to get some awesome tasting Kothu parotta and chicken. Got back into the room to wake J up. And we really did enjoy the food. Lip smacking!

We'd decided to visit the Meenakshi Amman temple in the early morning and start off around 11 from Madurai on the second leg of our journey. Slept quite early since we were still a bit tired.

The next day dawned quite bright, early and noisy - being close to a bus-stand and moreover, life in Madurai starts quite early. Actually think it never goes to sleep. Love the city since you can get food at any time of the day! Started off towards the temple at around 08:00 and decided to have breakfast. Aah, lovely dosais and "real" sambhar with 3 different types of chutney. And very inexpensive. Damn, these are things that I miss in Bangalore.

A cycle-rickshaw puller offered to take us to the temple but J didn't like the idea of having someone else cycle us and we declined. He was quite the talkative fellow and advised us on where we could buy some handloom stuff. He actually even offered to take us for free! Laughingly declining, we reached the area around the temple and man, it does take your breath away to see such amazing architecture. Got some good pics. The rest are on my Flickr page.

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We went inside the temple entering via the south gate and on checking the bag, the security personnel posted at the temple found a switchblade, the Victorinox and a pair of tweezers. After a bit of explaining, they said they would return the "sharp and dangerous" items once we returned. Damn, these terrorists make life miserable for us. But thankfully, they returned all these back to us once we were going out of the temple.<br /> <br />
Visited the temple tank and got a view of the Por-tamarai or Golden Lotus...<br /> <br /> <img src=
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Old 29th June 2009, 10:23   #2
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450KM on a bike in ~12 hours, great ride Naveen,
Congratulations on fulfilling your wish.
nice photograhs, good naration, in all both of you
seems to have enojyed the ride.
how are you planning to return ?
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Old 29th June 2009, 10:29   #3
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Navinroy,

Nice travelogue.
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Old 29th June 2009, 11:32   #4
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Nice travelogue.
It is always fun to ride long distance with your loved one but.....
....man, take care about such long ride.
In that shadow picture, i don't see pillion rider wearing helmet.[ Though there are two helmets in first pic.]

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Old 29th June 2009, 12:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
how are you planning to return ?
Back long back - didn't ride back. Brought the bike back in the parcel service. Rains had started down south at that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
In that shadow picture, i don't see pillion rider wearing helmet.[ Though there are two helmets in first pic.]
Thanks Ashish! But no, we never ride without helmets, jackets and gloves. The angle of the shadow (with my wife turning towards the shadow) makes it look like she is not wearing one. Safety first always!
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Old 29th June 2009, 12:33   #6
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Nice write up mate ! Brings back fond memories of the bike rides I used to do on my trusty RX way back in the late 80's and early 90's !
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Old 29th June 2009, 13:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Back long back - didn't ride back. Brought the bike back in the parcel service. Rains had started down south at that time.
Great ride.. 650 kms on a 2 wheeler with your partner is not child play.. Bike returned in parcel!!! be frank, was it rains or your parents

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Old 29th June 2009, 14:14   #8
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Quote:
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Bike returned in parcel!!! be frank, was it rains or your parents
Haha, consious decision to ride back since the folks would be worried and i also did not want to ride in the rains.
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Old 29th June 2009, 15:23   #9
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Quote:
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Haha, consious decision to ride back since the folks would be worried and i also did not want to ride in the rains.
That is a frank one mate .. Happy motoring and keep writing.
I may drive to Nagercoil sometime later to visit my friend. May trouble you with PM for some additional details; hope you won't mind that.
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Old 1st July 2009, 00:49   #10
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Quote:
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I may drive to Nagercoil sometime later to visit my friend. May trouble you with PM for some additional details; hope you won't mind that.
Sure Bobby....anytime!
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