Friday, May 10, 2013

Post Trek Write up 2 - Emperors 3 days Cycle Trip to Ooty 1,2,3rd March 2013

Excellent Post Trek Write Up from Babu:

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EMPEROR’S OOTY CYCLE TRIP

First of all I would like to than the organizers especially Prem for selecting this cycling trip to Ooty. This is first trek with Prem and Emperors… Heard a lot about Prem and emperor’s treks earlier and how enjoyable it is….

Even though I registered and selected, I am not sure whether I will be able to join cycle trip considering my schedule and family commitments… but I was determined… Infact I was in Tuticorin for a customer meeting 28th Feb, Thursdayand I was about to miss my flight… It was in the writing that I will be attending this trip… tension started for me from Tuticorin itself…

I reached station at 8.45 pm and was trying reaching our fellow cyclists… Boarded the train… Some of our organizers were tensed due to last minute changes of names and some people had to travel in some other’s name… Our great Raghu (Jugadi) could manage the show well with TTE by using his influences…

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Once the checking is over every one was waiting anxiously for opening Biriyani parcels… Once it was opened… It was very hot, tasty and vanished in no time… off course little struggle for veggies..never mind…

After finishing Biriyani our regular gummalam started in the train and the whole compartment felt the CTC trekkers jollyoo..jimkana…
Next day morning the train reached Mettupalayam at 7.15 am and everybody was very eager to travel by heritage train from Mettupalayam to Ooty… After finishing morning duties in the station itself, we all boarded the heritage train. Some of our friends Mr. Coimbatore (Venkat anna), Tirupur hero Vijay Siva, Madurai veeran Arumugavel and others joined us at Mettupalayam. Photo sessions with Heritage engine was done at Mettupalayam…

Thanks to Venkat’s wife who sent us morning breakfast and lunch.. It was relishing and fantastic.. The heritage train started at 8.15 am and CTC Ohhhh…. for starting the train. After some we all adjusted and settled in the train by readjusting seat nos..still few of us was separated…

The idli, vadai pockets were opened and everybody bounced on it and completed in no time… It was so tasty… thanks once again to Mrs. Venkat…

The train stopped at few stations and water was filled in the train at 3 stations. It was wonderful views of Nilgiri Mountains and fantastic sceneries… Train reached Coonur station and the engines was changed from steam engine to diesel engine.. After 15 minutes, the train again started towards Ooty and we reached Ooty station at around 12.00noon on day 1… A cold and chilled welcome awaited us in Ooty and weather was fantastic…

Our cycle carrying tempo was late….. so we all decided to finish our lunch at Ooty lake area… Again lemon rice and curd rice… One more thanks to Mrs. Venkat for taking care of us so well…. I am sure Mr & Mrs. Venkat would have not slept the previous night and they would have spent whole night preparing breakfast and lunch for us… “ANNA DHATHA SUKHI BHAVA”…

In the train we met some amazing group (22 of them) of old… sorry young soles who studied together in Coimbatore agricultural college batch of 1968 (I was not born) were together travelling for get together of their batch mates in Ooty… I am really jealous of them… wow… wonderful they are together for more than 50 years… Great guns..and they were enjoying so much… Needs to learn a lot from them on maintaining relationship and how to be charmful even at that age (65+)

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Since our cycles did not reach Ooty in time, we all have decided to do dare devil act at Ooty cycle circuit and it was really wonderful bumpy rides… Mr. Noodles was never satisfied in spite of completing two rounds and he wants to do more… At last our cycles arrived at Ooty around 3.00 pm and the hired cycle was distributed…

We all were excited to start the cycling and there was some thinking going on the plant whether we should go Avalangee first or should we start cycling to Manjur….Considering time constraint we started cycling towards Manjur which is our destination for dinner and night stay on 1st March…

Wow… what an experience of cycling in Nilgiri hills… we started cycling slowly towards Emerald lake thinking that Emerald lake is nearby.. Emerald lake distance was around 20 kms away from Ooty…
What a wonderful gesture by Ooty school students on the way who gave us fried chicken..orange… water… what a great encouragement and gesture by this little students… MAY GOD BLESS THEM…

Slowly we started climbing hills… after climb we had cycle downhill … what an experience… The first victim of this cycling trip… Our courageous lady Shobana lost balance and fell down while cycling down the hill… Luckily god saved her… no serious injuries… She is so brave she started cycling again… great Shobana….

