my life with travel & photography


Drive to Rameshwaram

 I had planned to do a solo drive to Rameshwaram twice. But each time I plan some sort of problem will arise each and every time. I thought solo driving to Rameshwaram is a bad dream for me. One day while casually discussing with a colleague of mine we planned to do a drive to Rameshwaram. It was not in car. It was only in bike. We discussed this with some more colleague in office. Some were really interested. We then decided to go in bike. All were really happy about it.

So the Day was decided. It was on 5 March 2016.

My travel mates were Biju, in his Honda Unicorn, Vishnu in Pulsar 220, Arun in Suzuki Gixxer,. Sarath in Royal Enfield Classic 500, and myself Stephen in Hero Hunk.

We bought all the gears before 5 days so that we made sure there is no messing up things in the last minute. We made the plans of reaching each and every location so that to make sure that time is not getting wasted in the drive. The route is Trivandrum – Nagercoil – Tirunelveli – Tuticorin – Rameshwaram.

The team members started from Kazhakoottam at 3 AM, Biju joined from Balaramapuram on the way. I was waiting near Marthandam and they joined me at 4:30. We made some refreshment in Thuckalay and reached Nagercoil in no time. We filled up the fuel in the motor bikes and we headed to Tirunelveli at 6 AM. In another 30 minutes we were cruising in the 4 lane road. It was a pleasure in driving. We were cruising at an average of 80 KMPH. It was really a fun to drive. But we made sure that everything is safe.

We reached the road which deviates to Tuticorin at 7:30 AM. We took a break of 15 minutes. And we then headed to Tuticorin. From this junction I started to go first and all team members were made to follow me. In another 30-40 minutes we were in Tuticorin. On arriving Tuticorin we found that Vishnu is missing from the team. We made lots of calls to him and he did not attend. We planned to lookout for him and he called us back saying instead of deviating to Tuticorin road he took the Madurai road. He arrived in 15 minutes. We then headed towards the East coast road. We decided to stop for breakfast in Tuticorin. We filled our bellies with a delicious Tamilian breakfast and started again.

From the four-lane we need to deviate towards the ECR. Temperature began to change. It was getting damn damn hot now. We were maintaining the speed to a mx of 90 KMPH. We took break every 1 hour and drank lots of water and made sure that body is cool. Since we were wearing fully covered mask, gloves, helmets. In every place we took break we spoke to the local people, discussed their works and other things. It was a good feeling to speak with different type of people. And finally at 2:30 we reached Rameshwaram. It was around 12 hours of journey but it was with lots of break.
We went to hotel, took showers and took some rest. We then went to Dhanushkodi in bike. We hired a offroad van and ventured into the areas. There is a road which is being constructed till the end of Dhanushkodi. May be in another 1 year it will be ready.

We came back to hotel after having a heavy dinner. We have to sleep well before making a return journey. In the morning, the teammates planned to go to temple. They returned back at 10 AM.

After having breakfast we started at 11 AM. We took a couple of breaks in between and reached Tuticorin at 3 PM. We had lunch at the same hotel where we had breakfast. The hotel people were happy to see us back.

Again while crossing Tuticorin, we missed up Biju and Sarath. Around one hour was wasted. And we were then heading towards Trivandrum. It was going to be a tough time as driving in the night in 4 lane is bit risky. We were driving very carefully. We then reached in Marthandam at 9:30 PM. We had tea and some snacks. I had to say good bye to them as my house near to Marthandam. The team members started to Trivandrum, they all reached their place by 11:30 PM.

It was a fantastic drive over all despite some bad things, like a minor accident, happened. We made some plan to do a bike drive to Kodaikanal in June 2016. Hope we will do it.

Signing off now. Will meet you all in the next travelogue.

Solo Drive to Tiruchendur and Thoothukudi

I always prefer to travel any where all alone. If I get a chance to drive through out India all alone, Im always ready for it. Hope will make it one day for sure. We can have our own freedom if we do a solo drive. No disturbance, No late comings, etc etc. We can set our own limits. Might sound bit crazy, but I mean it. Lol. 

This time I prefer to do a solo drive from my home town → Nagercoil → Kanyakumari → Thiruchendur → Thoothukudi → Thirunelveli → Nagercoil →back to home town. The total distance is approximately 365 kms. Earlier I planned to drive in my Hero Honda HUNK. But since it was raining in the parts of the areas I visit, it might spoil my entire trip. So zeroed down to drive it in my THAR. Its a 2WD DI model. This drive will be done in the day time as 60% of the route will be like a no-mans land. I mean there wont be any humans at all.

I started in the morning at 9 AM from home. When I started from home, it was raining like hell. I was thinking if I could able to take any photos of the drive. I was driving towards Kavalkinaru and from there I was driving towards Kanyakumari. From Anjugramam I had to deviate towards the Koodankulam route. It was pouring out like anything.

By the way, I have a huge collection of Illayaraja songs. Driving the vehicle in the rain, and hearing those songs is really awesome. I bought lots of snacks too and was driving while eating those. Hmm.. superb.

The road was really worse at some places. This road is said to be a highway, but there is no road at all. In no time I was crossing the Koodankulam nuclear plant. 

The weather began to change as well as the roads now began to change. It was superb at some places. Till koodankulam can able to see the houses and vehicle coming by. But after that its totally a deserted area. There might be one vehicle passing every 5-7 kms. But road is awesome. In some areas can able to see the costal areas as the highway is said to be as East coast road. I have to drive till Thiruchendur.

The road was perfect in some places

After traveling some distance, found a village. I saw a village hotel. I love eating simple food in village hotel rather than eating in star hotels. I had lunch over there and spoke to the people. Spent around 1 hour there and began to continue my drive. 

I reached Thiruchendur around 3 PM. I had to drive inside the town and further drive to Thoothukudi. There is no by-pass I guess.

Now the climate and roads were totally different. I cant even switch over to 3 rd in some places, such a horrible roads. The govt bus were overtaking casually in a high speed. I was thinking how the people inside the bus were experiencing the ride. Lol. I was drained out by then. Parked the jeep in a place and took some rest for 30 min. Refreshed further and drive till Thoothukudi. Had tea and snacks, and was cruising towards Thirunelveli. This highway is a four lane road. It was great to drive the THAR. It was a bumpy ride but was feeling the ride in THAR.

It was 6 PM by then. I was getting excited for a night drive. Took for break for over 1 hour and wanted to do a night drive. Started at 7 PM and reached Thirunelveli at 7:30. From Thirunelveli I had to drive to Nagercoil. 

The 4 lane is good over here too. I was maintaining an average speed of 80 KMPH in most of the places. Driving in night in jeep is simply superb and that too it was fantastic by hearing the ever green melodies of Illayaraja. At 8:30 I reached Kavalkinaru, had tea and snacks and further drove till Nagercoil. Had a heavy dinner and reached home at 10 PM.

Overall, the drive was superb. And that too it was a solo drive, it was really amazing.