Bike Trip to Wayanad
Man & Machine: Samaresh Biwal & Bajaj CT 100
Total distance: 907 Km
Expense: Rs 1449 (petrol Rs 800, dormitory Rs 270, food Rs 379)
No of days: 3
Places visited: Edakkal caves, Banasura Sagar dam, Chembra peak, Soochipara waterfalls, Kuruva Island.
Highway: SH 17 – NH 212
Route: Bangalore – Mysore – Nanjangudu – Begur – Gundlupet – Maddur – Sultan Bathery – Kalpetta – Mananthavady
Stardate: [-28] 02895.00: The wild soul in me made me to pack my backpack & I went on a solo trip to explore the land of paddy (Wayanad). I left my home at dawn & hit the Mysore express way. The bike zoomed at 90 Ks & the wind was whisking my ears. I took a bypass road at Srirangapatnam town in order to avoid the city traffic. As soon as I crossed gundelpet, the thick forest of Western Ghats took over the roadside & the feeling of Late Veerappan invoked into my mind. I crossed the Karnataka border check post and the real pleasure of riding was felt amongst the bandipur forest reserve. My eyes searched for any wild life, but alas! I crossed in to Kerala border & soon I learned that always give way to KSRTC bus as the oxymoron bus driver won’t bother giving you a kick if u won’t give them pass. But riding in the Ghats was real pleasure for a city rider like me. Had a late breakfast in sultan bathery & went on to see the edakal caves which is situated 14 km from the town. In order to reach to the top of caves I had to walk some fair distance & the sign of aging was surely coming off as I was gasping for air. Thus sat there for few min to catch my breath & then went on to explore the caves. It’s basically 3 boulders stacked on top of each other. Inside, one can find the caves carved with a lot of pictograms. Had a rollercoaster ride while coming down on a hired jeep. Refueled myself & went to see banasura sagara dam in the evening which is a small hydel project. With the sun setting down in the backdrop, I went on a high speed boat cruise while sipping on to chilled beer which was an awesome experience. Dead tired from the whole day’s excursion, I found myself a clean dormitory, freshened up & went for an early scrumptious meal of Kerala paratha , spicy beef curry & meen fry. At the end of the day, one cannot complain about nice road, nicer weather & even nicer food. What more can I wish for!!
Stardate: [-28] 02900.00: Woke up early & went for a jog in a tea estate. I was overwhelmed by the chilled freshness of the air which I had been missing for a long time. Had an authentic Kerala breakfast of appam & coffee. Decided to see the chembra peak and I rode my bike to the base of the peak. It’s a 2 hr trek to the highest peak in western ghat but mid way my aging body gave up. Even though my mighty heart made me go for few metres more, but surely body took over my heart & I backed up. To make me feel good, I chatted up with the plantation workers and left the place for soochipara waterfall. Once again I had to do bit of trekking but it was worth the effort. Spent quite a bit of the afternoon under the water playing with the cool & reverting back to my childhood days. After the child in me said enough, I left for Kurava Island. It’s a small island next to Kabini River but crossing through the river to reach the island was a thrilling experience, rather fearful to be honest. I had my authentic Kerala lunch in a small hut hotel and it was one of my best lunches I had on the highway. I thanked the lady for preparing such yummy foods. Rode leisurely in the spiraling ghat roads and by the time I realized, I was already in thealassery. Asked the local about the route to reach kalpetta .Reached the dorm & went to have my early diner of Kerala paratha, meen curry & beef kabab. God’s own country satisfied a diehard biker in me.
Stardate: [-28] 02905.00: woke up early and went for a brisk walk in the valley. I had some putttu & coffee as breakfast. As the time came to leave this beautiful serene place I felt a bit nostalgic. But as a biker thousands of towns will beckon & thousands of miles will say me goodbye, but the ride must go on. I reached my home early evening .with the words of Richard Bach echoing in my ear “In the miles & sand& years, we have learned only a little about ourselves ………., we find our answer to the question of the journey. Four words. It was worth it.”
Lastly thanks to my biker friends who provided all the necessary trip info.
1. Aditya D Sondur
2. Samba Sengupta
3. Udhaya Kumar V