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Thread: The Southern Sojourn - 5 Days 3 States 3 Riders 2 Wheels 1 Ride to Remember!

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    Rusted Ananth's Avatar
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    Exclamation The Southern Sojourn - 5 Days 3 States 3 Riders 2 Wheels 1 Ride to Remember!


    The Southern Sojourn - 5 Days 3 States 3 Riders 2 Wheels 1 Ride to Remember!

    Places Visited: Bangalore, Mysore, Coorg, Nagarhole, Wayanad & Mudhumalai.

    Dates: 1st January 2010 to 5th January 2010

    Total Kilometers: 1700

    Riders:

    Ananth on a Hero-Honda Karizma ZMR.


    Steve on a Hero-Honda Karizma R.



    Yuv on a Bajaj Pulsar 220 Fi


    Prelude:

    It all started in the last few weeks of December 2009, that we wanted to have a getaway, somewhere that would not only make us forget the usual hectic work life,
    but also to have time for ourself and believe in the inner-self. So, The leaves were all approved, and we were just waiting for the days to pass by.

    We chose to ride to Coorg, a hill station in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka and then proceed down south to Wayanad and Mudhumalai in Kerala & Tamil Nadu.
    We had 5 full days in hand, so we wanted to ride some where, rest, enjoy and then come back refreshing.
    We did not want to conquer anything; Just wanted to be part of nature for some days.. and so the Sojourn begins..

    The route map for the entire trip: Click the image's to view in full-size

    Day 1: 1st January 2010 : An escape to the hills

    It was dark, It was cold and I could hardly see a thing in front of me. I cleaned up the Visor and had a hot cup of tea waiting for Steve to call me. The needle went past 3 AM, Steve called up saying he is out of his office and will meet me at my work place in 10 minutes.
    I quickly washed up my face and collected all the print outs of places to see / route maps and some emergency numbers. Called up Yuv and said we will meet him near his home by 15 minutes. I logged off the system, bidding New year wishes to the colleagues and went out to meet Steve.


    It was 3:30 AM when we started from my office, It was pitch dark - felt really cold and the mist really blinded the helmet visors often. 10 Kilometers passed by, We hit the highway and It was the first time my brand new Karizma ZMR is having its first chance to open up. I was resisting the temptation to rev the bike hard, just maintaining it around the 80's. Soon, we met up with Yuv on his Pulsar 220. He had installed a Osram Night Breaker bulbs for better illumination at night. So Yuv was to lead the ride and we followed him. We maintained a safer distance behind each other so that even in case of a sudden movement, other riders will have enough time to react and ride through.

    The Bike had set in nicely by then, I just started to open up - It was comfortable to do speeds upto 90 Kmph. We did not want to open the throttle and ride away, Instead we rode at a sedate speed - enjoying the music on the air and the comfort within it. Our first stop was at 120 Kilometers away, somewhere near Vellore for a cup of coffee. The villagers stared us for looking like aliens, with all the riding gear and the bikes coming up at 5 in the morning.


    We refreshed ourselves, and the sun was about to rise - we started to run through the kilometers. Wide open roads, Minimal traffic and a wonderful time to ride. We kept riding, without even having a slight thought of resting / taking a break. The climate gave us the warmth to ride for long without tiring and so we carried on.

    We wanted to tank up before crossing over to Karnataka, so stopped by Hosur for fueling up. 300 Kilometers on the trip and i was happy with the fuel efficiency from the new bike. Almost all of us received around 36 kmpl. Called up John from Bangalore xBhp to meet us around 10 AM. The traffic started to increase as the peak hour came by, navigating from hosur to Bangalore was also a difficult task. Soon we entered Electronic City, The outskirts of Bangalore. Steve called up his friend to meet us near Silk Board, the starting point of Bangalore to get a 55-250mm IS lens for the trip.

    Almost 99% of the road work was finished on this stretch and we breezed past the traffic. Around 10 30 AM, we reached SilkBoard, Steve went ahead and got the lens from his friend and we carried on to meet John and Tejesh for Breakfast at Woody's.


    My new bike just completed 500 Kilometers, it was time for the first service. John was kind enough to assist me to the nearest Hero-Honda Showroom, meanwhile others waited patiently near Nice Road - the faster way to reach Mysore road. The service manager was kind enough there treating the bike with priority, doing a fair job on the first service. The Engine oil was changed, breaks tightened & the chain tension was also adjusted. It took almost 1 hour for all this. We then headed back to meet up with others waiting at NICE Road.



