Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Chikmanglur Semi-Solo ride

Better Snaps at http://www.prabul.fotopic.net/c1044750.html

This ride was supposed to happen a week before. Myself and Arun(BikeNomad) was supposed to ride last weekend. Did not happen because Arun was not able to come out on Saturday from his office. Even I had home-work and could not ride. But I took the excuse of arun and blamed him completely :-)
Friday night; went through the motions of packing my rucksack automatically. Packed my clothes in 3 sets, each in a polythene cover. It was 1am when I went to sleep. Woke up at 4:30, bathed, tied up the bag on to my bike. 5:30am started off from HSR . Felt very sluggish, did not feel the usual rush. Rode slowly till yestwantpur, had a strong tea, felt charged up. Increased the speed and was off. Ahh.... now that felt good.First time solo riding, was little apprehensive about the unknown. But it felt good. Zipped throughout the Tumkur freeway, stopped for a snap of the misty hills. Took a diversion to Arsikere from the tumkur NH, was on the smaller roads, no median, Prabul now reduce speed, I told to myself. Stopped at Gubbi at 8am for a breakfast. I saw a small rush of people in one of the by lane of Gubbi
Looked like a village hotel. Parked my bike, slipped off my knee-gaurds and gloves.
Had the biggest idlies of my life.



This idly had to be cut into two to fit the plate. .Excellent taste but could not fit into my tummy. Anyways, click, click, onlookers stare (the usual) and off me goes.






Enroute after arsikere found a sunflower farm, waiting to be clicked, me says smile please and click click. heard
some cars screeching and even louder screeches of kids...oh oh..
the car guys saw me fotoing and stopped for same.
Me thinks lemme rush off, already some uncles smiled and
came forward to chit-chat. I give them a dashing smile
and off me go




Reached Birur at 10am, yipee thats like 4 hours bangalore to
chickmanglur. I expected to reach in afternoon. Good now I had
a lot of time to explore. Long back I saw an entry in a Outlook
traveller's 52 weekend getways from bangalore, about a resort
in Chikmanglur called "Shivgiri Trails". I did call them couple of
times but no response. Thought this would be a good oppurtunity
to go give them a surprise visit. I took a diversion some 12 kms
before Lingdahalli and proceeded towards yemandohalli A proparah dirt track. Many villagers were not aware of the place called "Shivgiri trails". Since no rush, I took my time in searching for the place.



Mr.Mariappa near hogarkenahalli showed me a hill
and said that there is some sort of resort on top of the hill.
Squinted throught the faint drizzle and saw that the top
to the top of the hill looks like a exciting one.


Vrrooom here I go, lonely mud road to the top,
quite number of hairpin bends reached this "Resort".
The resort was swamped with Excavators and dumpsters!!!.
Met the owner, Mr.Nanda kumar, he is the one who is taken
over the resort and was awaiting for the mining license to
mine the iron-ore. Felt sad that the rich country side will
not be long before it becomes a arid mining pit :-( Took
plenty of fotos, in case the greenery is scavenged by
the excavators If I come next time.











. On the way downhill, thought of taking a different route,
I asked a Shepard (Or was it a cowboy) about the
different route to Kemmangudi. He claimed the only
route was to take the same which I came. Hmm... nat
a bery inthresthing option. I asked him "How do you go to
that next hill" he says "See that cattle track., I take that route".
So me thought, if cattle can go, I can go too. Anyways
chatted with him some more time, made him take some
snaps of myself, since his food time was only in the evening,
I shared my buttermilk and biscuits.



Okie..now the time to go. I went on the cattle track for 3 kms, which took close to an hour. then realized the stupidity of the venture and came back to the original route. Stopped at the lingdahalli tea shop, had a steaming hot tea with biscuts at around 12 O clock. Gupshupp with the locals and spreading the news of the forthcoming mining venture. All nodded and mentioned that mining was bad for ecology of the region. At least did my share of spreading awareness. Asked about the routes, all the villagers, who were sitting near the bustand collectively mentioned that the trek to hebbe falls was perilous, due to heavy rains, slippery track infested with leeches. Ok, I say, me not go in my most rustic kannada

Started riding towards Kemmangudi(KG). 30 kms through bad roads, heavy rains, thick mist and plantations got me to KG, enroute found two buses of college kids..oohhing and aahhing at the fantastic scenry and of course at my bike.

