2 October 2015: Hyderabad to Bangalore (600 kms one way)
After a lot of thinking, both of us decided to take the tour. My wife, Rashmi, told me “We have been thinking too much and doing nothing for quite some time”. I agreed. I was tired of reading other people’s travel blogs, stories, photos, watching travel related movies. We wanted to experience the same thrill on our own. We didn’t want to just sit in front of our computer and say “wish we could do that”.
I’m not an experienced rider. I must have ridden 100-200kms but nothing beyond that. It is common in India to seek permission from parents before doing anything out of the ordinary. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I decided that I was not going to tell my parents about it until I reached Bangalore or until I returned to Hyderabad. They would have been worried all through and what if they said “no”?!
We checked the map – the distance ~600 kms. We checked the weather report – “heavy rains with thunderstorms”. The conditions weren’t perfect but deep down we knew it was never going to be perfect. I was relieved about one thing – I knew the Hyderabad Bangalore highway was excellent!
We needed to do 3 important things before our journey.
1. Get the bike serviced.
2. Purchase a saddle bag by ViaTerra to enable the pinion to sit comfortably. (For all solo riders, I would recommend the “Claw”. It’s one of a kind.)
3. A power bank to ensure our phones were always charged.
We had other accessories already – helmets, water bottles, shoes, jackets, sunglasses.
As usual, we did not sleep much before the exciting day. Our plan was to start at 4:30 am IST …we started at 5:15 am. Starting early would help leave city limits faster with minimal traffic. The sun was just starting to rise when we began our journey.
I couldn’t believe that we were actually on our way as we whizzed past the city within an hour. We took our first break to stretch our hands and legs in about 1 hr and 60 kms. We didn’t find a lot of vehicles on the road, probably because it was a holiday and it was early morning. The ride was easy. We could see a lot of heads turn as we passed them. The route was picturesque! It cuts through hills, farms, over a river in between. It made me wonder how much people who travel through the night in buses and trains miss seeing.
We stopped every 80-100kms to take a quick break to stretch, eat some homemade sandwiches and fruits we had carried along and to take pictures. All inclusive we must have taken an hour’s break in the 8.5 hours journey.
We reached the foothills of Nandi by 2:30 pm and were famished. We chose to eat a thali (Indian rice meal with lots of veg curries) at a hotel nearby since we weren’t sure if we would find anything to eat at the top of the hill. The guest house (Dept of Horticulture) that we booked to stay at was quite apt for our requirements; it wasn’t fancy but was good enough for a night’s stay. It was up on the hills. Even though the room offered no hill top view, we had no complaints. There was just one more hotel within the same vicinity. All the other lodging facilities were further down.
We threw our bags in the room, quickly freshened up to walk around the hill and get to the sunset point. What a sight that was! One of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed. My wife and I just sat together watching the sunset. Slowly the temperatures started to drop and the skies got darker.
We returned to our room and took a short nap before we had dinner. We strolled down the corridor towards the dinner hall. We could hear the breeze whistling through the trees, slight rainfall, sounds of frogs and insects. The whole place looked straight out of a horror movie.
After a good night’s sleep, we woke up early to see the sunrise. The hills were foggy, dew dripping from the trees, it was cold. We waited for the sunrise. One moment you could see adjacent hillock and the next it was all covered by clouds. Slowly the fog began to disappear and even though the sun did not shine through that morning, the darkness slowly disappeared and it was light.
We enjoyed some breakfast with a nice hot kappi and started out again at 10 am. Where to? Bengaluru city. To meet Rashmi’ s cousin and her kids.
Every relative we met at Bangalore was quite amazed by our feat. On our way back, I let Rashmi ride for about 5-6 kms. The first time she had tried riding the Yamaha RX100 (a small yet a powerful bike famous in India), she nearly crashed it and never rode it again. But I knew that she could ride again with a bit of help and she did.
The entire trip was a dream come true for us. We had done it! Our first bike adventure as a couple! And it was worth every body ache that we experienced over the next few days from those long rides.
Guest author: Nicky Jose
Photo credit: Nicky Jose