So this time it was Yelagiri. The first time I heard Yelagiri I mistook it with mighty n misty Nilgiri. But only till I found out from my book(50 great weekends from Bangalore) that it is nowhere related to Nilgiris.
Thanks to Rajan who I believe has proposed the place initially and Huez to sticking to the place in spite of initial debate on the worthiness of the place for a bike trip at this time of the year. We were having a second thought about the place as we believed it would be completely dried out after summer.
So after deciding on the place we had a number of tea time meetings where only thing which we discussed was need for a bungee chord(Which anyway half of the members will be forgetting for the trip), time to start(which unfortunately wasn't going to be met in reality.) and places to see (which there were not many.).
So it all started on the Saturday morning. 4 bikes and 5 Hiwayrebels (one of them was a pillion rebel ofcourse). Huez,Biru, Rajan and myself. The credit of being a pillion Rebel goes to Partha.
I had a sound sleep and got up early as I had to fill up fuel and withdraw the cash (Yup guys, I was the finance manager. I knew that I looked like P.Chidambaram). I am not sure why I always predict the time so badly that I finish up these tasks fast and reach the meeting point so early. I am bad at prediction but anyhow It gives me a good image of being ahead of time (Allright Rebels, I confess that I reach the place ahead just because of my bad prediction and it had never been my intention to reach early).
I called up Huez\Biru, Rajan. All of them were just bathing. I was amazed to hear that except me everyone was so pious about bathing before early morning trip. I told them to make it fast. Biru\Huez came on time but then it was a long wait for Rajan and Patra. I think it was almost 4:45 when Rajan landed on his 180 CC pulsar. The biggest and best bike of the gang. It's red body with black engine looked like a monster. Though Rajan is doing a good job in keeping the monster on leash for first 2000 km.
After the whole group arrived we didn't waited and started towards Hosur. I was supposed to accompany Rajan on his first trip. But after a long wait and seeing a nice hiway in front of me, I was in no mood to ride at 65 kmph. I met Huez after few kms but soon he disappeared in darkness of the dawn. So there I was on the Hiway racing my bikes with small cars and other lesser bikes and getting this feeling of a F1 racer. aah I know I am nowhere near to those pulsars which Biru and Huez were riding but no need to bother as they were nowhere near sight.
Our first stop was few kms before krishnagiri where we took some rest and few snaps. Next stop was at Krishnagiri. We all had a nice breakfast in a local hotel. Just relaxed a bit before racing our bikes on Chennai hiway, without doubt The best hiway we rode on till date. The four lane road with no vehicle in sight, the atmosphere was right to push my bike to it's ultimate test. For the first time I gave full acceleration and my bike touched 3 figure mark with a top speed of 105.
After some time I overtook Huez on my Disky. (Aah allright I concede that he had halted his bike when I overtook him.). Biru was out of sight and I reached a place where we were supposed to take a right turn to Tirupattur. It looked like a village road. I stopped n waited for huez and Rajan. Rajan came after some time and we decided to take the hiway itself till vaniyambadi.
Soon we all reached vaniyambadi. From here Yelagiri is 10 km to right. We have to go to a village called ponneri. From here a left toad will take us to yelagiri ghat road. The road was good with nice twists and turns.
After reaching the top there was little confusion on accomodation. We wanted tented accomodation which doesn't seems to be available. So we went for YMCA. They provided dormitory and charged 60\- per head. The place was really good. It was a decent accomodation and food was also delicious.
We reached at around 10:00-10:30. Took some time to refresh and relax. Took our bikes out to go to a waterfall. There were two ways to reach it. One involved trekking and other was to go down the hill and reach waterfall on bikes itself. We took the second option. So we went downhill and reached Tirupattur from where a left was taken to reach waterfall. Though the road wasn't good enough but it went through small villages and we had nice views on both sides of the road. Driving on village roads is a nice feeling as long as roads r not too bad.
Soon we reached waterfalls (falls with no water actually). There was a small temple. Atmosphere inside the temple was very good. The temple itself was in shape of shiv linga. We had a photo session and finished our prayers. We reached Tirupattur again and headed for ice cream parlour (V never forget that we r a bunch of s\w engineers from a big city). After icecreams and juice we planned to go to observatory. No one realized how far it actually was. AFter travelling to vaniyambadi it was found that the observatory is 45 km ahead. At 6:30 PM there was no way we could have made a gruelling journey of 90 km. Hence we dropped plans of visiting the observatory. I got my engine oil checked at local bajaj showroom. Huez got his chain cleaned and Tachometer set (his tachometer was not working since morning). We bought some drinks (allright just beer and wine) for night. So we headed back to Yelagiri.
Climbing up the hill in night is a good experience. I liked it very much. Through out the climb Rajan was following me and I felt good to have a company. Huez and Biru came after we reached the YMCA camp. We soon fell on dinner tables as we all were tired and hungry. The chicken was ordered for night and we ate to our hearts fill. Our tummies were full and atleast I didn't had any place left for booze. I had few sips of beer before falling on the bed. Huez,Biru and Patra spent quite some time on the green grass outside before joining us.
All in all the whole day was spent on biking with very little activity. I had never really been able to drill in the importance of the place and schedule in the HiWayRebels team.
Next day we woke up by 5:00 as we were planning for a trek at 5:30. Every one assembled by 6:00 and we began our trek. We went on a hill near to the camp. Though the hill looked small, the route was curvy and tedious. We did small rock climbing on top of the hill. The wind on top of the rock was amazing. Thankfully it din't blow us away from the rock. But it was very fast and just standing on this rock was a amazing feeling. We took lot of snaps during trekking and quickly came down. Just relaxed a bit after taking our baths.
Biru went to talk with his uncle for quite some time. It must have been a long conversation as we felt that the wait was tooo long. Once he was back we paked our luggage and started towards boating. The lake was a man made lake and boating was a pleasant experience. After finishing this Rajan wanted to visit the flower show. But me, Biru and Huez wanted to go downhill. So we went down and waited for Rajan to come back. Took a few snaps before starting our long way back.
Biru and Huez went ahead and were racing their bikes with any fast vehicle they can put there eyes on. Biru touched an amazing speed of 124 only to be beaten by Huez for a 126 kmph. Apparently Huez rear wheel produced flames (may be sparks, but I was paid 5\- to write flames). I claim that Huez n Biru r the star bikers of the gang. (apparently I was paid for this too).
After a number of mini stops we reached Bangalore safely. We were full of excitement and joy of accomplishing a gr8 biking trip once again.
I believe there are only few things which will last long enough to be proudly narrated to our
kids when we grow old. Surely recent biking trips will be one of them. Telling our kids (and may be their kids) that how you used to take your bike out and travel an amazing distance of 550 km just to have fun, adventure and that spark in life which gives you your identity. A feeling of just being yourself. A being in harmony with nature and the supreme.