Category Archives: Biking

Kerala Bike Trip: Day 6: Alappuzha

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

 Dec 13, 2012

The back waters beckon. Its one of the attractions that we had in plan for the Kerala Trip. JK’s incessant talk with Kamruddin continues. History, polictics, foreigners, art, women, Kerala, Middle-east, you name it. There wasn’t a topic that was left unturned.

Mallus speak a lot and malayali is a compressed language.

JK’s validating every letter of his statement. Kamruddin has suggested us that we should have our breakfast at Idli anna. A locally hit fellow whose idlis are the softest, yummiest. So good that he has earned that sobriquet.

An autorickshaw ride takes us to Idli anna’s eatery. A small room for sitting less than 10 men’s seating capacity, with a small kitchen as well. We entered and as our urban seating logic dictates, we selected the most secluded of the seats. A fellow in cream shirt and the folded मुंड (local name for the lungi) came and asked us to seat ourselves as close to the other patrons having their breakfast. We told him about our choice of breakfast. While we adjusted in the small seats, the guy rushed and put 3 banana leaves in front of us. No sooner the leaves landed on the table, another guy put white idlis on the leaf, twisted his other hands, overflowed the idlis with chutneys and sambhar.

Continue reading Kerala Bike Trip: Day 6: Alappuzha

Kerala Bike Trip: Day 5: Munnar, Kochi and to Alappuzha

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

Dec 12, 2012

I have managed to learn only following in Malayali

१ = उन्न
२ = रण्ड
३ = मून
४ = नाल
५ = Damn! I’ve already forgotten !

OK = शेरी
Water = वलयम्

I’m in the land of the Mallus or the middle-east? and this is all that I’ve got to hold my self in this terrain.

Today’s plan is the Tea museum, and then off to Alappuzha (Alleppy) via Kochi. We head out early after having another round of Idi, vadas to the Kannan Devan Tea Museum. Its the first time JK and Manas are going to resent the way the tea is made in their respective homes. First the video of the Munnar’s history and then the tea manufacturing process. In the process there is this realization of the fact, that all of us who are used to the टपरी चाय are not having the right tea. The right way to make it is add tea powder to boiling water, stir it a little and then leave it for its flavour and colour to blend into the water. But our tapari chai is more of all ingredients at once and BOIL ! BOIL ! BOIL ! Its poison according to few… but hell with it ! I like my chai the boiling-hot style.

Continue reading Kerala Bike Trip: Day 5: Munnar, Kochi and to Alappuzha

Kerala Bike Trip: Day 4: to Munnar

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

Dec 11, 2012

Today we are supposed to leave for Munnar. Last day was complete rest for us and the 250km ride doesn’t seem as big a task as first day’s 780km. After some chai, biscuit we hop on our bikes head towards Kerala, our 3rd state in the tour.

Last night we spent an hour to figure out of we should do Munnar. Reason being Manas wanted to be back in Mumbai by Tuesday as he was short of leaves, while me and JK had them overflowing… After a long bout of puzzle in planning and figuring out how to save days, we decided that we’ll roam Munnar on the way, and the next day too we’ll leave in late morning after visiting Munnar’s tea garden / museum.

from Coonoor
from Coonoor

The down hill ride from Ooty was spell-binding. Trees, smooth down-hill road, cool air of December, the early morning sun rays cutting past through the leaves and not to mention the throttle control in our hands. We came down via Coonoor, another hill station just below Ooty having its own fairy tale railway station. We stopped for snaps at a point where we could see a river down the valley, mountains stacking behind the scenery and the sun finally throwing its golden hue into the picture.

Continue reading Kerala Bike Trip: Day 4: to Munnar

Kerala Bike Trip: Day 2, 3: Ooty

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

Dec 9, 2012

The 5 am alarm bell reminds me of a devil pushing you down in burning oil pan in hell – scenes from Tom & Jerry. I get up only to realize I’m around 800km away from the comfort of home with 2 other dumb-fucks like me sleeping besides me. Its Ooty today, another 400km before we finally take a break from riding and start enjoying our vacation.

I push others and try to clear bowels. Ya – emphasis is on try. This early morning routine will follow us for next 10 days. JK gets up and needs a सुट्टा and chai before his dump. He goes downstairs while me and Manas try to gather our senses. We check out around 7am and head straight to the टपरी where we have chai and biscuits and continue with our biking talks, bikes, kilometers, roads, slopes and ghats.

Almost past 7.30, we mount back on bikes and head towards Sira, the junction where we’re supposed to get off the comforts and speeds of NH and onto the state highways of Karnataka. Just after Chitradurga, roads start to change with the scenery. The roads have constant diversions after 3 km or so for a new flyover over small junctions or villages, while the nature changes its trees. I start to see more Coconut trees and its farms. A sight that will be common throughout the trip. From concrete farms of Mumbai, to shrubby sugarcanes of the black soiled central and south Maharashtra to the red clayed Karnataka transforming into a greener coconut and palm tree laden earth. This was gonna be better by the end of the day !

The board of “Historical town of Sira welcomes you” was just around the turn, and we stopped near a truck-dhabba for breakfast. One might wonder how different is a truck-dhabba. So there are 3 types of dhabbas that I’ve know of

  1. Truck-dhabba – the most authentic of all dhabbas (it may be called something else if its not in central or north india). Its only purpose to serve food. It may not be most hygienic and but could be tasty. The ambiance is not certainly a point to be discussed. Its pricing and other attributes mean only truck drivers and local laborers could patronize it. Oh and I forgot there is nothing like a clean toilet / washroom in such places. The cleanest place to pee would actually be outside the toilet.
  2. Car-Dhabba – for the elite tourists touring in cars. Food is typical of what you find in cities, cleaner. There is a neat shaded parking for cars unlike the dusty open areas found in truck-dhabbas. The prices reflecting the extra effort gone into maintenance of toilets, tables, flooring, etc.
  3. City-Dhabba – only thing dhabba-ish in this place is the name of the restaurant/hotel. Such establishments are only found in cities. The ambiance is made to look like a punjabi road side restaurant with fake or cut-through vehicles mounted on the walls. The food is a typical with its prices touching the ceiling where the bold colors and vehicle cut-outs are mounted.

