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Thread: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

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    Cruise Machine experimentalhead's Avatar
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    Default A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

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    Prologue

    Day 1

    Day 2
    Day 3
    Day 4
    Day 5
    Day 6
    Day 7

    A perennial quest - I will be back soon


    “ I will be back soon” I told myself as my ride was coming to an end. “I will be back soon” I told the never-ending road. “I will be back soon” I had told love of my life, my wife, on the eve of my ride.

    As I watched the sun going down, a whole gamut of emotions thronged my heart and mind. Last one week had been a great experience. I was longing for something like this for quite some time. At the same time, I was longing to see my wife who always understood that when I am not at ease and going through hectic schedule, a ride can soothe my nerves and keep me sane. She also understood that my passion for riding has many dimensions. Keeping me sane was just one of them.


    Wandering thoughts:

    My thoughts are like my rides. They wander. Wandering has a charm. As we all know ,and everyone says, Traveling is adventurous and, of course, fun. And, when done on motorcycle, level of adventure is taken to next level and fun is matchless, and when you make it unplanned and just follow your current state of mind and thoughts spinning in your brain, it becomes wandering. Every Wanderer is a constant seeker. Wanderer in me keeps the fountain of curiosity alive. When you are curious, you are like a child constantly seeking answers to myriad questions. Wanderer in me keeps asking questions which keep the enthusiasm alive and drive me to explore many destinations in different directions.

    By nature, I am always told that I fall under a category called introvert. But Wandering tells me otherwise as it gives me an opportunity to interact with different kind of people and express myself. Initiating a conversation with strangers is always challenging but super fun and I have to come to find that it is easy too. As per my experience people everywhere are more than willing to talk to especially to a traveler and are always curious to know more about him/her and what he/she is up to. Experiencing different culture and tradition is priceless. Food! Yummy! A fantastic reason to travel. Trying different cuisine and that too locally is a different kind of adventure in itself. You know what I mean. It’s fun but you are putting your tummy on line. Is it worth? Of course, it is! Above all, the journey, more than the destination, is what makes us ‘The motorcycle travelers’ errr… ‘wanderers’ to hit the road. To me riding is meditation. No fretting about the past. No worrying about future. In the present. Conscious. To me, this is being alive. Conscious of every moment. Now, invariably, riding propels me into this mode. Riding always brings out unused abilities of mind. Super focus and highly disciplined. Makes me feel responsible. To me that is freedom. Enjoying your passion yet being responsible and harmless.

    So, what happens after the ride? Once a ride is completed, It takes me a day or two to come out of the hangover. Then, I feel driven to share my experiences with the fraternity. This drive is one of the smallest possible ways of giving back to the platform which has helped me to know so much about motorcycles and traveling. Thanks to xBHP for being that platform from where I have got so much. My thirst to know more about motorcycles and travel has become unquenchable. And, imagine what happens when an extremely thirsty guy is standing next to an eternal fountain. When I sit down to compose a blog/ travelogue, I just open up and let thoughts flow. However, trying to improve w.r.t language and composition every time I am sharing my experiences. Simultaneously, my heart and brain start weaving idea of another ride.


    Hiatus:

    However, Last one and a half year has been quite hectic both at personal and work fronts which compelled me into a hiatus. The itch to ride and explore was increasing every day. I kept telling myself “I will be back soon”. A very painful period for me. My wife again came to my rescue. She rekindled the idea of adding a more powerful beast into my small stable. Utilized the time and money-saved to add one more stronger beast to my stable and to replenish my riding accessories. Felt jealous while going through travelogues by riders in the fraternity. Slowly, I made my way back to road and resumed riding during weekends. Sometimes, a hiatus is a blessing in disguise. It increases the passion to such heights that you begin to love every inch of road you get to enjoy and every minute of ride will be filled with life.

    Sweet Predicament:

    “Approved”. I was ecstatic. Got a reply from my boss to my leave requests. Had taken a long leave after quite some time. Called my wife and informed her to apply for leaves. Approved there as well. But, at the last minute our trip had to be shelved. That’s when my wife told me to go for a solo ride for which I was yearning for long. I was disappointed since our holiday plans were shelved. Simultaneously, idea of solo ride pumped me up. It was a predicament. Took some effort to convince my mother whose concern was very much valid. I assured that like always I will be a responsible rider and will return home safe and as soon as possible. I did not have any plan about destination or route or number of days. On the eve of ride, I was still in a dilemma about where to ride. The very excitement of embarking on a solo motorcycle road trip without a plan was overwhelming and got the better of me and I decided to tax my brain in the morning. Unlike in the past, I was relaxed and slept well. Got up and my heart and mind were in sync. My initial plan to ride up north was put on back burner. I told my wife that I would ride down south. According to dictionary wandering is travelling aimlessly from place to place; And, that’s when it is at its best.