    We then headed to NICE Road for a photo shoot. John was our usual Poser Boy and we tried to imitate him. It went off well and by around 1 30 PM we started off towards Coorg.




    The sun was beating down, and we were exhausted after the stint in Nice Road. The Mysore Road was filled with traffic, we were trying out best to evade through them and once we crossed the city limits, it was all free. We reached Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary around 5 PM., stopped for a break near some Tipu Sulthan's fort. We had taken a wrong route and landed up in a dead-end. We were in a dilemma if we could really make it up for Coorg before it becomes too late. Taking the plunge, we headed towards the Hunsur Road / State Highway 88.


    It was getting dark, and we relied on our Mr.Night Breaker - Yuv to lead us. The road was really good. Literally minimum traffic and so we pushed up a little maintaining higher, yet safer speeds. We did not want to stop unnecessarily and so did not waste time for normal photo-sessions & stopped by around 6 PM for a butt break.


    We were about 30 kilometers short of Bylakuppae - A tibetian settlement near coorg. We decided to stay at Kushal Nagar, which i considered a bigger town near Coorg. We headed towards Bylakuppae to visit the Tibetian Monastry, A place where about 1000 Tibetian Monks live. It was again pitch dark and the roads towards Bylakuppae wasn't all that good. We some how managed to evade through the various turns within the village and reached the Monastry.








    We were literally, Dead-Tired after visiting the Monastery and we couldn't ride anymore. Found ourselves a cheap lodge near the Monastery itself. Paid Rs.350 for a large, clean room maintained by one of the monks. We parked the bike's outside, dumped the bags in the room and had our dinner in a restaurant nearby. Ate till our stomach was full and we went back to our room and crashed. End of an eventful day, met new people - experienced new riding conditions and above all this - It was the first time i rode the ZMR for a very long time.

    Route Map: Day 1


    Total Kilometers: 580

    Road Conditions:

    Chennai to Bangalore: 360 Kilometers - NH4 / NH46 - Excellent 4 lane roads. Minimum traffic, Doable in 5-6 hours. Do watch out for the odd bullock carts coming the wrong way / people jaywalking across the highway whenever you cross any village.

    Bangalore to Mysore: 120 Kilometers - SH17 - Again excellent 4 lane roads - Traffic is much more than the NH46, Please do watch out for the speeding cars / speed breakers at every other village on the state highway.

    Mysore - Bylakuppae: 120 Kilometers - SH88 / Hunsur Road - Wonderful, Scenic 2 Lane roads, Minimal traffic - Pleasurable ride till Kushal Nagar. Bad roads after that.

    Places to Eat / Fuel up:

    Plenty on the highways. Many dhabha's & restaurants found on both side of the highway. Indian Oil / Bharat Petroleum gas stations are aplenty. Look out for company owned petrol pumps for better quality. Advice those who are moving into Karnataka to tank up in Tamil Nadu: Krishnagiri / Hosur as petrol is cheaper in Tamil Nadu than Karnataka.

    List of ATM's:

    The list of ATM's in Coorg District can be found from here:

    ATM | Bank Locations in Kodagu District | Karnataka

    Day 2: 2nd January 2010 - A Ride into the forest

    We woke up for the long distant prayers from the monastery. I was just about 6 AM, and the sun had risen up already. Refreshed ourselves and started off towards Madikeri. The weather was pleasant as usual, a bit cold for me as i had always been in the Hot Chennai climate. We soon stopped by for a cup of warm Coorg Coffee. It was indeed refreshing.



    Once again, we hit the State Highway 88, Which became one of the favorite roads in the entire trip. We took a left turn at Kushal Nagar, and headed to Dubare, A Elephant training camp. We had to take a boat ride to cross the cauvery river and see the elephants tied up on the other end. We can pay to feed the elephants, bath them up or even take a joy ride across for some time. We just saw them, couldn't waste time and money for bathing them in the river.










    It was already 9 AM and we wanted to cover few parts of Coorg and reach Wayanad for the night. Wayanad was just about 120 kilometers from Coorg and so we thought it should be easier to reach before dusk. About 09 30 AM, we reached Raja Seat, which is a small pavilion with a garden surrounding it; offering a view of the green valley below.



