Monday, October 20, 2008

K Gudi - Weekend Ride

There are times when you are just bugged of your mundane week and pray for a decent weekend when you can just escape the rigmarole, even if only for a couple days or a few hours you want to just break free.

This Saturday thankfully was one of those weekends. The wifey had a day off from hercollege and we actually had the complete 2 days to ourselves. Two full days to do whatever we want to!

Planning was pretty prompt, a few calls made on Thursday and confirmations done onFriday; we were all set for a nice day trip to BR Hills  a nice patch of the wildlife sanctuary not too far from Bangalore. Since it was a day trip, there was not much packing to be done, the tank bag was stuffed with spares, some basic food and only one set of clothes (in case of any emergency) we decided that wed roll out by 5:30 am and had thought that would be back latest by 8pm in the worst case scenario.

Come Saturday morning, we left around 6am, the way to the Mysore highway was all dug up from my locality till the highway and we took around 10 different diversions before actually reaching the highway at 6:30 (thanks BBMP for screwing up my timinghere) once on the highway RedEye growled for speed and I promptly obliged her to pickup some thanks to the free-flow goldie exhaust and the bigger carb added with a K&N air-filter. We were cruising around over 100kph without even realizing.

Off late (after the Coorg ride) my lovely co-rider has actually improved her endurance levels on the road and doesn’t flitch till around 70kms of nonstop riding. Our first pitstop was the Maddur tiffany’s for their idli and filter coffee.

The handicraft store there was already open at 7:25 and we decided to check it out just for kicks recently I had noticed a website online that specialized in something called the Bead Rider the idea was very simple put a layer of beads bound together in a mat between your butt and the bikes seat and see the difference. I saw a very crude version of similar beaded mat for a very cheap rate and decided to pick it up and experience if it actually makes a difference. From there we started towards Mysore; took the ring Road at Mysore towards Chamrajanagar and then managed to take a wrong turn (I know I am blessed with being geographically challenged.) and suddenly noticed that the milestone saying BR Hills 28 Kilometers turn into BR Hills 96kms. (Double whammy!) The sky was cloudy and the morning was pleasant so I was not complaining, strangely the wifey was also not complaining!

The roads led us back to Malavalli from there to Kollegal and then some really bad roads took us to Yellandur (this is the last town before entering the sanctuary) at the check post of the sanctuary I noticed that we had clocked over 250kms for a usually 180km journey! And we hadn’t taken any butt breaks till now

Upon entering the sanctuary the roads amazingly changed into a buttery smooth well tarred blacktop narrow road. The twisties were just amazingly mouthwatering and the climb up was just exhilarating… imagine riding through a lush green thick forest on an amazing smooth road and the only sound you hear is the thump of your beast and the blood pumping into your brain.

We continued on from the BR Hills temple towards K Gudi  our most favorite joint destination of all till now, along the twisties and I suddenly noticed to my horror that on the tight twisties I couldn’t somehow manage to turn right! Gosh this is deadly, you lean with your bike completely and instead of turning, the bike keeps going straight into the steep fall and you start to panic after bravely managing a few of these right banks (without the co rider know about it) I finally gave into once of the corners where the front tire just refused to turn and I almost crashed into the trench below I somehow managed to brake in time and the got back some balance and composure. The wife noticed this particular turn and asked what was wrong, why wasI riding straight into the trench I made up some vague story about rider fatigue, fed some crap and carried on only slower.

Reached K Gudi at 11:25; met our dear friend Nahar there and talked with him for a while in the next 15 minutes he convinced us that since we don’t have any special plans for Sunday we should stay back at the wilderness camp and arranged for a room for us so by noon we had stowed our tank-bag and riding jackets into theroom and emerged into the camp as if we have been permanent residents of the place.