We reached Emerald by up and down hill… After Emerald the road was so steep that most of (super cyclers… Mr. Noodles, Arumugavel, Arun, Sandeep, Prem excluded) started walking up hill.. The village boys were really enjoying our cycling and helped us to navigate this steep stretch by cycling our cycles up to top hill.. Wonderful kids…

We reached Thangadu at around 6.00 pm… We stopped here and pounced on hot bondas..and tea and rested for a while… Our organizers and foodies planned to buy chicken and other items for dinner… They bought chicken, vegetables, etc… and few of them proceeded towards Manjur with a plan of reaching early, cook dinner and keep it ready… Unfortunately something else was in the writing…
We cyclists started cycling again from Thangadu and it was completely downhill up to Keezh Kundha… We found some of the cycles are giving away and started shouting at just by cycles who rented us the bad cycles….

After reaching Keezh Kundha we found further final stretch of last 3 kms are completely steep and difficult to cycle… some of us loaded our cycles in the truck and started walking in chilled weather which was fantastic… We reached Manjur around 9.00pm in chilled weather and to our surprise there was no cooking facility at the rest house where we booked our accommodation… Our great fellow organizers swung in to action and arranged for contract cooking… no wonder why software outsourcing is flourishing so well.. By that time dinner was ready, we completed our intro session..  Wow.. What a diversity..

Hot chicken, omlets and cold Parotta reached our place at around 10pm and we all put our hands on it and finished our dinner… Chicken was really tasty…

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After dinner some people started driving trucks in the nights (sorry snoring) and some of our cyclist struggled to get sleep in the humming of snoring.. First victim was Mr. Coimbatore (Venkat Anna)..he moved to the room… he found it was more inconvenient to sleep in that room also in spite of having his close souls.. at last he settled at where was trying to sleep earlier… Suddenly some of photograph enthusiast.. Hehehe… quick gun Surya started jumping on spotting wild pigs and started photography sessions..some of sleeping bag mates… moved to terrace to sleep in the very chilled weather…

At 6.00 am some funny song (alarm) from mobile started shouting and we started to wake up one by one… There was no water in the room… so some of our women cyclists (Archana/Vidya/Shobana) bought few pots of water from nearby house..

Some of us relieved ourselves (again led by gang leader Prem) in open and some in the toilet and got ready for next day cycling. The destination was from Manjoor to Coonoor (38 kms).. We started around 8.30 and got in to a hotel at Manjoor for breakfast. Hot idlies, egg dosais, plain dosais were finished and our second cycling journey started at around 9.00 am

Initially it was downhill from Manjoor to Kundha and slowly started cycling up hill in the wonder full tea gardens… wow wonderful sceneries… Some of the villagers were walking for their work under MNREGA scheme… I just checked their wages and they say it is Rs.100/- here also looting by middle men and politicians from the poor people instead of paying Rs.300/- under the scheme only Rs.100/- was reaching the poor people… Not sure when our country will change…

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On the way we reached Chamaraj tea estate (very well maintained) and I saw a very good temple (Gopala Krishnan) and had Dharshan and on the way reached the tea estate tea shop… I had hot lemon tea… bought some tea (tulsi tea) bags to take home …rested for a while…
After cycling up and down hill reached Mettupalayam/Kundha Road/ Coonoor junction at around 1.00 pm and I was told we have to cycle another 3 kms thru steep up hill high moving traffic… it was so dangerous… after having fashion fruit and orange on the way along with Hari, Raghuram, I started towards Coonoor… The cycling in this road is not safe… due to high traffic and erratic driving of vehicles.. Reached Coonoor at 2.00 pm… By that time I reached Coonoor many of our super-fast cyclists have reached Coonoor at 12.30 noon itself and were waiting for us.. We all bumped in Hotel Ramachandra and too much of food was ordered… Hot Willington Parotta was tasty…
After finishing lunch we were to cycle up to Kothagiri via Catherine falls… Initially it was steep uphill up to 6 kms… some of them loaded cycles and super cyclists went up hill by cycling.. All have regrouped after 6 kms and started cycling downhill… I travelled from Coonoor to Kothagiri in sweep car and we started late… due to precautionary checkup required for Shobana… What a beautiful sceneries on the way from Coonoor to Catherine falls.. On the way we found some beautiful cottages and enquired about the rates and found Chennai is cheaper…
By the time we started reaching Catherine falls it has become dark and we were in two minds on whether to go to fall or go back… We had a miraculous incident here..

