Friday, February 17, 2006

Copyright: Prabul

Banglaore-Konark Ride

Biking from Bangalore to Orissa (my longest so far) and back in train.

Bike 1- Suzuki Fiero (Prabul-BN)
Bike 2- Pulsar 180 (Adarsh-BN)
Route: Bangalore-Triupathi-Naidupetta-Nellore-Vijaywada-Vizag-Puri-Konark-Puri-Bhuvenshwar
Duration: 3 days (35 hrs)
Day 1 – 730 kms @14hrs
Day 2 – 830 kms @ 19hrs
Day 3 – 120 kms @ 2hrs
Saddle time: Appox 32 hrs > avg 51 Kmph
Total Kms covered: 1680
Top speed: 112kmph
Longest non-stop stretch: 110 kms @ 80mins > avg 82.5 kmph
Fastest non-stop stretch: 55 kms @ 35 mins > avg 94.5 kmph
Total fuel: 38 Lts > avg 44.7kmpl
Night stopover: Day 1- Elluru (near Vijaywada) Day 2- Puri
Road condition: (Scale of 1-5; 5 being fantastic)
Bangalore-Chittor- 2.5
Chittor bypass- 1.5
Chittor Tripathi- 4
Trupathi- Naidupetta- 3
Naidupetta-Inchapura(AP border)- 5 (I can easily give it 7.5)
Inchapura- Puri- 1.5
Puri-Konark – 3
Puri-Bhuvenshwar- 2.5
Food: Avg food along very limited dhabas as the road is new and dhabas are yet to start.
Some snaps at…

Overall feel:
Kinda boring to ride on 4 lane highway for around 800kms. Took a short cut from Khurda (orrisa) to Puri for 50kms. Very scary, mangrove forest, swamp area and in night….not a soul around. Transporting bike back in train was a nightmare because of our callousness (Did not get our RC book, compulsory for transportation) but eventually did it.
Snaps below

