Thursday, July 2, 2009

To NoWhere At NoTime

The Wayanad Trip, Part 1

Confusions, Kanfoosans and Much More:

Well, that is how it all started. The crazy bros (or madmen or any other adjective you would like to use) Sandy and Raul came up with the idea of going on an unplanned trip. One Friday, early morning at 11:00 am (yea, thats early enough for me) when I was just out of my 3rd day in Gym (which did not last long anyways), I get a call from Sandy "Machu, come down to Barista Koramangala". So, I go there dressed in my sweaty gym wear, along with Cjo. After all its just the two bros. Who cares how I'm dressed. On arrival, I'm forced to enter Barista *GULP* and Sandy is with a girl... *GULP* *GULP*. Well, too late to make any changes. Only option is to sit there uncomfortably and wait for the guys to get done and go home. Well, these guys did get up, we went to my place. Till then, I had no plans of any trip. While at my place, the two managed to convince me into joining the Trip, which was supposed to end where the road ends. Well, once they had freshened up, they moved to their friends places and I rushed to work.

I had to finish up work as soon as possible and get going. When I started work, I was relieved because there was not too much work for me. I was glad that I will be able to sneak out early. Since I had not carried any spare cloths, it was all the more important for me to sneak out early, so that I could go home and get my stuff packed up. Well, but as things would have it, just around dinner time, I cursed Murphy for his laws. Yes, things were no longer as good as it was. Some work got piled up and I got held up. I called up Cjo to get some cloths and come to pick me up after filling petrol. Lucky for us. there was a 24-hour Petrol Bunk and so we could fill the tank. Cjo had to wait another hour or so in my office before we could start. It had already crossed midnight when we started.

While all this was happening, in another part of the city, Sandy and Raul were busy convincing more bikers to join the trip. They went to the extent of getting guys drunk and then making them accept this (yes, they can go to any extent to get people for a ride). After lots of convincing, some guys agreed to join. But the next target was to find that perfect lie to tell home. Everyone found their reasons, and started off, pretty late in the night. This gave me enough time :D.

After all the confusion got over at one part of the city, I got a call from Sandy saying they are on Mysore road and asking me to join. I still had long way to go before I completed my work. I informed him the same. After while, growing impatient, they decided to move ahead. Sandy informed me they would be waiting near the RV Dental college. Well, that one happens to be just across the road from where I work :P. So I assumed he meant the Rajarajeshwari Dental College on Mysore road. When done with work, me and Cjo speeded up desperately to catch up with the guys. We rode without any stop and pretty fast for our normal standards. While we are still speeding, we get a message saying that the gang is moving forward and will wait at some Petrol bunk since they need a fill. Now we had to speed even more as we had to catch up with the guys before they do. We crossed the said location and then started checking each petrol bunk in site, but could not spot anyone. After a while, we got doubtful and decided to give a call to Sandy.

Some brilliant guys in the group did not think that they will need enough fuel for the long ride. Middle of the night, no fuel, greaaaat. One bike got dried out. Some took it as a bad omen and returned home. Another bike dried down and people were checking all petrol bunks nearby, only to find that they had no stock either. These guys were moving here and there looking for petrol and we zipped past them without realizing. Only two guys in the group were known to me and I did not spot both, probably due to speeding. As it happened, the stop was supposed to be RV Engineering College, which was way behind the dental college we targeted.

Rendezvous Point:
We give Sandy our whereabouts and realize that we are ahead of them. Some guys return back home considering all the ill haps as bad omen. The survivers reached us. After a negligible break, we started off to our next stop, Barista near Maddur. This is where we get introduced to everyone.

While parking, Cjo noticed that there is a chick in the gang. woooohoooo. All the more excitement. Introduction with the chick me: "Hi, I'm Jash" chick: "Hi, Sunil". >>twissssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh<< heartbreak. That was the first meeting with Kancha, the slim and trim guy with long hair, making it easy for others to confuse him for a girl. Ohh well, but since the group was fun, not having a chick did not matter. After some chitter chatter and gobbling some snacks and enough coffee, we get back on our journey.

The ride went on without much happenings till Mysore. In Mysore, there was a confusion on the route further. But we managed to get on the right track. We clicked a few pics near the Palace and moved on further. We looked for tea, but could not find that late in the night. Our next target was the Cafe Coffee Day at Gundulpet. The ride was smooth, but we reached before dawn break. Going further before dawn was not a good idea because of the jungle ahead. We spent a lot of time there at the coffee day. It was already time for the Bullets to get refilled. The got it done there. We started off again at 6 am.

By this time, the Bangalore guys had already completed anywhere between 20 and 24 waking hours and the guys from Chennai had done even more. Ranjith (Hillman) had already started feeling sleepy and all he could think of was a bed and sleeping on it. But others were not to give up so easily. We moved at a normal pace hoping to see some wild animals, enjoying the view of the deers by the road side. It was nearly 9 am when we reached Sulthan Bathery. Everyone was hungry and wanted to have breakfast. We stopped at the first restaurant we saw, parked the bikes and went inside anticipating yummy food.

