Saturday, March 25, 2017

136) Mahe & Kannur: (8‘9‘10/10/2016)


Place: Mahe & Kannur
Distance: 800kms in total.
Directions: Bangalore > Mysore > Hunsur > Gonikoppal > Virajpete > Irity > Mahe > Kannur
Krew: Gautham (Gauti) > Madhu (Barca) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: FZ16 > Pulsar                                                                      
Previous Visit: Dandiganahalli Dam
Budget: Rs 2500/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This was a long awaited trip. After having pulled back about 7-8times, it felt real frikking good to get this baby under the belt. Mahe well, umm.. ahem is the under Pondicherry but in Kerala so it was like paradise to us. And well Kannur is a well-known tourist destination and never has it disappointed me until today. This was a 3 day trip, but the third day turned out to be the busiest!


INTRO & PLAN:
After having spent about 1 month in Baroda I returned back to Bangalore. It was now or never, I thought to myself about Mahe. Initially Mahe trip was planned in the month of September 2014 but was never executed.  Had tried really hard to get this one done, but just never couldn’t. Anyway, with Madhu joining from Bangalore and Gauti joining from Mysore we took one day leave and decided to conquer these places.
TIME: 22:00 (7/10/2016)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Oh yeah woke up at 04:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! Rode to Madhu’s place and after waiting for 30-40mins finally the big guy woke up and asked me to wait for some more time (hehe!). After about an hour so, mighty Madhu came down and we left Bangalore.
TIME: 06:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Mysore – Virajpete - Mahe)
Well, this was about 350kms ride for DAY-1. It was just as we expected – awesome! We joined Mysore road and zoomed away. The weather was pretty cool being the post-monsoon season. We pulled over at our regular Bidadi hotel for some yummy breakfast.
TIME: 07:00


After having belted multiple rounds we had some light tea and left.  We had told Gauti that we would reach the Mysore by 10AM.  We rode pretty much at a decent place catching up on each other’s life and adventures undertaken during the last month (hehe, yeah!) We pulled over at Mandya for some tea again, called up Gauti to inform about our status. 
In about an hour or so we reached Mysore. We met Gauti and all three of us met a common friend of Gauti & Madhu.  Once we left Mysore, the sun had come up and temperatures were up. Even then we got half a bottle of juice, water and soft drinks and pulled over near Hunsur for an hour or so.
TIME: 11:00

   

After the light session, we left afloat knowing it would be a long day on the road. As we just began to enter the forest premises the clouds came over or heads and welcomed us with light drizzle. It was a heavenly ride, trust me on this one.  The dark thick jungle, the curvy roads, the light drizzle and us, well a light afloat, made it a perfect package. Drifting in the woods and within we sang our way through the forests admiring the greenery. Just around Kerala border we decided to pull over at Kerala restaurant to belt in on some authentic fish curry and boiled rice.
TIME: 13:30


Once we entered the Kerala border the drizzle intensified, with some heavy lunch in our tummies we felt like buffalos. Come what may, we keep riding was the slogan we had in mind. The twisty curves of the dense forest were a joy to execute.   Finally we eneded up at Irrity and asking further direction we proceeded towards Mahe.
The roads narrowed down, humidity increased and the road became dense with traffic.  Once we spotted the Arabian Sea, we yelled at the top of our lungs and almost bumped into the guy in front of us. Having watched all the Malayalam movies it was good to hear words pleasant/unpleasant, we were in not position to understand/judge.  After proceeding south towards thallessary another 15kms down we entered Mahe.
TIME: 16:30


MAHE:
Mahe well, what can I say about this place. A small town, of about 3.5km radius in Kerala, but a part of Pondicherry. And as expected and seen a few years back nothing had changed. For every 5 liquor shops you can find a grocery shop :P Haha!
We searched for good hotels, but couldn’t find one as there was annual celebrations of the Mahe Church. We managed to get a cheap hotel but hey, who cares!  We freshened up and decided to walk to the Mahe beach for the sunset on the west coast.
Watching the sun go down on the Arabian sea with all the boats as the witness was a spectacular sight. We spent some time at the light house and decided to return to the town which was in full of carnival lights. Roaming in the streets of Mahe amidst the crowd and songs, we picked up a couple of bottles and headed back to the hotel.

    

At about 11PM we realised that we had forgotten to get food, so went out and got some fish fry, chilly chicken, rice, peas curry, omlets from a road side shop at reasonable price. And boy was it yummy! We belted and listened to Madhu’s stories and then Gauti continued with his and last turn was mine hehe!
TIME: 02:30

DAY 2: (Roaming Mahe!)
As usual, any guesses who rose first? Haha, me! Got up at around 4AM and finished of the left over kottu. Madhu got up once in between and started swearing at me (not the ideal scene to get up to) Haha! Gauti rose and we both went out for a morning walk to get a feel of the town. We loafed around and managed to find a pretty good hotel (French Avenue). Headed back and woke up Madhu and asked him to get ready. We shifted to the new hotel once Madhu got ready. Finishing our breakfast we decided to head south.
TIME: 10:00