Not many tourists at KG, rightly so, these heavy rains is a big put-off for any normal people (No I dont belong to "Normal"). Rode to Z point as much as possible, then parked the bike, hiked the remaining route, click, click and back on my bike.

At the entrance of the Z point route I saw a tempo traveller stop and a bunch of uncles and aunties get off the van. One main uncle was walking gingerly along the track where as the aunties were happy. Couldn’t see the sight of the uncle's forlorn face, which indicated he was no mood to hike in this heavy down pour. So me says in my most frightened voice, "Uncle, don’t go hiking here, there are lot of leeches" and for the effect I pulled out couple of leeches on my shoe. That was enough, he shouted on top of his voice to all the people of his clan to get inside the van. BTW, did I see a faint hint of smile on his face.I went back to the KG cafeteria for my lunch. I saw the same herd of college kids confusing the waiter for the kind of lunch. I ordered my double omlette and meals, after lunch proceeded to pull the remaining leeches from my leg admist the starleted looks from the herd.I asked the route to Hebbe and puttered down the hill. Got a diversion with an arrow pointing indicating Hebbe falls 10 kms. So I went down the hill on a really bad roads for 10 kms

This route was supposed to have beautiful scenery. But alas, the rains and the thick mist seemed like a white shutter pulled down and ensured that I cannot see much. 10kms up, but no hebbe falls, 14 kms up no hebbe again. Me thinks...hmm.... there is some thing wrong. Parked my bike and waited for a soul to pass by for directions. 5 min passed, 10 min passed and me getting extremely cold. Ok I find a two local guys on a Victor putter along. I asked the directions and sadly found that I taken a wrong deviation..damn...damn...I have to go back 14 kms and another 10 kms to reach the falls. I had good intentions of ditching the whole hebbe trip all-together. The victor guys did not help much, by telling me that the roads were really bad, before they left. The rains were at their worst, cold and the wind was getting on my nerves. I still had about 2 hours of sunlight. Ok, I make a U-turn and go towards Hebbe. On the way I found a Van, with its right side two wheels stuck in a freshly covered ditch. And the passengers(Convanys or Memphis) was outside the van trying to set it right without much sucess. I stopped and mentioned that I will tell somebody at the KG for a tractor or 4-wheeler. Well I had to take another 3.5 kms diversion to do so. But all in a good cause. Went to the guesthouse office, informed the manager and was back to the hebbe falls route (Though I wanted to go back to Chikmanglur on to a warm bed). Was not able to see the track properly, ended up twice in a coffee estate.....damn....damn....Looks like the evening a

lot of things are going wrong. Just when I thought of going back, I met a really slippery steep track. Thump!!! I fell. I tried to get up, was able to do with a bit of balancing. The route was so slippery that I could not pick up the bike. Bingo gotta idea, I kicked my fallen bike, it slided towards some rocks. I got the grip there to lift it. After losing the route third time...I decided to turn back. But did not want to give up

U turn and was back to the hebbe, peering through the rain so that I dont get lost again. The next 10 kms of ride was one of the most difficult ride on my bike so far. Leeches, rain and very very slippery track sapped all my energy. I found a group of techies on the way up from falls. Hai/bye and on my way again. Reached the bottom of the hill in one peice. Saw a pretty stream, tried to take my bike through it. No luck, and on top of it, the tyres got stuck in the rocks....HEEELLP!!!

....ahh there comes my angel ..Thimmapa..he helped to lift my bike out of the stream. Good, thank you thimma..me had enough of it. And me was about to turn back. Angel says "Saar, you have come so far in this difficult terrain, why dont you see the falls" me says" Hmm.... " Actually I have only a very little of day light, but he says the short trek can be done in 45 mins both the ways and he will come with me. Uh..oh...Ok, I go. He says "Saar, carefull, its very very slippery here" , I say "Me a expereienced trekker" and show him my mighty trekking shoes with deep grooved soles and say "2000 bucks". He shrugged his shoulders and turned towards the falls....zzzzz...thump...ok thats me falling again. Jeezez does this had to happen front of him???? he doesnt say anything, I scramble to follow him. crossed two more streams and zzzzzz....thump.....damn...I fall again. He says "Saar, give me your hand" I did not have a choice. l let him lead the way by holding my hand.

