A wonderful cherishing moments on a Solo Ride to South Of India.
2days before the ride even commenced, I was not even sure to do it solo as i was not really fit for the ride. Just my will to explore, I took off on the 18th July 2015 (Saturday). Got my Bada Don (RE TB500) serviced and ready for this ride (Mechanic: Sundar), unfortunately was not able to get the flood lamps and mobile charger fixed as it was not available. I had a tough time explaining mum what I am upto. Woke up with a thought that I am doing my first longest solo and how am i gonna manage. Managed my brain to stop thinking a lot and 9:40 I was on my saddle.
Entire Route: Bangalore-Hosur-Salem-Dindugal-Madurai-Rameshwaram-Dhanushkodi-Rameshwaram-Kanyakumari(Via ECR road)-Nagercoil-Trivandrum-Kovalam-Varkala-Allapey-Kochi-Thrissur-Palakad-Coimbatore-Salem-Bangalore
Day1:Bangalore-Hosur-Salem-Dindugal-Madurai-Rameshwaram – 690KMS
9:40 Am started from home and took exit to Hosur took around 10:30am on the way spotted some real good landscapes, so stopped and did some photography and on the way stopped at Dindugal approx at 1:30pm (Sarvanna bhavan)
2pm started the ride again and reached Madurai at around 3:45pm.I had issues to park the bike safely as the luggage was not safe, finally a Snooker champion from Madurai comes and helps me to park the bike with luggage security.
Got in to the famous Meenakshi Temple, took her blessings and checked with localities on the distance and route to Rameshwaram. After the inquiry and thoughts from people, suggestions were not to do the night ride on that road as it is a single road and was dangerous as the roads are too dark and cannot find any human being on those roads until certain extent.
But took all the courage and started my ride to Rameshwaram at 5:30pm and stopped at the junction of Madurai and Rameshwaram road had a cup of tea and discussed with them on the road conditions etc, aheaded towards rameshwaram and found a joint to have night dinner approx 8:30pm 50kms before Rameshwaram stopped and had dinner. After dinner again headed towards Rameshwaram and reached there by 9:40pm and found a hotel for accommodation and halted for the night. It was surprising that after 690kms I was’nt exhausted,but slept with great contentment
Day2:Dhanushkodi-Rameshwaram-Kanyakumari(Via ECR road)- 330kms
Early morning around 7am got up took bath and was ready to visit the famous Eshwar temple in Rameshwaram also had breakfast and returned to the hotel to carry my camera and to head towards Danushkodi at 10:30am reached there and did some photography, took my Bada Don into the Sands of Dhanuskodi and was not feeling secure to ride him towards the old village as it was restricted. So stopped at a location there looked out places and the water colour of the sea was full blue….
Amazing feel being in that place and spending time listening to wave sounds birds chirping lovely feel…..being a solo on the ride was a lovely feeling and was able to give time to my mind think and take a lot of decisions and planning to keep up the pace of the ride, returned to Rameshwaram and packed my luggage and headed towards Pamban Bridge Rameshwaram which was around 14kms from the place where i stayed . Lovely views of it is posted and also lovely sight which i missed was to see the train passing by parallely to the bridge where i was standing.
Left Rameshwaram at 3:30pm and headed towards Kanyakumari…returned from Rameshwaram 50kms towards Madurai had to take a deviation on to the left which is the East Coast Road, lovely roads and stated to drizzle continued to ride after about 15kms rain stopped…..on the way found some lovely views of nature and landscape and was time for some photography again….lot of deviations on to reach Kanyakumari…checked with people and headed on right directions…at around 7pm my bike fuel was on reserve and was worried as there was no fuel stations so stopped near the toll around Tirnalvelli at the small tea shop had a lovely different tea made of cardamom, ginger etc was really refreshing and was energy booster as per his knowledge until 30kms no fuel stations and was worried as i was riding a 500 EFI and cannot trust where it might stop…
So rode slowly till the fuel station to make sure i reach and filled the fuel and started to reach Kanyakumari, finally saw wind mills on the highway and finally reached Kanyakumari by 7:45pm, it was almost 350kms from Rameshwaram. Took a room in Tamilnadu Hotel which was exactly located near the beach.Had dinner and settled in the Balcony of my room to sit and have a drink…..loved the sight weather and atmosphere…
Got up early morning at 5am and went to the View point to photograph the Sunrise, took some shots of Kanyakumari city and sunrise got back to the hotel and got ready to do the sight seeing and went around to temple and also visited Vivekanand memorial and the statue of Thiruvalluvar.