Our brave girl Archana who was cycling all along from Ooty to Manjoor to Coonoor to Catherine falls met with an accident… Thank god… she was fine… Our great saviors Karthik and packed her in the car and went precautionary checkup … THANK GOD AGAIN… we were all worried… nothing serious happened… Our sincere thanks to Hari who is fellow CTC trekker (not part of cycling trip and who was on private trip) who spotted the fall of Archana… Great Hari for your presence of mind and helping nature…

After Archana and others left for checkup, while we were cycling down towards Catherine fall we could spot come Bison in the tea gardens and really enjoyed watching them. We reached nearer to the Catherine falls..but was told there is no water in the water falls… Then we have decided not to cycle or walk in the dark considering animals roaming around and loaded our cycles and left in two batches. Initial batch left for Aravenu junction and some of us were having fun in the dark night.. Some astronauts talking about stars (cool.. no was knowing much about stars), etc.. Our great photographer quick gun Surya started shooting photographs in the dark and was really entertaining us… we had wonderful time in the dark.. At last our pick truck came and we all have loaded our cycles and reached Aravenu junction… Some of the brave hearts started walking towards Kothagiri (4 kms) while some of us went by bus to Kothagiri… We were told dormitory was arranged at Kothagiri.. Come on who said this is Dormitory.. It was luxurious place for CTC trekkers.. Very good place was arranged by Mr. Cool.. Karthik… Thanks Karthik… We had hot idli for dinner and started camp fire in chilled night… It was wonderful campfire and all of us had lot of fun.. We all slept at 12.00 in themidnight..


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We all got up next day at 7.00 and got ready… Photography session was started Mr. Suresh of cottage owner along with our cycles… After photography session we all grabbed hot idli, poori, vada… 

3rd days plan was to cycle up to Kodanad view point (18 kms)… We all started cycling towards Kodanad..Initially downhill and later uphill… in between we heard the sound of drum in a nearby village festival and some cyclists Prem, Raghu and Mr. Helmet (sorry Bharani) went in to the village to see the Badugas dance… but they were told not to take videos.. and they returned.. We started slowly cycling uphill enjoying the scenic beauty of Kodanad tea estate.. The Kodanad estate is fantastic and no wonders why our CM goes there now and then… given a choice (off course money) we will also frequent Kodanad estate.. At the end of the estate suddenly adventurists ventured in to the estate for photo shooting.. What a scenery.. Then suddenly our director (Vasanth) wanted to shoot video and some of started action (it’s cycling again) … but a Maruti car came in between and spoiled the mood of director and gang leader (PREM)… We reached Kodanad view point and again it’s fantastic scenery… Our friends started planning for a trek in the view point hills..but not possible without permission of forest dept… After photos..we barged in to tea shop and had lemon tea and waited for bus back to Kothagiri..

We got in to the bus and reached Kothagiri around 3.30 pm and had lunch. After lunch many our fellow cyclists cycled down up to Mettupalayam and I decided to come in the sweep car and found one cycle breaks were damaged and loaded in to the pickup truck… Suddenly we found our Mr. Noodles and director missing and climbed back to see what happened to them… They were just resting..and started back to Mettupalayam and reached Mettupalayam at 6.30 pm… We had a small meeting, our CAD (Udhay) declared the accounts and gang leader announced the trek is over… Some of our friends, Mr. Coimbatore, Madurai veeran (Arumugavel), Tirupur (Architect) Vijay, Archana, Mr. Cool have bid adieu to us and we reached station and boarded the train..

What a great cycling trip and I hope Emperors will take me to many treks in the future. I really admire Archana for cycling the most of the stretches..in spite of the incident she wants to do more cycling

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My sincere thanks to Gang leader (Prem), Director (Vasanth), Jugadi (Raghu) CAG (Udhay), Mr. Cool (Karthik), Anna Dhatha (Venkat), Bharani, Quick Gun Surya (for continuously entertaining us) .. sorry if  I missed some other organizers.
Finally all THANKS to all cyclists/ friends (Ramesh, Hari, Sandeep, Noodles, Shobana, Vijay, Arumugavel, Arun, Divya, Archana, Ela, Sasi, Sukrith, others) who made their company enjoyable and become friends during three days. Hoping to see you all soon…

Always yours
V.D.Babu


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1 comments:

Praveen kumar Bala said...

Superb. After reading, i thought i would have joined in it.