Ride to Karur, Kochi, Kanthaloor, Munnar, and a visit to Sahayagiri hospital, Marayoor..

Tilak Francis

Active Member
Initial Preparation ;
Last ride was more than six months ago, which made me plan for a bike ride before the Christmas fever begin. I was constantly calling my friends in Kerala to know the status of borders. My friend Seema told to come and were ready to host me at Kochi, provided I come prepared for quarantine, road blocks, as the government rules and norms were changing as per the Covid case statistics.
My initial plan was to go to Valparai and reach Kochi via Athirapally. Since the road was blocked, I planned to reach Karur and to ride next day to Kochi. After a day of rest , I had plans to return home via Munnar, Marayoor, and Udumalapet.
The days before I started my journey, there was so much of rain in Vellore. I was prepared for a wet ride but was seeking God's favour for a pleasant ride.
Two days before the ride, I washed my bike, lubricated the chains and prepared the bike ready for along ride. The bike was due for a service at 55000 km, but I decided to give it a go and finish the ride, as the bike did not have any major issues.

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My new accessories were Rynox aqua waist pouch, ambrane power bank and a transparent mobile cover. The mobile cover was helpful to navigate on a rainy day with a mobile mounted on the bike.

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Rynox Aqua waist Pouch. Had a half litre water bottle and my purse.

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Was very helpful to charge safely on the go.

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The mobile pouch heated up the phone to the extreme within 30 minutes.





 

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Tilak Francis

Active Member
10th October 2021 Sunday
Morning I got up at 4 am and was ready by 5 am. My mom made a black tea and after a small prayer left home and was on the road at 5.15 am. Initially cruising at slow speed of 60 km/hr for 30 minutes. Once I got confidence of the bike control, I started maintaining a steady speed of 80 km/hr. I was singing a hymn "My Jesus I love thee " in a low voice and was praying for a safe journey all throughout. I was also praying for to bring peace to the homes I visit in this trip. The Thoppur ghat accident was still fresh in my mind where a truck rammed into vehicle lined up in traffic killing as many as 10 to 15 people. Many have reported ghost appearance after the accidents. The place remains a mystery of miseries.
I crossed Krishnagiri at 8 am and stopped for a water break and then one more break at the beginning of Thoppur ghat section. I stopped after Namakkal at 10.15 am for break fast. Found a small shop where I could see my bike with mounted luggage. Had Parotta/Omelette. I reached Pugalur, Karur around 11.30 am. I planned to stay at my UG friend Sudh's house in Karur. I missed her street and after calling her over the phone, her son came in scooty to show the way. Had a warm welcome at her house. I had black tea, then tender coconut, then sugar cane juice and lunch with never ending chat with Sudha's family. The lunch was pretty heavy with a long list of non veg menu.


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Start ODO 54916 KM


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After passing Krishnagiri



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Butt break

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Accident prone scary Thoppur ghat at Dharmapuri



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Salem Highway



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Late breakfast near Namakkal.


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River Kaveri in Karur




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Punjai Pugalur, Karur.



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South Indian traditional non veg Lunch (Mutton Biriyani, fish fry, fish ball, country chicken gravy,egg)

In the evening, Sudha's husband took me around to show his Lathe and engineering works. He also works as an engineer in Tamil Nadu paper corporation ltd. He also showed their farm lands around. they were cultivating Sugar cane in that season. I saw some cultivating sedge grass in the nearby lands which is used for weaving sleeping mats. People still prefer these mats over nylon/plastic mats. Sudha's younger son wanted to ride my classic 350 and he did ride inside their farm. I could sense how happy he would have been. Riding a bullet is always a Boy's dream. Then we went to fill petrol. I Pumped up 10 litres for tomorrows ride to Kochi. Came back home, rested a while. In the night I had two dosa with omelette and a black tea. Was chatting for a while. Went to bed early after checking messages in my mobile.


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Lathe work

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Lathe work



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Lathe work


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Deepu's bike ride



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Kora/ sedge grass


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Kora/ sedge grass being processed for weaving mats



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Spot the owner of the field disguised as farm labourer.


Seema from Kochi called and said she was kind of busy with her sons's exam and said not to worry and that I could stay in their house. But said that she would not be available. I checked in the internet and found a backpackers hostel at Fort Kochi and decided to stay there instead of disturbing Seema's family at a crucial time.
Evening, Karur had thunder storms. I prayed for a dry ride for the next day. The first day ended happily.


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End ODO 55260 KM




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Vellore to Karur​
Day 1 riding statistics:-

Total distance covered : 344 km
Mileage : 37.8 km/litre
Hit the reserve at 55258 km and filled 10 litres at Karur.
 

Tilak Francis

Active Member
11th October 2021 Monday

I woke up to the 4.30 am alarm. Started to get ready leisurely. Left Sudha's home at 6:20 am after having a black tea. She wanted to pack my morning breakfast which I declined, gently. Eating a Dosa or idly at a road side shop is much easier. Moreover there is no need for me to disturb her morning chores.I did not use mobile GPS , instead relied on people interaction at every cross roads to find my route.

