2nd Bike Ride...Bangalore - Ooty...RE Himalayan...Dec 25 to 28..

Accidental Rider

Wake up - Ride - Explore
Hello Everyone...

Merry Xmas... All set for a bike ride from Bangalore to Ooty from 25th Dec to 28th Dec...

Bike we use : RE Himlayan BS4 - 750 KMS on the Odo..
Gadgets : Mobile Cams and ThiEye T5E Action cam...
Riders : Me and my Wife...
 

Accidental Rider

Wake up - Ride - Explore
Happy New Year....

A long wait came to an end when I got my RE Himalayan on 24th Nov 17. The first service was done on 15th Dec 17.

Since we knew the bike will be in our hands well before the year end vacation we have booked a cottage (United 21 Paradise) at Ooty (Naduvattam) from 25th to 28th Dec 2017.

Vacation for our daughter starts from 23rd and my wife has decided to drop our kid at our native on 22nd and come back to Bangalore on 24th.

24th Dec went to JC road Bangalore to purchase,
  1. LED Fog lights

  2. Crash Guard

  3. Mobile holder with USB charger

  4. Saddle Bag

  5. Few Bungee Cords
Home become a house without my daughter’s presence. But, with an exciting trip ahead on the next day keeps our adrenaline high and we completed packing by 11 and went to sleep by 12. Plan was to wake up by 4.30 and leave by 5.15. As usual when I woke up it was already 5.30 in the morning ☹ (Will have a pledge change this habit in 2018.. lol), we got ready and on our bike by 6.30 AM.

Day 1: Bangalore – Naduvattam – Ooty - Naduvattam

Day 2 – Pine forest, Shooting Point, Doddabetta, Tea Museum, Rose Garden, Ooty Lake

Day 3 – Botanical Garden, Conoor (Dolphin Nose, Lamb’s Rock, Sims park), Tree museum, Pykara Lake

Day 4 – Ooty, Conoor, Mettupalayam, Salem, Attur (My Native)


Day 1: Bangalore – Naduvattam – Ooty - Naduvattam

Day 1 was mostly uneventful and on the highways except at few places.

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First break for coffee at Kanakapura road and our breakfast break was somewhere near Mysore. Until we cross Mysore I was feeling like riding in Bangalore due to so much of vehicle movements with lot of crazy and patient less drivers. We could see many bike riders after Mysore towards Ooty, Coorg.
Breakfast:
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Even though the weather was pleasant we had frequent breaks in-between to hydrate ourselves and riding leisurely without any intention of reaching too early. Stopped at a hotel before Bandipur for a coffee break and my dear wife unveiled a pair of delicious boiled corns and it was amazing to have it just before Lunch.
Break Before Bandipur Tiger Reserve:
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I was excited to see the Bandipur and Mudhumalai tiger reserve and when we reached there we are suddenly in a different landscape. The bushes at both the sides of the road inside Bandipur was removed (May be a precautionary act to have better vigilance towards the wildlife crossing the roads) and it is missing in Mudhumalai…

Not lucky enough to see any wild animals but unlucky to see so many plastic wastes on the roadside. Our people need to rethink about their negligence level, got a bit of relief when we see workers collecting them for disposal.

After crossing Bandipur and Mudhumalai tiger reserves, we stopped at Masinagudi for Lunch, had a veg fried rice and a veg Sezwan fried rice and it was ok kind. We continued our journey towards the famous ’36’ hairpin bends and soon we reached it without any difficulty.
Lunch time:
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Only after this point ‘The Royal Enfield Himalayan’ has started showing its character with its low-end torque, it was fun to climb the hairpin bends. Soon after completing it we were near a junction, taking right will take you to Naduvattam (22KM) and straight to Ooty (5 KM).

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After a long day of ride, my wife wanted to go to our cottage first. By around 3.30 PM we were in ‘United 21 Paradise’ took out all our luggage and went into the reception only to see that nobody available. The helper over there called the supervisor and there come Mr. Karthik.

