Route Taken : Bangalore-Mysore-Gundlupet-Masinagudi-Ooty-Emerald-Avalanche-Manjoor-Kothagiri-Kodanad –Metupalayam-Sirumugai-Metupalayam-Chamarajnagar-Kanakapura-Bangalore.
A cup of coffee, couch surfing lazily on a cloudy Monday afternoon, got a message from Ananth asking what ride plans for March. It had been just 6 days or so since I returned from one. So with a nod, said Nothing as of now and some share of the recent blogs that we had gone through in the recent times and Thus ended the conversation and both of us were heading our own way. In the meantime few friends of riding circle from Coimbatore were planning a ride to Madikeri. So one or the other ride had to be done during the same time.
Few days later, got a message from Ananth regarding the confirmation of the dates and hence the planning started. Location is not that big a concern when you have a close knit of biking buddies are involved. The dates for both the rides were around the same time, had no other choice left than to opt for either one, being Ooty or Madikeri. Ooty Always holds a special place in my heart when it comes to rides. In the personal order of preference, The coast and the Mountains have something magical in them to rejuvenate a screwed up brain. But made sure that we catch up with the other group somewhere of the other enroute to exchange few words.
Six of us namely Alok, Nishanth, Parthi, Nisanth, Sudarshan and Myself started to crawl out of Bangalore towards Mysore. Alok Nisanth and Parthiban were to leave us from Mysore and head in a different route. The Team Coimbatore had just arrived at the meeting point by the time we reached mysore for breakfast. One thing I have always liked about the Coimbatore team are the Sparkling two strokes of the yester years which put brand new motorcycles in showrooms to shame. Unfortunately only two were present this time around, both Shining and grabbing attention. Though there were a line up of bikes parked, Alok Slowly walked beside and asked “Whose is that 5 Speed? “J After a wholesome breakfast and filter coffee, we bid goodbye to the folks heading the other way round.
The Table looked something like this :
The Meet up at Mysore
As we were riding through bandipur we saw an Innova, whose left side was crushed as it went under a truck coming from the opposite side. Not sure whose fault it was exactly, but was definitely not a good sign, inside a reserve forest. As we crawled further, noticed some good signs towards Masinagudi. The road was getting broadened, which was required very badly.
After Spending some time at bison Valley View Point, we head towards Hyderabadi Biriyani House, for Lunch. Met a Gujarathi elderly couple, who were riding from Ahmedabad and the reply which they gave after asking their further plans was very encouraging, the Old Man replied “ We don’t know where we are heading” We had a small chat about bikes and proceed further towards Avalanche. In the meantime Ananth called and said they were near Coonoor, so we thought they might drop in, worst case scenario, an hour or hour and a half. We were mightily proved wrong on our estimation.
The guards at the guest house didn’t let us in, as we didn’t have the required documents which were being brought by Karthik. Even the forest guard was getting irritated by our prescence after waiting for long, till Sudarshan took the initiative of entertaining himself over a conversation with the guard.
Avalanche Ticket Counter
Somebody just found a friend for the evening :p
The roads to the guest House
The benches that we warmed for 3 hours
Finally, I repeat finally, after a long wait the Chennai gang show up much to our relief. All of us freshened up and head to the kitchen to satisfy our growling stomach. Considering the sort of luck we carry around, the cook was running short of supplies. So he told us to go to the closest town, Emerald and get supplies. Karthik and Myself volunteer for the task. It had already been dark and even the guy from where we bought supplies performed some pooja kind of stuff when we told we need to head back to Avalanche after dark. One guy even volunteered to accompany us till the guest house, as that route was infested with wild animals and just two days before they had spotted a leopard close by. Luckily without any problems we reached the guesthouse and crash for the day.
Day 2 :Avalanche-Emerald Lake-Manjoor
Woke up at 6 o clock or so to see none of them to have woken up, So did the smartest thing of hitting the sack again. Few minutes later, a voice was heard, “If anybody wants tea Wake up and get ready” considering the options for a hot morning tea, everybody got up ready. Karthik went to the forest office to seek permission for Upper Bhavani, which was not so easy to get that morning. Without a choice, we had to satisfy ourselves for the minibus drive to Avalanche lake. Memories of travelling in School bus, a decade or two back were remembered
It was nice to meet fellow bangalore riders Mr.GS150 RR rider Manu and Snehith( And Co) that morning near the checkpost.
Few Pics from the drive towards Avalanche and Back.
P.S:Kindly ignore the quality of Pics, as I had a wrong setting on Camera and while editing :p
The Road/Trail looked something like this
Posers Posers posers .......... :p
One of my Fav clicks of the ride, by Mr. Wanderer.
Returned to the guest house to gear up and ride towards Emerald And Canada Dam. To satisfy the empty Stomach, we stopped by a small shack, which could hardly accommodate the ten of us inside. Later we left for Emerald lake and Canada Dam for some mokeying business :p
Dramebaaz Pintu and Karthik
Atop Canada Dam
Over a conversation last night, Ananth had mentioned that they have relaid the roads the Manjoor and beyond. So wanted to give it a try very badly, as i knew that the route was very scenic. In the meantime Karthik left for Kotagiri(Citing some personal work) saying he would be back before dusk. As most of these guys were planning to take the same route the next day, most turned a frowny face and wated to get back to the Guest House. Till Ananth and myself came to terms with the plan of trying out a trail on the way. Had taken this particular trail the last year with Deepak and Siva, but wanted to try it further. And here is the result of the same :
The last day of the ride, always the most difficult one. Ananth, Pintu, Venky and Mr.Silence(Gopi) left for Chennai early as Sri and Rajiv decided to head to Tiruchendur with karthik and the Bangalore trio returning home the same day. So it was a go easy day for the latter. So decided to head to Kodanad View Point and then head back home. Being a Monday morning, you are free of the tourist frenzy crowd and more so on this route, it’s like a private road with very minimal traffic. The ride was heavenly with light drizzle. When we reached the place, we were the only ones present, Apart from the Shopkeeper of course. So it was a loooong session of bakwaas conversation coupled with a three or four rounds of Chai to compensate for the chillness around.
Racism doesnt exist in this world
At Kodanad View Point
After a photobreak we decided to start for our respective destinations after lunch at Mettupalayam. Upon reaching the restaurant, we discovered that Sudarshan who was in the RVM till the last Km or so had gone missing. Upon calling came to know that his front breaks had failed. Empty stomachs with temperatures soaring, this was the last thing we had expected. Thankfully it was a small air gap in the fluid line which was not even checked by the service guy before the ride. By the time we fixed this, had lunch and start, it was close to 5PM. Departing at that time meant we had to ride through the dark. Both Nishanth and Sudarshan were a bit skeptical as it was their first long ride though the night on a notorious Kanakapura Road. Tried to instill confidence in them to take them home safe and sound. After a quick dinner around Kanakapura, I rang the doorbell of my house at around 11.30 to have a peaceful sleep. Overall a good ride done with a group who would not stop yapping even a minute. Two new riding buddies who were absolutely fun to have company, Venky and Gopi. Thank you guys for the amazing experience J
The perfect Climax: A perfect Family Photo :)
Clockwise from left: Pintu, venky, Rajiv, Karthik, Nishanth, Ananth, Your Truly, Gopi, Sudarshan, Sriam.
Last but not the least, Photo credits to respective Photographers :)