A nice account of the ride by Sharon:
This was my first outdoor trip with the Chennai Trekking Club, I had made it a point that i would get my friend Dewang, lalith and jaiwal to join the trip. I was eagerly praying that the weather gods be kind on us and let us make our trip. As it was pouring cats n dogs the night before the trip in all parts of the city.
On the scheduled day we were to meet at 4 near gundy flyover. As usual, the night before the trip, the anxiety and the enthralling adventure that awaited I couldnt really gather any sleep at all. I got up at 2.30, got ready, took blessings from Mom and Dad and left for Dewang's (my pillion rider's) house. He stayed in Perungudi, a good 30 kms away from my house in Nungambakkam. I picked him and reached the starting point at guindy by 4 am. There we met all the fellow riders, and waited for a few more to join us. We then began by about 4.15 am. We stopped on our way near motel highway for 2 more riders to join us.
Once they all joined, we were about 10 bikes, we embarked on our journey to explore the banks of the Telugu Ganga. We had Arun take the lead and I took the role of the sweeper, so that we atleast knew ad could keep track of all the other riders. We took a small break for TEA as everyone needed to restore the power levels in their respective systems. Everyone began with testing their cameras and mentally preparing for the endeavour.
We then drove to Poondi reservoir, we reached there by around 5.40 am. It was a paradise where any Photographer would just love clicking away to glory. The birds were all in harmony, their synchronization while they flew across the reservoir was a treat to watch. It was so overwhelmingly amazing to watch. the local fishermen were also busy fishing in there.
Then we all took the route that was adjacent to the reservoir that lead us to the canal from where the water was flowing into the reservoir. Once we got to the Canal, we just stuck to it and began with the exploration.
It wasnt all that bad or deadly to begin with, it was a gravel track with lots of powdered little stones. But once we hit a few kilometres, the actual fun in the exploration began as we for sure knew that we had hid god for saken lands in tamil nadu where there was little of no trace of a human being for a long long time.
The track then began to be layed with loads of wet soil, slushy muds and water pits. It was just an adventure that was beyond imagination. There were huge pits of water, through which we had to drive our bikes, if that wasnt terrifying enough we had to endure sloshy muds and totally wet slippery soil. I had a great time thuming away on my Bullet Classic 350. After driving for sometime, we all reached a place where the soil was so slushy and wet that most bikes got completely stuck in the mud. If it wasnt for Lalith Sir's presence of mind and perseverance we wouldnt have really made that pit hole. He simply thumped his Thunderbird across the pithole and stopped his bike along the road. then one after the other we slowly somehow managed to drag our bikes across the pithole. By the time, I crossed this slush. On the other end jaiswal and lalith had already mentioned what i would say when i would finally drag my bike across the slushy mud and already had a laugh about it. And there was after clearing the pithole and saying exactly what they had a laugh about - Oh Common, I will have to wash my bike again !!! When we stopped there to gather our wits, what we obeserved was that there was enough mud in everybody's mud guards that we could have easily built a bridge across the canal.
We stopped for break fast at uttukottai. a place where we had idlys n dosas n pongals n vadais. Topped up our energy levels and then continued on. Loads of slippery grass, more slushy muds and wet soil with gravels, pits created by tractors and other heavy machinery too were there to make the ride more gruesome. Loads of gravel and soil got stuck in the tyres, more than like ever before, most of the bikes were bought to a screeching halt.
Thanks to all the tools that Lalith had got, that most of us were able to dig out the soil that was stuck in the mud guard, the issue was that once this soil solidified, it began rubbing against the tyres, causing the tyres to loose their shreds. We kept ridin along the canal and stopped at a point where there was like a huge platform to go down below near the canal. If walking there to the water wasnt a crazy enough idea, both lalith and jaiswal got onto their bikes and drove down near the water, how they managed to drive back up is another crazy story.
There we like waited for a very long time, only later did we get to know that most of the remaining bikers were keen to remove the fron mud guards off their bikes in order to save the lives of their respective tyres.
Once they all caught up with us, we rode on, as we reahed a cross road, i decided to get to a point from where i could go and get some water to drink. But then as it had already hit lunch time, we decided to grab a bite closer somewhere and so stopped at a small eatery/ dhaba in sathyavedu where we all had parotas and dosas to eat, veggies had salna while the non veggies had chicken and omlettes too.
Then we continued on untill we got back to the caanal again and began riding all along the canal once again, only this time to reach a little waterfall of sorts created by the farmers in the nearby area by like lifting up a pike a letting water to fall from a height, most bikers stopped and jumped in for a quick shower to escape from the unforgiving sun that was belting its fury down and to get away with the sweat and duust that had engulfed their otherwise clean souls.
Then stuck to the canal and kept driving in the unforgiving terrain, our bums were bearing all the brunt and everytime we stopped it was getting more painful to get back on the saddle.
Our ride continued, clicking loads of pics along the way, crossing fallen trees and more sloshy pits and water borne pits. It was evening and everyone was eager to sip tea, but the irony was that we just coouldnt locate a tea shop and every one made an exception and had cold drinks instead and drove for like another 50 kms before we actually found a tea stall and refilled our levels.
By then we were already on our way back to chennai, we were about to reach uttukottai, when the rain gods unleashed their wrath upon us. Driving back becme more of a deadly adventure as the road was completely invisible and we had to really on reflexes to drive through the rains.
We somehow made it to tiruvallur and stopped to have tea, even after waited for a considerable time, jaiswal dint arrive and so lalith went back in search of him, when lalith too dint arrive we also went back and just a few kms before jaiswal's bike had got punctured, we got that rectified and then drove back home. This time we took the services of an Innova and just drove behind it udging the road by the brake lights that flashed on the Innova.
When we reached Motel Highway we bid adeau to th eentire team, this was an amazing journey from which we had so much to learn that it was super fun riding along this terrain and also got to learn a lot on how o drive in this terain and how to prepare one's body both physically and mentally for such a gruesome and toiling adventure on your saddle.
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