    I will be back soon...



  2. #2
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Travelogue Approved

    Not a single picture! Waiting for the story to unfold!
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

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    Cruise Machine experimentalhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Travelogue Approved

    Not a single picture! Waiting for the story to unfold!
    Thanks for approving monk. Story will unfold soon. Held up with work.

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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Sounds interesting! Waiting for the full story.

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    Default Re: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Your writing style in itself is that much beautiful that it didn't even bother me if there is a picture in between or not!!!
    Eagerly waiting for rest of the story ...
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    Default Re: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Sometimes, a hiatus is a blessing in disguise.

    Couldn't agree more! Glued!
    Keep it coming and please don't postpone the writing because I left my last one hanging because of pressing work and now I am sulking

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    Default Re: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Your narration is awesome. Bring the rest of the log and yes the beautiful pictures.
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    Default Day 1: In Awe of Majesty: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Day 1:

    After a good sleep, mind was fresh. Decided to head south. Checked bike and after ensuring that luggage was properly tied, started at 7.30 AM. Traffic had started to pile up. For a moment, I was about to take the office route as it was a Tuesday. In the nick of time, I realized that I have to head in the opposite direction. Sandwiched between tail and tank bags, with a heavy jacket, knee guards and gloves on a sunny morning, I was an amusing spectacle for many. After surviving curious stares and Bangalore’s off roads, was on NH 7. But till one crosses Hosur, there is no escape from traffic. Once Hosur was gone, broad and well laid multi-lane NH embraced my bike which was only too happy to be on such tarmac after huffing and puffing through till now. Temperature of my friend dropped from high 90s to 70s. Bike was at ease. Opened the helmet visor for the cool breeze to kiss my face. Color of surrounding turned from typical brown and multi-colored concrete to green fields and small hills and some small lakes with clear water. This was soothing to eyes. I had been on this road couple of times recently during my weekend rides. But today it was a different feeling altogether as I did not have to head back by lunch or for an evening tea. My tummy started growling. Stopped at famous Krishnagiri Sarvana Bhavan for breakfast. Was served hot and delicious Pongal coupled with piping hot filter coffee. Resumed ride.







    Green is in:

    Wow! I exclaimed as I was greeted by green on either sides of the road. Green is such a vibrant and positive color. Especially we riders and city dwellers love green. Every ten minutes during our commuter lives we eagerly look for signal to turn green. I love green.



    Green stands for nature. We think of nature, we think of green. This ride will be so green. Green stands for life, vivacity and prosperity. I could clearly see that Tamil Nadu was brimmed with green. Green represents freshness and that’s precisely what I was feeling.
    I also saw many green-eyed riders and drivers with envy oozing out of their green eyes. However I garnered appreciative nods and smiles too. I was wading through green.





    These were some of the best roads I have ridden till date. Straight as an arrow and smooth with hardly any bad stretches. Weather was conducive. It was cloudy and breezy. I was cruising at sane speeds and was not in a mood to stop. Road was like an arrow dipped in black. However around Salem, was warned by a sign board stating ‘Ghat-section’ and to proceed slowly without overtaking. I was surprised to find that ghat section lasted for a couple of curves and nothing more. I breezed through Dharmapuri -Salem-Namakkal with few stops in between to check the straps and cords holding the bags and it was around 3 when my tummy started growling again. It started to drizzle at the same time. I found one more Sarvana bhavan and stopped for lunch. Enjoyed typical South-Indian lunch and resumed the ride.









    Madurai:



    Decided to stop at Madurai. Had heard a lot about Madurai’s Meenakshi Amman Temple. Checked in at a hotel called Madurai Poppys. Thanks to Trip advisor. Got super deal. Whatsapped my family about my whereabouts. The hotel was getting decorated as it was first day of Navaratri celebrations. Hotel staff were extremely courteous and they were curious to know about my attire and the ride. Got freshen up and set out to visit temple. Everyone was amused at change of my attire. From riding gear to a dhoti. I had included a dhoti the moment it was decided that I would be heading to this part of the world. The attire worked like a charm as I was greeted with smiles even by strangers. It was also because of the way the dhoti was worn which would immediately give away the fact that it’s not worn by an expert. People immediately embrace one who respects their tradition and culture, and follows their customs. A popular saying goes ‘When you are in Rome, be a Roman’.