During our discussion with him, fortunately we came to know that he is also from my native place and what a feel that it is …. Had some chit chat and he guided us to our cottage and it was nice place to stay. Since our aim was to explore like every time we do (Even though my friends use to tease us that we are enjoying our Honeymoon twice a year ) , we were not much concerned about the ambience. Neat and clean wooden flooring and a clean washroom with a water heater was more than enough for us.

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After refreshing and a brief rest, we headed towards Ooty town for filling up the petrol and to have some food for dinner (Which turned out to be a bad decision courtesy Bone biting cold). It took 45 minutes to cover 27 KMs of ghat road and we came to know that “Pykara lake, Pykara falls, pine forest, tree park, Glenmorgan” are all on the way or nearby.

We reached ooty by 5.30 and it was too cold that time. After fueling up, went to a supermarket to buy some snacks (Peanuts and biscuts) which turned out to be a good decision. When we came out we see the winter is so furious this time, even the locals said it too much for them this year.

Went to a chai shop and had some hot & delicious Bhajji and Tea. By 7.40 PM we have decide to head back to our cottage. The moment we moved our bike we understood that this is going to be a tough ride, the bone biting cold has broken all our protection and our fingers had become numb when we were half way thru…. Finally, by 8.30 we reached our room and decided to skip our dinner and manage with the snacks available.

When we checked the weather app it was showing 9 deg. Celsius, we crashed on bed with sweatshirts, socks and gloves. Still, we couldn’t manage the weather and our feet and fingers are numbed inside the quilt. An idea from my wife has saved our night, we took out our hair drier and started blowing hot air inside quilt and on our numb areas which has given some relief and crashed for sleep.

Day 2 – Glenmorgan, Pine forest, Shooting Point, Doddabetta, Tea Museum, Rose Garden, Ooty Lake


We had a very good sleep and woke up at 8.30 in the morning. On the roads at 9.40 towards Glenmorgan but we were not allowed at the checkpost, took some pics and back on the road, stopped at Pykara for breakfast. Has delicious ghee roast, Bread omlette and a double omlette.
Sunrise at cottage and view thru Ooty - Gudalur main road:
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Glenmorgan Estates:

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11 AM: On the roads, again after heavy BF and decided to stop at ‘Pine Forest, which is midway to Ooty. Even though the view from Highway is not so pleasing we wanted to give it a try. There is a moderate descend, once after reaching the end the view is breathtaking with a lake behind. Took some pics (Some are funny too). Spent 45 minutes over there and on the roads again towards Shooting point.
Pine Forest:
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As short ride from pine forest towards Ooty, you can see the Shooting point, which is nothing but a small hill with full of grass without any tress. Here is where many film shootings are said to have happened. Took some pics and started our journey towards Doddabetta which is the highest peak in Nilgiris range.
Shooting Spot:
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After reaching Ooty town, we need to take the Kothagiri road and at a junction we need to take right to the top of Doddabetta peak. The route is ideal for off-roading and in a very bad shape, the whole ascend was difficult not because of the road but because of the number of vehicles. Finding a parking space was very difficult even for a 2-wheeler.
Doddabetta:

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View of Ooty town from Doddabetta peak:
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The views were good and after spending some time there, we decided to visit tea museum which is on the way to Ooty town from the peak.

The way towards the team museum parking was so steep and it is not recommended for new drivers and new riders, you can park your vehicles at the level 0 and walk (Though I parked it at the top). At the entrance, they provide you a band for headcount and you need to keep this with you for billing purposes if you are buying something.

Brought some 4 KGs of tea with different flavors for our friends and family. Our backpacks are already overloaded. With a heavy baggage, we have decided to visit ‘Rose Garden’ even though we knew that this is not the right time. It was a nice place but due to extreme winter the flowers are not in a good shape. Took some pics and headed to Ooty Lake.
Rose Garden:
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We have decided just to see this place and not go for any boat rides which we have experienced so many times in the past. Just took some pics and had a cup cake dipped in hot chocolate.

