Bangalore Streets with a bodycap

Decided to walk through the city market with a body cap lens. Not the best lens but very inconspicuous and a beauty with Pen-F. Also decided to use the ART monochrome mode. A lot of fun.

Gallery

Bike Ride: Kanyakumari Sprint

The thought that it was almost a year since I did an overnight bike trip was weighing somewhat heavy on my mind. That plus the itch to push my limits on the Dominar, and I decided to do a quick overnight trip. One day going 600-700Km and next day coming back.

Looking at the map, either some place beyond Hyderabad or Kanyakumari seemed the two best options. With the lure of watching the sunset and sunrise, decided to head for Kanyakumari.

Left early in the morning around five. It was still dark and there was a spatter of rain on the elevated highway. Kept the speed slow. I am not really fond of riding in the dark.

Beyond Shoolagiri, the clouds started dissipating. A beautiful morning started unfolding.

After Krishnagiri toll, took a quick break to stretch my legs and then again stopped at a small pond to take some pictures.

After Salem, I started itching for a break. Found a small place, where the main attraction was a copper boiler. I do have a nostalgic attachment to tea made with this.

Tea + snacks + bottle of water and 15 min later I was on my way. So far I had averaged about 60-65Km/hr, even though the bike speed was easily 90+Km/hr.

Soon I picked up speed and made good time. Without any breaks I soon crossed Madurai. Was getting a little tired. So stopped for another break. Found an empty field and stopped under a tree. Has some water and snacks which I had picked up a the last stop.

By now I was hopeful of reaching Kanyakumari by 1500/1530.

Soon the windmills started showing up indicating I was close to Kanyakumari. Stopped again to take the pictures.

The windmills with mountains in the backdrop looked beautiful.

At 1500 & 701Km later I was in Kanyakumari. The hotel was nice with a beautiful view out in front.

The front desk person was nice to upgrade me to a sea facing room. The place was quite empty though.

Unfortunately there was no room service at that time. So after dumping my gear, I stepped out to get some food and check out the streets.

COVID surely had taken its toll. The city was quite empty. The last two times I visited Kanyakumari, the place was jam packed.

First I went down to the coast. Rode north along the shore to the fishermen colony. Then drove to the Sunset point. Sat there for a while and then went up to Our Lady of Ransom Church.

Took a few pictures from outside the church. Then looked for a place to eat lunch. Most street side places were closed. Found a place selling Chowmein.

Returned to hotel after lunch. It was almost 1630.

Rested for a while and then walked down to the Southern most tip. Decided to watch the sunset from there rather than going to the sunset point.

There were very little crowd. Felt sorry for the numerous vendors. This lack of tourism has impacted their lively hood to a large extent.

Tried my hand at a few long exposure. In general hung around there watching sunset in the west and the lit up Vivekananda Memorial & Thiruvalluvar Statue in the east.

The sunset surely did not disappoint. It was a little chilly and had a coffee. Surprisingly after a little while the person came back to collect the empty cup. Good that they are trying to keep the place clean.

As it became dark, tried my hand at monochrome street photography. I had brought the 14/2.5 pancake specifically for that.

After walking around a while, I went into a bar for drink. Couple of drinks later I stepped out to search for dinner.

I was looking for something local and non-veg. After searching for a while, I decided to use google maps for any place with a good review.

Landed at Zam Zam Restaurant. Pretty good Shawarma and icecream shake.

Walked back to the hotel. In the room, TV was not working. Called front desk and they fixed it with a lot of effort. Watched the news and then tried to go to sleep.

Didn’t sleep very well. That ended up bothering me most of the next day.

Next day work up at 0530. Sunrise was around 0625. Bathed and got ready. Also packed my bags so that I can leave immediately after sunrise. Stepped out around 0535.

At a corner found a tea seller and a few people down the street waiting to catch a boat. Over the cup of tea realized that I had left my phone in the hotel. Went back to pick the phone and then went towards the fishing area.

The sunrise was nice, though not as fiery as the sunset. Weather was quite pleasant and I sat for a while on the parapet enjoying the rising sun and the breeze.

Then I walked up and down the road bordering the shore, sometimes taking pictures of the boats and at other times of the Vivekananda Memorial & Thiruvalluvar Statue.

Returned to the room at 0640. Changed into riding gear and was on my way before 0700.

Immediately after leaving Kanyakumari, stopped once for pictures of wind mills.

After that it was just a slog home. The fact that I hadn’t slept well on the previous night was showing its effect. I was felling quite tired and stopped several times to ward off the sleep. What I should have done is taken a longer break and a short nap by road side. But I was in a hurry to reach Salem for lunch.

Stopped for light breakfast after Tirunelveli. Just coffee and vada.

Just as I was crossing Karur the right side ring for connecting the strap broke (red circle in pic below), making the bag swing on the left. This happened at the speed of 90km/hr and completely dis-balanced the bike. This probably happened due to the elastic bungees pulling the bags to the left.

Had I not been tired and sleepy I would have noticed that it was giving away and taken corrective action. I managed to slow down but still crashed on the footpath on the left. Fortunately no vehicle was coming from the left. The impact broke the leg guard and bent the gear lever.

Few guys nearby helped pick the bike and I dusted myself up. None the worse from the fall. Asking around, there was a mechanic few Km back. Fortunately the gear was stuck in 3rd gear. Took a U turn and started looking for the mechanic. Found a KTM showroom and service center. They were nice to fix the gear lever at no cost and removed the leg guard.

Next was to figure out how to tie the bag. Brought some coir rope at a shop and tied it around the bag and then to the right foot peg.

After little more than an hour of delay, I was then ready to go. One good thing was that my sleep as all gone. Given the delay, first thought was to skip the lunch.