Continue reading Kerala Bike Trip: Day 2, 3: Ooty

Kerala Bike Trip: Day 1: Karnataka

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

Dec 8, 2012

trrringg trringg … (no response)

Its past 5.30am and we’re waiting at the Panvel junction watching guys in dark extorting  from truck drivers. JK isn’t here and not even responding. He calls back saying he is locked in traffic. He finally makes at the rendezvous point with 2 of his bags stacked over each other on the pillion seat. Manas’s first statement after a gaali for being late is

भेनचोद ये क्या लगाया है ?

JK agrees, he said he thought it was hoisted and was almost like a full-back-rest, but now its kinda dangling and unstable. Its already past 6, JK is more than 30 mins late, and we can’t even start without fixing JK’s bags. Manas with his endless resources of bungee cables, ideas of hoisting bags on a bike gets through with the problem and JK’s bags are now bomb-proof. Still as a dead person. We finally leave by 6.30am, already an hour late, which we’d rue later.

Continue reading Kerala Bike Trip: Day 1: Karnataka

Mumbai Kerala Bike Trip: Planning

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

Route

24 Nov, 2012

The following is the original draft made by me and JK (in the office 😉 )

  1. Mumbai – Hubli, night halt (day1) 576km (8hrs+) [travelling]
  2. Hubli – Ooty, night halt (587km, day2) (10hrs+) [Mysore is 100km less, about 8hrs] [travelling]
  3. Ooty (day3) [rest]
  4. Ooty – Munnar, night halt (day4, 242km, 5hrs+) [rest + travelling]
  5. Munnar, and around (day 5) [rest]
  6. Kochi, port (day6, 130km, 2.5hrs) [rest + travelling]
  7. Allepely, night halt (day6, 60km, 1hr+) [rest]
  8. Shornour(jk’s home village) (day7, 166km, 3hrs) [rest]
  9. Shornour, and around (day8, ) [rest]
  10. Bhatkal, Karnataka, night halt (day9, via Mangalore, Udipi, 474km, 9hrs) [travelling]
  11. Jog Falls, Gokarna, Karwar, night halt (day10, 84km+150km 4hrs+) [rest + travelling]
  12. South Goa, palolem, agonda, etc, night stay (day11) [roaming + rest]
  13. Panhala, night halt (day12, 300km, 5.5hrs+) [travelling]
  14. Panhala, tour and around (day13, 50kms) [rest]
  15. Mumbai, (day13/14, 397km, 6hrs+) [travelling]

If we see our daily activity as Riding only and Travelling (T), Rest (R), Travelling&Rest (B)

TTRBRBRRRTBRTRT

About 5 heavy travelling days, 7 rest and roaming days and 3 roaming + travelling days. So pretty evened out, more of rest + roaming as we would want.

Budgeting

Petrol – 3600km, ₹ 6000 in petrol (assuming 45 kmpl.)
Lodging – 13 days night halt ( appox ₹ 4000 per person, assuming per night appoxx ₹ 1000/3 )
Food – ₹ 1300 (appox 50 per meal x 2 x 13)
Misc – ₹ 1000 (souvenirs, laundry, etc, IF ANY 😉 )
Bike Maintenance – ₹ 2000 (hopefully none, but – engine oil, punctures, but adding an upper side)
TOTAL – appox. ₹ 15,000 (₹ 14300)

Map


View Larger Map

Well the length of the route in the perspective with India’s size looks LONG !

Update

1 Dec, 2012

It seems, Manas wont’ make it. Damn! That leaves just me and JK. Which means the trip might become little expensive for lodging.

The date is now fixed, 10 Dec, 2012. We’ll be visiting the famous Dudhsagar waterfalls as well. I’ll be getting my engine oil changed today, 9 days ahead of trip start.

Medicines / Toiletries

Its best if none of them are ever used, but if wishes were horses…

  • High BP pills (ya thats for me, Hypertension patient)
  • Crocin (Analgesic)
  • Lomofen (Diarrhoea, stomach infections), Domstal, Dompan, Pudin Hara (Stomach aches, problems)
  • Soframycin, some bandages
  • Combiflam (pain killer, anti-inflammatory)
  • Odomos
  • Bathing soap
  • Washing soap (ya, have to do our own laundry!)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush
  • Shaving kit

Utilities

  • Bike PUC
  • Bike Insurance
  • Phone Charger
  • Bungee Chords
  • Map, Itinerary printouts
  • Paper, Pen (For all misc blog writups, spending log, etc, notes)

Update

3 Dec, 2012

Manas is finally making it. 🙂 But we’ll have to cut off Gokarna, South Goa, etc. Thats not bad, we could make that as a separate trip with Dudhsagar falls, etc.

Update

6 Dec, 2012

Just a day to go by and we’ll be on our motorbikes, Honda Unicorn (me), R-15 2.0 (Manas) and FZ-S (JK). All adding up to 450cc lesser than my and JK’s recently researched dream machine – Ninja 650 R 😀

Late night, putting my last moment requirements around the saddle bag. My Saddle Bag #1 is almost full with clothes and toiletries. I got that this saddle bag from Manas’ friend.