Had some sumptuous lunch and retired to rest for an hour. In the early evening we were introduced to the new (well, actually 10 month old) naturalist Narayan at K Gudi. He took us for a jeep safari into the jungle our jeep was shared with an old Swedish gent and 2 south Indian couples (guess they come for some real junglee time) the old gent was pretty reserved and kept to himself all through the safari and talked only with Narayan couple times in the next 2 hours. The two couples on the other hand were the typical yuppies that I hate to interact with and thankfully kept to them-selves talking in Tamil or Kannada or whatever they talked in behaving like a bunch ofjuvenile retards.

Halfway through the safari, we got a radio message from the other jeep that they had spotted a leopard and informed us on the exact coordinates to the location. Narayan like a pro rally driver drove the jeep through some unbelievable terrain and in less than 7 minutes we were at the rendezvous point with the other jeep oohing and aahing atthe amazing beauty of a leopard just a few hundred meters away from where we were.

The juvenile retard group in spite of several reminders and reprimands for maintainingsilence couldn’t contain their excitement and behaved in such a disgusting manner that for a while I actually felt like beating then up and feeding them to the leopard Iguess the leopard read my thoughts and scooted the scene in a while probably fearing the idea of eating meat made out of only rasam rice and curd rice ugh!

After that we continued our safari. Spotted some spotted deer, some Sambar (not the one you eat but the one people hunt) and a few very pretty birds but I was not interested in this any more two main reasons, I was already content of looking at a wild cat in the wild for the first time in my life and also because the juvenile retards were now acting as if they were on an African safari and were hanging almost out of the jeep while pushing their bums into our heads and groping each other (maybe while thinking of the orgy they will have later on in the night)

After going back to the camp had some amazing onion pakoras and saw a documentary on a gang of macaques based out of a town in Tamil Nadu. Sitting around the campfire later Nahar and we discussed about his future plans of moving to the land down under and studying for his PHD made vague plans of doing a vacation together sometime in the future in Gujarat covering all the wildlife sanctuaries and the Rann of Kutch.

Had a nice dinner and slept in the royal bed of the maharajas royal bungalowwoke up at 7am just to realize that the morning safari had already left and we missed it only by 20minutes boohoo

Ate breakfast, and packed our tank bag, started planning on a proper route to go back to Blore the previous evening Nahar had already told us about some temple at Somnathapura which falls on the way to Bangy; so were thinking if we want to do it or go straight home.

Narayan came at 8:30 with the news that he spotted a sloth bear and the wife was literally in tears shes been raving about spotting one since the first time we landed at K Gudi for our honeymoon. Narayan promised her that hell keep a bear ready next time we come again. Said our goodbyes and left. Halfway through the twisties Iconfessed about my inability of banking right on the twisties to the wifey and rode down the ghats at a very slow speed the wifey was exceptionally helpful and supportive during the ghat section and once we got out of the sanctuary we turned towards Yellandur and then to the onward journey to Bangalore.

Just entering in Yellandur we realized that the state government was not content by digging up all the roads in Bangalore so they had actually come all the way to these small villages and dug up all the roads and highways here as well! Saw a bus trying to take a tight turn in less than 6feet radius, dodged the buss and rolled off towards Malavalli. The roads now turned from good to bad and bad to worse and then just stopped to exist! It was more like doing an off-road stint with a pillion on the Bull and poor RedEye was grumbling and screeching at every pothole and every ditch. But she bravely carried on.

It took us more than two and a half hours for us to cover around 70 kilometers! My nerves by now had completely frayed and I was grumbling and bitching at every SOB driver on the road.

Finally some smooth roads shown and they brought all the maniacs drivers and riders of India along with them people not understanding the light signals, the hand signals or even the abusive curses that I screamed inside my helmet. The return was generally uneventful and we reached home around 2:30 in the afternoon. Had a quick shower and then both of us sat and brooded about being back in this godforsaken city.

Now we are waiting for 17th November when we go back to K Gudi along with my parents and my older sister

Till then, I just sit and wait and hope and pray