Friday, February 03, 2006


Log of Bangalore-Wyanad-Coorg tripPretty long log guys…but I couldn’t help it..too manyincidents on this tripPlan: Grp 1 (Fiero F2 & Yezdi) leave on Friday morningand reach wyanad by evening and meet Grp 2(Pulsar 180& Fiero). Route: B'lore-Mysore-Gundlepet-Wyanad-total of 600kmsGoal: Paint the town red on Saturday and return bySunday night. Auyurvedic massage. Fish fry.and....get tannedWhat actually happened: Grp 1 felt, enroute, it wastoo early to reach wayanad and took a deviation toooty. Idea was to reach wyanad at late evening. Butdue to bad road condition at gudulor, could not makeit. Me in Grp 2. We left bangalore punctually 1.5hours late at 3pm (like our other biking trips). Tookmysore road. P180 had a minor crash with a jeep. Now,P180 rider is quite experienced long distance rider,but he was riding to near to jeep, jeep had suddenlybraked and P180's head light kissed the jeep( yuck!).P180's head lamp was pointing down too much. But notmuch of a problem. We carried on towards Gundlepet. AtGundlepet we got a call that the grp 2 will not becoming to wynad at night but they would be joining usin morning. We agreed, as it wouldn’t be safe to bikeat dead of night with girls on pillion. But Grp 2decided that we would reach wyanad whatever time itis. And that was a mistake.We entered the bandipur forest at 8pm. It waswonderful to bike in the night when it is a full moon.We were euphoric. We found 3 herds of elephants. Andwe had a incident in the second group which I willnever forget. A baby elephant found our bikinginteresting and started running along side us. We werequite amused by it. But the elder elephants did notfind it amusing. They started trumpeting and making ageneral fuss about the baby elephant. I never was somuch scared in my life. We ripped away from that placenot even looking at our mirrors. Pheeew…now that wasmore than half the distance. There is no way we canturn back. The third group of elephants was prettycalm herd. When I saw them ahead of me, it took me amoment to decide as to weather we have go through thegap between them. Any way as we approached them theygave side to our bikes. Boy that was great feeling...What came next was one horrible experience. We wereaware that bikes are not allowed inside the sanctuarybecause of the inherent danger. We were also one veryvery frightened bikers after the previous incident.While we were in the core of the forest we werestopped by a patrol bike(or they seemed to be). I sawthe guard and stopped, where as the P180 behind me sawthe guard and did not stop. Hence crashed directlyinto my Feiro. The gaurds just wanted to enquire aboutthe elephants in the vicinity. Grrrr… and they did noteven help us to tie our bags back on to the bike. Soin middle of the forest and middle of the night withanimal sounds around us we were straitening our bikes.P180 rider was so tensed up that he wanted to smokethen and there. I had to heed to his request. Itwasn’t a pretty sight, all I wanted to was to get outof that forest. The second crash also set right theP180’s head light. At least something good thing cameout of this ;-) . We reached Wynad without much ado.(as if so far was not enough). Saturday, I took theresponsilibty of getting the P180’s bike repaired asthe brakes; front mudguard and head lamp was damagedtoo much for comfort. (also b’cos I was the only malluof the grp). When I enquired there was only oneservice center in that town and they don’t accept thecredit cards…damn. I was standing outside the sparesshop and thinking about the 1600/- amount as we hadonly 1500/- totally (ya ya ….not carrying enough moneywas another dumb thing to do) then, voila, I saw money on two bikes….ooops I meant friends on two bikes(Grp 2) searching for our hotel. I quickly explainedthe situation and borrowed the cash from them. Havingdirected them to my hotel I started to get the bikerepaired. While I was directing the Grp 2 to our hotelwe found a bangalore bus just about to start off tobangalore from wynad. Yezdi pillion rider wasimmensely happy and immediately got of the yezdi angot on the bus. May be 435 kms on one day was too muchfor her to handle, also that she is a first timecoming on the long distance biking!!!By noon we were to set off to see wynad but thenchanged the plans and off we went to Coorg. Enroute wevisited Tirunelli temple, to say this was one of mostpeaceful temple is an understatement. This is inmiddle of forest and surrounded by green hills. Going to coorg thro the forest from Thirunelli templewas another adventure. We were already late anddarkness was fast approaching. Couple of foresttribals warned us on elephants returning from thewatering hole thro the roads. Not on very keen to meetthe pachyderms we started to hurry to coorg. Asmisfortune has it, another tribal group gave us wrongdirections. After riding some 25 kms we reached theEND OF THE ROAD!!! The road just tapered to some dryland…which looked like a dry river bed. Since we couldnot see much. We asked the next soul which passed byfor road to Kutta (Karnataka/Kerala border) hementioned that the present road was washed off due tofloods but if we follow the same line we could findthe remaining part of the road. Now this is happeningsomething like 8pm. Boy…we were having incidents afterincidents. Now this is the last straw. Our bums werebeyond sensation on that bumpy road. All we wantedwas just to fall down flat and sleep to glory. Butanyways, we found the road and continued to kutta.Another bad luck, all lodges and resorts in Kutta wasfull. No other option, but to go all the way toGonikoppa, coorg. After 2 hours of drive in dead ofnight, in heavy down pour, shivering and hungry wemanaged to get two room after a lot of searching.Yezdi rider managed to get some bananas to munch on.Every one slept like logs. Sunday morning, we toured around Coorg and left tobangalore. With out any incidents thankfully(otherthan eating a lot of sweet mangoes near hunsurvillage). Reached bangalore at 7pm.I still have to get some of the sensation back to mybums..and I find it hard to sit on the loo……….waaaaahh!!!But this was the trip to remember.