Chicken Sambhar and Egg Pulishery -- An experience never to forget:

Well, the general assumption of a mallu hotel is of spicy chicken curry and delicious egg curry. We ordered appams, chicken and egg curry. Everyone was waiting anxiously for the food, but all excitement died down at the first taste of it. The chicken curry tasted like sambhar and the egg curry tasted like pulishery (a curry made with curd as base). Even the appam was pathetic. We had had better appams in Pune and Bangalore.

Well, that was a disastrous breakfast experience. around. Manoj had to get his bullet fixed up at this time. We decided to take a room and keep our stuff and to get freshened up in the meantime. Hillman tried to get a nap in the meantime, with no luck because of the crazy bro duo and of course the rest of us helping in. As soon as the bike was fixed, we started off on our tour. The first target was Edakkal Caves. The excitement made us all forget our tiredness. Even Hillman forgot his sleep for some time. We reached the foothill, parked the vehicles. Had some water and started off on the climb.

Test of Strength and Agility:

Well, the climb up to Edakkal was a tough one. I was already tired by the time I reached the place where the road ends. There was a steep climb where vehicles were not allowed. The buggers who called themselves friends did not even let me have water. I somehow managed to reached the spot from where the actual climb was to begin and snatch the water bottle from them and have some. The climb initially was exiting. I was able to move around pretty easily. The only trouble was to go against gravity with my weight. Even though I could traverse the path without much trouble, I got tired soon since I had been out of physical activity for a long time. Add to that the medicines I was supposed to have those days. I saw Cjo, Kancha and Manoj climb up like monkeys followed by Ranjith, Pavan and Raul. Sandy kept me company for some time, but I was constantly giving up, dehydrated, out of breath. Sandy could not take any more and rushed ahead. I had nearly given up and thought of getting back down, but after a while could not control the urge to go up.

So, I started off all alone, asking everyone around if they had any water. The common replies were among: 'it just got over', 'we are looking for water ourselves' etc. Well, somehow I reached the cave where there was stream of water. After having water from there, with full energy I started again, only to stop in another 5 mins. The guys who had already reached the top called up. I confirmed that they had water. Gathering all the energy left in me, I made for the top. I was hardly 5 feet below the peak when everyone started coming down with the empty water bottle. So well, I missed the top and got no water either. Thus ended the climb and we started climbing down. This time, it was not as difficult. Rushed down till the cave where I had some more water.

Once down, we all had our fill of lime soda and lime water and water, which was the only thing we could think of at that time. While we were sitting there, Hillman and Shaabji (Manoj) got the idea of trying to ride the bullet up the steep road. They tried but had to come back shortly, because it was not allowed. Well, we started off soon after, because we had to cover.

The bee that ruined the day:

After the tiring climb, while we were rushing to our next location a sudden cry from Kancha and subsequent stopping of the bike in which he was riding made us stop. It was obvious that Kancha was in pain, but no one had any idea what happened. At that time, he released his sweater to let out a bee. Damn, it was a really bad sting. People worked at all possible solutions to it. Cjo suggested chuna and some people put ice on it. Any one of these would have reduced the trouble, but the combination of heat and cold made the situation worst. Thinking that the pain will subside in some time, we started off again. But Kancha could not take the pain much longer. We had to stop and look for a hospital. We asked for directions and followed it to a hospital. Only thing, with slight mistakes we got split into two groups ending up at two hospitals. Sandy and Hillman arrived at one hospital and talked to the doctor and were waiting for Raul to arrive with Kancha, while Raul had found another one and Kancha was already getting treated. Sandy tried to call Raul and was already irritated to the core.

These confusions were still going on when Pavan's bullet had a problem. The break cable broke lose. Damn. That too, his being a real classic piece, finding appropriate spare parts was added trouble. We somehow managed to find a garage and get trouble fixed temporarily with the best available fit.

Kancha had to take rest and it was getting late for the best part of the day, the kallu (toddy) session. My cousin, whom I had called up before the trip to arrange some kallu was calling me continuously and we had no clue what to do. cjo and I, who knew the roads well (since I'm the native and Cjo had been with me earlier) decided to, collect the kallu and come back. But the rest did not want to be left alone. We decided to let Kanch rest while we go ahead and come with the kallu. The mention of Kallu and Kancha's pain vanished. He was ready to leave.

The ride they almost missed:
We embarked on our journey to Kalpetta (the district capital) where I was to meet my cousin. The road there has greenery on both sides and has really nice curves. Me being used to that road never thought so great of it, but the guys along (specially Sandy) started cursing Cjo and me for planning to leave them behind and take this route. This went on for quite some time. By the time I met my cousin, it was getting pretty late. Someone wanted a beer since he was not sure about Kallu. So, we queued up in front of the 'shaap' (as the liquor stores are called in Kerala) to get some beer. Well the queues are pretty long in Kerala. We spent a lot of time there. The proceeded to buy some snacks. In the meantime, Pavan's bike was again giving some trouble. We got that fixed and moved on to my cousins home.

The kallu session and the return journey in the second part... keep waiting.. :D

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