Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ooty Revisited

Two wheels, roads and rains ! Ride On !!

This was my second ride to Ooty and I came to know about three more biking enthusiast in this trip. Prabhjot aka PJ, Sathish aka dude and Yogesh aka yogi.

Ooty is one destination which can be done any day any time! It has that perfect distance for a 2 day trip plus all sort of roads from magnificent 4-lane highways to smooth 2-lane state highways to jungle riding to twisty turns and hairpins.

The plan for the ride was incepted by PJ. I must say if it were not him, this ride would have lost in reluctance of the well known reluctanter "Ashu" (Wow! I also invented a new word like Shakespeare :D. Reluctanter :D) .

After Ashu dwindled away from the ride, it was only me and PJ. I was not very much "keen" to go on a ride with a person whom I have never met! But thanx to that person, PJ, I met a budding biker all full of praises for his wife :).


Finally we were able to pull in dude and guri and 4 people were game for the ride. me, PJ, dude and Guri. We were supposed to meet at the HP Petrol bunk on MG Road at 7:00 PM. Thanks to heavy rains, Guri could not make it to the rendezvous point. After waiting in vain for rains to stop, rest three of us geared and started off towards Mysore. The ride was a breeze. With constant drizzle, rather quite a downpour, low visibility but comparatively less traffic, we maintained constant 80 with myself as spot. Our first stop was at Ramanagram for dinner. Delicious Chicken for me and Sathish and plain dal chawal for newly turned veg PJ. It's really fun eating chicken in front of a person who has recently turned veg. Oh I love that look at his face!!

We were already fully drenched and we rode on again in rains. I have always wanted to ride to some hill station in rains but not without a raincoat :( . Alas! we were not carrying one. After this we took only a small break for chai that too when we were only 30 km short of Mysore. Rains played hide and seek but we kept constant 80-90 kmph and soon were roaming in quite streets of Mysore searching for Kalidas Road. Our plan was to stay at one of my friends' Anshul's place. By 2:00 in the night we were dozing.

Ashu had told us the earlier day that if he completes his work at office he will catch up with us but seriously, I did not have any idea that he actually will turn up! We got a phone call in the morning that Ashu with Yogi as pillion and good ol' Guri as fellow rider were about to reach Mysore. So ex-Mysore, there were 6 of us on 5 bikes.


It was good to see sun after previous night's rains. Guri was as usual merciless on the highway with full throttle and rest of us were trotting behind him at 80-90kmph.


A breakfast at Gundlupet and a small break in Bandipur and we were soon cruising inside Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctury, Tamilnadu. By noon we were all set to scale the Nilgiris on rather infamous 32 hairpin bends road. The climb was amazing, one of the steepest, I did on my bike. By the time we reached Ooty, it started raining again.


We stopped for a chai and then searched for a shop selling raincoats! And then, after muffling my saddlebag, I realized that I was infact carrying a rain poncho all the way! Good biryani lunch at Ooty and we were soon off to Coonoor-Wellington.


Ride to Wellington and Conoor was refreshing with slight drizzle, green fields and view of the chaiyya chaiyya train. One stop for pics and we carried on to Wellington.


Now, I must point out a difference between bikers and married men. Not that married men are not bikers but still, the budget married people have for a night stay is equal to the budget for all the trips in a month for a biker! Our new rider PJ wants to stay in this Riga Residency Hotel only which had a double room for some 1.5-1.6K! After some bargaining, we settled for 1.1K. There was a vintage car on display in the hotel lobby and we used it to the fullest for our cameras ! :)


Wellington unlike Ooty is very cosy and sleepy going easy at its own snail-pace. We had our dinner at quite-a-shady-place in Coonoor. Omlettes, Egg Kerala Parottas were good and filling and soon we were in our beds. Ah! I love that chilly air when I am under a cozy blanket :).

I was not at all feeling like getting out of my blanket the next morning, but somehow I managed to. We were soon lining up in front of Riga for photo-sessions :)

Photo-sessions and we were off to Botanical Garden. Nice place for couples/kids and combination of both but strict NO! for bikers and bachelors. After wasting a sizeable amount of time there, we started our descent on the hairpin bend road.


Return journey was peaceful. Few breaks for chai/coffee. This time we rode really slow through Bandipur and enjoyed the beauty.

We stopped at Mysore for lunch. Lunch was good and soon we were cruising smoothly on SH-17 towards Bangalore.

Guri was soon out of sight on his TB. Rest of us rode together till Ramanagram and had chai/coffee at a dhaba. We bid goodbye to each other and left for our respective homes rather PJ left for his home and rest of us just for our rooms. This was my first wet ride and I enjoyed it thoroughly!

Want to read different version of the story? Goto PJ's log.

Summary:
--------------

Date:
21st Apr 2007 to 22nd Aprb 2007

Riders:
1. Ashish - Bajaj Avenger
2. Ashutosh - RE Thunderbird
3. Prabhjot - Bajaj Avenger
4. Gurinder - RE Thunderbird
5. Sathish - Bajaj Pulsar 150
6. Yogesh - Pillion

Route:
Bangalore - Ramanagaram - Maddur - Mysore - Gundlupet - Ooty - Coonoor/Wellington

Total Distance Bangalore to Bangalore: 600 KM

Night Stay:
Hotel Riga International, Wellington. Double room with extra bed for Rs 1100/-


More pics can be seen here

3 comments:

Sainis'......Finding happiness in each other said...

This blog leaves me with a feeling that yeh Cham is a sadistic at heart kitna maza aa raha hai isse sab ki taang kheechne mein!!!!! But gud fun. Rekindled all memories of the trip. Very well written, maza aa gya

Ashish said...

@ashu: tum bas ye sab bakwaas hi karte raho aur rides pe mat chalo :x

@PJ: yaar taang kheenchne mein mazaa to bahut aata hai :D .. haan yaar likhte hue bhi sab kuch yaad aa gaya fir se :)

sriguru said...

GREAT PICTURES GUYS!!! AM SHOWING THEM TO FRIENDS HERE IN AUSTRALIA!

Please drop a few lines, Ashish to down under where desis are thunder!

are u from bangalore?
sriguru@oneindia.in