Day 0 – 25th Dec 2010: Bangalore to Chidambaram (412 Km)
Day 1 – 26th Dec 2010: Chidambaram to Point Calimere (208 Km)
Day 2 – 27th Dec 2010: Point Calimere to Ramanathapuram (370 Km)
Day 3 – 28th Dec 2010: Ramanathapuram to Kanyakumari (291 Km)
Day 4 – 29th Dec 2010: Kanyakumari to Vathalagundu (413 Km)
Day 5 – 30th Dec 2010: Vathalagundu to Bangalore (508 Km)
Route Map (Interactive)
Day 5 – Dec 30th, 2010
By the time I woke up, I had already decided against going towards Dindigul and following NH7 to Bangalore. A thought I would muse at later in the day.
By the time I gobbled down the complimentary breakfast of pongal, idli and coffee it was 0640. I was going to have along day ahead in order to reach Bangalore.
I started off by retracing yesterday’s route towards the Kodaikanal junction.
Km 1699 (07)
The sun is just rising as I turn right towards Kodaikanal. I have already made up my mind to criss-cross the hills and descend towards Oddanchatram. My maps showed a road which I found later was just a mud track at places.
The road up towards Kodaikanal is excellent with ample space to overtake and pass. In addition there are several turn outs to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Km 1725 (33)
28Km before Kodaikanal, I turn away from the main road with an intention to drive through some unknown hill roads.
The drive through the hills was perfect, like a soothing balm on an aching soul. Stopping often I enjoy the hills and the greenery.
The roads are mostly bad with small stretches of good tar. The wild flowers compensate for hardships of the road.
Km 1746 (54)
Finding a nice rock, I dislodge a chameleon and take its place in the sun. The sun is warm and the breeze cold. Some where far below there is sound of water flowing. Birds chirp as I drift in and out of gentle sleep.
I wake up startle, not knowing how much time has passed. Aware that I have a long way to go, I head on.
Km 1775 (83)
A few more turns and I realize that I am lost. People are hard to find on these roads and a few I met could not direct me to where I want owing to my lack of knowledge of local language. I continue taking roads by intuition until I top a ridge and reach a village. A jeep driver puts me on the right path.
Descending down into a valley, the roads become good.
Km 1803 (111)
Descending through 14 hairpin bends, which are hallmark of hill roads in the south, I reach the junction with NH209 (Palani-Dindigul road)
Driving away from Palani, I am hoping to take the direct road to Vedasandur, not know that I had left that road behind.
Soon I end up in Dindigul and take the NH to Bangalore.
Km 1829 (137)
Dindigul bypass. Road sign says; Bangalore – 370Km.
The new toll-ed national highways, though make for a boring drive can make you quickly cover large distances. They are also safe with call boxes located at regular intervals.
Km 1913 (221)
Lunch at Arvind Cafe.
After eating two paronthas, I ask for rice. The lady proprietor is surprised and says something which I assume to mean half. I nod and gobble down a large bowl of rice.
Food is the only entertainment on this road.
Km 1966 (274)
Tired, I find a bus shelter and sleep a while. It is cool in the shade and I wake up only when the sun shines on my face through a hole in the roof.
Km 2000 (308)
Crossing Salem I hit the 2K mark of this ride. I had hoped for a more picturesque spot (like the 30K of the bike on the Yelagiri ride), but this will have to do.
Km 2052 (360)
I stop for tea at my regular place on the incline North of Thoppur. There is no tea so I settle for a couple of bananas and a biscuit.
Km 2109 (417)
Krishnagiri toll plaza. The last stretch. Time to think of dinner.
Km 2200 (508)
Basment parking lot at home.
The last stretch from Hosur was painful with bad traffic.
I finally reach home with almost all parts of the body aching. Now for a long sleep.