The Whole set of Images
Trivandrum - Alleppey - Cochin - Chalakkudy - Aathirappaly - Valparai - Aliyar Dam - Sethumadai - Top Slip - Pollachi - Top Slip - Parambikulam - Pollachi - Trichur - Cochin - Kayamkulam
Total Distance: 850kms
February 24th 2006.
I had given my my bike to the service centre JCT Motors, Trivandrum. Oil Change,Wheel bearings change, tuning.
My friend at JCT Motors,Minesh who is the service manager there, also wanted to ride with me till Alleppey. So my room mate Philip and me went to get new visors for our helmet. I couldnt get my helmet visor so I did a thorough wash.
We decided to wait at Technopark for Minesh. At around 8pm Minesh arrived on a black ZMA. After some chit chat and tea, Me on my ZMA, Minesh on the ZMA and Philip on his silver CBZ left for alleppey. We were doing pretty good speeds around 100kph, with the CBZ right behind us. By around 9pm we reached Quilon, where we had a butt stop. Its been a long time since I had done a long ride and my butt was complaining ;).
We raced onto Alleppey, where Minesh diverted off to his home. By 11.30pm we reached Cochin and met up with Sojish. After a good nights sleep at Sojish's place we started out.
February 25th 2006 6.30am
Morning by 7am, me Philip and Sojish assembled at his office to see a bunch of guys on various bikes waiting for us. Some of them did not have helmets and we gave them the ultimatum - no helmets no ride. After a franctic search to borrow helmets, we pushed off to a petrol pump nearby.
So 8 bikes and 11 riders left for a trip.
We all set out for Athirappally - vazhachal. We took an early turn
to athirappally just before chalakkuddy and took the ferry.
This route is very nice, much less traffic and we join the main
road to Athirappally. The road is very smooth but small. On the main
road Sojish sees Madhav rinding pillion behind Jasim on the Thunderbird
and tells him to wear it. A couple of turns after that, I can see Jasim
trying to overtake the splendor and he is going too much to the right
on the curve, past the yellow line and straightens out on the curve!
Then suddenly they disappear.. into the tall grass on the right. Me and
Philip jump out to see them hidden in the grass, pull them out and
cautions other vehicles coming that way to slow down.
Bend fork, handle and dents on the tank. Brake light cluster in an
awkward position. Nothing broken - just bruises to the guys. By this
time the others come back and we push off to Athirappally. We have
breakfast and after a quick go through once again on the group ride
rules, we push off again. The forest is beautiful and we lazily move
through, stopping for a couple of quick snaps, enjoying in the beauty.
Inside the Sholayar forest. No traffic - bed is whereever you lie down!
We moved on to Valparai, through the winding roads and ghats and tea estates.
We had lunch at Valparai and we moved on to Aliyar Dam negotiating the 40 hair pins. Throughout the pace of our group is slow, relaxed ride. Enough time to enjoy the scenery.
Here is a high resolution image of the rest of the guys far down on one of the hair pins
From Aliyar dam we took a shortcut to Top Slip which the locals said was only 10kms from the dam. We found the small road.
We went about 10-12 kms and was still on the dirt road, with no end in sight. The road is pretty easy to navigate. Just go straight and you will reach the tarred road at Sethumadai.
Philips , my room mate on his cbz, decided to turn back and left for his home at Ooty.
We checked up with the locals and found that bikes or open jeeps are not allowed into the forest. Anyway we decided to try our luck.
Unfortunately this is true as we found out from the check post at Top Slip. They refused to let us bikers in and said that they would be allowed only till 5pm. We were supposed to rent jeeps 550/- bucks. There where dormitory available for 80/- per head. From there we have to catch the sanctuary bus something like 35-60 per head. There is trekking 3 hours 30 per head. You can also take your vehicle to Parambikulam some 30kms from there where you have to pay again for entry and sight seeing. Rs1/- per head charges for the guide. :)
We decided that we would go back to Pollachi and then decide on how to proceed. We had some tea at a shop at Sethumadai
We crashed out at a Hotel at Pollachi and relaxed. See pics
February 26th 2006 6.30am .
My friend Brijesh came from Coimbatore and arranged for us a mini-bus. We went to Top Slip and then to Parambikulam and visited the dams. Instead of going for a ride on the sanctuary bus, we decided to take a hike (!) and so got trekking inside the Top Slip. It was a pleasant hike and much better than waiting for our lunch at the Top Slip hotel in the very hot sun.
More and More pics of Top Slip .
After lunch at Top Slip we moved back to Pollachi and check out of our room and got ready to leave.
Jasim's thunderbird, which had the accident, could not keep up with high speeds on the way back. So me and Jasim decided to not wait for others and slowly moved first keeping at a steady 50kph.
We had a small pit stop at Nenmara and then pushed on to Trichur and Ernakulam.
By late night we reached back at Cochin from where I left for Trivandrum back to office.