This is the second ride with this crew, and whenever Biju visits Coimbatore it turns out to be a complete entertainer of a ride (anyway he visits only once in a year). Like last Diwali trip, this too had its similarities, planned to Valparai but visited Thekkadi and Munnar and the second round trip.
Oct 21 5:30 Right in front of our home, had a camera bag that’ it and all set for the ride. Looking at each other, okay guys where are we going, we three just starred at each other for few minutes, still not sure where we are travelling and Biju suggesting, first lets go to BPCL Coimbatore Lorry owner petrol station fill our tanks and then decide in which direction we need to proceed. Filled 14.71 lrts of petrol combined together, Yogesh suggesting Thekkady and a short 2 min discussion and our destination was set, Thekkady. 275 KM from where we were standing, checked the route, via Dharapuram, Oddanchatram, Theni and Thekkady.
Compelling, that dawn marked the start time for the ride which hadn’t happened before. Back at Bangalore starting the ride too early to avoid traffic made me miss the real beauty of early morning ride, the view was breath taking, sun peaking above the horizon, sky shining brilliant blue, with the fields still wrapped in their morning blanket and the first rays of sun reflecting on the blades of windmill stretched all over the field, making our morning ride beautiful.
Just after few kilometers of crossing Theni, Vodafone network nodes alerting on entering Kerala and the sudden change of Climate alerted us yes this is going to be the coolest ride ever, we were in Idukki district and the entire stretch to Thekkady, Kumily was a rain hit ride, what else a rider would expect for after burning himself in the hot sun for nearly an hour, and music garnishing the ride, it was like heaven on earth. No photos this time of the road, instead a short video, sit back and enjoy (video with the same song as the playback during the ride )
Reached Periyar National Park, needed to board a bus to visit the national park and the boat ride, lake too. It was already crowded and we were not interested to visit the national park, so checked with the locals for other place to visit in Thekkady, they redirected to Pandikuzhi. It was an enchanting view point for nature lovers, and photographers delight too, if not for the fog to disappoint you. People said don’t make an attempt to move to the rock as it is raining and it is very slippery but being cautious we took the risk. It was quite frightening but whats the thrill without taking that one extra step, its now or never.
Clock striking 14:00, decided to drive to Munnar, 100+ Km from Thekkady and map showed as 4hr 35min to reach Munnar. We all laughed and said, Google is funny today. The moment we started, there was heavy drop of water, it was a downpour, with no place to hide from the rain started our journey. It was the ride through the Western Ghats, driving here is completely adventurous, going through tea estates, steep curves and zig zag tracks, being a narrow road one needs to be very cautious while driving here and rain adding extra bit of challenge for the rider. It just kept on going round and round and round, a roller coaster of a ride.
I have been to the Ghats in Karnataka, but after riding here, they stand no match to Munnar. It was almost 17:00 the weather was worst and darkness started to invade us, and we still had 10 Km to reach Munnar, but again there was a surprise waiting. The shortest route was blocked for maintenance and the diverted route had an extra 15 Km added to reach Munnar, and it was still raining, it wasn’t just a rain, it was a downpour. With no other option left we took the route luckily we came across a sign board saying take right to Munnar 9Km. From there the ride was like pleasurably thrilling one. It was a drive through a private tea estate and extremely steep one, within 5 Km Honda Unicorn gave up, at one stretch even at the first gear it failed to move further, me being the pillion rider instantaneously jumped from the vehicle while Biju was fighting with the steep and I was standing back and enjoying the scene. On the other hand RE showed its stability, it was a butter smooth ride was RE. Honda engine was overheated we had to stop for getting it cooled down so that the next 4 Km can be covered. We also had a discussion to tow the unicorn by tying it the RE
Moment when Honda gave up
The scene became completely dark and we were like left in a no man’s land, no lights, raining, we were completely wet and not sure we were in the right way or not. The next 4 Km was a thriller, what’s next was the question running in our mind, loved it to the core. Coolest ride ever, ever ever ever.
Yes this was how the visors were while driving
Reached the resort and checking online price of the stay before booking
18:30 Reached Munnar, checked for the hotel to stay, since it was impossible to drive. Mobiles too were drowned, speakers giving up, the effects of rain. The biggest challenge was we didn’t carry any spare clothes. Thanks for the towel and bed sheet provided, that were our costume for the rest of the night. Had a good long chat before going to sleep (riders credibility )
Day 2, Oct 22 Exploring Munnar
8:00 Prayers chanting in the nearby temple was alarm for us. Pathetic way each one were 😀 ——, still our clothes were wet, bright sun was up and shining, had all our clothes out and we had to wait until 10:30 to get it dried up.
First sight of Munnar it
11:00 Munnar has list of places to visit in all the directions. List below,
We chose the Coimbatore direction, being holiday season most of them were crowded, managed to visit few and also capture the nature beauty on the way. The Western Ghats beauty was unravelling itself in the morning,
Useful discussion, hopefully
The twin red beauties
Icy chill Lakkam Waterfall
Drive through Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary was a finest ride, peaceful one there’s nothing but the rubber of our tyres rolling across the road to disturb the wildlife. Shhh. The Ending moments of Ghat Section.
We are not supposed to stop anywhere on the way through the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and guards were very strict on it. Crossing through couple of checkposts we were out of Munnar. Had our lunch,
And off to Coimbatore via Udumalpet, Palladam. Diwali holidays well spent, 2 days with family and two days with friends. Started the ride with no plans went through a thriller Saturday to end on a Peaceful Sunday. If you’re planning to Munnar for a days trip, do carry a spare cloth because Nature has other plans for you.
Until next time, c u.