Sunday, January 14, 2007

Team Bike Trip – Nelliampathy – Jan 7, 2007

As with all Saturday mornings, my miniscule brain was thinking about where to go for the weekend. Just then, Ganesh (my team guy) told that he is going home to Kerala for the weekend, and my roaming profile went into overdrive. We hatched up a plan to make a trip. A short and sudden meeting with the team guys happened and we decided that we will go on a bike trip to Nelliampathy on Sunday and return on Monday afternoon (before that I had to make them swear that they will return to work on Monday night).

We left on Sunday morning to Vadakancherry where Ganesh told he will meet us and from there we will go to Nelliampathy. Roads are exceptionally good till the foothills of Nelliampathy. The trip was uneventful except for the puncture to Anand’s bike tyre and the stopover in Pothundy Dam. New roads are being laid in hills of Nelliampathy, hence the ride was both adventurous and aching. If you planning a painless ride to Nelliampathy, better go after June 2007, the roads should be complete by then.

There are 2 must-see places in Nelliampathy – Seetharkundu and Mallampara. Seetharkundu is a great viewpoint. Legend says that Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita lived here. With we Hanumans being there, I started to believe the tail, sorry tale. Mallampara is the highest point in Nelliampathy and offers a great view of all the hills.

The best way to see both places is by jeep. You can hire a jeep for Rs. 500/= from Nelliampathy to Mallampara. The jeep accommodates around 8 persons. Beware, the jeep ride is bone-rattling. I bet it can relieve any severe degree of constipation.

We spent there till late evening and had a very chilly and scary ride back to Vadakancherry in the night. Ganesh gave us a scare in-between saying that the hotel guy in Vadakancherry won’t allow us to drink, but scare turned to joy when we saw the hotel guy himself carrying bottles.

The next morning, during breakfast, the guys got a real taste of Kerala. Akathi, Mohan, Andrew, Karthick, and Alex opened their eyes as wide as the plates on their table on seeing the girls coming out of a tuition centre in the same complex. They were already making plans fast for the next trip - same place, same time. I, as usual, had to reluctantly behave very mature.

All in all the trip was great and safe, and the guys enjoyed it thoroughly.

Route: Coimbatore = Palakad = Vadakancherry = Nelliampathy = Coimbatore (300 km approximately). Accommodation at Vadakancherry. Total cost: Rs. 350/= per head approximately including food, stay, and petrol.


The Team in Pothundy Dam. (L-R) Akatheeswaran, Ganesh, Anand, Me, Mohan, Andrews, Karthick, Alex, Mahendran

We are the Kings of the World

Jeeping in the Jungle

Jeeping in the Jungle

3-Wheel Drive???

Loner in Seethar Kundu

In the Woods

Team Suicide???

Loner in Malampara

Trekking in the Hills

Uttar Pradesh ↓↓ -- Madhya Pradesh ↑↑

If you are wondering what this Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh business is, well I lost some scalp hair in my Uttar Pradesh region and gained a few centimeters to my tummy in my Madhya Pradesh region in 2006. One of my countless resolutions this year is to reduce Madhya Pradesh.

Apart from that, 2006 was a great year. To start with, I got transferred back to my hometown of Coimbatore and in a different role now. The year started with a bike trip to Coorg and ended with a bike trip to Athirapally-Valparai (both with my friend Kicha). I was lucky enough to go on trips in all the 12 months of 2006. Shakaleshpur, Thadiyandamol, Chennrayanadurga, Siddarbetta, BR Hills, Tirupathi, Wayanad, Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Avalanchi, Masinangudi, Valparai, Grass Hills, Tanjore, Athirapally are some of places which I visited.

Professionally too, it was a great year for me. I got transferred back to my hometown and in a new role now.

The best thing which happened to my in 2006 was my team. I just love them all. They are mix of young and middle-age people and are simply great to work with. The way they pooled together to celebrate my birthday spoke of their affection. I am sure many of them are going to get promoted in 2007 with their hard work, and I am sure we are going to have a great year ahead in 2007.

As with last year, Kicha and I decided to start the year with a trip and we decided on Athirapally-Valparai (Dec 29 and 30 were the dates). I had been in the same route before with Abdul in September, but decided to go there again to enjoy the beauty again. Last time it was rain, rain all the way. This time, it was totally dry and sunny. Though the beauty remains the same, I would always prefer to go in rains to see the freshness and green.

Route and other details available in my earlier blog in September 2006.

Kicha and me

Shouting in joy

Biking in the shrubs

Dangerous curve ahead!!!

Back to the past

Travelling - It's my cup of tea

Athirappaly in the morning

Beautiful road in the jungle

Sunbath in the forest

Chalakudy River