Bandagee Trek

A long log of a trek to bandajee, near dharmstala. In a nutshell, it was a different trek all together.For once, every thing went wrong. Our bus fromBangalore to dharamstala was delayed for over 3 hoursas some old man's pocket was picked and he made a hugefuss over it. eventually, inspite of complaining tothe cops some where midway, they did not search thebus, unfortunately. After reaching dhramastala we madeanother bad decision to take up a room to fresh'nourselves. bad luck hunted here also for us for we didnot get the rooms easily as the orthodox chaps overthere was not very keen to give rooms for a group ofyoung people of both sexes. (strange nah?). by thetime we got our rooms (after some drama) andeventually had our brunch and boarded a jeep to ujireit was already 1030 hrs. Mr.Bad luck was giving somuch company to us that our 12 kms ride went over 40kms because in all the enthusiasm of Manjunath (jeepdriver) he took a supposedly short cut!!!. We reachedGowda's house at around 1145 and started our trek at1230!! about time management!And my god it was up up up all the way. With our poorfitness and snails pace we managed to get to the riverat about 1430 (Pathetic speed). Guess what we foundthere????? Some nutty idiot before us did not dousethe bonfire he had made and the fire had spread to a20 feet tall tree which was smoking quite a lot and onfire at couple of places. We the heroes realized thegrave responsibility weighing down on our frail littleshoulders (made more frail by the heavy rucksacks)that if we don't put off the fire there is a very goodpossibility of a forest fire. We with our smallvessels, water bottles and tumblers fought over anhour to douse the fire. Had lunch (sandwiches) andleft the place by 1600 hrs. Our main aim of reachingthe summit for camping looked very bleak. at 1730 hrs,tried and hungry we searched for a camping place andcurrishly we found a good spot about 10 X 10 feet flatland. Collected the firewood for the night camping.I took out my set of vessels and little gas stove(voila!!!) made coffee by 1630 hrs, got the fire goingand cleaned up the place. Night we had dinner ofbisebelebath, sambar rice etc etc ... all hot andsteaming and by 2230 we were all done. we took turnsin pairs for gurka duty of 2 hours cycle time.during my shift I heard thrice the sound of elephanttrumpeting one quite close by too. well the morningcame quite soon and we were off after having somemilkshakes. We were little worried about our depletingwater stock. we reached the water falls at 1100 hrsafter having a heavy break fast of hot chappathis andhotter curries (WOW!!! I dont get to eat so much inbangalore) The water falls were breathtaking. it wasworth the effort we made.We planned to got the fort, which we started off withjosh and after a hour of hot and dry trek, one of usplanned to go ahead to the top of the hill which youmentioned to estimate the distance. Luckily our cellphones were was working so the pathfinder(!) informedus that he could see a tiny structure really far off.And that convinced us that we can never make it inthat hot sun to hike that distance. The shady forestbelow looked more inviting!!! Our plan was to catchbus to bangalore that day, we were still at top thehill at 1500 hrs. we tried to hurry back to gowdashouse, infact we were ready to hike in the night too.We came back to the same camp were we spent last nightand better senses got hold of us to camp the unplannedsecond night also. Luckily we had enough food for thedinner and for the next day breakfast also. And wewent thro the same cycle of coffee (Black this time,weran out of milk!) heavenly dinner and gurka job. Thistime I heard bear grunting when the bisibellebathpackets were opened. Boy was I scared. Any way weconsoled ourselves telling that it could also be owlhooting (ha ha ...) next day we had a hurried hotcup-o-noodles breakfast, and again we lugged ourstoves, gas and bags to gowdas house at 0700 hrs. wereached gowdas place at 1100 hrs where he had a jeepwaiting for us (We had called him the works...). After a quick darshanat dhramastala boarded a bus to bangalore at 1530 hrs,bus had a radiator problem and stopped at sakalespurfor 2 hours. and reached bangalore at 0130 hrs nextday!!!Had to hear bashing from our PM as the entire projectmates were on leave!!!The pseudo-trekkers are ravi, adarsh, champak, sri,jyothi and myself in that order in the rockiessnap.Ravi's automatic camera is zimply great.