Friday, September 21, 2007

Pearl Valley

What it is: Water Falls!!
How far is it: It is some 50-55kms from Hebbal Flyover
How to get there: Ride down on Bannerghatta Road, take left at Bannerghatta towards Anekal. Take a right into Jigani Industrial Estate along the ring road. Look out for a BP petrol station on the right. Take right and follow signboards to Muthyaala Muduvu.
Roads: 4 lane road upto Bannerghatta without dividers. The stretch from there on is lined up with trees and makes a fantastic ride. Good roads throughout.

Pearl Valley can be anything between Pearl and Peril depending on your mode of transport. On Saturday, 8th Sep, as Kavita, Ananth and I set off on our bikes, it was closer to the latter.
We started from Hotel Chalukya at 0532 hours (I measured time, you can see how accurate I was!). Kavita showed great grit, she had never cycled more than 20kms at one go. She joined us till a little after Bannerghatta, trudging along the uphills, but doing very well overall, a laudable effort, indeed.

Ananth and I then took off from there at a good speed, but somehow, the destination was always that 10-15kms away. Ananth was supposed be the distance and route guide, who quite nonchalantly approximated the 55kms to 35km. Well mate, it wouldn’t have mattered much if we were measuring distance to the moon or Britney Spears’ waist or something. (click here for some Britney jokes!!)
I guess it was showing in our faces as well. Coz at one point when we asked for directions, the guy actually added that it was downhill all the way!

We reached Muthyaala Muduvu or Pearl Valley at 0940. There are a couple of restaurants where you can park (we parked inside one of them!) and walk down some steps to the “falls”. If Pearl is to stand for ‘economy’, the name of Pearl Valley is very apt. It was quite a miracle how the falls had managed to stay that way despite the flooding all-around in nearby Bangalore. It took us some 2mins to get to the falls and like 20mins to laugh out all those water-falls-PJs we cracked.

We left there at 10 and got back on some better roads to Bannerghatta in an hour’s time. I had some nagging problem with the mid-gears, one chain getting stuck incident. We got back to IIMB by 1130 and home by 1230.
But tell me, why cycle 110kms all the way, while you can marvel at the swirling lakes at Silk Board flyover and every other road in Bangalore? Beats me!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Hills Trilogy - Last leg - Yelagiri Hills

Aug 18th - 19th
Wrapping up that one helluva week of Bulleting, biking and running was the Hash outstation run at Yelagiri.

Yelagiri is a hill station about 170kms from Bangalore. The place is a RTMC favorite for the delicious Biryani at the town in the foot of the hill, Vaniyumbadi. The Bangalore Hash once every year runs at locations outside Bangalore. With good highway from Bangalore, Yelagiri’s got those ingredients for a good weekend trip. The hill kinda rises abruptly in an otherwise flat landscape. The ride off the highway to the foot of the hill offers a daunting view of the hill, all with the zig-zagging ghat road that leads to the top.

There was one lal dabba, KSRTC van that was arranged to transport a majority of the 40 odd Hashers. I decided to ride down instead wanting to replace my earlier tragic memories of the ride to Yelagiri (Read the story). We stopped for breakfast buffet at Hotel Shivaranjini, near Titan at Hosur and from then on all the way to the top.

Chalk De, Yelagiri!!
Abnash (pervert producer), Sunil (not yet) and I were to Hare (mark the trail with chalk for the others to find/lose) this run. Ha, which also means you get some free Beer at the end of run at the circle. So, soon after reaching the Hotel Hills at Yelagiri where we were booked, we headed off towards the general direction of the lake and the hills, with bags-full of chalk. The next 3 hours went into throwing chalk around lake (the typical “couples in a pedal boat” lake), fields, village roads (no bio-terrorism threat here!) and the Nilgiri forest area. The Hash finished off its quota of Corporate Social Responsibility when the hares cleared off the undergrowth in the forest with Abnash’s gardening cutter!

The forest full of Eucalyptus tress and as silent as the Bacchan family on the all new Jr. (or maybe I should use it as a simile for fast, as in as fast as Abishek or something) Well, anyways, the point is, it was as forest as a forest can be. The trail was fantastic, going around the lake, into the fields and then into the forest area leading into a view point offering the panoramic view of the landscape and then the circle around a mini-pond.

Got back from the run to a few rounds of Table Tennis (how can I ever say no to that one), some malt beverage fermented with sugar and yeast, desserts and dance.

Steep Sunday
About 10-15 of us had made plans to run down and up Yelagiri hills in the morning. My fatigued legs managed about 20kms in all in not so good time, climbing up the last 12kms.
The recovery run was a very very short one, the partying had vanquished the Hashers’ running problem to an extent. There was little you could do, esp after the sumptuous breakfast. There was some fresh pomegranate juice that was simply out of the world.

I left there at noon, the Indian flag and the military cargo n all and was back home early evening with just the one tea stop at Hosur.
Pheww, what a week I say!!