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View Poll Results: Would you give a lift to a total stranger in a remote forest area?
Yes ofcourse, I care for people 7 10.14%
No, what if I get murdererd? 55 79.71%
I'll run over anybody who asks for a lift 7 10.14%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22nd February 2010, 10:35   #1
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Default 1550 Kms:Bangalore-Parambikulam-Valparai-Cochin-Ooty-Bangalore in a DZire ZDi

Q: When did PearlJam's chariot learn to rattle?
A: About 6 months after arriving home
Q: Where?
A: In Malakkiparai

Confused? My Dzire was rattle free for the first 5000 odd Kms. Perfect, I thought, Maruti has fixed this well known problem in their newer cars. But I was proved wrong. The rattle appeared at the above mentioned place (not really a rattle, but a small "tock tock" sound from the dashboard whenever I went into a pothole at low speed. Absolutely no problem when going over rough roads, though). Nevertheless, it annoyed me, and this was fixed in the 2nd free service. Maruti seems to know how to fix this blindfolded! Ok, I'm digressing from the topic, back to the travelogue.

Before I proceed, let me give a quick poll. In a remote place, that is not a city but a seemingly laid back village/forest area, would you give a lift to a total stranger?

A glimpse of what's coming:
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Old 22nd February 2010, 12:13   #2
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I would not recommend it, even if the stranger is a hot girl. Actually, I would not recommend it especially if the stranger is a hot girl. You will get murdered.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 13:07   #3
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Looks like the picture is taken in Parambikulam. Isn't that the Thunakadavu dam & backwaters?
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Old 22nd February 2010, 13:22   #4
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I'd probably take the risk only if I'm travelling alone, or with a group of guys. If there are women in my car, then I'd wave down a sorry. I've been asked for lifts on lonely stretches by many strangers whenever I've gone with my wife. I used to think when I say a sorry to them as I pass by, sometime, someday, that can be me standing there.
I incidentally gave lifts to two strangers on my last trip to Udupi.
From Anandapuram to Hosanagara. I was just turning on to SH26 and stopped to ask for directions. The person said that he missed his bus. So I gave him a lift. It was broad daylight around 2 pm.
On the return trip, I gave a lift to a stranger on the outskirts of shimoga on the way to sagara. I was carrying my home theater system in the boot and a lcd tv on the back seat. It was a tea shop where I wanted to pick up tea. Time was around 10 in the night. A stranger asked me in kannada whether I can drop him on the way. His village was around 10 kms from the tea shop, which included a 4 km walk off the road. I dropped him at his designated spot and he thanked me.
It might be considered stupid considering the fact that it's late night and I'm carrying valuable things and I can even get killed. But I believe what goes around comes around.
If women are there in my car, then it's a polite sorry.

Last edited by MX6 : 22nd February 2010 at 13:32. Reason: More info added
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Old 22nd February 2010, 13:31   #5
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Do you have ICE installation? It could be that some loose wires of connected to the HU that is making the rattle. I had a bad rattling sound like this, and found it to be the antenna cable's end lying loose inside the dash.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 18:35   #6
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@smartcat: Good one!
@addyhemmige: Yes, you're spot on.
@MX6: Yes, I believe the same. Usually, nothing happens. It's just that city folks are cynical due to a such happenings almost every day. So it's a vicious cycle of "not helping" and hence "not getting any help". But folks from smaller towns would think "what's the big deal, why are these guys so unhelpful".
@clevermax: No ICE installation, it's an integrated audio.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 20:54   #7
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Default Planning

Planning

Sometime in September, we started planning for a 10 day roadtrip. My wife mentioned Parambikulam (we don't remember the chain of thoughts that resulted in this place cropping up), and a little bit of "go-ogling" impressed me so much, that other destinations now needed to evolve around Parambikulam.

The main advantage (yes, advantage and not problem!) is that it's extremely difficult to book accomodation in Parambikulam. There's only Government accomodation, they have no booking centres anywhere else, and the only way to book is to call up a mobile number (land lines are forever out of order). You then need to scream over the bad static noise, if you get the line in the first place. You then hope that the person at the other end hears your booking dates correctly. A money order then needs to be sent and acknowledgement needs to be received (phew!). This not only ensures that only serious travellers land up here, but also gives a sense of adventure right from the planning stage. I hope it remains this way , unspoilt . Booked 2 nights, including 1 night in a tree house.