    We headed to Abbey Falls from there. The waterfall is located between coffee plantations with coffee bushes and spice estates with dense bushes and green trees where the Kaveri river cascades down a rock-face. The water from the falls cascades over rocks into calm pools. The roar of the falls can be heard from the road. A hanging bridge has been built across the gorge here offering a good view of the falls.





    From the falls, we headed back towards Wayanad, with Nagarhole our next place to be visited. With so many people giving us various routes to Nagarhole, we were lost. We at once were headed about 35 kilometers away from Gonigoppa, where we should have taken a right. All said and done, we some home found a way towards the Nagarhole National Park. Just as we were about to enter, The Security at the check post said that Bikes are no more allowed inside the forest, and we need to get hold of a Jeep / Car to gain entry into it.




    So, I headed back to the nearest town in searching for a Jeep. Luckily we found one, but it didn't have any gas to run up. So another 5 kilometers into some town, we got enough diesel for the jeep to run. We started into the forest, was something similar to a jeep safari. Could spot Deers all along the way on both sides. We reached at the National park office by 5:05 PM and the last jeep into the forest had already gone. With nothing else to do, we had to go back to the forest check post and take our bikes. But none the less, we slowly went back to the check post, thinking if we could spot any wildlife. Wow. Our wishes came alive. There was a Leopard, just about 200 meters away from the road. Steve jumped away from the Jeep trying to capture it and Yuv shouting saying come back in you idiot!









    We came back to the Forest check post, some 30 kilometers from the National Park Office, Packed our bags and took a deep breath. It was already 7 PM. In no way we could ride down to Wayanad and Yuv was running short of gas already. So again, we had to ride to the nearest town, i.e Gonigoppa to get the Petrol required for travelling further. It was a question all of a sudden if Yuv's Bike will make it to Gonigoppa, Finally it did. It was about 8 PM when we tanked up, with no energy to move on, we found a decent hotel just opposite to the Petrol Pump and booked it for the night. Paid 400 for a room with 2 beds, quickly dumped the bags and finished the meal. An interesting day, we rode just 200 kilometers, yet we were tired. Steve was out of bounds seeing the Leopard. We crashed with all these memories awaiting the next day to be a better one in Wayanad.

    Route Map : Day 2



    Total Kilometers: 200

    Road Conditions: Moderate. We traversed through State Highway: 27 / 90. Decent 2 lane roads, with the odd potholes. Request not to speed away on these roads, as its not so safe. Roads from Gonigoppa to nagarhole is poor. May even say its just off roading most of the times. Going slow is the only way out, unless you are a dirt racer with better set of tyre's.

    Places to Eat / Fuel up: Not many like the other highways. Small hotels are available in every other village, Difficult to find a posh / luxury hotel. Few resorts are available en route for stay, but for food / restaurant - we chose to eat in the road side hotels, providing us the taste and not burdening the pocket too. For fueling up, again not much options on the way, You can tank up at Madikeri (Coorg) - Three petrol pumps are available near Raja Seat itself. There are a few in the villages, which sell petrol / diesel in cans. No major petrol pump other than Madiker / Murnad / Virajpet / Gonigoppa.

    List of ATM's:

    The list of ATM's in Coorg District can be found from here:

    ATM | Bank Locations in Kodagu District | Karnataka


    Day 3: 3rd January 2010 : Riding to the God's Own Country

    You always wished to have a sound and peaceful sleep after a tiring day, But you don't get it all the time. Sharing a cramped 2 bed cot with 2 fat brothers will just wont get you that. We woke up around 5 30 AM and there was still so much fog. Visibility was poor and it was cold. Quickly vacated the room, Yuv went on to spray the chain, clearing the dust and sand. Bought some snacks from a near by tea-shop and cleared the route and distance details. We started around 6 AM from Gonigoppa, towards Wayanad which we thought was a easy task.


    We were proved wrong. The State Highway 89, was poor. Road had so much potholes and it was a small single lane road. More than the visibility, The rash Jeep coming in the opposite side was a mess. We opened up the visors and moved on with great difficulty. There were lots of turns & diversions, few we managed with the signboards and for a few we took it the way it came. We were riding on a road that borders Nagarhole National Park. Saw a few wild dogs cross by, and while crossing few villages stray dogs too chased us out.

