Road Tripping on the “Roadking”

The “Rainbow Guy” was contemplating a solo trip on his beast, the “Yezdi Roadking” for the better part of an era. The bike was serviced, tools were in place but the knowledge on how to fix a breakdown was entrusted to his crafty mechanic and the saving grace of video calling in any eventuality. Neither a plan nor second thoughts were conjured, as he rode off planning his journey from destination to destination. Little did he know, that this trip would transform him.

Stage 1: Bangalore to Ooty (280km)

Route: Bangalore → Mysore → Nanjangud → Gundlupet → Masinagudi → Ooty

Ooty/Udhagamandalam/Ootacamund is a hill station in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. The “Queen of Hills“as is its popularly referred to nestles between four hills ‘Dodda Betta’, ‘Snow don’, ‘Elk Hill’ and ‘Club Hill’ which are part of the Nilgiri hill range. The ride was uneventful up until he had to cross the famed Bandipur and Masinagudi National parks. The roads were magnifique and the 36 hair pin bends to reach her majesty was a joy to navigate but tricky nonetheless.

Ecstatic after the ride, he began to hunt for a place to shed the dust and weariness. The ‘Queen’ had packed herself with vacationers! This came as a shocker to our Tam-Villain, as he had no place to stay. Summoning the last ounce of his patience, he mustered the energy to look for online bookings. He found “Zostel” and rode straight to it. Skeptical, as it being a shared dormitory and his lack of hostel experience was daunting. With the lack of options, he had to settle. It wasn’t as bad as he had thought. A clean bed, healthy food, hot water and varied roommates from around the world.

Stage 2: Ooty to Munnar (250km)

Route: Ooty→ Coonoor→ Mettupalayam→ Annur→ Palladam→ Udumalpet→ Marayoor→ Munnar

The ride descending from the ‘Queen’s’ bosom heading towards Coonoor, was memorable with numerous winding curves to test the bike’s front fork and braking capability.

From there on, it was flat ground to cover more distance with respect to time. The ascent through the Kannan Devan Hill range was another story in itself. The roads were a dream to ride on and the rolling tea estates were truly a sight to behold. Unfortunately, due to a novice mistake made by our hero. His go-pro hero was left running from Coonoor and ended up with zero juice to record this amazing section. For more on ‘Munnar‘ and ‘Kerala‘ please to be doing those click actions on the aforementioned hyperlinks.

Stage 3: Munnar to Allepey (170km)

Route: Munnar→ Adimali→ Kothamangalam→ Muvattupuzha→ Koothattukulam→ Udumalpet→ Manjoor→ Allepey

Average roads and heavy traffic greeted him on the eve of 2020. Google maps routed him through endless paddy fields and canals, snaking through the city to his bed at Artpackers.Life This was precisely when our introvert finally opened up to the world, hostels and its occupants. This was NYE for crying out loud and he needed company. The gracious ‘Aandava‘ (tamil for the Almighty) bestowed upon him with the best.

The 1st of 2020 unlike everyone else, was awoken with a heavy hangover. An a la carte breakfast with omelettes and pineapples soothed some of those ragged edges. Bidding adieu to his NYE mates! It was time to check out the bedspread at ‘Zostel‘ and the almighty came along bearing surprises. The most accommodating hosts and the company there was astounding.

*Note: The 1st of every month in Kerala is a dry day, but the good graces were shining on him as the ‘Toddy’ and ‘Rum’ were flowing!!! A note of gratitude to those wonderful souls who helped our helpless alcoholic.

The hosts at Zostel urged our central character to try some activities like the canoe, kayak or houseboats. After much deliberation, our adrenaline driven agonist, finalized the kayak organized by Oscar Cruise. He had to awake at 5AM which was unheard of and boy was he spellbound even after his grumbles. If you could kindly perform those mouse clicking activities to read more on Allepey and Kerala

Stage 4: Allepey to Kumarakom (40km)

Route: Allepey→ Mararikulam→ Thanneermukom→ Kumarakom

A quick stop over to embrace the grandeur of Kerala’s largest lake “Vembanad Lake“. Roads were average cris-crossing paddy fields and canals, with greenery all around. The temperate climate was perfect! You may want to navigate those fingers onto the links that are quite hyper, for more on Kumarakom and Kerala

Stage 5: Kumarakom to Varkala (130km)

Route: Kumarakom→ Changanassery→ Chengannur→ Adoor→ Kottarakkara→ Parippally→ Varkala

This ride could well be described as a “Ride to Roast”, as our mad man was literally roasted. If he could have ridden in his undies, he would have, but that would have offended the pilgrims going to ‘Sabrimala‘. Post going two shades darker than he already is, the cold waters of the beach was enticing. His first night belonged to “Short Giraffe” a below average hostel. His co-conspirators there, made up for the below par hospitality and service.

The following two nights were bedded at Zostel. This is one hell of a property and has such a magical vibe to it. The rooftop is splendid and expansive, with a great view. Do visit True Thomas for some affordable orgasmic food. Finger that mouse for more on Varkala and Kerala

Stage 6: Varkala to Kodaikanal (340km)

Route: Varkala→ Thenmala→ Rajapalayam→ Peraiyur→ Vellalapatti→ Batlagundu→ Kodaikanal

En-route to Mannavanur Lake

The heat was getting to our road tripper, being 680km away from his cave in Bangalore. It only made sense to pit stop, shiver for a while and head back to the monotony that is corporate life. The roads in Kerala are in NO comparison to the pot hole ridden tracks of Tamil Nadu. That was until you reach the foothills of Kodai. He had to climb the ‘Princess’ in the dark, navigating her curves with low beams. Luckily the weather was kind and visibility was good. The only thought crossing his mind was the hot water bath at Zostel to remediate those frozen fingertips. Another awesome property with a great view. Do apply the same fingering policy for more on Kodaikanal

Stage 7: Kodaikanal to Bangalore (470km)

Route: Kodaikanal→ Dindigul→ Karur→ Peraiyur→ Namakkal→ Dharmapuri→ Krishnagiri→ Hosur→ Bangalore

Dreading that he might get fired from his job. Our rider had to get back to his duties. The downhill ride was exhilarating, superb blind corners and hair pin bends to navigate. Sore eyes were kept afresh with magical views of the hills. This was purely an endurance ride. To check if the ‘King’ can make it on time before the maddening peak hour traffic that is Bengaluru and he did.

Going down on the ‘Princess’

Credits: To the ‘Almighty‘ for keeping our protagonist alive. His ‘Mum‘ for her care,love and understanding. ‘Raju‘ the mechanic for his fantastic work with the bike. His ‘Sister/ATM’ for buying the Go-Pro. To the most amazing, kind and compassionate people who helped him along the way. Lastly, his boss for not firing his ass. God Bless all you magical souls!

Time is our most expensive commodity and yet most undervalued!

Reach for the stars, the world is yours to see. In the words of ‘Aerosmith’, “Dream on, Dream until your dreams come true”

Carpe Diem!

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