After this, decide to go to Cochin, because my parents live there. Google maps indicated that Parambikulam-Cochin was just 112 Kms! Sounded too good to be true, so cross checked with a couple of people. Go-ogle was plain wrong, and the only route was via Valparai-Chalakudy, which made it around 180 Kms. There's no direct route from Parambikulam to Cochin. Came to the conclusion that anybody who stakes his life only on maps is destined to pay heavily for it. Anyway, thanks to rippergeo's post, I was very eager to go explore the Valparai-Chalakudy route to reach Cochin. And I wasn't disappointed at all.

Then decided to head to Ooty, because that's an evergreen favourite of mine, and a nice halfway break. Booked Kings cliff for 3 nights.

To be continued...
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Old 22nd February 2010, 22:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Planning

Sometime in September, we started planning for a 10 day roadtrip. My wife mentioned Parambikulam (we don't remember the chain of thoughts that resulted in this place cropping up), and a little bit of "go-ogling" impressed me so much, that other destinations now needed to evolve around Parambikulam.

The main advantage (yes, advantage and not problem!) is that it's extremely difficult to book accomodation in Parambikulam. There's only Government accomodation, they have no booking centres anywhere else, and the only way to book is to call up a mobile number (land lines are forever out of order). You then need to scream over the bad static noise, if you get the line in the first place. You then hope that the person at the other end hears your booking dates correctly. A money order then needs to be sent and acknowledgement needs to be received (phew!). This not only ensures that only serious travellers land up here, but also gives a sense of adventure right from the planning stage. I hope it remains this way , unspoilt . Booked 2 nights, including 1 night in a tree house.

After this, decide to go to Cochin, because my parents live there. Google maps indicated that Parambikulam-Cochin was just 112 Kms! Sounded too good to be true, so cross checked with a couple of people. Go-ogle was plain wrong, and the only route was via Valparai-Chalakudy, which made it around 180 Kms. There's no direct route from Parambikulam to Cochin. Came to the conclusion that anybody who stakes his life only on maps is destined to pay heavily for it. Anyway, thanks to rippergeo's post, I was very eager to go explore the Valparai-Chalakudy route to reach Cochin. And I wasn't disappointed at all.

Then decided to head to Ooty, because that's an evergreen favourite of mine, and a nice halfway break. Booked Kings cliff for 3 nights.

To be continued...
good start man! . myself has been planning a valparai/parambikulam trip for a looooong time
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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:26   #9
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Friday 27-Nov-2009 - Bangalore - Tirupur - 305Kms

We had to reach Parambikulam by 12PM on Saturday, so that we could make full use of the included itenerary. Bangalore-Parambikulam was around 402 Kms, so it not possible to leave on the Saturday morning. So decided to leave on Friday evening and halt for the night somewhere. A map check showed that Tirupur was just perfect.

Left Bangalore on Friday evening at 4PM. I'd taken phone numbers of a few hotels in Tirupur. Called them up enroute, and found that they were too expensive for just a night halt. So decided to just land up there and decide on a hotel later.

The road till Hosur was the usual mess, and we were starving within 30 mins of leaving Bangalore. The thought of Paper roast at A2B made my mouth
water. Wife thought that we had missed this place and started cribbing, but we hadn't missed it, so soon we were there. Bought some fantastic bitter gourd chips too (I buy them even today from their outlets!), and
then we were off again.


At A2B
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Zooming to Tirupur
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Decided to take the Thoppur-Mettur-Bhavani road as suggested by a colleague. The roads were not too great, and there was heavy truck traffic. It took almost 1.5 hours to complete this stretch.

We needed to take a left turn after Perundurai toll gate. The guy at the gate confirmed that we needed to take a left turn at a dhaba. However, there was no left turn at all other than a dirt road. It was pitch dark with absolutely no lighting. We kept going for almost 2 Kms on the
highway before realising that we should have taken the dirt road - there was no other left turn at all. So made a U turn, and just before the toll plaza, did a U turn again. Took the dirt road, and thankfully the dirt road soon converted to a single lane tar road, but it was pitch dark with no street lighting. Hit a junction where we didn't know which direction to choose. Thankfully there was a lone guy on a motorcycle who said that we had to go "right". Soon we hit the main SH road after a few Kms. Not sure where the SH road connects to the NH, if at all.