    The roads were too worse after crossing Kutta and we could maintain only speeds upto 20 kmph. Not only we could move on to the next gear, the condition of the roads deteriorated at every kilometer. And once we crossed the Kerala Border, especially on the Kartikulam Tholpetty Road it was a total mess. No roads, just the stones lying on the road. So it was like choosing the road to avoid potholes to riding in potholes searching for the road. After 2 hours of riding, we finally managed to enter Kerala, Tholpetty to be precise. We wanted to do a Jeep safari atleast in this sanctuary, but god forbid us. It had rained the last few days and so safari was cancelled for that week.


    After a few kilometers, the roads improved, yet it wasn't super smooth - Just good enough scenic roads along side the forest. We spotted a few deers and a Wild Pig. Steve fascinated on seeing a tiger at least before concluding the trip. About 7 Am we reached Kattikulam, The first town we spotted in Kerala. Stopped by for a fresh and hot tea. Enquired the route and distance to various locations in wayanad and we moved ahead by 7 30 AM.




    We headed towards Kuruva Island from there, which is an uninhabited series of islands on the tributaries of river Kabini. Upon reaching the thalasery - bhaveli road, we had to take a right turn to reach the island. It was a very small road, it was literally off-roading. We have to ride about 5 kilometers of this to reach the islands. Steve and Me went a head and Yuv was tailing us. Suddenly, Steve and myself spot a Tusker forcing itself into the road, breaking the huge Bamboo trees. We we shocked. There is just one way forward and not much space to even take a U-Turn. Yuv was not seen and he had stopped for a picture somewhere. The Elephant was marching before and Yuv was ripping his Pulsar, with the engine grunting for breath. We signaled him to switch off but he found it amusing. Little did he know that a huge tusker was going ahead. He finally, reached in front of us to see the party himself & later killed the engine off. 10 minutes later we patiently waited for the Elephant to move back to the forest and it was just hiding besides the road. We were happy and quickly rushed off ahead. The Tusker wit fully had a strange look at us and let us go.




    We finally reached Kuruva Island, Just to be heard that the boat ride across to the islands will only be started after 10 AM. It was still more than 90 minutes to go and we did not want to waste so much time there. We still spent close to a hour refreshing ourself, having breakfast and clearing up our stomachs




    We headed off towards Banasurasagar Dam, One of the Largest Earth Dam in India / Asia. We reached Mananthavady, and steve wanted to rest some where as he had some severe pain in his teeth. We stopped by a Uduppi restaurant and had our breakfast (AGAIN! ) Later, we stepped out for medicines and finally got hold of some pain killers. It was already around 11 AM when we started off from there, asking for directions towards banasura. The roads good enough, but with some traffic. It was scenic all around and we all agreed why Kerala is such a wonderful place to live upon. Its really the God's Own Country. We stumbled upon a place to relax, somewhere near a small river, some tributary of river kabini and lazed around with some photo's and relaxed.



    From there, We crossed Naalaam Mile, to join the State Highway 54. It was Scenic, It was pleasant and we enjoyed riding in Kerala. The relaxed break along the river gave us enough boost to carry on the ride. At the Padijarethara Junction, we were diverted towards the Banasura Sagar Dam. We were the only tourist, who had come on Bikes. We were even given a free parking there Some locals were making fun, passing comments asking us to wheelie in front of them. We ignored them are carried on. Only Govt run Jeep is allowed inside the dam, and so we paid for it and entered into a jeep. it was just about 5 minute drive inside and we reached the dam in no time.





    The Sun was beating down and it was about 1 30 PM when we started from there. We did not get to go on a boat ride as it was booked till evening, so we carried on to Chembra Peak. The peak is the highest peak in Wayanad, giving a view of the whole of wayanad from its top. From Banasura, We carried on in State Highway 54 towards Chundale and Chembra near Meppadi. We can ride about till 300 meters from the View Point, and we need to get a special pass from the Forest Office located about 5 kilometers before the View Point. The roads are OK, but be extra cautious of the Speeding jeep coming opposite your way. The view gives a fair glance of all the greenery around. Its so green all way round and its really refreshing.





    We started out descent by around 5 PM, and we were as usual a bit tired. Steve wanted to halt up near Sultan Bathery so that it would be easier enough to go to Muthanga National Park the next day. So carried on towards the National Highway 212. After a long time we saw some neat roads, though the traffic was a little high, we opened the throttle a bit. In fact we had not reached the 5th gear for a long time now. Soon, we saw a diversion stating Karapuzha Dam - 7 Kilometers. I took the plunge and asked Steve if he is game. He nodded, so another place to be see in the trip. The village roads were decent enough, but with a lot of traffic. We reahed just in time for sunset. We sat around the lake, speaking about all we could. Life was a Bliss.




