The Keralites rate the elevated Wayanad region as the most beautiful part of their state. Encompassing part of a remote forest reserve that spills into Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Wayanad's landscape is a bewildering blend of majestic mountains, rice paddies of ludicrous green, skinny betel-nut trees, tall bamboo plants, warm red earth, spiky ginger fields, and lush plantations of rubber, cardamom, and coffee.
This had been direly craving for this particular road trip since a long time; I badly wanted to ride a cruiser. This also goes to imply that my uncontainable eagerness made me plan and convince three of my friends to join me on this road trip in less than 10 minutes. I swear I am not exaggerating at all. Bikes and accommodation were taken care of and booked in a couple of minutes and all I was left to do was pack my backpack and leave! After this trip, I do agree in all of my honesty that spontaneous plans can also turn out to be the most thrilling in spite of all the uncertainties it brings with it.
This entire episode of convincing and planning happened in the middle of the day at the oddest hour possible and so we had to leave during the night. We got a couple of hours of sleep in the noon to fuel us through the night to ride our way across the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary which were warned of as an accident-prone area. Pulling an all-nighter was a big accomplishment for all of us.
We had a light snack for dinner. We did not want to take any risk of dozing off later. Riding at a speed of 90km/hr, we managed to reach there in 8 hours. We did take a couple of pit-stops along the way for tea breaks. The bikes did cost us 6000 INR (including fuel) which was equally split between the four of us.
The alternative way to reach Wayanad is by taking a bus from Bangalore which will cost you something in the range of 500-1000 INR.
It wasn't a bad idea, riding in the pitch-black because the best part was that there wasn't any traffic. However, if our bikes would have given us any trouble, no angel could have helped us!
Around 6 in the morning, as we were heading towards our Homestay we came across a grand Catholic Church. We decided to halt and join the Morning Prayer. We were surprised to see so many people getting off the state bus just to be present in the Church for the Sunday morning prayer. We were filled with a positive vibe and left the Church feeling refreshed and ready to face the adventures that the day had in store for us.
We had to spend quite a while searching for our homestay which ultimately we failed to find and upon calling the owner we were informed that it is under renovation. We had been riding for nearly 9 hours now and we were desperate to find another homestay. To our utter surprise, we got an exclusive flash deal for a luxury villa which cost us only 1200 INR (ex GST). This was a total miracle and all four of us happily agreed that these are the after effects of having visited the church on our way.
We were greeted with a warm welcome even before our usual check-in hours. Okay, I'll let you in on this little secret. Actually, I had to lie to our host that one of our friends was sick so we needed to check in right away considering that we had also driven all night.
Finding myself in a luxurious villa was a totally unforeseen and unexpected occurrence as I usually plan for budget backpacking trips for all my travel adventures. This was one of the best things that had happened to us. After catching up the lost hours of sleep followed by a hot shower, we decided to go to the Eddakal Caves.
Finally, it was time for us to quench our hunger pangs and we treated ourselves to Keralan Fish and Chicken Biryani. After a long hectic session of bike riding our bikes, we were certain that we deserved some chilled beer! In Wayanad, there are liquor shops operated by Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Govt. of Kerala), just like in most of the cities and tourist places in Kerala. There are usually long queues of people waiting to buy liquor in front of these shops. Sometimes these queues are so long that it may take an hour before you get to the cash counter. Instead, we just asked our host to get us beer from the shop. It was a much-needed treat to rejuvenate and prep us up for the Chembra peak.
Not wanting to take the risk of missing out on tickets, we were up by 5 in the morning. The Trek starts at 7 in the morning and there is a policy of allowing only 200 people to go for the trek in a day. The tickets cost us 750 INR (ex GST) for a group of 4 people. We were told that it generally takes 3 hours to complete the trek, up and down. It wasn't an easy climb but having been working out quite often, I managed to finish the trek in 2 hours.
Now here's the funny part. I made a bet with one of my friends that I could easily defeat him and which I did during hiking up. However, on the way back, I had a disastrous fall during which he tried to outrun me and then I did the same but fell onto the lap of Mother Nature with a few bruises and a mild sprain. I couldn't help but laugh at the series of events that had unfolded. If I had a GoPro with me, it would have been a priceless moment cherish time and again. On our way back, we were lucky enough to spot a wild elephant in Bandipur National Park
The ride back home was 8 hours long. But believe me when I say that every moment on the bike was worth all of this. This has been one challenging and commendable accomplishment for all of four of us to ride about 1400 km in two days. As always, looking forward to scaling up our road trip goals! Cheers!
P.S. For those who wish to know the hack of getting flash deals on accommodations, feel free to send me a direct message. For now, all I can tell you that it was being done through booking.com
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6000(Avenger Bikes and Fuel Charges) Credits - OnnBikes
1400 (Accommodation with GST)
933 (Chembra Trek Pass with GST)
120 (Eddakal Caves Entry charges 30/head)
= 8453INR + Food meal Expenses (3500INR)
Individual Expenses 3000INR