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Old 11th January 2010, 08:46   #1
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Smile Ride to Gods Own Country

Day 1: 23rd December 2009

I had planned to start the ride by leaving early from office. However, could reach home only by 6:30 pm. Started off the ride at 8 pm towards Salem to halt for the night. Rode till Hosur to stop for refueling, the petrol is about a rupee less in Hosur as compared to Bangalore. After refueling and free from the city traffic, rode on till Krishnagiri. Stopped for dinner after Krishnagiri, had a couple of parotas and little rice.

Continued riding towards Salem only to be stopped by Cops near Dharmapuri. Cops asked for the documents which were produced to them. Seeing everything in the right order, they needed some reason to extract money. They started telling stories that you are not supposed to ride after midnight on the highways. Without questioning them, started asking for details as to when this rule was enforced and any notification they had. Then the head cop jumps in to ask, give some money as “tips”. With no patience of stopping at every police check post handed over a 20 rupee note to them and moved on. Reached Salem at 1.30 am and hit the beds.

Day 2: 24th December 2009

Started off the day at 7 am riding towards Dindigul. Stopped at Namakkal for a yummy breakfast. Rode on till Dindigul to take the deviation towards Periyakulam. Had about 4 tender coconuts and rode till Theni to stop for refueling. Tanked up here itself as I knew not too many good petrol bunks on the route towards Kollam until you reach Kottayam. Stopped at Cumbum for lunch. After a quick lunch rode on till Kumily.

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Booked a lodge there to stay for the day. Rested for a while in the room and then it was time to go for stroll to find out what are the interesting places Kumily. Had dinner and it was time to hit the bed.

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Day 3: 25th December 2009

Being a holiday, there was quite a bit of rush in Thekkady. Since the boat safari is cancelled in Thekkady following a boat accident a month ago, planned for an early morning jeep safari in Thekkady Forest Reserve. However, it was cancelled due to non availability of Jeep, reason being Christmas. Decided to go for the Elephant ride. Was the first customer for the day, had the privilege of watching the domesticated elephants. Those elephants understood the commands from the mohut who was instructing in Malayalam.

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After the elephant ride, headed straight for the breakfast. Went back to the room to ride to the Idukki dam. Idukki dam is the Asia’s largest arch dam and the second largest in the world.

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Did not spend time around Idukki, had a quick return to the lodge in Kumily. Had lunch and rested for a while before we vacated the room at 3 pm and started off our journey towards Kollam via Kottayam. The roads were twisty with loads of traffic due to huge number of visitors to Shabarimala. It took about 3 hours to ride about 100 kms. With a couple of stops for a tea break and then a pee break. Took the deviation towards Tiruvalla and then headed to Kayamkulam via Mavilikkera. Stopped over to have Kerala parotas in Kayamkulam as I was very hungry after the ride in heavy traffic.

Rode off to Kollam to halt at my colleague’s place. As we reached Kollam my friend was already waiting for us. With an entry drink of Sharjah we headed off to his house. Freshened up, had dinner and we were ready to go to the beach. It was already well past 11 pm in the night. Spent about half an hour near the beach and we headed back towards the city center to roam around for another hour before going back home. Had a sound sleep as I was tired.

To be continued

Last edited by nkrishnap : 11th January 2010 at 08:48.
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Old 11th January 2010, 09:31   #2
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Goes on to reinforce what I keep saying - TN has some of the meanest cops in India. I have also had the worst experiences with cops in TN - and Punjab.

Good you could make it to Idukki Dam too.
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Old 11th January 2010, 10:02   #3
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Day 4: 26th December 2009

Started off the day late, with a good breakfast we headed to have a look at the city. We were just roaming around the city and killing some time. But by noon, it was pretty hot and I was sweating pretty badly. Headed back home to find some shelter from the sun. After lunch had a nap for a couple of hours. By 5 in the evening we headed off to the beach again for the sunset. We spent the rest of the day near the beach.


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But before heading back home, we went to the Kollam railway station and spent about half an hour sitting and chatting in the railway station.

With a yummy dinner with Idiyappam, it was time to hit bed again.

Day 5: 27th December 2009

We had planned to ride to Thenmala, an eco tourism place the previous day itself. Thenmala is about 80 kms from Kollam. It took us about a couple of hours to reach Thenmala. We headed to the adventure zone. Spent about an hour there, but there were not too many interesting activities.


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We decided to go to Palaaravi a waterfall which is about 18 kms from Thenmala. This route is very nice for a drive/ride. With the company of greenery on both sides, a railway track running along on one side of the road and stream on the other side of the road. The Palaaravi waterfall is very good. It will be at its best during monsoon. Spent about an hour clicks photos.


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It was time to head back to Kollam. Just about reaching Ponalur, it started raining heavily. The rain brought out big wide grin on my face. Reached outskirts of Kollam, I had to stop over at a hotel for parotas as I was very hungry.

Went back home to rest and pack up all the things as we wanted to leave the next day morning.