    We started from there around 7 PM, towards Sultan Bathery, our final destination for the day. Carrying on towards the National Highway 212, just after some 30 kilometers, we stopped by Hotel Venus, which looked flashing from outside. Amazed by the parking lot and security there, we stepped to in to see that it was some ordinary lodge. We weren't taken aback, but happy that we found a cheap room. Paid 300 bucks for the 3 bed cot. Dumped the bags and went out for dinner. Steve went the other side for a bakery while me & Yuv settled for a small road side shop. It was cheap, yet had wonderful taste and we were contended. We crashed about 10 PM awaiting a beautiful day at the forest.

    Route Map: Day 3


    Total Kilometers: 150

    Road Conditions: Moderate. State Highway- 89 & Kartikulam Tholpetty Road is in a poor state.. hardly any road, just potholes all the way. The National Highway 212 is Good,but for the Heavy Traffic. State Highway 54 is Good, has some odd Potholes but is very much Scenic.

    Places to Eat / Fuel up: Many on the way. Every village has options to eat / tank up. But tank up before entering any forest road, do not wait for reserve in roads like: Ponampet to Kutta / Tholpetty.

    List of ATM's:

    The list of ATM's in Wayanad District can be found from here:

    ATM | Bank Locations in Wayanad District | Kerala

    Day 4: 4th January 2010 : A day of Jeep Safari's!

    After a long time, i had a nice and peaceful sleep., that too with not so wonderful interiors of the room. We woke up at 5 AM, got refreshed and started to Muthanga, A Wildlife Sanctury some 30 kilometers from our Hotel. As again it was pitch dark, roads fully covered with fog and Steve explained the possible attack of Elephants on crossing over the forest roads Yuv was perplexed, with so much fear, started to tail us and Steve was leading us as he knew the route clearly. We reached about 5 45 AM and there was hardly any soul around. Checked with the check post guards and they said it starts only by 7 AM. Steve started gossiping with the guards while Me & Yuv went out for a cup of Tea.


    People started grouping in around 6 30 and all off a sudden the place was full of tourists. We wanted the first drive into the forest and Steve made sure we got the first tickets. Exactly at 7 AM we ventured into the forest. It was cold, covered with fog and we couldn't spot much animals anyway. Few minutes on, we started seeing Deers, Peacocks, foot prints of a Tiger! Wild Pig, and finally a Elephant. The jeep trails weren't that good and the poor old jeep struggled hard many a times to climb the road. Suddenly we spot a Huge Tusker, on to the left scratching through the trees. Yuv was out of bounds again, asking the driver to reverse, and Steve was happy he spot a tiger. The poor driver though confessed that the jeep could not withstand if the Elephant charges on us. Thankfully it just alarmed us trumpeting something and we rushed ahead. Yuv was happy that we made it out alive







    After a good two hour safari in the forest, we were back to civilization. We headed back to our hotel room, refreshed and started towards Bandipur our next Safari destination. We planned to stay either in Bandipur for the night or proceed to Mudhumalai. We casually started by around 11 AM towards Bandipur, which is not so far away from Wayanad. The road was wonderful, neat - with not much traffic. Once we entered the forest road, it was a totally different experience. Deers running around both the sides, we rode as though we were in a different world. The forest roads suddenly paved way to village roads and we could spot a lot of cattle's and bullock-carts on the way. We couldn't maintain faster speeds on these roads, as there were a lot of speed breakers on the road. It wasn't any road hump, but for the villagers, spreading out thing on the middle of the road. Soon, We reached Gundulpet, alas the second state for the day and roads became narrow. Road work is going on, and it was just a single lane that both side of the vehicles should share. We carried on and saw a diversion to the right stating " Himavad GopalaSwamy Betta". Little did we know that it was the G S Betta, that we have seen more often in Bangalore xBhp threads. The Hills was a bit steep. offering a good view of the surrounding forests. We were charged 25Rs. per Bike and the road to the top wasn't in a good condition, but was manageable. We saw a group of elephants, near the hills - stopped by for some pictures and we carried on. Soon, we reached the top - There was the famous, Gopala Swamy Temple. We weren't interested to trek nor to go inside the temple. We came back down the hill and sat down seeing the elephants laze around the hills. Around 2 PM we started our way back to Bandipur.








