Bike trip through the Eastern Ghats, June 20 –21, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Route: Chennai-Krishnagiri-Salem-Yercaud-Salem-Chennai
Day 1: June 20th 2009
It was a yet another weekend to stay home and relax for most people but not for a group of adventure savvy CTCians. So as the dawn was breaking slowly into a warm and beautiful morning one by one the group gathered to set out for a bike trip through the eastern ghats. It was after a while did we get the news that one of the bikers (Naresh) and a small accident on the way. In spite of the injury which needed stitches, Naresh was still insistent to carry on with the trip. So after a little visit to a nearby hospital we set out from Chennai.13 bikers, 12 pillions, 2 cars cruised along the highway for one helluva trip!
The cool surprise
As we zoomed towards Krishagiri, there was one thought in most of our head; The surprise that Peter had promised a surprise at 100 kms from Chennai. So when we took a detour on to a mud road from the highway into the paddy fields we were all too eager to get to the surprise. There it was one huge well Brimming with water. Thus the water mania started. While some of them were contented in sitting near the well and relax. The rest of the group had a ball of a time doing all sorts of flips, dives and somersaults and jumping into the water. So after an hour of fun in the water, it was time to hit the road again.
After a quick breakfast on the highway outside Vellore, The group set out again towards Krishnagiri.It was one of the most memorable of the bike trip for me. When Peter offered me to ride the bike after breakfast I thought that was a joke. But when stopped at one point and told me to sit in the front only did I realize this ain’t a joke. So there I was taming (not in the “real sense) Peter’s Mean Machine. What an astounding experience, cruising along the highway around 100 kms/per hour. Still can feel the bike tearing through the through with the wind.
As we progressed along the highway past Krishnagiri we met the Bikers and pillions from Bangalore; 4 bikers and 2 pillions. After brief hellos, hugs and a couple of hand shake the battalion set towards Dharmapuri  and had a small pit stop to have fruit mix, lemon juice and lunch
We set out from Dharmapuri towards Yercaud with out stomachs full and hearts waiting to hit the ghats. Little did we know the evening was to take an unexpected and pretty unfortunate turn. Hardly ten kilo meters from Dharmapuri, Naresh and Pallavi met with an accident with a drunkard hardly in his senses trying to cross the road. Brief panic set in due to the commotion caused in the village. While Baskar, Vikki, Bala, Selva and Nachu tried to pacify the locals, Pallavi taken to the hospital. The rest of the bikes waited outside the village filled with anxiety. The anxiety reduced very slightly when we heard that Pallavi was doing fine. After a little while we were advised to move as far from the village by the guys dealing with the locals to avoid further complications.
Even with the unfortunate event putting all of us under excessive stress our team spirits dint go down. As a group we decided not to proceed to Yercaud that night, especially when one part of the group were dealing with the authorities and having a tough time. We proceeded towards Salem and regroup with the other guys with no idea of what next. It was so much of a relief to see Naresh, Bala, Vikki, Selva, Baskar and Nachu in Salem.
So the night that was supposed to spend at mountain top under the stars in Yercaud with camp fire, was spent in 3 rooms crammed with people. People dozed off out because weariness from exhaustion, fear and anxiety and relief .But the good news was, The formalities of the accident can be dealt the next day morning and there was actually a prospect of the group going to Yercaud after that.
Day 2: June 21st 2009
We all woke up around 7 AM in the morning and it was decided that while the majority of the group proceed to Yercaud, the rest of the guys will deal with the local authorities and meet the other group in Yercaud later during the day. So after bidding adieu and good luck we set out to Yercaud.
Slowly as we started approaching the ghats road. The mood of the group got better. The cool breeze and the far off estates and the hair pin bends brought joy, positive spirit back to the group. The ride through the ghats was a truly amazing. With coffee estates one either sides, birds chirping away, a myriad variety of flowers, mist covered mountains were simply breathtaking
After a quick breakfast near the Yercaud Lake we set out to our first destination majakkuttai. The view point at Manjakuttai gave a 180 degree view of the distant mountains, the winding ghats roads and tiny houses far below in the valley. When we came back to the rest point, the spirits of the group was fully charged especially after Pallavi dancing to the tunes of “Pappu can’t dance”.
Next, we set out on a small trek. We cut across coffee plantations, and trekked up to a small temple on top of a peak. While some of them rested in the tree shade by the temple, the others went further from the temple to a nearby viewpoint. We sat there for a while taking in the view of the valley below. When we reached back to the vehicles, Naresh and rest of the guys joined us. It was a very emotional moment for all of us to have them back safe and sound
The regrouping brought fresh dose of optimism and charged with positive energy we next set out to Kaveri Peak to do some more trekking. Some of the bikers decided to stay back and relax .The rest of us set out on the trek which was fairly easy. The initial plan was to go only till the first view point. But when we reached the first view point we were tempted to go to a single tree at the end of the mountain further down past a village. It was almost 4 pm in the evening, still we tried to race against time to reach that magical tree .We crossed coffee plantations and a village on the way. But to our disappointment the tree point that we were planning to reach was still very far, we had to navigate and go and we did not have the time to do it. As we trekked our way back the sun started setting slowly, bathing the entire sky, trees and the valley below in its golden glow.
After a quick photo session we were on our way back to Salem descending down the ghats road. We all reached Salem around 8:30 PM. After giving the bikes for parceling at KPN and dinner, while the Bangalore guys rode back, the Chennai group boarded our bus and car back to Chennai. The two day bike trip was nothing expected; a very eventful adventure. It might sound very cliché but we stood together as a group during the difficult times and came through.Yercaud is a refreshingly beautiful place and riding through the Eastern Ghats was very exhilarating, one of those experiences that will stay on our memories for a very long time.
Written by: Akshaya
Organized by: Peter
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Posted by: Karthick Sundararajan



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