1. The Road trip to Ooty for ReUnion with Royal Enfield Enthusiats.
2. The Road trip to Mahabalipuram – Coffee
The moment I saw Arun’s mail in my Inbox I knew he had arranged the so-called heritage photography trip that which I had requested him. As I went through the mail, my eagerness to travel was triggered more. I knew i was to embark on a journey into the realm of the mountains and the wild. I was so very excited and willing to join. I completed all the formalities and listed myself to join the ride and trek.
It encompassed a total ride of around 650 kms and the trek was at the Easy + level.
The day before the trek I was too excited and overjoyed that I was merely able to catch some sleep.
Jaiswal had requested me to give him a Wake up call, and I did the same as I called up most of my mates to make sure they woke me up as the scheduled meeting time was at 3.30 in the morning. At the scheduled hour at 2.30 in the morning, I got my wake up calls and my alarms began ringing. I ran helter skelter just to keep them all at check. Then once I was up and running I began with my wake up call to Jaiswal. It just dint seem right to me, he had like hit the sack real hard the other night that he was kinda knocked off and he dint receive my call, which meant he dint wake up. So I hit the road on my own and reached Koyambedu, one of the last assembly points, apparently the closest to my house.
There I saw the entire party waiting for me and a few more participants. There was a small Tea Kadai that was open at that time, where we all grabbed a Tea each waiting for the others to join in. Once all of them reached, we began with the ride to Udhayagiri, there were 2 cars and a total of 6 bikes. The fun just began. It was decided that Arun would take the lead while I would sweep for all the riders. We hit the direct highway to nellore, the ride was smooth and the traffic was very less, it wasnt bad at all. Just the odd confusion for me as there were different bikes here unlike my trips with my Bullet Club where identifying the bikes and riders would never be difficult.
It was about 2 hours when we reached Nellore, where we had Padma a participant from Bangalore who joined us for the trek. We then had breakfast there in Nellore, munching bites of Idly, Dosa, Pongal and also got food packed for lunch, we requested the guy to spare us the chutney and just give us the food and dosa with just sambhar and no chutney.
Once we deviated from Nellore towards Udhayagiri, the roads became narrow and we began enjoying the picturesque views that nature had to offer. After about a ride of around 70 kms we reached another major deviation from where we had to take a right turn that lead us to Udhayagiri. There we took a break and waited for the cars to arrive.
Then from there it was another half n hour drive to Udhayagiri, where we all took bottles of water and packed food and all required essentials and clicked pictures on the base of the hill from where we were to start our trek. The hill was very inviting and less intimidating. We began with a slow and steady pace and continued to move on. The experienced trekkers just kept climbing on without any rest or breather, they were just at it from the word go.
On the way there were kids from the village bursting crackers and having fun near a point where water would continuously drip and it would be ice cold too. Clicked their pictures and continued on. Taking short breaks here and there we finally reached the so called entrance of the fort. It was the only door that was in tact, while the rest had worn away in time. It was brilliant and the view from most points was breathtaking. The architecture and the way in which it was all constructed was just amazing, it was just the thing that told us, that the enemy had to wait patiently for about 18 months in order to be able to get close to the fort and to capture it.
We got to a point from there on, which was referred to as Dil Chahta Hai Point, just because some shooting for the film took place there it seems. We helped ourselves to some neat photographs. Then we just followed the trail and also had a few painted arrows that was helping us navigate the terrain and trail. We came across huge elephant grass and most points one we were on top, then we proceed towards the Pedda Masudi ( Big Mosque ). On the waay we saw a bed rock and enjoyed our time on it and clicked a few memorable snaps. We lost our way wand ended up in a different cliff, then we walked back to find the correct trail before we managed to get to the Big Mosque, once there we took rest, had our chocolates and lunch, but the whole thing was kinda spoilt as the jerk in the hotel had packed the food with the chutney in it and so the food was irrevocably spoilt. But then some of them drew enough courage to still have it and suffice their hunger. I munched a few biscuits that i otherwise had stored in my bag for such emergencies.
Then we clicked a few pics, before beginning to start the downward trek. This was interesting as the climb at that point began t feel less painful as when we were descending all the force was to be borne by the knee and thigh muscles, even the stomach and kidneys began to hurt. But then without loosing heart and listening to my favorite myself, just kept moving continuously and slowly towards the base of the hill. Once at the base, it was only me and Raghul, the rest of them took at least 30 mins more to reach which gave us like an awesome breather and time for a very short power nap.
Once they all got back, we all changed back into our riding kit and began with the return journey. The roads were dark, the buses were unforgiving and the curves were never ending. It was a thrill ride, we rode to nellore and had dinner in the same place where we had break fast. Then we all proceeded, on the way we took numerous break only because i was kinda falling asleep on the saddle in spite of the constant chewing of the GUM. Then took breaks for Chai and constantly rode before we reached the last toll near red hills before we all met for the last time, bid farewell to everyone and got back home.
One huge round of applause to the entire team of participants and for Arun, who initiated the ride and trek.
Route – Chennai – Nellore – Udhayagiri and back the same way – Total kms 640
Mode of Transport – Royal Enfield Classic 350
Petrol – Rs. 2000
Food & Water – Rs. 200 midway at Nellore for both ways
Other Requirements – Amazing Spirit and Attitude and a penchant for fun and frolic. Of Course a Camera.