When was the last time, you did something for the first time?

Friday, June 25, 2010

O Ya Ya bike trip part 2


Thrissur to Trivanrum ( Via Kumarakom )
Trip distance : 296 km
Total trip distance : 849 km

Unlike the Bangalore Thrissur trip I had decided not to risk driving the bike without proper documentation inside the heart of Kerala as a Karnataka registered vehicle would stand out, Bangalore Thrissur drive was different as I was driving mostly through Karnataka during daytime and was in Kerala after dusk when the traffic police goes home to sleep. So decided to wait for the corrected RC book to arrive.

Ah yes the adventure continues………………………

Eventually after a long wait the corrected RC book finally reached me by around 13th June ( a whole 1 week after it was dispatched from Bangalore – maybe the DTDC courier guy walked to Trivandrum) anyways I could now bring the Unicorn from Thrissur to Trivandrum.

Incidentally my parents were in Nagpur visiting my elder brother and family , so it was going to be a lonely home visit – still I was adamant not to wait any longer as the bike was lying unused for almost a month ( not a good idea with half the tank filled with petrol).

So on Thursday morning caught the smelly Corba express and the Act Two of Bangalore Trivandrum journey was set in motion.
Had a pleasant travel despite the smell inside the train, spent time chatting with an Irish traveler named Ryan who was on his way to Delhi after a weeklong tour of south India.

Reached home by 2 PM having made a stopover in Cochin to buy Cramster saddle and tank bags from a franchise so as to save the shipping cost which would be applicable had I procured it from Cramster Bangalore.

Plan was to visit Athirampapply waterfalls the next day and do some landscape photography however was too lazy to get up early in the morning so ended up spending the day watching TV, testing the fitting of saddle bags and getting a waterproof cover for the saddle and offcourse a bike pooja in my hometown .

Decided to start early morning around 4 am ( on 17th June) so as to cover a good proportion of distance before the traffic sets in, last thing I needed was to get stuck in Cochin traffic and spoil my mood at the onset itself.

My intention was to go to Kottayam via Cochin/ Ernakulam using NH47; and then use the Kottayam Trivandrum MC road via Kottarakara, however a last moment discussion with a friend Mukund threw up a different option - that was to take the Chalakudi- Angamaly – Kalady – Muuaatunpuzha – Kottayam route which was supposedly shorter and more scenic.

Route from Chalakudi to Trivandrum

Expected start didn’t happen; by the time I got out of the cozy bed and got ready it was already 6.30 in the morning

By 7 am I was on the road heading towards Kalady

Saddle bag, Tang bag, Tripod and Backpack packed and ready to load
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Kalady has a unique tower type Sri Shankaracharya temple (Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthamba Mandapam ) which looks good

Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthamba Mandapam
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(The entrance to the memorial, guarded by two elephant statues, leads to the Paduka Mandapam. Two silver knobs represent the padukas, or wooden sandals of the Teacher. The walls of the memorial feature framed relief paintings that tell the story of Adi Sankaracharya. Several large statues of Ganapati, Adi Sankara, and others are also housed in this memorial. Adi Sankara's shrines in Kalady are open to all pilgrims, irrespective of religion and caste. Visitors can review the life of Sankara Acharya as they climb to the top – information courtesy Wikipedia).

I was tempted to go inside however didn’t feel like leaving my bike with saddle bag strapped to it.

Periyar river near to Kalady
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Short Pit stop
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Soaking in the rare empty road
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The drive was pleasant and comfortable and the next real pit stop was at around half past nine for breakfast
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Reaching Kottayam took the deviation towards Kumarakom, the road towards Kumarakom was a mess and to compound to that was pretty small.

Towards Kumarakom
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Its a 13 km deviation to Kumarakom from Kottayam.

Arrived at Kumarakom by noon and went to KTDC\ Kerala govt boating zone to book a small boat for a bout of boating. They didn’t have any small boat and I was not in the mood to boat round in the ugly ferry type boats.

Towards Kumarakom
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My biking jacket relaxing inside the house boat
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The talkative boatman ( arnt they always )
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Gliding through backwaters
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According to the boatman area to left is the bird sanctuary
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Nearing open waters
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Chilled out for an hour on the houseboat gliding through lake, must say the trip on open water was a bit boring when compared to the trip though backwaters.

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Time to head back via another route
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That boat nearly rammed into us , it seems the boatman was distracted by what seemed to be a party going onboard that boat
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Lake for road
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Best part of the trip , the glide through backwaters.....
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......soaking in and day dreaming of an imaganry place in some other time
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Rows of beautiful house boats
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I believe Kerala houseboats are more beautiful than the Kashmiri ones
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Sun kept playing hiding and seek
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Back to civilization
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The Wheel ( somehow was fascinated by it)
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Mandatory photo shoot with my bike
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I was very skeptical to leave my bike unattended at the dock , the boatman had assured me the bike would be safe but still was concerned for safety of my bike throughout the boat ride.

Needless to say was relived and happy to see my bike again

Backwater, Houseboat, road , Bike and me nice combination
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Was back on road towards Trivandrum by quarter past 1 and soon got stuck in Kottayam traffic, spent or rather wasted nearly 45 mins trying to get out of Kottayam . Let’s say after wading through Kottayam coasted me all the relaxation I experienced in Kumarakom.

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Did some speeding on this Kottarakara bypass road , sadly the good road ended before I could touch 100kmph ( which would have been a first for me)

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Nearly home now
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By 6 pm was close to Kilamanoor where I stopped for a quick tea, the familiar bottom pain was starting to crop up. But this time I was within striking distance of my home.

Once saddled, I arrived at kazhakootam my destination by 6.45 pm. Bringing to an end my solo Bangalore Trivandrum bike trip.

In total I covered a distance of 849 km from Bangalore to Trivandrum and what an amazing ride it was. I enjoyed a lot and learnt a lot which helped me in future bigger rides.

The final route map


Regret the delay of close to an year for writing this epilogue. Was tied up with work.

Thanks for reading


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