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Start Odo 55268 km​

From Pugalur in Karur, I was riding through Muthur, Gangeyam, Palladum and at Sulur got into Salem kochi highway. I was riding in the outskirts of Coimbatore.

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Near Karur at the beginning of the ride.


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Passing the outskirts of Coimbatore​

I was stopped by the Kerala police at the Walayar check post. After pulling to side, the police asked evida pogunnu ? I said Kochi. He asked whether I have taken Vaccine for Covid and I said yes . Then he asked whether I have taken both doses and I confirmed by nodding head and patting my luggage saying the certificate of vaccination was there inside. Then he let me pass through.
The clouds were getting dark and I was praying for a ride without rain. Mainly because, in a heavy rain I cannot continue riding without the GPS mount on the bike. Anyway this time I could try that transparent pouch to cover my mobile while mounted.
I was very excited to go through the Kuthiran tunnel. It is the longest tunnel in south India at present, stretching for 1 km. It has reduced the distance between Kochi-Palakkad to 3 km lesser and also paved a solution to, otherwise, an accident prone zone.

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Kuthiran Tunnel


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Kuthiran Tunnel​

A drizzle on the way made me stop and have a brunch at a small hotel on the highway in Naduthara. Had ghee roast dosai, Vadai and a black tea/ Kattan chaya. I called up my school days friend Ajayan, who lives in Koratty He said he will meet me on the highway near Chalakudy. I got on to the bike after my brunch. I switched on the GPS in mobile and mounted it with a transparent rain pouch. I was able to use the touch screen. Most of this trip, I was not using gloves in order to take more snaps with mobile phone and also with DSLR. But I know I am jeopardizing my safety.
I met Ajayan at Chalakudy signal in Highway and we went to Venus hotel to have tea. Since it was 12 pm and was time for lunch they did not serve tea and so we had Soda that was available. I told Ajayan to join me tomorrow at Kochi to go around for sight seeing.


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With Ajayan.​

I left Chalakudy and was riding with the GPS in mobile connected to my Bluetooth Headset.
I stopped at hotel Periyar to take a snap at Aluva junction. Hotel Periyar is located on the picturesque river bank and is our favorite spot to stay during family trips to Kochi. I missed a right turn and was redirected in a different route to Fort Kochi. I ended up in a dead end of the sea at Vypin, Kochi and the route was showing dots leading to sea. And there was no road. Then I saw bikes and car standing in Queue towards the sea. Then it flashed in my brain, scenes of cars carried in ferry in Kerala. I asked the auto driver, Can I take my bike in the ferry. He said in funny tone in Malayalam, "that is what it meant for !!!"
It was a great experience. Took ticket for Rs 10/- and rode my bike into the ferry. It was more like standing in a traffic jam on a bridge. I was finding it very difficult to balance my bike in riding position, with the ferry encountering the rough waves. The girls in the scooters , standing beside me, were casual as they were used to that ferry ride


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Ferry ride with bike.



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Ferry ride with bikes


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Ferry ride with bikes​


I checked into Gostops kochi, a backpackers hostel at Calvathy road, Fort Kochi. I took an air conditioned Dormitory for 2 days. The cost was Rs 400 per day. I was settling down slowly in my dormitory. There was no one to share the six bed dormitory. Thank God. Pandemic Era ! I place all my luggage in the under bed storage metal trolley. After changing into normal dress from riding suit, I set out to find a hotel to have authentic Malabar Parrota and beef curry.

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Stairs to Dormitory



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Passage way leading to Balcony



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Balcony, Gostops kochi opposite to Coast guard Office


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Balcony, Gostops kochi.



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My Bunker bed​


I was walking in the direction towards Fort kochi beach expecting to find eateries there. But they were all selling sea foods at Vasco Da Gama square. After inquiring an auto driver, I found that I have to go to Kunnumupuram junction which is 1 km away. Then I walked in those old 15th century streets to reach the Lucky star hotel at Kunnumupuram junction. Had 3 parotta ,a dry beef curry and a kattan chaya. The bill was Rs 124/- I also bought 1 kg Nendram bananas for Rs 40/-


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Streets of Fort Kochi

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Road leading to Kunnumupuram Junction from Aspin wall, Fort Kochi.


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Streets of Fort Kochi


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15th century Buildings



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Streets of Fort Kochi


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Chinese fishing nets.



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Beach, Fort kochi.



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Streets of Fort Kochi.


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Vasco Da Gama square, Fort Kochi

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The Lucky star hotel, Kunnumupuram junction, Fort Kochi.

The front desk staff, Jorbin, at the hostel was very helpful. I went to bed after having few bananas , checking messages, calling loved ones and making a thanks giving prayer for the safe journey so far. The next day I was planing to do sight seeing around Fort Kochi. But there was rain in the evening. The end odometer reading was 55598 km.


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Gostopskochi, Calvathy road, Fort Kochi.



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Karur to Kochi Route Map.


Day 2 riding statistics:-

Total distance covered : 330 km
No fuel stops and did not hit reserve.















 
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