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The Journey of Thousand Miles

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  • The Journey of Thousand Miles

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    It all started when my friend had planned a motorcycle trip to Chennai from Kochi to get something for him. As he was planning a solo ride, I asked him whether I could join him to give him a company for the ride. He said, “yeah, why not!”. Pondicherry being close to Chennai I suggested why not we hit Pondi after Chennai. He liked my idea but what happens few days later was a big twist! I thought of adding more places to the list. I then started to charter the route options, keeping in mind the places to visit was Dhanushkodi, Kodaikanal and Valparai. We met up a couple of times to discuss the ride plan and he loved the idea of the trip. Later I told him riding to Chennai won’t be a fun ride and made him change his mind of not going to Chennai and ride straight away to Pondi. As he was working he had limited days to take off from his work and me being jobless the dates were flexible for me. We then started checking for rooms and the places to visit when we are at each destination. I had few experts to help me out with the itinerary and had asked many friends of mine who have gone through these destinations.

    The plan was like this:-
    Day 1 - Kochi to Pondicherry (560 km’s)
    Day 2 - Pondicherry to Rameshwaram (460 km’s)
    Day 3 - Rameshwaram to Kodaikanal ( 310 km’s)
    Day 4 - Rest Day & Explore at Kodai (30 km’s)
    Day 5 - Kodaikanal to Kochi via Valparai (320 km’s)

    The planning started by mid April and the ride was scheduled for the 1st week of May. As days pass by, we had to get our bikes serviced and prepped for the trip. Unfortunately the bike that my friend had decided to use for the trip which was a Royal Enfield Himalayan got into an accident when his friend took it for a joy ride. We got depressed thinking all this planning will go in the drain if we don’t do it within those days. The bike had a work of about ₨ 8,000/- which he had to claim insurance and we knew it is gonna take more than just few days. I then suggested to look for an alternative bike, to which he acclaimed,”In such a short notice nobody might be willing to give their bike for the trip”. Few days later, He got a Yamaha Fz 16 v1 and I got excited because I had a Hero Impulse.(Cue God’s Plan by Drake) So that we could cruise with the same pace ������ . He then ordered aux lights for the Fz from Amazon and it took some time and we had to postpone the ride to a future date. Got the lights on 15th of May, went to J&J Auto Rewinders as they were the best in town for most of the electrical work in Kochi. I had a relay problem with the hazard light and they fixed it in no time. Everything got over by 9:30 pm and my friend wanted to leave on the next day. I was hesistant as its gonna be the longest ride we will be doing in a day and I suggested we need to get proper rest before the ride. The night before the day of the ride, anxiety kicks in. Getting a good sleep was definitely needed but that didn’t go according to plan. We decided to start early and cover the distance as much as possible on the wee hours before the traffic starts to settle in. Before the day of the ride we had filled up the petrol and went to sleep.

    So Day 1 - 17th May, I got a sleep about 1 & ½ hours and my friend slept well , woke up at 12 am and was all set by 1 am mounted our bags on the pillion seat and we saddled up. In google we placed our trust and kick started our long journey to Pondichery from Kochi. Kept a pace of 60-65 kmph and took a break at 90 kms which was at Kuthiran, Palakkad. Had fresh lime sodas around 3 am which was energising and we continued with our ride. We only stopped for petrol, tea and for food. The wind drag was crazy when big trucks passed by us. We covered a good part of the distance by 6:30 am. The entire ride was straight highways which was really boring when you had to keep a constant pace throughout. After 10 am I was getting little bit drowsy after my breakfast and I had decided to throttle it out, get some adrenaline pumping going on. Open roads, less traffic and no speed cams just be worried about the people and the dogs. The estimated riding time was about 10 hours. We reached Pondi by 2 pm. The traffic when reaching Pondi was crazy people jumping out of nowhere and giving no shit about you either. We had booked the room through OYO in Auroville. Went there freshened up and went for lunch. Decided to take a power nap and explore the place in the evening. Best thing about Pondi was petrol being the cheapest at ₨ 74.5 and also the alcohol (make sure you don’t have a hangover for the next day or get dehydrated). Went to two of the beaches, chilled out there. Came back checked up our motorcycles and my friend’s Fz had a slight chain problem to our luck there was a motorcycle workshop near our room itself. Got everything fixed and lubed the chain, filled up the tank and had our dinner and slept early.