Returned to hotel and had my lunch and by then got a message from my Friend Sunil Subbaiah who had come to Kanyakumari on an official work and met me before i started to Kovalam……Started from Kanyakumari at around 4:30pm and on the way checked the directions and headed towards Kovalam….
Sam Samuel had a discussion with me on the phone to meet me in Kovalam and accordingly i reached the homestay at around 6pm as it was only about 90kms from Kanyakumari…..Sam also joined me from there and both went around the town had dinner together and returned to the home stay….
Day4:Varkala-Allapey-Kochi – 159kms
Sam had to leave early as he had his cousins wedding that week and had to pick his family friends, so he came with me to Padmanaba swamy temple and Varkala beech and left home….Temple visit had formalities of being half naked for men with the dhoti, so wore the same visited the temple. After that
we headed to Varkala beech…awesome views of the location was captured and we started to head towards Allepey on the way Sam bids bye and again my solo ride started awesome Boat houses in Allapey and then headed to Kochi on the way there was Highway patrol having the speed trace camera
and catches me at the speed of 100kms while overtaking a truck…..i was surprised and asked the cop as what is the speed expected to ride on a highway….he answers for a 2 wheeler it is 60-65kms speed and for cars it is 80-85kms….was like shocked had to pay a fine of Rs.400/- paid and headed towards
Kochi and reached the place at around 5pm. Stayed at the hotel Park Avenue which is in Fort Kochi and rested to night after having my dinner.
Day5:Kochi Sight Seeing
Got up morning at 8pm from the bed saw it was raining the whole night and was drizzling in the morning, so had breakfast in the hotel and left to Fort kochi sight seeing where we can see Chineese fish net…..Naval ships…..Eagles etc…..It was certainly scenic however the water was very dirty….from there went walking to the Dutch cemetery….it was the ancient days cemetry of the Dutch….from there was walking back to take the bike for looking around…in mean time found a Auto rickshaw man who wanted to show me around the city…went around the small streets of the town places where the sell handicrafts,sarees, perfumes, etc….did some shopping out there for my folks etc….it was quality time spent….while returning picked lunch and some drink to spend time till evening…..
the last dawn of my ride set on the roof top hotel along with some awesome fish and chicken for dinner and eventually dozed off early as I had to start my return journey.
Day6:Kochi-Thrissur-Palakad-Coimbatore-Salem-Bangalore – 590kms
Got up early morning at 4am got ready packed all my luggage in the saddles and fixed on the bike. Started my ride at5:10am from Kochi, roamed around as i was confused with the roads and people were misleading me, finally put the GPS on and took the route of Google on the way found some lovely spots took some photos and was riding on the way stopped for a tea and had forgotten to take Banana chips for my friends, so picked it near Palakad and continued to ride….had to refuel stopped for sometime took some pics on the way …..Ride early morning has always been a great start….reached Salem and had some snacks there i met some people who were heading towards Bangalore were asking me questions about the ride was doing and they were shocked to see me doing a solo ride and was asking how long does it take for me to cover till then were stunned that a RE can do that much….literally i proved them on the way and they were saluting me for the passion I have and the way i ride…finally reached Bangalore at 1:45pm and met Nandeesh as he wanted to welcome me at the entrance, so did meet him had good Chicken Biryani and headed back home with lot of memories.
This has been by far the best , a first longest solo but certainly a lot of lessons learnt and a lot of apprehensions all now crystal clear. Despite being in depression and having leg issues I had the zeal to take up this journey. A Journey that has thought me how to value life, a journey that exposed me my capabilities are much more than what I thought before the start of this ride. Life throws a lot of challenges , its just about finding a meaning midst the up and downs yet living.
Cya all until the next one!!