SARGAALAYA- KERALA ARTS & CRAFTS VILLAGE:
Situated about 20kms south Mahe is this amazing place for people who appreciate the cultural heritage that comes along with this beautiful state. Spread across 20acres this beautiful and clean place has various segments where skilled artists work on their skill areas and give a few tips here and there for visitors interested. Their works can be purchased at the place itself. Arts and business is blended in the right proportion at this place. Few of the art forms demonstrated at this place are weaving sarees, painting (all sorts), bamboo art, coconut art, music, wall hangings, hand bags, and so many more. We proudly bought a few coconut pendants (went well with these beaches right?!)
TIME: 12:00


KUNJALI MARAKKAR MUSEUM & BACKWATERS:
When enquired about places near-by we were pointed at this museum. Kunjalli Marakkar was a fierce warrior who put up a valiant fight against the Portuguese over trading rights. A person offered us to guide through the museum and the amount of passion with which he was explaining we just listened like kids. (in between I asked a stupid question, “Saar, Kuniyali Marakar is team who supported Portugal ah?) He almost got enraged:P.
Having a splendid tour of the museum, we went a few kilometres towards to west to find ourselves in place where three backwaters met the ocean. Beautiful place it was, with hardly any people around.
TIME: 13:00


SANDBANKS:
Alright, good progress for the day we thought and headed towards Vadakara. Asking locals for a good hotel around, we pulled over for some lunch. In Kerala, one point to remember is they usually under cook the meat. So think twice before you order chicken.
After a heavy lunch, we reached the sandbanks. It looked pretty similar to Kappad beach. The tourism department had done well in establishing beautiful walkways, sit outs and other facilities in this stretch of the sea. We loafed around, caught a few star fishes and basked in the sun.
TIME: 15:00
After having spent good time, we had some ice creams as it turned pretty hot. Then we decided to ride back and chill out at the hotel.

MAHE NIGHT 2:
We reached back pretty early and purchased the required and decided to walk around the town the carnival was still alive. Lots of people walking around and all the glitters haha, felt good and weird. We went fuelled up our bikes as we had decided to leave early the next day. Bought back dinner packed to the hotel and sat down. The second night went on till 1AM or so before we cleared and crashed.
TIME: 01:00

DAY 2: (Kannur & To Bangalore!)
We rose early and got ready. We left the hotel by 07:30 and headed north. On the way our tummies began to growl so we pulled over for some yummy Kerala breakfast.


MUZHAPPILANGAD DRIVE IN BEACH:
This is one of the must visit places in this region. It stretches for about 5.5km and is rated as one top 5 beaches for driving. It was no doubt a pure thrill to on the sands with waves crashing into your bike. The atmosphere of this place was also relaxed.
TIME: 08:00

  

KANNUR:
Travelling up north for another 15km we reached Kannur. And I had stayed here for about 15days during 2013 so kind of remembered all the places well. Without much enquiring we proceeded to the following places:
      1. Baby Beach: Small stretch of waters which can be viewed from top. We sat here for 15mins or so and decided to move on.
      2.  Payamballam Beach: This is a little commercial beach with lot of high rise buildings around. We loafed around this beach for some time.
      3. St.Angleo Fort: Well, this was the main target of the day. Built in the early 1500’s by French this amazingly beautiful fort I assure you will never disappoint.  The high risen fort wall with cannons, made the perfect defence for naval attacks. We just sat on the fort wall and looked into the seas for quite some time. The distant ships looked so nice. Already running a few hours late we decided it was time to hit the road back to Bangalore.
      TIME: 11:00


RIDE 2: (Kannur – Irrity – Virajpete – Gonnikoppal – Hunsur – Mysore – Bangalore)
This was about 350kms ride back and it was a good one. As we left Kannur we asked people for directions and we proceeded towards Irrity. As entered the forests it began to drizzle. Few hours into the ride the drizzle turned into light showers and it made riding bliss. We pushed on through towards the border to pull over at a hotel for some snacks and tea.
Wow Incident: As the ride was in full swing, Madhu showed me a range of mountain shrouded in mist I was so awestruck that my jaws fell down and as I had begun to say “Wwaaaaaaa” I realised I had almost gone off the road. Looked at Madhu and we started fighting again haha:P
Riding trust me in the forest in the showers turned out be tricky as well with the mental bus drivers. Once we entered back into Karnataka we rode peacefully admiring the misty mountain afar to reach Gonikoppal for some well-deserved heavy lunch.
TIME: 14:00

   

The lunch turned out to be little too heavy for the kilometres left for the day. But we cruised along at a decent pace to reach hunsur as well.  About 30mins before Mysore and major accident had taken place just then and the villagers had blocked the entire road and were protesting. Long jam prevailed and we took a call to enter into the villages and find an alternate route through the country roads. It worked out pretty well and we made it back to the main road and then to Mysore. Thanked Gauti for joining us and spent some time talking on the by-pass road and then decided it was best we head back.
TIME: 17:00

The ride from Mysore to Bangalore was straight-forward 150kms. But with our physical condition and the sun going down we made sure we took regular stops and after dropping back Madhu I reached home :)
TIME: 20:00

CONCLUSION:
What must be done; should be done. Yeah, it was a super-man feeling after having completed this run. I was dancing around the next few days enjoying as though I’ve won the battle against the God of Flops haha! And Kerala, well, she earned a special place in my heart and the next 2 months watched atleast 4 Malayalam movies per week :P”

Until next time, Cia \m/



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