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    (Enroute Pondi, the heat was intense)

    Day 2 – 18th May , woke up by 3 am and ready to hit the road by 4 am. I believe this is the best time to start your ride because you get no traffic and can get out of a town very easily. Started our ride to Rameshwaram from Auroville. Got into the highway after about 40-50 kms. Munching miles like its no one’s business. Took a break around 6:30 am for tea but didn’t get any. I was carrying few chocolate bars and it came in handy. Then later we stopped for Breakfast and I had to change my clear visor to tinted. More and more of highways some stretch was really boring, the roads started to get narrower and didn’t have a smooth tarmac but wasn’t a problem for my Impulse and also the Fz. We decided to stop for Lunch just before the ride through the coast of Rameshwaram. Had Chicken Biriyani which was just okay and to quench our thirst we went out to a small shop and ordered two lime sodas but what we got was something different. The way she made the cool drink was first squeezed the lime and added some water and again squeezed the lime and shaking it like some cocktail and no soda, just the soda bottle was near it. It tasted just okay and the price they charged us was ₨ 25/ glass, we didn’t even bother arguing(I named the drink”lime vellam adicha juice”). After the so refreshing lime water we left to rameshwaram, stopped in the bridge to get an amazing sight of the Pamban Bridge and on the other side filled with fishing boat and turquoise colored water. This was a beautiful sight, my words don’t do justice for it. After spending sometime there we moved ahead to find our room. As oyo didn’t have much options there we had to go to each hotel and check if any of the rooms were available. The first few attempts went in vain but later we got a room. The AC in the room didn’t even work properly so we asked for a change of the room and they said in sometime they can arrange it for us. We then decided not to waste any time there and instead hit dhanushkodi. Enroute we saw a opening to a beach through the forest on the right. Boy that was one amazing view, not much crowd. After spending time there taking photos, we then continued to the point. When we had reached the check post we were late by 22 minutes and we had to take a bus to the end point. The timings are 8 am to 5 pm after that no vehicles are permitted to go through the post. As it was the last bus we couldn’t spend much time there. The mini sandstorms were crazy. Returned back in the bus to the check post and we then decided to have our dinner and by that time we got our rooms changed. After sometime the staff there asked if we could lend our bikes to them at night which we didn’t even respond positively. Went to Lube the chain and we decided to hit the sack.

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    (Enroute Rameshwaram with an overview of the Pamban Bridge)

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    At the Checkpost of entering Dhanushkodi, you get this amazing view)

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    (Dhanushkodi, The End point)

    Day 3 – 19th May, we followed the same schedule, wake up at 3 am and out by 4 am. We had to ride from Rameshwaram to Kodaikanal. Finally some relief from the highway to hell and we get to ride some curves(yay). We stopped by 6:30 am for our cup of coffee. I was facing a bad neck pain and wanted to take more breaks but at the same time didn’t want to slow my friend down. The service roads were beautiful in those early morning hours but always keep your visor down because too many bugs wanted to “smash”. We then wanted to visit Meenakshi Temple. Went there and had our breakfast at a nearby hotel. We started our long haul through the highway. The highway was different this time, I guess due to some work going on the highways they did block the left side of the road so you have to ride through the right side and had to be really aware about the oncoming traffic. There wasn’t much traffic on the road so we followed the trucks. Boy we were in for a big surprise. When they deviated from the highway, we thought it must be a shortcut, the roads started disappearing. The terrain was slushy, bikes started moving like snakes. Last thing we wanted was a fall and it could end badly. I gave my friend a look and said, “Bro we got this”. The slushy terrain started to get more intense. Well it got our adrenaline pumping but the trouble was cleaning up the dirt. Followed by two pump track style jumps and somehow we got into the highway, spend some time cleaning the footpegs and the dirt which is stuck around the suspension. Back on the saddle enroute Dindigul. We came across few peacocks crossing the highways which was magical cause you never expect sights like this happening on the highways. After sometime we stopped to have some water and I had to fill my hydration bag. We then saw 2 BMW GS pass by on the opposite road(well,someday). We then took a left from the highway onto the Kodai stretch. After some kilometres the curves started. Yes I was waiting all this while to hit those curves. After few twisties my friend started having problem with his rear brake so he couldn’t keep a good line. So I asked him to slow it down a bit and don’t take any risk there but then I didn’t stop for anything just throttling out and just enjoying the curves. After few curves I slowed down to a keep check on my friend and it continued till the top like that. Just be careful of buses and the tempos because they take a big part of the road from you and you better have a good control over the bike and the speed. Don’t think of overspeeding because some roads have cracks but as I had an Impulse I wasn't worried about the tarmac. (evil grin). Traffic started kicking in once you reach closer to the town. We had taken a room in the Upper Lake side (vgm). We then freshened up and went down the Lower Lake to chill out and decide the places to visit. Luckily xBhp Tvm team had decided to do a ride to Kodai on that weekend and by that evening we all could meet up by the Lake. By that time I realised my neck was screwed up pretty bad because there was swelling on both sides of my neck. Decided to run on vicks. We explored a bit of the town for the evening. The honking frenzy could make your ears bleed when vehicles passed by the street. After Dinner we then decided to go back to the room and chill by the park that was nearby our room and go to bed early.