    After a few kilometers, the forest roads turned up on the other side of Bandipur and we awaited our next safari for the day.We took a lot of breaks, enjoying the ride along side the forest. Reached Bandipur around 3 PM, only to know that the Rooms were already booked. And the next safari into the forest was only by 4PM and we could only buy tickets after 4 PM. There weren't any good hotels near by, so we carried on to Mudhumalai - The other end of the forest covered in the state of Tamil Nadu. We stopped by the Mudhumalai National Park office and enquired about availability of any govt hotel. Thankfully a 4 bed cottage was available at a price of 250Rs. a night. We immediately booked it and went a head.








    We settled up in the cottage around 4 PM, and we just realized that we had skipped our lunch. There wast just a hotel in the whole area and even that did not have any thing to offer us. We exchanged bikes for a change and went on to Masinagudi, which lies about 10 kilometers away from Mudhumalai for Lunch. I rode the pulsar and Yuv rode my Karizma. He liked the comfort / relaxed seat position & the engine. I liked the aggressiveness on the Pulsar. But Handling was a Big NO-NO on the pulsar, i nearly escaped a hit with a on-coming truck as he did not gave much space for me to move on. rather, I could not control the bike in the little space i had. Stopped by a restaturant, had some light snacks and it was already time to come back. We reached back to the room at 4 45 PM, got the camera's and rushed to the Mudhumalai National Park Office. The Van safari started at 5 PM and it had a maddening crowd. A couple of families together, sat around us shouting and laughing out loud and we hated it right from the beginning. A couple of kilometers passed and the van entered the forest, they shouted at every animal we saw and it ran away. I shouted at anger asking them to Shut up. Few more joined. Later we saw Deers, Bisons, Elephants & Baboons. Almost no one was happy with the trip, and no one really enjoyed it.






    We were dropped off near the National Park's office and were too tired for anything. Sat by the Forest Guards Canteen for a Coffee and was chit chatting with the Tourist Operators. Me & Yuv didn't show much interest, But for Steve who went on asking almost every other Jeep drivers / Naturalists as they call it themselves: "Have You seen a Tiger? How many times?" I Shot a Leopard in Nagarhole!!" We were tired of it, and Yuv even got off a sorry face admitting the same to Steve A hour later we went back to the Room and Steve had booked a Night safari along side the forest roads of Sigur and Singara. We refused, but Steve was too much interested in doing it and we could not say No. It started by around 9 30 PM and it went on till about 11 PM. The safari went on un-interesting for a while, and all off a sudden we spotted a TIGER! It had huge RED eyes, a huge face and it moved off the bushes slowly. We could only sense the face and it was just for a few seconds and it was gone. Other than that, we had some illutions of seeing Elephants or Deers, but we really saw anything else. Though we spotted Rabbits and Cats and some stray dogs


    Reached back to the room about 11 PM and we were exhausted. With more than 600 Kilometers to ride the next day, we had a very short night to pass on. Yet, An interesting day in the offering and we made full use of it.

    Route Map: Day 4


    Total Kilometers: 150

    Road Conditions:

    90% of the roads are beautiful. Mostly forest roads, minimum traffic and scenic to ride on. The National Highway 212 (Bangalore - Calicut Highway) traverses through the dense Bandipur forest. Chances of spotting wild animals are very high, and so maintain slower speeds.

    The National Highway 67, which connects Gundulpet & Bandipur is not in a very good shape. Road work is going on, with just a lane of fresh tarmac left. Once we enter Bandipur National Park, its a different feel altogether. Neat & Wide forest roads, pleasant to ride from there on.

    Places to Eat / Fuel up:

    Many restaurants are found on both side of the highways. Gas stations too are available in abundance. As again, tank up in Kerala as its cheaper than Karnataka. Petrol in Mudhumalai is priced equal to that of Karnataka, at 50Rs. to a liter of Petrol. There is just ONE restaurant available in the whole of Mudhumalai National Park area, you need to goto Masinagudi about 10 kilometers away for better restaurants.

    List of ATM's:

    The list of ATM's around Nilgiris can be found from here:

    ATM | Bank Locations in Nilgiris District | Tamil Nadu

    Day 5: 5th January 2010 : Ride Back Home!

    It was too dizzy by the time the alarm rang up. Steve struggled hard to get up and some how switched off the alarm. It was just 6 AM and asked Steve to wake us up after a hour or so. We were exhausted in the night safari and I'm already down with a fever & bad throat. Yuv and Steve too caught up with cold. I could not up, was lying low on the bed and the time was running fast. Finally woke up by around 8 AM and refreshed. Meanwhile, Yuv & Steve got ready and packed things up. At 8 30 AM, we started our journey back home.