To be continued.
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Old 11th January 2010, 11:19   #4
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Day 6: 28th December 2009

Actually wanted to started pretty early in the morning. Started off at 7 am and the highway up to Ernakulam is pretty crowded with loads of vehicles. And to add to the slow pace, there was a traffic jam for about an hour. It was sultry hot and I was sweating very badly. It was hot there.


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Then finally moved on towards Chalakudy, but not before refueling the bike again. We took the route towards Aithrapally Waterfalls. Being a holiday season, the crowd was a little too much. Further rode on towards Valparai and the rounds were twisty in poor condition. To add it started raining pretty heavily. All this contributed to a very slow progress. This route had very sparse traffic or even no traffic sometimes. The forests are thick and evergreen.



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But the roads were very poor. Finally reached Valparai by 5.30 pm. Decided to ride on towards Coimbatore via Pollachi. This route has a fair bit of traffic. The mountains were completely covered in thick mist. The visibility was very poor, hardly a few meters was visible during daylight, it got even worse with the sun going down. The ghat section has 40 hair pin bends and they are pretty steep. But the roads here are in good condition, but speeding is a strict no in this route. Finally the roads opened up nearing Pollachi. The pace also increased and finally reached Coimbatore by 9:30 pm. Took a lodge, had dinner and slept like a log.

Day 7: 29th December 2009

Since I slept well the previous night did not want to start early in the morning knowing that it was 320 kms that I had to cover in the day, it was a leisure ride back. Decided to take the Chamarajanagar route. The roads were good until we reached Chamarajanagar. Then it is pretty poor till Maddur. Finally reached home by 3 pm.

A part of life reclaimed.

Trip Stats


Bike: Apache RTR (Modified 180)

Trip Odo reading - 1906.8 kms
Fuel – 40.8 liters

Route: Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Salem – Namakkal – Karur – Dindigul – Periyakulam – Theni – Cumbum – Kumily – Thekkady – Kumily – Idukki – Kumily – Kottayam – Changanachery – Tiruvalla – Mavilikkera – Kayamkulam – Kollam – Thenmala – Kollam – Kayamkulam – Allappuzha – Cochin – Chalakudy – Aithrapally – Valparai – Pollachi – Coimbatore – Satyamangalam – Chamarajanagar – Kollegal – Maddur - Bangalore
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Old 11th January 2010, 11:27   #5
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fantastic snaps. you did almost 2000kms on bike.man you have lots of courage. good that you are safe and came back in good health as you know it is highway and how vehicles are driven.Personally i liked the snap where the sun rays are falling on the bike's mirror
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Old 11th January 2010, 11:30   #6
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Excellent photos. I totally agree, TN has very mean cops. The fear of harassment lingers every time you get stopped and you just want get away as quickly as possible by paying some money. In your case 20 Rs seems to be very good deal. Generally they never settle for less than 50 Rs.
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Old 11th January 2010, 12:17   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Goes on to reinforce what I keep saying - TN has some of the meanest cops in India. I have also had the worst experiences with cops in TN - and Punjab.

Good you could make it to Idukki Dam too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
Excellent photos. I totally agree, TN has very mean cops. The fear of harassment lingers every time you get stopped and you just want get away as quickly as possible by paying some money. In your case 20 Rs seems to be very good deal. Generally they never settle for less than 50 Rs.
They are definitely very mean and this was not the first time this type of incident that has happened. Previously they had stopped me asking why there is no sticker on the headlight, Weird? I ask how much should I pay, answer Rs. 50/-, the amount paid, all the questions went in thin air.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shishir_bn View Post
fantastic snaps. you did almost 2000kms on bike.man you have lots of courage. good that you are safe and came back in good health as you know it is highway and how vehicles are driven.Personally i liked the snap where the sun rays are falling on the bike's mirror
Thanks mate. The less said the better about the traffic on Kerala highways. Absolutely no respect for other vehicles on the road, be it a 2 wheeler or a 4 wheeler, does not matter. No offenses to anybody just my observation from my many rides on the Kerala roads
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Old 11th January 2010, 12:39   #8
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excellent guys. very good trip.
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Old 11th January 2010, 12:47   #9
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Nice write up and good photographs - and all these driving on a two wheeler -wow!!
But the photograph of Idukki dam is excellent !

Last edited by nairrk : 11th January 2010 at 12:52. Reason: correction
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Old 11th January 2010, 13:20   #10
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thats a great trip on the bike. Someday during this year, we are intending to do a similar ride, except the bikes would be bullets. !
Your pics are good, but a small suggestion that if you do a little bit of post photo processing, your pics can look fantastic
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Old 11th January 2010, 14:05   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3va View Post
thats a great trip on the bike. Someday during this year, we are intending to do a similar ride, except the bikes would be bullets. !
Your pics are good, but a small suggestion that if you do a little bit of post photo processing, your pics can look fantastic
It took a week for me to even watermark the pics. I've shamelessly become very lazy. . But you are very much right on the suggestion to post process the photos. Will take care of it
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