Ride Story: Rameswaram-Munnar-Chennai (Day 1)

So...another ride..another story is here. I would like to call this one as the year ending ride. I was already itching to ride since it had been quite a while after my Ride to Kolli Hills.This ended up being my longest ride so far and I am happy about it. I always wanted to ride to Pamban Bridge, Rameswaram because the fact that it’s surrounded by sea all around always attracted me. This time I had 3-4 days in hand so I thought I can add one more place in this ride plan. I was thinking of Kanyakumari first but then I thought it will be too much of ocean lol. I ended up adding Munnar, Kerala to my plan because when I saw the pictures of Munnar and read other ride stories, I couldn’t stop myself. Also because this was about 345km from Rameswaram which was easily doable in one day. So after abusing Google Maps for a while, this is what my route map looked like:

After that I had to plan the timings across the route so that I stick to a target speed and time of reaching the destination. I think it is important to plan the timings on a long ride so that you know you are going on the right track and will reach on time to your destination. So the plan was to ride to Rameswaram on day 1, to Munnar on day 2, and back to Chennai on day 3. And this is what the ride plan I came up with:

And..the curves on Day 2 will be:

One good thing I did this time was to keep a track of the time and kilometers I am doing during the ride. I carried a pen and the ride plan sheet with me and noted down the time I was doing. This will help others reading this story who want to do this ride.

Also, there are a lot …a lot many pictures this time! All the pics are clicked from Moto G2. No editing done on the pictures (click on the pics to enlarge).

25th December, Day 1:

I knew I had to start early and I am glad I was able to stick to the plan. I started from home at 4:45am. I had considered the time to next destination on a very high side and I knew I will be able to do much faster timings. So as per the plan I considered 64 km to Chengalpattu in 1.5 hours where as I actually did it in 1 hour. So that way I did good timings throughout the ride.

Sunrise on the road:

The only thing I do not plan is the time to eat on a ride however I make sure that I keep drinking water at regular intervals because staying hydrated is important. So the ride started brilliantly with me doing good speeds on the smooth roads. However I did a mistake. After crossing Thindivanam, I came inside on state highways whereas I should have stuck to NH45 until Thanjavur at least and then I should have come to Pudukottai on state highways. Mistake because the road was in conditions till Pudukottai and honestly I won’t say it was a treat to ride on those roads. Anyways after riding for 238km at a stretch I stopped for breakfast at 8:40am  and Thanjavur was 90km from there. Some village men started checking my bike out and asked if it was a race bike and all sort of questions. One of them said it looks beautiful and I smiled at him. I have learnt that we have to be polite to the people!

After Pudukottai the roads were brilliant and butter smooth which increased my average speed.

At Pudukottai I spotted a lot of roadside shops which were cleaning cashews and selling after roasting them. I bought a few.

Came across this beautiful place after a while near Karaikudi

So at 1:20pm I stopped for lunch at this place near Devipattinam.

Again after this the roads were just great and after Pudukottai I was really enjoying the ride. About 30 mins after I resumed riding after lunch, I felt that if I did not take a break I might fall asleep on the bike. So stopped for about 15 mins at this green place to take rest.

Felt much better after the needed break and I was back on the bike and soon I started feeling the wind and breeze of the ocean as I was riding towards the Pamban Bridge. Not much later it was visible too. I had stopped to click some pics and few guys came in a car and started asking about my bike and if I was racing or something. Again I had to tell that I am not from a race and just on a leisure ride.

After lunch I rode about 138km and at 3:15pm I was on Pamban Bridge. This place is just beautiful. You are surrounded by ocean from both sides and the wind just refreshes you. Honestly I was not feeling tired at all after reaching here. Took some time to click some pics here:

And soon the train arrived!

After crossing Pamban Bridge:

So at 3:45 pm I entered Rameswaram which was much earlier than the plan of 6:00pm! I had plenty of time now. So I thought I can ride to Dhanuskodi today itself and this will reduce some kilometers from the ride the next day.

Road towards Dhanuskodi:

I didn’t know that in 1964 there had been a major cyclone at Dhanuskodi in which many people died including the ones in the train which fell in the ocean due to the cyclone! This memorial is built for them:

After reaching the Dhanuskodi beach, you can ride in the sand if you have got off-road tyres or you can take the Jeep to go towards the lands end about 8km far from the beach from where Sri Lanka is visible. I decided not to test my street tyres and relaxed at the beach for a while.

Also I noticed that it was cloudy so there was no point in waiting for the sunset. At 4:30pm I left Dhanushkodi and came back to Rameswaram at about 5:30 pm and started enquiring hotels/lodges for accommodation.

Bad luck! There was not a single place where I got a room to stay for the night. Apparently there was some religious god thing going on and truck and bus load of pilgrims had come from other towns to Rameswaram so there was no chance I would get an accommodation. One guy suggested that I go back to Ramanathapuram and I would get a room to stay there for sure and at a cheaper rate also. It was about 6:10 pm and already getting dark. But I had no choice other than riding 72km back to Ramanathapuram. It was dark now and the biggest threat on the road  became the high beams from cars. I kept riding slow and safe , stopped to clean the insects and dust off the helmet visor and riding at a steady 50-60kmph this time I reached Ramanathapuram at 7:30pm. I got a decent accommodation at a lodge and had dinner at this duplicate KFC joint lol

It also meant that I had further reduced about 75km from my ride on next day. I decided I need not start very early the next day.

Day1: 671km, riding time: 15 hours

Day 2: Read Here! 

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