    It was tough, challenging to have ridden across different roads, routes and climatic conditions and it really took a toll on our bodies. With more than 600 kilometers to go, it was a daunting task ahead. Getting there soon was not out priority, but reaching there SAFE was. We decided to have our breakfast at Gundulpet, about 50 kilometers away from Mudhumalai. We once again crossed the roads we had come across the earlier day, The forest roads undoubtedly refreshed us up. There were deers running on both side of the Bandipur stretch giving us absolute pleasure to ride on. We did not speed, we maintained speeds as low as 20 kmph and was more keen on riding along the deers which speed away on seeing us! It was one of the pleasurable moments of the trip.





    We stopped by a Restaurant, in Gundulpet around 10 30 AM. I could not eat much as i was very much feeling feverish. Yuv & Steve found the food to be nice and they ate till their Stomach was full! We started from there around 11 30 AM, towards Mysore on the National Highway 212. We started to open up the throttle maintaining some good speeds on the highway.


    We planned to meet up again at Mysore, if any one gets lost on the way and within a few kilometers, we lost track of each other. There was more traffic from there on and we did not stop for others to come by, instead we did not want to waste time waiting up and so we proceeded to meet up near Mysore. 30 kilometers passed by and I was pulled up by a group of cops, Yuv had followed me and even he was pulled aside., Steve though had carried on a little further. The cops just verified the documents, enquired where we were headed to. They just left us after verifying the documents and blessed us to have a safe journey ahead!

    We took the ring road from there on, Steve & Yuv zoomed ahead and i was stuck back in the traffic lights. We rejoined a little further and stopped for some tender coconut. It was at the middle of the day, hot & humid conditions and we were fast getting dehydrated. We rested for another 15 minutes and then proceeded towards Bangalore. We also filled in some much needed petrol nearby and carried on. Soon, we hit the Mysore - Bangalore Highway and it was a breeze from there on. 4 lane roads for the next 450 kilometers and we knew we can make it home, sooner and safer.

    So around 2 PM, we exited Mysore and were cruising on the Bangalore Highway (SH17). Traffic was moderate and we were happily zipping past the slow moving traffic. And all of a sudden, I realized that i was back to normalcy. No fever, No cold, but had a horrible throat. We moved on, Steve had a horrible time breaking in time for the Speed Breakers at every other village en route, Yuv on the other hand just was running over the speed breakers as his Disk breaks developed some issues. The breaking on the ZMR though was top-notch and i could break on time!

    A hour or so passed and we were already hungry. We were to stop by Maddur for some Maddur Vada's but Yuv wanted to stop by somewhere else for Lunch. We stopped by McDonald's, 10 kilometers away for Lunch. It really served us some nice dishes. We spent more than a hour there for Lunch and we relaxed ourself for an extensive night ride was at the offering.




    Steve then called up his friend at Bangalore to confirm that we will meet him near his house around 4 30 PM. We carried on towards Bangalore, and the traffic getting more dense. We reached Kengeri, on the outskirts of Bangalore by 4 PM and somehow missed to take the NICE Road which directly connects us to the other end of the city. We had to traverse through the city traffic and after some 30 minutes, we reached Silk Board. Steve then handed over the 55-250 IS Lens to his friend, which had immensely helped us in the trip.


    We carried on from Bangalore by 4 45 PM, and thankfully there wasn't much traffic in the Hosur Road. It took up 45 minutes to reach Hosur where we tanked up. We also stopped by a restaurant near the petrol bunk for some snacks and coffee. Mr.Night Breaker came to our rescue, Yuv started to lead us and I tailed the group. We were maintaining some good speeds, and thankfully there wasn't much traffic to trouble us. Few posers did want to race with us, few revved hard and zoomed ahead. We rode continuously for the next 150 kilometers, and stopped somewhere near Vellore for a well deserved break. Steve went out to get some tablets for his toothache while Me & Yuv sat down for a cup of Hot coffee.

    We started from Vellore by 8 PM, Called up home and confirmed Alive, safe and sound & will reach in another couple of hours. It took close to a hour to reach Kanchipuram, and we lost track of each other. we later rejoined at the next toll plaza. Chennai was just about 30 kilometers away, We bid adieu to each other for making the trip a success. For the next few kilometers, i could not concentrate properly.. I was difficult to ride alone for the next few kilometers, i felt something missing or rather at that point of time i really missed ride together. We carried on in different directions from there on, it was time to move on.