Decided against it and stopped at Selvi mess at Salem for lunch. Had an awesome meal of rice, mutton and keema. That lifted my spirits which were somewhat melancholy after the incident.

After that it was just a straight run home. 705Km and I was home by 1830.

Ride Month: Dec 2020
Distance: ~1420Km

Bike Ride: Bangalore Backroads – North East of Bangalore

Ride Map.

A ride after a long time. Just wanted to hit the roads, going no where and just enjoying the countryside.

Confident Aamoon on Kolar Road
Light trials at Confident Aamoon

Left around 0530 and took the 1st short break at Confident Aamoon. Sun was just rising in front and I was hoping for a good sunrise over the Narsapura lake.

The sunrise at Narsapura was a disappointment. Horizon was mostly clouds. Having no particular destination in mind I decided to head towards H Cross.

To my surprise the road has completely transformed. The narrow rural road is now a divided highway meant for trucks for going to and fro from the industrial area they are building at Bheemapura. I had some great memories of this road with a few great pictures. Ahh the cost of progress.

At H Cross, I stopped for a cup of tea and then turned towards Chintamani. Few Km down the Chintamani road, took another break in the fields. The sun had cleared the horizon and was now rising above the morning fog. It was time to take some pictures.

Took the Chintamani bypass towards Madanpalli. The road from Chintamani to Madanpalli is another one I have always enjoyed. The curved roads are flanked by fields, forests and a spattering of water.

Near a water body, couple of young guys were bathing their buffaloes. Took another break, chatted with them and took some pictures.

At Madanpalli, I was quite hungry. But first I had to refuel the bike. Having done that, I stopped at an idly truck for breakfast. Dosa, Omlette and fresh orange juice was sufficient to keep me going.

From Madanpalle, I turned north towards Kadiri, planning to cut west somewhere in between and join the Hyderabad -Bangalore highway.

That opportunity to turn west came at Balasamudram. Here I took a rural road which would eventually join the NH44 at Kodur.

The road went through several village and several road blocks where the locals were asking for money for upcoming Holi festival.

This was going to be the best part of the ride.

The landscape was mostly barren and shrubs with occasional tree breaking the ground to rise above the rest of the terrain.

I started looking for one such tree which would stand in contrast to the surroundings. Having found one such location, I stopped again to take some pictures.

The lone tree standing tall amidst a barren field, with a spattering of hillocks in the backdrop was a beautiful sites. Few clouds in the sky broke the monotonicity of blue.

Having joined the Hyderabad-Bangalore highway, I felt it was time for lunch. Spying a Rajasthani dhabha, I stopped for food. Chana masala was the day’s special and I ordered it along with roti and curd.

A hearty meal and I started on the last leg of the ride.

10 hrs and 375 Km later I was home with a good day’s ride under my belt.

Ride Month: Feb 2020
Distance: ~380Km

Mindfulness & The Art of Slow Photography

my view was limited to what was in close proximity, the only sound was nature, in the stillness the frogs regained their confidence and reappeared in the algae coated water, a stork settled and turtle edged along his perch

from https://johnwreford.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/mindfulness-the-art-of-slow-photography/

This is the fun of photographing nature. You sit there absorbing nature – sensing the sounds and smells, enjoying every bit of it.

The blog above starts of well but ends abruptly. I was expecting more.

2019 – Monthly Photo Recap

Back in 2008, towards the end of the year, I spent some time looking at the pictures taken during the year and picked my favorite.

Felt like doing the same this year in a slightly different way. One favorite from every month of the year. Just thinking that it would push me to be more consistent thought out the year to keep taking more pictures.

Jan was a slow month for personal time off. Hardly any photographic activity. I was mostly busy with work at home. Fortunately the morning views from my terrace was beautiful. The picture above was taken in the middle of Jan as the sun was about to rise above the horizon.
Feb was even more hectic. Hardly any breaks or time for personal entertainment. The view from the terrace came to the rescue once again. The rising sun lighting up the cumulus clouds early in the morning.
Towards the end of Feb we moved to a new house. No more sunrise views from the terrace. So Mar had a little more personal time. Played around with my dog and 85/1.4 manual lens
Apr’s highlight was a work trip to San Francisco bay area. Used the weekend to drive down the Route 88 for some beautiful Vistas. Above is a log cabin buried under snow at Silver Lake, California. Pictures from that trip: California – Apr 2019
Ramzan came early in 2019. So in May, off I went for my annual pilgrimage to the Ramzan food stalls. More pictures at: Ramzan Delicacies.
In May, I also did the first bike ride of the year. It was a short ride and got some excellent sunrise pictures. See: Bike Ride: Narsapura Sunrise – Pictures

June was a bummer. Absolutely no pictures.

In July I did a new kind of trip. A car camping ride with my Lily. I folded our Ertiga’s back seats and put a mattress there. For four days and three nights we explored the hills and beaches of Northern Karnataka. Canine Adventures – Driving with Lily: Pictures and Travelog
Towards the end of Aug, I went to Nainital. Spent some time there during monsoons after many years. Wild flowers were a plenty and I got some good pictures.
Another picture taken on Sep 2nd when I did a small ride through the Kumaon backroads towards Bhatrojkhan – Pictures and Travelog
Oct was the highlight of the year. I went again to Nainital to pick up my parents. Combined that with a bike ride to the Darma valley – Pictures and Travelog
In Nov had the opportunity to visit the temples of Belur and Halebidu with my cousin. The light was hard and pictures weren’t great.
Towards the end of the year did a family trip to Hampi. The place was quite hot and also very crowded. With the kids and all, there was little opportunity to find good photo opportunities.