Ooty Lake:
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Our experience on day 1 has forced us to end the day as early as possible and reach our room before it is dark. we started by 5.30 in the evening and just before our stay we stopped at a hotel for dinner. Had some delicious food (though the food is bit costly) and came to our room by 7.30 pm. We feel so warm today contrary to the weather which is just like day 1. Watched some comedy shows and crashed on bed early.

Day 3 – Botanical Garden, Conoor (Dolphin Nose, Lamb’s Rock, Sims park), Pykara Lake

7.30 AM Woke up, 8.15 AM on the roads, 8.30 breakfast at Pykara again but in a different hotel.

9.40 AM started our journey towards Botanical Garden, I was expecting just a park like ambience alike Bangalore parks. Contrary to my expectation the Garden was vast enough to spend more than an hour and some unique, huge tree species. Took some pics and by 11.30 heading to explore Conoor which is at 45 min of ride.
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I must mention that the route between Ooty and Conoor is much more scenic than any other roads that we took, with a beautiful views of tea gardens all over. Just before Conoor town we had ‘Palm wine’ mixed with ‘Ice Apple’. It was delicious and gave energy for next few hours.


From Coonor town we took left towards Dolphin nose and the roads are narrow and steep, had to face some traffic Jams but managed to come out in a short time. The route was amazing and this is where you will feel that you are on the top of a mountain.

Reached Dolphin Nose, took some pics. Pay 10 Rs and you will be shown 4 viewpoints through a telescope. Experienced a scary moment when a Monkey tried to take away my Action Cam while I was shooting a Time-lapse.
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Had some Bhajji again there and returned to Lamb’s Rock. There is nothing significant here, just some viewpoints. We reached Conoor town in no time from Lamb’s rock and headed straight to Ooty town.

Lamb's Rock:
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To be continued...

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Accidental Rider

Wake up - Ride - Explore
The plan is to visit Avalanche (Eco tourism) and were in a hurry since the closing time is 5.30 PM. But we wanted to check with a local guy to check the possibility. He clearly said that we will be late so with heavy heart we returned to our cottage.

One the way back, we visited Tree Park and Pykara lake. Both are worth watching. Reached Pykara lake at the last minute. Spent few minutes there and returned as the gates were being closed for the day.

Tree Park:
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What a place to play Gilli(Jealous of them seriously)

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Pykara Lake:


On the way to our cottage, had hot cup tea and decided to skip our dinner as we had a heavy lunch only by 4.30 PM at Ooty. Crashed on bed early, had a good sleep.

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Day 4 – Ooty, Conoor, Mettupalayam, Salem, Attur (My Native)

8.00 AM – Woke up, 8.45 AM on the roads, 9.15 AM at Pykaara for breakfast (Ghee roast, Bread Omlette and Double Omlette).
Cottage we stayed:
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Me with our new bike:

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We didn’t have any plans to visit places today and had our BF in leisure. After BF we reached Ooty to buy some cloths for my wife and some Bungee cords for my saddle bags.

By 12.45 PM we started our return journey, had a tea break at the border of Conoor.

I must mention that Ooty-Conoor-Mettupalayam is the best route to see how mighty the nilgiri is and with excellent tarmac. When we turned back and see the hills after reaching the plains, we were really wondering how mighty the range is and couldn’t believe that we were roaming there for 4 days.

From there it was a non-stop ride until 60 KMs before Salem city as my wife wanted to reach home before it is dark and want to spend more time with our daughter before she sleeps. After lunch break we reached Salem within an hour and home at 8.30.

Places to visit:
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Note: Both Pykara falls and Avalanche under Eco tourism sites and you need to park your vehicles at the check posts and hire a battery-operated vehicle to visit these places.

Have learned some lessons on packaging and planning this time. Eagerly waiting for our next Journey.

With this our December 2017 vacation came to an end, have noticed some noise in our new RE Himlayan. Decided to take the beast to the service center.

Ride Hard!!! Ride Safe!!! Cheers!!!
 
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