Bike Ride: 1097 Solo to Wild ‘n Wet Valparai – Day 1

Bike Ride: 1097 Solo to Wild ‘n Wet Valparai – Day 2

Bike Ride: 1097 Solo to Wild ‘n Wet Valparai – Day 3

map

Route Map (Day 1: Light Blue; Day 2: Dark Blue; Day 3: Purple)

Day 2: Valparai to Palakkad – 190Km

When I woke up, I still was not decided on the route dilemma from the night before. I did make up my mind to visit the Athirappilly Waterfalls.

It was early in the morning when exited the hotel and rode out in the open. I was instantly showered by a light drizzle. The first thought that occurred to me was that I could have slept a little longer.

Stopped at a tea shop and donned the rain gear over a hot cup of tea. That charged me up. Deciding not to wait, I rode out in the rain.

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Tea Shop at Valparai

After a little while the rain intensified. Stopped at another tea shop for shelter. This one was beautifully located amidst the tea gardens. I tried to make small conversation with the shop owner, but language was a barrier. So settled down to converse over broken hindi and sign language.

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View from the tea shop

After about 30 min of wait, the rain lessened. The route ahead was beautiful , flanked by rows and rows of tea bushes. Driving through was a pleasure. The rain was not gone. Droplets still plastered the visor of my helmet and I stopped often to wipe it clean. Every stop was followed by a series of picture. I will let those do the talking.

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Local temple amidst the gardens

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   Perfectly manicured tea bushes

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Selfie amidst the tea gardens

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Scarlet Blooms

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Bike Selfie

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A porcupine  scurrying away

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A path strewn with flowers

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Upper Sholayar Reservoir

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Sholayar Dam

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Tea processing plant

Eventually as the altitude lowered, the tea gardens gave way to dense jungle. A number of waterfalls started emerging out of nowhere.

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Waterfall en-route

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Bike Selfie

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Idamalayar Reservoir

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Wild flowers on the way

A few Km before Vazhachal Waterfalls, I stopped at Poringal Junction for a much-needed break. The rain had stopped, so I stowed away the rain gear. Lunch/breakfast was two boiled eggs washed down by two glasses of tea.

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The tea shop owner preparing my lunch – boiled eggs and tea

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Keeper of empty bottles

 A little ahead I exited the Kerala Forest department checkpost. Immediately after that was the Vazhachal Waterfalls. There is a single ticket for both Athirappilly Waterfalls and Vazhachal Waterfalls. The place is well maintained and quite clean.

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Vazhachal Waterfalls

After spending a little while at the falls, I moved to the bigger of the two falls. Athirappilly falls was equally well maintained. At the falls, there is a small trail that leads to the bottom of the falls just to the edge of water. It is a steep with multiple switchbacks descending down. While the heavy riding jacket made the going tough, the humidity meant I was sweating profusely inside.It was good I stopped for the two eggs and tea.

The view from down was well worth the trouble. Mist from the falling water drenched everything.

 

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Athirappilly Waterfalls from below

After laboring up the steep climb  I walked to the edge of the water falling down. The view was mesmerizing. Here I sat down a bit finishing the two trail mix bars I had.

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Athirappilly Waterfalls from top

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A monkey enjoying the ice cream  it snatched from an unsuspecting kid

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View of the waterfalls from the main road

After leaving the falls, I decided to drive down towards Chalakudy and follow the highway towards Palakkad.

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Church at Chalakudy

The route from Thrissur to Pallakad was painful with several diversions due to road construction. While it was still daylight, I decided to call it a day at Pallakad and found a basic hotel off the highway.

At the hotel had tea and bhaji. Later went off to sleep.

In the evening as darkness fell, I headed out for dinner. near to my hotel there was a crowded Malabar restaurant which looked like a good option. Some juicy prawns and a tall glass of ice cream later I retired for the night with a satisfied stomach.

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Banana wrapped prawns

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Tall glass of ice cream

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