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    (Look at her how dirty she got)

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    (Taking a break after the twisties of the Magic Land)

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    (xBhp Tvm and Cochin, (L-R) Jayan “Celebrity” Morris, Samor(Me), Arun, Vipin, Athul, Swaroop and Varun)

    Day 4 – 20th May, This was a rest day for us and gave me enough time to recover from the pain before the next day’s ride. We went to explore for what Kodai had to offer us. So this time being tourist season places could get overcrowded and cause too much traffic. We decided to start by 8 am, had our breakfast from the same hotel as it didn’t give any tummy issues the previous time. First we decided to go to Dolphin nose, which is a nice spot to get the view of the mountains. The check post at Vattakanal gave us little bit of trouble. We didn’t carry our original license so the police officer asked us to pay a fine of ₨600 which came down to ₨100, the guy there asked me to come inside their small shed and I handed the money over to him and when I asked for a receipt I get nothing and just said that my friend has already signed in the book and that’s enough(weird). You have to hike to the point and it can get tiring. Took some photos and just admired the beauty of the mountains and the clouds. Had lime sodas at a shop that was there, charged us ₨30/glass but this time it was actually good and to think they have to get supplies from town was totally understandable and reasonable. We then decided to move to the next spot, which was Pillar rock. By that time traffic had kicked in and we swerved past the traffic and reached the spot, the view was just okay. Later we decided to hit Bear Shola Falls and Fairy Falls. The scope of the place could be tremendous but we went at the time when it was facing a water shortage. Lastly we decided to visit the Suicide point which is also a crowded place, the view wasn’t that amazing but decent but the ride takes you through the golf club route. I guess there are few hidden gems in Kodai which I would love to explore with someone who is a local there or who know the spots. After Lunch, went back to the room to take some well needed rest and later spending some time by the lake as we were going to miss this place and the cold weather. We bought home made chocolates near Guna Caves which I think is a rip off. You see chocolates round the box but inside there isn’t much. Had a good conversation with the owner of the property that we stayed in and also with his friend. By 8 pm, a thick fog passed by the place which caused some electrical failure in the rooms, which meant No working water Heater. We had to take bath in literally ice cold water(definite brain and body freeze). Lubed the chain and dozed off early.

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    (The first view point while hiking to Dolphin Nose)

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    (The Dolphin Nose)