    It was 6.30 PM when I set out. Since I was dhoti clad, I decided to leave my Benelli in the comforts of hotel parking area, and decided to walk and experience.

    My Tamil:

    Whenever I watch any Tamil movie, I ensure that I have a company who can do the translation job for me. Before my marriage it was my friends and post-marriage it’s my wife who can understand Tamil well and can manage to speak. Another interesting fact about my Tamil is as follows:
    During my school days, one of my good friends called Venkatachalam took on the task of teaching me Tamil and decided to start off with alphabets. Exactly when I was getting good at Tamil alphabets and absolutely basic writing equivalent to a first standard kid, my friend had to relocate to another city. Thanks to his father’s central government job. Now over a period of time, my Tamil reading and writing has taken a beating too. And, my speaking abilities, well, I guess it’s time to change the topic and move on.

    Madurai is a very busy city. After strolling through hustle and bustle I decided to commute by a share-auto as I felt I would be too late to temple. A share auto is the one where in an auto rickshaw is shared by multiple passengers heading to different destinations falling along the same route, and Madurai is filled with buses and share autos. I was accompanied by three more passengers. Another advantage of commuting by share-auto is, it also acts as a masseur or should I say it is like a massage machine similar to washing machine. Only difference is instead of clothes, people are put inside.





    The auto keeps vibrating as if it’s on eternal vibrate mode and keeps rattling so much so that I had to struggle quite a bit to take a selfie even when it was stopped at signal. After a great vibrating ride, I got down near east tower of the temple. I made my way through the busy and narrow street asking for directions with my funny accent – ‘Temple enge’. People would smile and show me the direction.

    Architectural Majestic - Meenakshi Amman Temple.



    The moment I reached the entrance of Temple’s east tower, I could feel that I am in for something special. On the occasion of first day of Navaratri festival, temple was lit up enhancing it’s grandeur. Inside temple it’s like a huge street. I was greeted by a traditional band. I wandered for some time trying to consume everything I was witnessing. People immersed in spiritual feelings, the hyper activity inside, people walking around briskly and every pillar stood as a testimony to the devotion to create perfection in Architecture. Then I got into a huge queue waiting for Goddess Sree Meenakshi Amman’s darshan.



    Had a good darshan and after seeking the blessings, I just roamed around inside the temple. Sat near the pond inside and reflected on the day and as I was told by many, temples in this part of the world are so different and one is surrounded by positive vibrations. I strolled around and watched a fascinating Bharatanatyam performance by a group as part of festival celebrations. Every passage way around temple is long and ceilings had enthralling paintings. This experience was just awesome. After about two and a half hours I came out of temple and had a good look of the east tower and the paintings and carvings decorating it. I was in complete awe of the majesty of this great temple.











    Idli, served hot and soft


    When I had informed my wife that I would stay in Madurai, she had told me to not to miss idlis which are quite famous. I went to a nearby bakery and asked them in ‘My Tamil’ “Madurai special enna meals”. They were very courteous and patiently heard me and said Idli and dosa. I asked them ‘Nall hotel enna’. They guided me to Murugan idli shop, a small hotel near temple. I was served hot roasted ghee idlis and they indeed tasted fantastic. They were super smooth. Idli is one of the staple and common breakfast items in southern India. But this is the only second place where idli felt so special. Another one is at place called Bidadi on Bangalore-Mysore highway. One of the best idlis I ever had. They were super smooth and were accompanied by three varieties of chutney. I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel.

    It was already close to 10 and was feeling sleepy and decided to head back to hotel. Saw beautiful decoration inside hotel lobby and as part of Dussehra festival tradition they had placed a doll-stand.



    Share-auto helped me to digest idlis. I hit the sack early and in no time was in deep slumber.


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    Thumbs up Re: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Awesome day1 experience. I am feeling like I was also present there because of the mind-blowing narration. Waiting for the rest.
    Rider11 likes this.
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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Perennial Quest - Deep Down South -Solo Ride, 7 days, 2000 Km.

    Beautiful narration and pictures! Bring on the rest.

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