Voila, hebbe falls suddenly in front of me. Its amazing sight. like a mini naigara falls. Ok, time to turn back, its getting late. Said tata bye bye to thimma. and rode up the hill, surprisingly the ride up was much easy. reached within half hour. Enroute, saw the teches again. tata to them again. When I reached on top, I saw the victor guys pushing their bike, out of petrol. I took out my tube and transferred a half liter to victor and was on my way. I suddenly realized a stupid mistake, I donated the fuel when the bike was under reserve. Damn...damn. I met another local. he mentioned that if I go back the lingdahalli, there is a petrol bunk. I was no mood to go back as I wanted to go through the BB hills range. But the nearest bunk is 43 kms. In my condition, it was cutting very close. But took the risk and went the hilly range route.

Amazing scenery was enough to make up the extremely bad roads. Met a coffee planter and he mentioned that there is a village ahead and in a particular shop, we would get loose petrol. Cool, after 8 kms I found this shop , which along with petrol it also had hot omlettes and chai. Excellent butt break, filled my self and the bike with fuel and was off to chikmanglur town. Did some enquires and settled at Planter's hotel, quite decent. Cajoled the front desk for hot water, seeing my wet and dripping condition agreed. Checked into my room, pulled out the remaining two leeches, had a hot water bath. While waiting for Arun and peru, I decided to check out the town, Quite dusty place, anyways I did not find any good restaurant for dinner, went back to my hotel, they had a good place. A little bit of liquid diet and hefty dinner saw to that I slept fast.

Arun and peru came around 11pm, some more liquid diet. Chatted about the day's activities and promised ourselves that we will leave our hotel EARLY morning 7am. Ok, good me thinks. And snore away to glory. Woke up at 8 am and found others too sheepishly grinning at the our punctuality. Anyways, breakfast was on the house, which we made good use of. Left the hotel by 11am !!!!. On the way to mulyangiri.

What a view!!!! The panorama was completely covered in green and mists at many a place. Beautiful. The rough ride was well worth it. Reached top with lot of snaps on the way. Parked the bike and strangely, we were searching for the track in the mist. Suddenly the mist cleared off and we found the steps to the temple. Ahh...... all the old memories are coming back. This place was very very windy and cold. There were cases when unattended children was carried away by the strong gale.

Peru tied a hanky around his head, Arun had his helmet on the way to the temple hike, I pulled up my jacket upto my ears. Prayed at the temple and came back to the base, where our bikes were parked. I met the Van which had got stuck in the ditch...a lot of hai and hellos. Admonished the driver for his careless driving. Rode back to base of the hill. I had to split with other two bikers as I wanted to come back to bangalore by evening (to attend a marriage). So me say tata bye bye to them, Arun and peru's plan was to go KG and hebbe. Though in my heart I wanted to go with them, I had to split.

Rode back to chickmanglur town, had a quick lunch and started to ride to belur. The road was amazing. On one strech I had made a consistent 90kmph for half hour. I had my frist butt break after covering 135 kms non-stop. At my second butt stop near kunigal, while having a tender-coconut, the vendor asked weather I am riding from KG or kudremukh?. I said KG but asked how did he know? He said "the deep red mud which had covered most of my bike can come only from these two places!!! At least he did not say "Elementary, my dear watson"

Another butt break near peenya, and was home at 6pm. Freshend up, and was off to the marriage. Showed off my snaps at the funtion, made many riders jealous. A rejuvenated and exiting ride, planning to do some more solo rides in future. I felt like Arnold, well...at least some part of my leg felt as the multiple leech and some unknown inscet bites left my left leg swollen parts :-(

4 Comments:

Blogger jsr said...

Nice Offroad tracks, looks promising. I will try that before they pave it!! Hey BTW where in HSR do you live? me too live in HSR Layout..

Mon Sep 04, 12:21:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous sudha said...

Hey Howz you, your blog seems to have gone into hibernation....

Thu Nov 23, 11:51:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Mystic Rose said...

nice style of writing,t otally enjoyed reading your account :)

Sat Feb 03, 07:05:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Meghala said...

Hi Prabul, Loved reading your blog. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. Very vivid and descriptive style of writing, keep those entries coming. Meghala

Fri Feb 22, 09:28:00 PM GMT+5:30  

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