    The trip was a success in every way, at least for me. It made me a better Biker, taught me a bit or two on riding safe, and riding together in a group. Rode across various roads, route and conditions. My new Bike too was a favorable one. A word for the biker buddies who rode along me, they were really wonderful - patient enough to wait for me to wake up and they rode brilliantly well. It was good tailing them as i learnt a thing or two even without their knowledge and thanks again for making the trip a memorable one. It was a ride to remember and will not forget anytime soon!!

    Route Map: Day 5


    Total Kilometers: 620

    Road Conditions:

    Mudumalai to Bandipur : 30 Kilometers: NH67 / Forest Roads - Pleasant to ride, do watch out for any animal crossings, try not to over speed. Speed Limit is just 40 kmph though.

    Gundulpet to Mysore : 70 Kilometers: NH212 - Nice 2 lane roads, moderate traffic - few odd potholes on the road. Please do watch out for cattle / carts on the opposite side.

    Mysore to Bangalore : 120 Kilometers - SH17 - Again excellent 4 lane roads - Traffic is much more than the NH46, Please do watch out for the speeding cars / speed breakers at every other village on the state highway.

    Bangalore to Chennai : 360 Kilometers - NH4 / NH46 - Excellent 4 lane roads. Minimum traffic, Doable in 5-6 hours. Do watch out for the odd bullock carts coming the wrong way / people jaywalking across the highway whenever you cross any village.


    The Picasa Link for all the pictures clicked in the trip:

    Picasa Web Albums - Ananth - The Southern Sojourn

    Picasa Web Albums - bangalorebikers2010 - 1st Jan 2010


    P.S: Do you find this travelogue useful? Does it make the cut for the Best MotorCyle Blogger Contest? Then Please Vote For me

    To Vote: See the upper right hand of this post. There is a "Rate this Thread" option like this:



    Click on a star rating it and vote.





    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/best-tra...tml#post349066
    Last edited by Ananth; 03-01-2010 at 04:48 AM.

  2. #2
    MotoGrapher Sunny's Avatar
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    Best Travel Blogger Contest Entry Approved

    That is quiet comprehensive and sprinkled with relevant information as well!
    Join xBhp On


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    Rusted Ananth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
    Best Travel Blogger Contest Entry Approved

    That is quiet comprehensive and sprinkled with relevant information as well!
    Thanks for the Approval Sunny

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    nice trip log ananth.

    some more pics from my end.

    P.S - Ananth where are the pics from your Camera???
    Last edited by steveburnside2001; 01-23-2010 at 01:10 PM.

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    Thats humoungous! Nice pics. And good you took the ZMR for a spin that early!
    " I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not" - Kurt Cobain

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    Rusted Ananth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveburnside2001 View Post
    nice trip log ananth.

    some more pics from my end.

    P.S - Ananth where are the pics from your Camera???
    Thanks Steve. I'll PM You the upload links tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by kurtrules View Post
    Thats humoungous! Nice pics. And good you took the ZMR for a spin that early!
    Thanks Kurt. It was a special Run-In ride for me

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    some more pics

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    Nice write-up Ananth.. after reading through the log, i'm unable to stop cursing myself for not joining u guys for the trip.. awesome trip..

    P.S: there were more places for u guys to visit in Wayanad.
    Carpe Diem !!!!!!!

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    Wow..that's a wonderful ride Ananth..Really enjoyed going through the log and the pics. The pics posted as attachments later on are also superb. Keep up the good work and wish you many more rides.

    Ride safe!

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    Rusted Ananth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karan03130 View Post
    Nice write-up Ananth.. after reading through the log, i'm unable to stop cursing myself for not joining u guys for the trip.. awesome trip..

    P.S: there were more places for u guys to visit in Wayanad.
    Thanks Karan. May be you should join the next trip then

    And, We wantedly skipped places like Edakkal Caves / Meenmutti falls as our belowed Steve was not interested in trekking & we were more interested visiting places where there weren't much of tourists.

    Quote Originally Posted by ketan_r15 View Post
    Wow..that's a wonderful ride Ananth..Really enjoyed going through the log and the pics. The pics posted as attachments later on are also superb. Keep up the good work and wish you many more rides.

    Ride safe!
    Thanks So much Ketan.

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