Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bangalore - Ooty : The Ride

Day 1 ( Friday, 1st Dec 2006)

Continued from the last post...

2:00 PM:
Where there is a will there is a way :). Takel and Rapi planned to go to Iruppu Falls via Mysore. So we had company till Mysore. Some discussions and negotiations with them and we decided that we will go till Mysore together and then the final destination will be decided there.

6:00 PM: Off from office. Dying to use my new Cramster Stallion saddle bag :).

6:25 PM: Packing useless stuff in the saddle bag just to make it look full stuffed and alsobetter fit on the bike :)

6:35 PM: Off to MG Road. Plan was to meet at the Symphony Theatre at 7:00 PM.

7:00 PM: Weekend rush :(

7:15 PM : weekend rush :((

7:30 PM : finally Symphony !!!

So finally we were 5 people to leave bangalore on 4 bikes : My Avenger, Ashu's TB, Rapi's Karizma and Takel's P180. Rapi had a pillion, Ashok.

We managed to get out of city by 8:30 PM. Full tank at Shell's petrol bunk just before leaving city. I always feel adrenaline rush when I go for a full tank. It always means a good trip ahead.

It was almost dark. Takel proposed that we should follow some truck at a speed of 50 kmph. Then came the figure of 60 and finally everyone agreed on 70 for SH-17 (Bangalore-Mysore fundoo highway). Ultimately, everyone rode at 80.

I was so happy being back on highway after a long break. It was around 5 km from the Shell petrol pump that I felt some disbalancing in the bike. I stopped and found a flat rear tyre. Shit !!! Mine was the fourth bike so no one was behind me. Tried calling all three of them but no one picked up the phone. Guess they were too busy with the highway to hear their phones ringing ! At last Takel called after 5 mins. Ashu came back and we examined the tyre. As expected the culprit was a nail. We tried to take it out but in vain. Then for the first time in life I rode the bike sitting on the fuel tank!! I rode for 2 kms and found a pancher shop (yes it is always PANCHER and not puncture on these highway shacky shops).

10:10 PM : Back on the road ! Reached Kamat after around 20 km ride and found Rapi, Takel and Ashok devouring on oil filled puris, rice and sambhar cursing the person who told them that Kamat is the best place to eat on highways !!!! We also had some puris and were back on road after around half an hour.

2 chai stops in between and we reached Mysore at around 1 AM.

Unlike Bangalore, Mysore looked very different. Different in positive side with wide roads and cleanliness.

We stayed at Takel's friend's place.

Day 2 ( Saturday, 2nd Dec 2006)

We woke up at 7. At 8:45 AM, we all were at Green Leaf Restaurant having our breakfast and discussing further plans. No one was willing to change his/her (Disclaimer: Keyword :her" is added for making this blog as diplomatic as possible. This is purely fictional and I am sure there is no resemblence with anyone dead or alive) plan so finally me and Ashu broke off for Ooty and other people to Iruppu Falls.

The first stretch of Mysore - Gundlupet was awesome. Beautiful highway and we kept a steady 70 on that. Only 1 stop in between for loo and we covered Mysore-Gundlupet 60 km stretch in an hour.

Bandipur National Forest starts at around 20 km from Gundlupet. This stretch of road was mix of good, patchy and broken road. We had the first view of Nilgiris before entering Bandipur. I had heard so much about in Bandipur in the past that I couldn't wait to enter the forest. Anecdotes from so many people about their encounters with wild elephants, deers were pulling me towards Bandipur.

There was a small shop and few cottages, guest house in the Reserve Forest. We bought some Chips, namkeens, chewing gums and water. Saw some pet elephants crossing the roads. Clicked few snaps and went off to Gudalur, our next landmark.

The road in Bandipur was mostly very good except for few bad patches. We crossed the state border and entered Mudumalai WildLife Sanctuary, Tamilnadu. I was surprised that police did not stop us at state border for inspecting bike papers, driving license etc and of course to search our bags for illeagal transport of liquor. In Mudumalai Sanctuary, there is a diversion. One road leading straight to Ooty with 36 hair pin bends and the other going to Ooty via Gudalur and Pykara. We took latter which is double the former one and thought of returning back via the short cut with 36 hair pin bends.

We stopped for a chai at a small stall and Ashu reminded me that these are the same jungles which were famous for Veeru dada aka Veerappan !

We reached Gudalur at Noon time which is around 55 km from Gundlupet. Now Ooty was just 40 km with Pykara enroute. But this was the most difficult part. The road was completely washed away because of recent rains. We took a coffee break near tea plantations.

Before hitting Pykara, we saw a very beautiful unnamed lake amidst lush green hills. We named it Switzerland :D as it was no way less beautiful in any aspect except for some special effects of snow and YashRaj Film's shooting. Clicked few snaps and inched towards Pykara on very very bad roads.

Pykara lake and falls are not very big but the location and beautiful blue colour of water was amazing. Few more snaps, 2 packets of fresh cherry, one water bottle and we were again on road. Next stop was Ooty.

Ooty is a small town in Nilgiris and is famous for green hills full of tea plantations and Mithun Da's hotels :). We reached Ooty at around 3:00 PM. Since it was an off season, there was no problem finding a hotel to stay. We got a decent hotel room with two beds, TV and hot water supply for 300 bucks. Took a bath, saw final two overs of India-SA twenty-20 and went in search of good food. After breakfast we had only few chips and cherries and it was already 4:30 PM. We roamed in the town on Ashu's bike and found Tandoori Mahal. Had lots and lots of food. It was already 6 PM so we could not go to Dodabetta or Botanical Garden. Roamed around in the town, had some really delicious home made chocolates and returned to the hotel.

10:30 PM : Doze off !!

