The morning in Vythiri was cold and misty and I couldn’t resist taking a walk around the home stay even before splashing water on my eyes. Since riding in the mist is even better I quickly got ready to leave and of course not without a cup of hot tea :) The sun was just up as I made my way out of the town and down the Vythiri ghats. The view was quite nice and part of the valley was still under the shadows of the adjacent hills.
I had been dreaming about riding along the Kerala coast and reaching Mangalore by the end of the day, and ride back home to Mysore the next day. But as it often happens, it was going to turn out differently and I would end up in Virajpet.
After descending the ghat, I decided to get off the highway for a while and ride on the narrower secondary roads. That way I could get to see the local people and their ways. I overshot a bit on the highway and took a turn only after the town of Thamaraserry, towards the western edge of the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary. This part of the ride turned out to be great. For some distance it was a bit hilly and quite green with almost no other vehicles around. I was surprised to see that even the hills were covered with coconut trees around here!
It even passed by a small reservoir.
Then I started encountering small towns between patches of farms. I stopped at a small hotel in one of these towns and had some parota and puttu for breakfast. Small though it was, everything was served in porcelain and overall turned out to be a good breakfast. The roads were quite shady but I was sweating all over, I was in the Malabar coastal plains and the humidity was very high in the peak of the summer. I managed to push on, crossed the bridge over the slow Kuttiyadi river and hit the coastal town of Vadakara.
The first glimpse of the sea is always a damn good feeling. It was mid-day when I reached Mahe a little north of Vadakara. Only after seeing so many vehicle registrations with PY (for Pondicherry), did I realise that it was part of, well, Pondicherry! I had my lunch there after spending some time near the sea and left Mahe to continue north. I stopped to see the forts of Thalserry and Kannur, the one at Kannur being slightly bigger and on a cliff.
Another picture of the fort at Kannur, it opens up to the sea behind.
Between Thalacherry and Kannur there is a beach about 3 km long, the Muzhappilangad beach and it’s speciality, it is a “Drive in Beach“! It was good fun riding on the fine sand and the waves.
The humidity was so high on the coast that I couldn’t even walk properly and my eyes started to burn from the salty water dripping into them! :) It was almost 5 in the evening and I knew I didn’t want to ride on the coast anymore. I thought it was best to change directions and reach Coorg before the sun was down.
With little power on my phone I checked for directions and rode on towards Iritty on the way to Virajpet in Coorg. I reached Iritty pretty quickly and as it was almost half way, I took some time off. But the second half was hilly and needed much more time. It got darker and darker as I rode as fast as I could. Soon it was pitch dark and I was riding in the forests with almost no other vehicles. It was a bit scary as I remembered my mother had told me that just the day before elephants had attacked somewhere in Coorg ;) Although I don’t plan to ride in the dark, that was actually quite nice. After a lot peaking at my odometer, I finally arrived at Virajpet just after half past 7. As most towns in Coorg are, its cool and quiet. I went and sat in a small old style cafeteria and sweets shop to have a snack that would become my dinner as well. I had a plate of hot Kharabath/Uppit and a coffee. I spent some more time hanging around and talking to the shop keeper and one of his friends. They gave me directions to a home stay on the edge of the town that would be my roost for the night.
It was an entire house and I had it all to myself, a living room, a bedroom and even a kitchen. I was too tired and fell asleep in the living room next to a large window. The next morning, I was woken up by the chirping of the birds just outside my window! Again, it was cold and misty but I didn’t venture out as there was a dog they owned and let free for the morning. (OK, I am afraid of dogs of all kinds :|). I had a quick wash and left the place.
Since I planned to reach Mysore later that afternoon, I had a lot of time and I decided to take the longer way and then turned it even longer. Riding in the hills in early morning must be one of the best things one can do! I went through Tadiandamol hills, took a very narrow and bumpy road to Napoklu and through Madikeri to home, Mysore.
I’ll end this post with a picture I clicked that morning, just imagine a continuous sound of birds chirping and cool breeze. :D
Thank you for reading the post and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please comment to let me know of any feedback or to share your stories or just to share a thought, I would love to talk to you.