Again, one of our unplanned trips – this time we planned to take our cycles and go to Ooty!
For the last two years, briefly from the time I bought my cycle, Vikram and I had been planning to go on a road trip with our cycles packed in the car. Maruthi 800 is the best for such trips. With the rear seats completely pushed down, it gives just enough room to pack away 2 cycles and a little luggage.
A couple of things excited me instantly – the drive through Bandipur and cycling in the hilly terrain. I had never cycled in such a terrain earlier.
The journey started at the peak of a scorching hot summer day, and we started to head towards Mysore. The route we took was Bangalore –> Mysore –> Nanjangud –> Gundlupet –> Bandipur –> Kalhatti ghats –> Ooty
The anxiety rose as we hit the Bandipur forest, but unfortunately since it was late into the evening, it was already dark when we were driving through the forest. Nevertheless, we saw 5 elephants in total by the time we reached the Kalhatti ghats! Since most (on hindsight – all) of our trips have been last minute, unplanned ones, we end up checking out hotels after reaching the destination.
The next morning, we got onto our cycles to explore Ooty.
The Ooty that I remember as a child is long gone. It was disheartening to see Ooty so commercialized, but we absolutely relished cycling through the little roads along the hilly terrain and along the lake.
We spotted BSA Hecules mountain bike park, where they have simulated tough terrains where vikram did some awesome stunts 🙂
After a good deal of cycling until the heat and hunger got the best of us, we went to a couple of view points.. it was liberating to do some photography of the landscapes 🙂 Spotted Mukurthi at a distance, where I had trekked earlier..
The following morning, we decided to start heading back to bangalore early since we wanted to go slow through the bandipur forest and hoped to see the wild. And we did!!
Spotted a family of 4 elephants by the roadside, Langurs and got a great shot of a monkey sitting on a distant bamboo tree.
As we passed by the jungle, we got super excited to see the wild and when we learnt that Jungle Lodges has a safari in which they take us deep into the jungle, we added one more item to our “places to visit” list 🙂
All in all a nice mix of driving, cycling and photography made it a memorable trip that we will always cherish 🙂