Day 3 ( Sunday, 3rd Dec 2006)

We woke up at 7:00 AM. Waited till 7:30 AM for hot water supply to start. We were ready by 8:30 AM. Had hot coffee and checked out from the hotel. It was freezing cold and I didn't have gloves !!! Then came the saviour, a vendor selling low quality gloves for Rs 25/- each. Something is better than nothing so I bought a pair. We started off for Dodabetta after 15 mins. Yes it took almost 15 mins to remove dust off our bikes and start them in cold.

Dodabetta is the highest peak in South India with temperature touching zero in winters. Only 9 Kms from Ooty. Road was not good but twists and curves were too good and proved to be good warmup for us. There were some stunning views of the Nilgiris from the top. By 10:15 AM we were moving towards Coonoor.

Coonoor is a small place around 20 km south from Ooty famous for its beautiful tea estates. Also the famous "Chaiyya Chaiyya" toy train runs from Ooty to Coonoor. This was the first good road we encountered since Gudalur. Had chai and cake in Coonoor and were back in Ooty before noon.

Again had a tank up at BP petrol bunk :). Petrol is around Rs 2.50 cheaper in Ooty than in Bangalore. :). We planned to have a good meal before leaving Ooty but morning starts at 12 PM in hill stations. We got only bread-omlette as it was breakfast time.

We started our return journey at 12:15 PM. We planned to take the shorter route (with 36 hair pin bends) to Bandipur. This road bifurcates from the Ooty-Gudalur route at a place called Thalaikundah which is around 7 km from Ooty. The shortcut was one of most beautiful roads. Steep and smooth. We descented in just half an hour and Entered Mudumalai Sanctuary. This time we saw herds of deers in Bandipur.

We reached Gundlupet at 2:10 PM. Called Takel from there. They were also around 60 km away from Mysore.

We parked our bikes in front gate of Mysore Palace at 3:15 PM. Ooty to Mysore in 3 hours flat! We had some good bhelpuri there and reached Takel's friend's place at around 4:30 PM.

At around 5:15 PM, we set off for Bangalore. We took a wrong route which meets SH-17 in Srirangapatna. Although road was good but obviously not as good as SH-17. Rapi zoomed his karizma on SH-17 and was soon touching 100-110 kmph. I was following at around 80 kmph followed by Ashu and Takel. After around 40 km, Rapi had a flat tyre! We have been to all sorts of roads in this trip but both the flat tyres were encountered on the best road SH-17 !! Luckily we were only 200 metres from a Pancher :) shop.

We left the place at around 8:00 PM and stopped directly at the Chandigarh Punjabi Dhaba, 55 km before Bangalore. Nice food on desi style khaats (beds made by weaving rope on an iron frame). We set off to Bangalore after a good food.

Finally I parked my bike in my Apartment's parking at 11:00 PM. This was one of the most memorable trips I had. First time my bike saw a puncture and for the first time I saw so many different types of roads in a single trip.

Here is the route summary:

Bangalore-----152--------> Mysore ------59--------> Gundlupet -----20------> Bandipur -----31------> Gudalur -----40-----> Ooty -----20------> Coonoor

Coonoor ------20------> Ooty -----35-------> Bandipur -----20------> Gundlupet ----59------> Mysore -------152-------> Bangalore

More pictures of the trip can be seen here.

So, till next ride, ciao !!


Prasad Shetty said...

Thats really wonderfull man.... Where there's a will there's a way.. We will have m'lore trip this weekend..

Nishant said...

Jealousy is the only expression I can think of...Sahi hai

Kam said...

Good writeup bro! I compensated for the Ooty trip by going on a one day ride to a place called DD hills - some 180 kms in all. Got some friends from BikeNomads and RTMC along, it was fun!

Wat say about a ride to Munnar on 23-25th?

Ashish said...

@ shetty : yo buddy .. this weekend mangalore !!! :)

Ashish said...

@ nishant : shukriya bandhu :)

Ashish said...

@ kam : I am all game for Munnar dude !!! :)

Debonair said...

some might not like long posts, but i root for them ! as they say, the devil is in the details :D ..... amazing trip, and some masto photography (well-composed and crystal clear crisp pics!) m green with envy :)

Debonair said...

btw that link to BangaloreBikers group doesnt serve much purpose: it's only viewable to members, and members dont need the link from here of coz :P :P wotsay?

Ashish said...

again sorry for late responses from my side!

@debonair: thanks buddy. That link was for you only :). You can join through that :D

Ravi Chandran said...

Nice writing! Very useful. Had been to MM hills & Ooty by reading through ur blogs.

I have included your blog in my fav list.


MIK said...

I was planning on a bike trip myself and was thinking about getting the Cramster Stallion Saddle bags too.
I have an Avenger too. does the Stallion fit on the Avenger?
Or do I need to get the Colt?

Capt Saurabh

Sabol said...

Ooty is one of the best tourist place in tamil Nadu. http://www.sabolholidays.com

Richard said...

Hi friend, my name is richard! Read your blog the other day, its impressive. Now i got an idea of how to navigate the way to Ooty. Planning to burn tyre this weekend, will let you know my experience when i get back.

Nishitha KM said...

hi friends..well written post.keep blogging.planning a trip to br hills resort and also near by place bandipur resorts..its really an awesome place.their sevices and Wildlife Safari really really awesome....do visit once in your life tome..

Khushi R said...

Thank you for your post on Ooty trip.Its a famous getaway from Bangalore. The road to Ooty is mesmerizing and the place is picturesque. There are many popular places to visit. Do check places to visit in Ooty in one day for the complete list.

Rajesh periasamy said...

Taking a long drive is always not an option but its always a good and memorable drive. Thank for sharing your lovely memorable experience with us. Keep updating.

Bangalore to Ooty Cabs