Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ride to Munnar

Ride to Munnar !! At last mission accomplished !!! :D

Quick Facts first:

Date:

23rd Dec 2006 to 25th Dec 2006

Riders:

Ashish - Bajaj Avenger
Ashutosh - RE Thunderbird
Kamlesh - RE Thunderbird
Gurinder - RE Thunderbird
Kartik - RE Thunderbird
Manas - Bajaj Avenger
Arnab - Bajaj Pulsar 150
Vasanth - HH Karizma
Parwez - HH Karizma
Shivank (with pillion his brother) - Bajaj Pulsar 150
Saswata - Honda Unicorn
Himanshu (with pillion Mukesh) - TVS Apache


Route taken:

Bangalore - Hosur - Rayalkottai - Palakkodu - Pennagaram - Perumbalai - Mechcheri - Mettur - Bhavani - Perundarai - Vijaymangalam - Tiruppur - Palladam - Udamalpettai - Chinnar forest - Mariyoor - Munnar

Total around 450 KM.

Stay: Deluxe Dorm at Las Palmas Resort, Devikulum Road, Munnar

The beauty of this small place in Kerala called Munnar cannot be described in words! This being the longest and the last ride for the year was very special to me.


Plan was pretty simple. Start early morning on 23rd. Reach Munnar by evening. Roam around in Munnar on 24th and return back on 25th. Also, we planned to take unconventional route by going through shortcuts avoiding badly shaped National Highways.

This time it was a large group. 15 people including 2 pillions. Three of them were from Hyderabad and were on a long trip of South India.

Apart from 3-4 people, rest of us met at the designated spot,Hosur Road at 5:00 AM. We had planned for covering maximum distance in the early hours but fate had something else for us in store.

We had to take a right turn to Rayalkottai just before Hosur. The turn was very easy to miss. So we waited there for everyone to reach. Some of fellow riders crossed us zooming full speed towards Hosur. Finally I, Ashu and Kamlesh stayed at the turn and told rest all to proceed promising that we will catch up with them soon. After some time Arnab arrived and we thought of leaving too. We had already wasted more than 2 hours and were still practically in the sub-urbs of Bangalore.
Kamlesh asked for direction after a while and we found that "obviously we have to follow the straight road" actually is not the best way to reach Rayalkottai ! One autowala told us to take a U-turn and then take two right turns to reach a nice highway. Unlike the first group, we followed this path and were soon cruising at 80-90 kmph. We were some 15 km before Rayalkottai when Kamlesh recieved a phone call. One of the riders, Manas met an accident on the other "bad" road. He lost control over a speedbreaker and fell down. Dislocation of collar bone! Kamlesh, Vasanth and Shashi opted out from the ride and carried Manas back to Bangalore. Rest of us planned to meet up at Pennagaram.
We waited for around an hour at Pennagram till other group coming through the bad road reached. We had a breakfast there at around 11 AM. So now we were 7 bikes plus one more bike few tens of km ahead us.

We quickly sped to reach Bhavani, a decently populated town to have our lunch. There was a small section of ghat road also in between near Perumbalai and Mechcheri. We also crossed Mettur which has a cool dam. We were having veg fried rice and Gobhi Manchurian at around 2 PM.

Near Mettur Dam

Next big stop in between was Tiruppur. We never imagined that Tiruppur could be so big!!! It took us around an hour to cross this city full of Bangalore-like traffic and one ways! We did not stop here instead took a break in Palladam where few of us filled petrol.

Our next stretch of Palladam to Udamalpettai was too good. "Makkhan Road" :) as we call it. No traffic and both sides lots of wind mills. This area is generally very windy with wind speed reachig 60kmph easily ! but luckily or unluckily, it was quite quiet that day. We covered this section too quickly.


Now we had to cross the most awaited Chinnar forest. It was already twilight and we were sure that we have to pass the forest and do the climbing on hill roads in night and everyone was game for it! :) We met Shivank's bike also waiting before the jungle.