    Day 5 – 21st May, our final day of the Roadtrip. Leaving Kodai by 4 am and going via the Palani route(Laws Ghat road) was a chilly ride and the downhill was fun. We could see the lights of Palani being lit up and that was an amazing sight to witness. We stopped for refuelling by an open pump enroute Palani, this was the place that had the highest rate for litre(₨80.07) and to see the lady staff talking on her mobile phone while filling up was scary, so I asked her to please stop using her phone while doing so. Continued to cruise on the highways. Around 6 am we passed through a road which had trees covered up on both sides, smooth tarmac and the cold breeze, we were literally awestruck followed by a route through the land of windmills. Decided to take a coffee break but my friend was worried about the checkpost timings at Valparai and Athirampilly. I was pretty sure we would cover that in time without any worry. We then started our ride to Valparai. Back to the land of curves(excitement). Once we entered Valparai, we got to see Monkeys, few wild Elephants followed by Mountain Goats and a Peacock crossing the road(the ride through the wilderness). Luckily no Tiger was spotted which I really didn’t want to encounter while I was on my bike. The twisties began, there is a certain pleasure you get when you put your knee down(next plan is definitely some track days). The curves just kept coming and coming and the adrenaline kept on pumping getting higher and higher. I was in love with those curves, it had a serene background to it. When we reached Malakkapara check post, we had to sign in and the guard there asked us to Revv our bikes as we were running stock we didn’t face any problem(people with altered silencers change it to stock before you go). The roads was smaller and had patches on most sections. This is when my love towards Hades(Impulse) kept on growing. Whatever terrain you throw at it, it ran so smoothly while my friend on fz had to slow down on most of the places. We stopped for breakfast by this small town, filled up some petrol and again witnessing people using their phones in the pump while filling up. We headed to Vazhachal. The roads had patches and some got worse, so I had to slow down for my friend as well. We didn’t face much traffic in these routes but when the roads got narrower, we hoped that we don’t encounter with any wild animals. Everything went smoothly and we reached Vazhachal around 11 am, took a small break there and headed straight to Kochi. Took the Plantation road from Athirampilly, it is still in bad condition so you might want to rethink your route. I finally had some offroads where I can throttle it out with no worry(ahhh that satisfaction). We reached Lulu Mall around 2 pm where we stopped for lunch before we parted ways to our home.

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    (Entering Valparai, the first sight we got to see was wild Elephants)

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    (This Section of Valparai has the best tarmac and you can just glide through it)

    The ride was planned in such a way that the 1st two days will be a hot summer ride with mostly highways followed by a ride through the coast and the last 3 days being on the hills and hitting the twisties. Well this was something like a dream ride on the basis on the terrain we had gone through.

    How is your Dream ride like other than the usual Leh plan?

    “if you wanna go fast then go alone, if you wanna go farther then go together”

    Thanks for reading till the end, Ride safe and enjoy your rides( ATGATT). Cheers!

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    May the sun rise infront of me,
    the rain fall behind me and the wind follow me.
    May the angels guard my travels for they know what's ahead of me.
    Keep me safe through rolling hills, swirling turns and bad roads.
    Let the moon's light guide me through the night.
    Lord, thank you for letting me a Biker.
    Amen.

    Ride:- Hero Honda Impulse (present) , Tvs Apache RTR180(2015-17)
    Gears:- Shiro SH336 Carbon Helmet || Aspida Helios Jacket || Rynox Advento Pants || TBG Sport Gloves

  • #2
    Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

    Travelogue Approved

    Awesome to see the Kerala boys back in action
    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

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

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    • #3
      Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

      Awesome brother. The kodiakkanal - palani - valparai route is too good. The feel in the route is mind blowing. Still my heart is revving for that route again.
      Riding is all about trust, love and passion

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

        Best shot of all "At the Checkpost of entering Dhanushkodi, you get this amazing view)

        Cant wait to go there
        Benelli 302 Owner Experience
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        Thailand -Phuket : Big Buddha
        GREAT OCEAN ROAD

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        • #5
          Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

          Well done, especially since you have pulled this ride in the peak of summer. That check post you mentioned near Kodaikanal where you negotiated a fine of Rs.100/- is well known for the crooked cops who fleece everyone enroute. Shame on them!
          Ride To Live

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

            Originally posted by The Monk View Post
            Travelogue Approved

            Awesome to see the Kerala boys back in action
            Thanks man [emoji4]
            May the sun rise infront of me,
            the rain fall behind me and the wind follow me.
            May the angels guard my travels for they know what's ahead of me.
            Keep me safe through rolling hills, swirling turns and bad roads.
            Let the moon's light guide me through the night.
            Lord, thank you for letting me a Biker.
            Amen.

            Ride:- Hero Honda Impulse (present) , Tvs Apache RTR180(2015-17)
            Gears:- Shiro SH336 Carbon Helmet || Aspida Helios Jacket || Rynox Advento Pants || TBG Sport Gloves

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

              Originally posted by apacherider View Post
              Awesome brother. The kodiakkanal - palani - valparai route is too good. The feel in the route is mind blowing. Still my heart is revving for that route again.
              I swear dude, one of the best stretch I've gone through.
              May the sun rise infront of me,
              the rain fall behind me and the wind follow me.
              May the angels guard my travels for they know what's ahead of me.
              Keep me safe through rolling hills, swirling turns and bad roads.
              Let the moon's light guide me through the night.
              Lord, thank you for letting me a Biker.
              Amen.

