Saturday, December 20, 2008

Vizag Ride - 22nd March 2008

With the ride planed and the members confirmed (6) I had a feeling it wud be fun with these many members. But as the D day arrived, Pramod and me where the only one’s ready to hit the highway. We decided to do the ride inspite of others asking us to stay back or make a shorter ride. We didn’t wanna deter from this just because some people had some priorities and didn’t come (no offence guys).4:15 Paradise was where the ride started. It was bit cloudy and we were just hoping it doesn’t pour down on us. As we crusied along, the truck wala’s as usual made several attempts to run us down or blind us with the high beam. Luckily we took shelter behind a Qualis and then shifted to a Aveo (quails was too slow) to guide us until it dawned. With the first light we made our first pit stop and breakfast and tea and where back on the road. We reached Vijayawada pretty soon comparatively (10:00AM). It was supposedly our second pit stop but as we were going well we decided to keep on going and take a break only when we felt really tired. We were quite sure with the kind of smooth road from Vijayawada to Vizag we wud reach the place much early than we had anticipated. But the nature had different plans. The moment we crossed Vijayawada it started pouring and we had to rush to a rice mill for shelter. It was 11:00am now and we waited there for an hour or so before the rain became drizzle and we decided to venture out again. Hardly driving for another half hour that it again started pouring and we were now in a reliance petrol station asking for details for food and shelter. The attendant informed us that around 40kms there was a A1 plaza. So as soon as the rain halted we again set up determined to reach the A1 place and take a good break. And it happened again, and again, and again. The moment we started the rain also seemed to take a cue to start. After N number of attempts and being completely drenched to core in rain we reached a place which the attendant had termed as A1 plaza, in actual was a just a Dhabha next to the reliance petrol station. Resting there for a while and finishing our lunch we decided to proceed further as the dhabha was stinky. And as usual the rain followed us. Now things were out of control and never had felt so wet!!! We found a bus stand after a while and then took shelter there and dried our stuff. And whoa….the SUN shone and everything suddenly changed. We headed out again and the view was awesome. The fields looked greener than green after the rain and the breeze from the field was too much to refrain from changing profession and start singing JAI JAWAN, JAI KISAN.We took a diversion from yelamanchili, a short cut to go to the NTPC guest house (17 kms from vizag) the place where we would be staying. The route took by winding roads through several villages will hills all over. Switching off the headlights of our bikes and riding our bikes in the dark with the moon overhead was one hellava experience. We reached the guest house and checked in to a decent A/C room. After having dinner at ICH (Indian Coffee House) we retired for the night praying that the next day brings some sunshine to the city.The next day luckily for us was bit sunny and we decided to explore a beach around 10kms from where we were staying. Equipped with the swimming trunks and towels we hit the beach. It was good beach populated with only the fishermen and no tourist as such. After some fun time in the water playing diving catches with a makeshift cricket ball, we met up with some kids of the clove nearby who kept on questioning us about our bikes and selves. Once through with that we went back to our rooms for a shower and then some lunch. Now we were ready to hit the city. We zoomed our way through the city to Rishikonda for a round of drinks at a resort there. It was right on the cliff, with the sea beside and a beautiful evening coming in. after couple of beers we went to the RK beach area with a packet of Mirchi Bajji;s to compliment the evening. Well vizag has changed quite a bit for a period. The crowd was huge, with parking almost next to impossible and the place reminded me of necklace road on Sunday or marina beach in Chennai. Jam Packet I guess would be the correct word to spell the same. Having spent some time out these we drove back to the guest house (40kms) for the nightcap.We had planned for Aruku, Ananthagiri Hills and Paderu for day 3, but the rains unleashed on the city of ports in the morning, making us cancel the plan. We were left in the room browsing though the stupid box (TV). We decided to make the best use of the situation and caught up on some table tennis and caroms at the recreation room. Once done with that we went to a pump house of the company where water is taken from the sea and refined and used for the turbines for electricity generation. After some high level permissions the security allowed us inside and we had a good view of the sea from the pump house. We then spent some time near the place clicking away to glory the sea when rain was hitting it hard. Soon the rain turned to a drizzle and as soon as the drizzle faded away we went back to our room. Changing quickly we decided to head to the city malls to buy proper rain coats for our return journey as the jerkins we had hardly were good enough to provide any safety from the rain. We didn’t take our bikes for the fear of rain and us getting soaked again, for the fear of losing the last set of dry clothes. We did our bit of shopping and then returned back to the room and headed straight for the recreation room this time to catch up on a snooker game. Done with that we had dinner and planned to start back to Hyderabad early next day.We started 4:30am in the morning and it was quite a while until light appeared, though we were thankful that it was not raining. The ride till Vijayawada went off pretty smooth and we covered lot many kms with minimal breaks. We just didn’t wanna risk in waiting and allowing the rain to catch up with us. Infact from Vijayawada until surayapet we were literally stretching ourselves to the extremes. We took our lunch break at the AP tourism plaza and a deserved rest to our behinds. And then were back on the saddles to hyderabad. We reached home sweet home in exactly 12 hrs from the time we started and 1402 kms in total both ways felt as an acheivement. Looking back at the ride, we did have a feeling of missing the group, but at the same loved each and every moment of the ride from the start to end. Looking forward to crossing bigger distances and hurdles.

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