We were expecting a lot of interference from wildlife during night. But again fortunately or unfortunately, we spotted only few rabbits and mongeese.We entered Munnar at around 11:30 PM after crossing Chinnar and Mariyoor. Our stomachs were rumbling and grumbling so but obviously first thing was search for a decent (not a very high priority though) place to eat. And surprisingly there were too many places open at that hour for a hill station. After filling our tummies, we asked directions for our hotel, oh by the way we booked the hotel in advance from Bangalore :). We came to know that we have to ride yet another 10 km on those winding roads to reach the hotel. We ripped that distance quickly and checked in and dozed off. Oh, did I tell you that Gurinder broke his clutch cable on the way? Well we'll see that tomorrow. Right now zzzzzZZZZ !!!

We woke up leisurely at around 7-8 AM to find some people already left for sunrise. Our first job was to get Gurinder's bike fixed. We found a repair shop(? or was it just a roadside stall) which handles bullets. That repairman made sure that we do not leave from that place before lunchtime! It took more than 4 hours to him to change a clutch cable. Gurinder had to get his footrest also welded. He broke it last night few km before Munnar when his bike skidded on wet road.

After a nice Rajasthani Thali, we left for Medupatty and Top Station. Now, we saw the real beauty of Munnar. Majestic lush green tea estates everywhere. We missed these views last day because we entered Munnar after dark. The ride to Top Station which is around 35 km from Munnar was awesome. We clicked a lot of photos with Tea Estates in background. Stopped at Medupatty Dam to admire the beauty and again clicking some snaps.

At Medupatty Dam

As we neared Top Station, fog started building. By the time we reached Top Station, we could not see more than 10 feet ahead. Top Station basically has a good view point which we could not see due to dense fog.

Fog Closing In

At Top Station

Riding in Fog

The return from Top Station was a breeze. We stopped on the way to buy some roasted cashews and home made chocolates.
Return from Top Station

It was dark by the time we reached Munnar. We had our dinner and since it was Christmas Eve, we visited nearby Church also. My first visit to a church. It feels good :)


Again, a rip of 10 km to our hotel. We met Parwez and Vasanth there. They left Bangalore late after getting Manas treated and made it to Munnar on 24th. Had some chitchat and zzzzzZZZZZ.


Merry Christmas! It's 25th of december. I remembered I was in Madikeri last year on this day. That was my first 500+ km bike trip. We got ready and checked out of hotel by 8:00 AM. Arnab, Vasanth, Parvez, Shivank and his brother moved ahead for their Kerala Trip. Me, Ashu, Gurinder, Kartik, Saswata and Himanshu(with pillion Mukesh) took the road to Bangalore.


The return route was same. Although we admired and appreciated it in daylight. We had our lunch (kerala parotta) at Udmalpettai and dinner(chicken rice) at some "thela" near Pennagram. I reached home at around 9:00 PM. My longest ride till that day! But I still regret the reading on my Odometer. 994.7 KM. I missed the 1000 mark by mere 5.3 KM.

No worries. There is always a next time :)

You can see more pics here and here.



4 comments:

Kam said...

Yeah, there is a next time ;), however thats just a number ;) after a while it does not seem to be important.

Ride on bro!

Ashish said...

@kam.

yes buddy, now it does not matter :). Will put log of the Gokarna Ride soon

Swathi said...

Wonderful post about your trip to Munnar.Thank you for sharing the information.This will be very useful for all the travellers who are planning to travel.Book tickets in advance in the leading travel operators like Konduskar Travels,SVR Travels and Paulo Travels

Shilpa Chandwani said...

I think that you people have really enjoyed a lot in this place. This is definitely a good place which the tourist can prefer to visit this place from all over India. I too have visited this place in the month of march along with my family and it was one of the most enjoyable moment which we had at that time. To have a look at the best packages one can go through https://www.keralatourssale.com/kerala-honeymoon-tour-packages-visakhapatnam this. This types of packages will make the tour more romantic and affordable for the tourist to pay the price of it.