              Ride:- Hero Honda Impulse (present) , Tvs Apache RTR180(2015-17)
              Gears:- Shiro SH336 Carbon Helmet || Aspida Helios Jacket || Rynox Advento Pants || TBG Sport Gloves

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

                Originally posted by Kapil Kumar View Post
                Best shot of all "At the Checkpost of entering Dhanushkodi, you get this amazing view)

                Cant wait to go there
                Hehe I was also amazed bro. I'll post one more pic then. Click image for larger version

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                May the sun rise infront of me,
                the rain fall behind me and the wind follow me.
                May the angels guard my travels for they know what's ahead of me.
                Keep me safe through rolling hills, swirling turns and bad roads.
                Let the moon's light guide me through the night.
                Lord, thank you for letting me a Biker.
                Amen.

                Ride:- Hero Honda Impulse (present) , Tvs Apache RTR180(2015-17)
                Gears:- Shiro SH336 Carbon Helmet || Aspida Helios Jacket || Rynox Advento Pants || TBG Sport Gloves

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

                  Originally posted by akshay View Post
                  Well done, especially since you have pulled this ride in the peak of summer. That check post you mentioned near Kodaikanal where you negotiated a fine of Rs.100/- is well known for the crooked cops who fleece everyone enroute. Shame on them!
                  I was very much advised not to go for this trip but then i thought, "this is now or never". Man they caught us by surprise and no where else we were asked to stop for any checking.
                  May the sun rise infront of me,
                  the rain fall behind me and the wind follow me.
                  May the angels guard my travels for they know what's ahead of me.
                  Keep me safe through rolling hills, swirling turns and bad roads.
                  Let the moon's light guide me through the night.
                  Lord, thank you for letting me a Biker.
                  Amen.

                  Ride:- Hero Honda Impulse (present) , Tvs Apache RTR180(2015-17)
                  Gears:- Shiro SH336 Carbon Helmet || Aspida Helios Jacket || Rynox Advento Pants || TBG Sport Gloves

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

                    Originally posted by The Monk View Post
                    Travelogue Approved

                    Awesome to see the Kerala boys back in action
                    We are only being stealth before the storm coming up in August... [emoji48]

                    [MENTION=91228]spartacus69[/MENTION] it was nice to bump into you during. Next time, let's ride together. [emoji869]
                    To be The Best, You got to beat The Celebrity...
                    xBHP Trivandrum ICE sheet
                    - RX 100 ('87)
                    - Ninja 250 ('10)
                    - Impulse ('11)
                    - Tiger 800 ('20)

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

                      Originally posted by The Celebrity View Post
                      We are only being stealth before the storm coming up in August... [emoji48]

                      [MENTION=91228]spartacus69[/MENTION] it was nice to bump into you during. Next time, let's ride together. [emoji869]
                      I was indeed excited to meet you all there. Definitely, let's munch some miles. [emoji869][emoji41]
                      May the sun rise infront of me,
                      the rain fall behind me and the wind follow me.
                      May the angels guard my travels for they know what's ahead of me.
                      Keep me safe through rolling hills, swirling turns and bad roads.
                      Let the moon's light guide me through the night.
                      Lord, thank you for letting me a Biker.
                      Amen.

                      Ride:- Hero Honda Impulse (present) , Tvs Apache RTR180(2015-17)
                      Gears:- Shiro SH336 Carbon Helmet || Aspida Helios Jacket || Rynox Advento Pants || TBG Sport Gloves

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

                        Nice share friend!
                        A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.

                        Weekend Rides Around Kolkata
                        My Ride To Sunderbans -
                        Hemnagar & Samsernagar
                        Saagar Kinare - Bakkhali Calling

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Journey of Thousand Miles

                          Originally posted by krishna77 View Post
                          Nice share friend!
                          Thanks mate
                          May the sun rise infront of me,
                          the rain fall behind me and the wind follow me.
                          May the angels guard my travels for they know what's ahead of me.
                          Keep me safe through rolling hills, swirling turns and bad roads.
                          Let the moon's light guide me through the night.
                          Lord, thank you for letting me a Biker.
                          Amen.

                          Ride:- Hero Honda Impulse (present) , Tvs Apache RTR180(2015-17)
                          Gears:- Shiro SH336 Carbon Helmet || Aspida Helios Jacket || Rynox Advento Pants || TBG Sport Gloves

                          Comment

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