With my butt pain gone and me feeling much more relaxed after about 800 kms on a bike, finally I can write the blog post about that hell of a trip to Kodaikanal. Actually many of my friends and family described this trip as pure madness and I do kind of agree with them. How else could one possibly describe the thought of driving to Kodaikanal from Trivandrum on a Yamaha RX 135!
After the disappointment of having watched Vinnai Thandi Varuvayaa and literally having nothing to do obviously in the middle of the night, in a minute of madness, my partner in crime Ashwin and me decided to go somewhere. We were pretty sure it shouldn’t be anywhere near. A bit of google research made us make up our minds on Kodaikanal i.e. about 400 kms from Trivandrum. People who are reading this can relate this with any moment of madness in their lives. “Proposing that girl” “getting into some useless fight” “well… maybe starting a company 😛” well keep thinking and I am pretty sure you can think of quite a few.
All such madness’ have one thing in common, the thrill, the excitement and the adrenalin rush of exploring the unknown and if things go good, the immense happiness of achieving it and if your plans go for a six, the obvious disappointment. But then, no risk equals no learning!
Getting back to the trip, the biggest fear we had was our lovely RX 135 cheating on us midway. The only time police actually inquired anything was surprisingly before even leaving Kazhakootam (the place we started from). The reasons they wanted to charge fine
– both of us were wearing helmets
– had 2 litres of petrol in our bag because we wanted to go to Madurai(thats what we told them)
– and we wanted to go to such a long distance on a Yamaha RX 135
Well, what can I say 3 cheers to Kerala Police. They started with Rs 5000 and ultimately ended up asking Rs 100. But with no particular reason we refused that and the whole conversation ended with them not taking any money and telling us to come and visit them after returning. Some punch dialogue that was. I seriously think we caught their sympathy telling them we were entrepreneurs!
Initially getting on the wrong route, we managed to take the right track … thanks to some really friendly people on the route. Here’s the route for people who are planning to travel that way.
-from Trivandrum reach Nedumangad – Pallode – Thenmala – Senkottai – Rajapalayam – Kallupatti – Uslampatti – Vathlakund – Kodaikanal
We left Kazhakootam at 2 am and reached Rajapalayam at 8 am. This route during this time is shivering cold. We had to take a power nap at Rajapalayam. Leaving Rajapalayam at 1 pm, we had entered the hottest period of the day and our journey, definite contrast from the first part.
Somehow this particular route was awesome, with golden colour fields, few trees and a perfect road for a perfect riding condition. Thanks to UB Group for their wide reach even in the villages of Tamil Nadu. First beer stop was Kallupatti. The AC bar had something on the wall looking like an AC with a loose wire, thank god the room had fans. Chilled beer on a hot and dry climate is .. well I can’t actually explain it, for people who don’t drink think about getting some water when u are about to die of thirst 🙂
Drinking and driving isn’t a good idea, no matter how good a driver you are or how heavy a drinker you are. But then 1 beer? Actually 1 and half..! is adjustable I think with that kind of a climate just to get back to normal.
The best thing about Tamil Nadu is speaking Tamil. “Kodaikanal enge route thane” , watching Tamil movies does help and being a malayalee also helps. Tamilians are usually very helpful people, they will draw the entire route to make us understand it.
One thing about the villagers there that won’t go unnoticed is that the only place they look while crossing the streets or walking on the road is downwards. They really don’t care if a vehicle is speeding towards them. It gets quite frustrating after witnessing such activities regularly on the road.
Next beer stop Uslampatti, yes this place exists and not just in a AR Rahman song.
About the bars at these places, you have to pay some amount to the waiter before hand and later he settles the bill rather than the usual settling of the bill after you are done.
Nearing Kodaikanal at 7 to 8 pm isn’t a very good idea. The cold is unbearable especially on a bike. Thanks to the 2 litre reserve petrol we had in our bag, we managed to get to a petrol pump about 6 kms away from Kodaikanal.
The journey was a lot of fun and we even managed to get some shrooms from our new friend in Kodaikanal, Muniyandi who helped us in spite of having a fractured arm. Kodaikanal is the only place in India where these shrooms are found. Other than Kodaikanal, they are only found in Engalnd and Mexico!
We left Kodaikanal next day at about 11 am, another bad idea. The heat through the entire journey was unbearable. With us running out of cash no more beers to make our journey a bit bearable. We could though afford some quarter some vodka named “ Activator “. True to its name it did activate us for the next 80 to 100 kms. All we could pray was to time fly and the sun set. With sun setting and reaching and entering kerala is the most beautiful picture of the trip. You can see the hills from a distance and you are driving into them. With the air fresh and the climate getting cooler it did seem like heaven. With 800 kms of riding a bike many parts of your body start aching and it will take a day or two to get back to normal. With torn lips due to the dryness and tanned skin you won’t be a great shape for photos I guess.
I must admit those shrooms were a “high” disappointment. The only trip worth mentioning is the one on the bike 😉
But some pictures won’t leave your memory for a very long time. Golden fields in Tamil Nadu make you realize there is a lot of magic in gold other than the awful jewellery advertisements. The fresh air reminds us about the toxic environment we live. Driving into the hills is magical. Viewing them from a distance and with every inch the cool breeze kissing your face. Actually to think of it these pictures are great for photography enthusiasts. Some of it we all might have seen in artists’ canvases.
This blog post needs to end here but certainly not my visiting places. There are more beautiful places to be explored and my only regret is with a bit more time and cash I think we could have explored Kodaikanal a bit better , but there’s always a next time.
If you are still happy sitting comfortably at your homes in busy cities, take some time off to escape from all your tensions and experience the peace and magic nature has to offer us.