Part 1 of 2
It was a longstanding dream to visit Kerala. Almost everyone I meet all the time had visited this “God’s own valley” at some point of time in their life. To top that I had missed 2 opportunities to visit kerala on group trip with friends.
It was all completely spontaneous. My friend Vishaal had met few Biker friends (Anonymous & Prajit), both from Kerala. He recently bought a Benelli 302R bike and was eager to go on a bike trip. I was casually asked to join them because I did not own a bike then.
After some thinking I came to this conclusion that I don’t know when I will get another chance to go and that too on a bike trip – I could rent my favorite bike, RE Himalayan and just go. It felt amazing when I imagined and was sure now to go.
I was onboard just some 3-5 days before the trip and booked the bike for rent for 5 days. It was now a done deal. I am going. And it was a decision that I would really look upto for my future plans. I love doing that – how your one decision really matters and drives your other plans.
We planned to start off on a Saturday morning at 5 am. Rendezvous at HSR and then leave together. If you are a resident of Bengaluru then you know that rain is not something you can take lightly. It started to pour heavily since 4am. Vishaal and me waited long enough anxiously and started off at around 5-ish after it slowed down to drizzle.
There was water everywhere. On the roads, drains were full. Complete chaos. Definitely nothing compared to the recent Mumbai Rains, but still. After few nervous moments at the SilkBoard service road where water was so deep and riding a bike there was really a task.
I was set in my mind. I am riding the best bike I could get for a trip like this. I enjoyed riding in rain. We then moved on the Mysuru Highway and picked up speed here and there. But the only thing that slighly worried us was trucks and cars which were in the middle of the road, after just-now crashes into dividers at various places.
We were careful and mindful enough not to speed and moved with extra care. We stopped after some 60 0dd kms for breakfast and it stopped raining now.
Anonymous was riding his Honda CBR 250 with his wife as pillion, Prajit was riding his RE Classic 350. We parted ways just before entering Mysuru asAnonymous’s destination was Khozikhode – his hometown. We three were heading to Kannur, Prajit’s home.
Our route was through Coorg, passing through the forest areas and then some civilization and then that Ghat just before Kannur – such an amazing experience. It was green everywhere and so calm.
After having lunch at GoniKoppal, we were refuelled now. Ready for more riding. As soon as we crossed the ghat section in Kerala, the roads started to slow us a bit now. There was construction work everywhere, building smaller bridges, newer roads, wider roads etc. It was good and we reached Koodalli at around 5 pm at Prajit’s home. It was situated at a lovely downhil slope and completely surrounded by different kinds of plants – banana, jackfruit so many others. All around their house, within compound. It was a wonderful place to have a home. With Crickets’ sound audible everywhere and nothing else. Complete silence.
We had planned to go this drive-in beach called The Muzhappilangad Beach ( Wiki ) – This is a special beach. A beach where you can ride your bike or car for almost 2 KMs or more. I was excited to go and see the sunset but we were all exhausted after riding for so long. It was my first long trip on a bike. Not used to that.
It was now time to refresh and rest for sometime. In the evening, Vishaal and me went exploring Koodalli and its strange and narrow offroads that are like main roads for the localites. Prajit had gone to get this Classic’s rear tire replaced as it had almost lost the treads. It was time for a new tyre.
We came back to the house after sipping hot tea at a road-side stall and watching the roads in a drizzle. It was almost time for dinner. Prajit’s brother Prashant is a great cook. He had cooked so chicken in native Malabar style – proper Malabar chicken. We all sat at the dinner table with Prajit’s Mom, Dad and his brother Prashant and kept talking about different weather, food, onam, lifestyle and what not. It was very cool to know so many details from the people who have been living there for almost 25 years.
Seemed like Prashant was a local travel buff as well and a photographer. He was saying there were some 60 or so places around Kannur which are one of a kind in the world. I told him someday we will come back again and visit at least few of the places for sure.
We rested for the night after such a good meal and I was excited to visit the drive-in beach.
We woke up at around 6.30 am and were ready to ride in the next 30 minutes. It was a short ride to the beach, some 15 KMs towards Kannur, from Koodalli. To reach the beach you need to go through this small road, engulfed by coconut & other trees on the both sides, with homes sprinkled in between. Something strange for city people where we rarely see tress or lush greenery.
And there it was. Such a calm and serene place. With nothing visible except these small distant fishing boats looking like ants.
Here is a video of us riding our bikes in the beach. It was a new experience to ride the RE Himalayan on the beach with water spraying to the side, sometimes on your face.
We were back at Prajith’s some and had some good traditional Onam Special breakfast & geared up to leave for Khozikode (Calicut), which is Anonymous’s hometown. It was around 100 KMS only but busy road. It was almost 4 pm when we reachedAnonymous’s home. Had lovely late lunch with a fish dish and rested for an hr.
As it was time that sun was going down we decided we will visit the Calicut beach – right in the city. Such a beautiful coastline. You just stay there watching the sun set – although it was completely covered with clouds, it was special. You don’t see the sun like that everyday – with nothing but water and clouds in between – for as far as you can see.