The mountains are calling…

This turned out to be a long travelogue…

It was decided we’d be going to Ooty. About a month back, on a tea break with a few of my friends. I said I would also join them, but on a motorcycle. The break was a much needed one for most of us. I was in search of a fellow rider. Rather, a partner in crime you may say. It was without much effort I got the partner I was looking for. Harsha, It was only a couple of months we knew each other, but he likes riding too. The next week or two were spent pooling in money and looking out for offers to buy our gear.

The plan was to visit Nandi Hills the first day, camp there for the night and do it on a weekday. Reach Ooty the second day, roam around enjoying the road. Take the much hyped train or road to Coonoor from Ooty with all our other friends the third day and somehow return back to Hyderabad the fourth day. All this avoiding night riding as much as possible and being sane with highway traffic, both of which went for a toss later on. A weekend before the actual date of journey was a test ride day to Ananthagiri hills tying up all our gear and seeing how it holds up on our machines. We had come up with a checklist of all the items to take along with us after that ride, we even had a shared excel at our workplace to make a note of anything that crossed our minds. Talk about planning 😛

IMG_4493
The riders… 😉

And so, after using my dad’s warnings, my mom’s wishes, my petty little savings and my sister’s credit card and cash, It was all set. I was going on the longest ride I’ve ever done on my machine. 4 days of pure fun!

Ride itinerary:

  • Day 1: Hyderabad to Nandi Hills (550 Kms)
  • Day 2: Nandi Hills to Ooty via Bandipur forest (350 Kms)
  • Day 3(part-1) : Roam around in Ooty
  • Day 3(part-2) : Ooty to Bangalore (280 Kms)
  • Day 4 : Bangalore to Hyderabad (570 Kms)

Crossing 4 states in 4 days…. twice.

Day 1:

Our meeting point was the shamshabad airport detour on the Bangalore highway. The night before the ride, I was lost in sleep after having a good dose of hyderabadi biryani, while my partner was deprived of it searching for some things to buy for us in the last minute. Having once been on the Hyderabad-Bangalore highway last february to attend my team mates marriage, I have a fair idea of the road condition until Ananthapur. After which, it was only google that we believed in. The ride until Kurnool was a quick ride. We took a break some 50 Kms away from Kurnool for a photoshoot! Had some drinks at the Kurnool toll gate and started towards Anantapur.

The lands to the side of the roads were already changing from heavy constructions to slightly populated to barren lands to rocky mountains. It was then I realised after 23 years that the deccan plateau is a plateau. The ride from Kurnool to Anantapur was a rather uneventful one, with the sun right on top of our heads and not even a tree visible in sight. Having spotted a couple of trees on the opposite side of the road, we took a short break somewhere before Ananthapur. The locals who are resting under the shade were awed by the shear luggage we packed and the amount of space that’s left on our bikes for us to sit and the destination we are headed to. Crossing Ananthapur was not even noticed in the riding frenzy we were in. Having crossed the telangana border already and as were are near to the end of AP, we decided to stop for lunch near Anantapur. After resting our pathetic bums for about an hour, we started riding ahead.

It was only to our surprise that we caught ourselves in a bit of rain. After all the heat we’ve been riding in, it was a welcome change. We stopped to put on the makeshift rain covers that we had, and to fix the action cam. But the fun was short lived. The rain lasted only a few Kms. We then drew ourselves towards a monolith mountain for a photo session, again 😛 We were generously offered by the landowner a place in the fields to camp in for the night. But as Nandi Hills was only 30 odd Kms away from this place, we thought of scouting the Nandi Hills area first and then returning back if we found no good spot to camp. little did we know we would get lost in time to reach the place. It was 8 O’clock by the time we reached the nandi Hills checkpost. They close the road by 6 PM. The security guy offered a room in the Govt. guest house which was on the top of the hill. There was a place which looked like a group of campers had camped there which we thought of joining instead of paying up to the guys. Turns out it was a posh coffee shop which was mistook by me to be some other place. We lost a good amount of time and energy in search of a place to camp. Finally retreating and accepting the securities offer. We took some packed food from a fastfood hotel at the entrance of Nandi Hills.

The thing is, the road to the top of Nandi Hills is offlimit after 6 PM to visitors. Now, at 9:00PM, we found ourselves on that road!

It was an awesome ride from there to the top of the hill through the sweet curves and hairpin bends to the guest house. Except for the scary quietness of the night forest when we stopped to take some photos, it was pure fun.  It made us forget all the stress we felt in the days ride. Parked our bikes safely, demounted the luggage from our bikes, had the food, went into a deep sleep. The 600 Kms ride chasing my shadow had ended drifting into the night.

More to come….

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