The drive from here to Tirupur was uneventful, and we reached the town by 9:30 PM. Kept looking out for a hotel, and spotted "Maniam classic". Parked the car, and went to checkout the rooms. It was pretty decent and
comfortable (A/c Super deluxe room for Rs.1100/-) so decided to take it. Ordered food and drink by room service, and it was excellent. The plan was to leave next morning by 8 AM.

To be continued...
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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:57   #10
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I have seen many car pics on this forum with their registration plate blacked out. PearlJam - why do this?

Don't say safety/security and stuff like that - because you pick up strangers on the road and give them a "lift"!

If we put up our car registration number online, is there a risk of underworld dons calling us up for Hafta?
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Old 23rd February 2010, 13:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I have seen many car pics on this forum with their registration plate blacked out. PearlJam - why do this?
Not sure, I see that everyone does it, so I assume that team-bhp has some guidelines about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Don't say safety/security and stuff like that - because you pick up strangers on the road and give them a "lift"!
How do you know that I "pick up strangers on the road and give them a "lift" ? Did I mention this anywhere?
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Old 23rd February 2010, 13:59   #12
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Hey, Nice Start. Been to Parambikulam 3 years back and stayed at the Guest House for one night. Getting delayed in the forest even after 6pm and scaring all villagers, boy that was one adventure.

Looking forward to more of the Travelogue.
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Old 24th February 2010, 11:47   #13
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Default Saturday 28-Nov-2009 - Tirupur - Parambikulam - 112 Kms

Saturday 28-Nov-2009 - Tirupur - Parambikulam - 112 Kms

Get up by 7AM, and order a room service breakfast of dosa and coffee. It was excellent, just like the previous night dinner.

Pay the bills, and by 9:30AM, we're off to Parambikulam, which is about 112 Kms from Tirupur. The roads are good, and the townscape gradually gives way to nice plantations on both sides. Stop for a quick tea break at a tiny shack (all a part of the travel experience!). Then we're off again.

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Witnessed an accident where a mini truck was going on the right lane, and a TVS moped parallel to it on it's right side. The mini truck took a right turn suddenly, the moped guy braked suddenly, and the result was a bad skid and fall for the moped guy. He was lucky to be alive. The mini truck guy seemed blissfully unaware and continued on his lone journey as though nothing had happened. Both were at fault here, the truck guy for not giving a signal, and the moped guy for going on the
rightmost side without any intention of turning right.

We enter Annamalai sanctuary from the Tamil Nadu side. Though Parambikulam is on the Kerala side, the only entry is from the Tamil Nadu side. At the checkpost, we need to pay a toll, and enter our names and address. There is one more checkpost on the Tamil Nadu side (at Top slip), and one more at the Kerala side border. I think the intention is to keep a track of people who enter the reserve, so that if you don't arrive at the intended checkpost (Top Slip if you booked with Tamilnadu, or Parambikulam if you booked with Kerala), they know that something is wrong. Atleast that's what I heard. Quite noble. Really. (For all you know, it may just be a bureaucratic red tape. If you're lost, they give a damn, and you're sunk anyway. Hmm, I don't want to think about that).

The scenery enroute is really beautiful. We observe thousands of butterflies flying all around, but couldn't really get snaps of them.

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We reach our accommodation by 12:45, and after a quick freshen up, we go to the restaurant. The lunch is simple but quite good, with two non-veg items, and the rest being veg. We're informed that our Kannimara teak, safari, boating, dam visit, tribal dance, and evening safari would commence at 3PM on a minibus. Used that time to explore the place. It was really peaceful and nice.

At sharp 3PM, we leave for the planned activities. Everything was great, except for the tribal dance, which was nothing great. On our return, observed lots of animals, including deer, peacock, bison, elephants, gaur, to name a few. Also witnessed a huge herd of elephants, including baby elephants, and it was a tense situation. The guide in the bus advised to remain dead silent, and not to use any flash, to avoid them charging at us. Unfortunately, couldn't take a photo of this as it was night time.

Reach back at almost 8PM, and then it's dinner time. Food is again simple but good. All in all, a fantastic experience till now.

Next morning we're off to two walking treks.
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Old 24th February 2010, 12:04   #14
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@PearlJam: Nice pics and details. Waiting to hear more.
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Old 24th February 2010, 13:04   #15
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Nice place. Sorry for my ignorance. Never heard about this place. Now I will find more ! Snaps look very good.
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