Thursday, June 13, 2024

204) Kabbaldurga trek: (11/6/2024)


Place: Kabbaladurga trek

Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms

Directions: Bangalore > Bidadi > Channpatna > Kabbaladurga > Kanakpura > Bangalore

Krew: Karthik (Sp)

Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  

Previous Visit: Huliyurdurga trek.

Budget: Rs 400.

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

Okay, so birthday’s I have this funny ritual of travelling solo to one of the tough climbs – Kabbaladurga and a place which I revere a lot. It feels like hitting a re-boot / re-set button of your life. Helps you get centred. So, this visit was no different.

INTRO & PLAN:

Previous evening I went out and had some chats at Shivas (Hanumanthnagar) and then fuelled up my bike and rested well at night. The day before a solo travel always is slightly jittery, but hey overcoming that jitters is the whole point.

TIME: 22:00 (10/6/2024)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Yeah, was up by 4am, stretched out. Was ready for the trip. Had breakfast at home itseld, 3 nice dose and was ready head out. The skies looked gloomy, well good sign to ride, but not a great sign when you want to climb a rocky hillock.

TIME: 05:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Ramngara – Channpatna - Kabbaldurga)

As I headed out, it was a weekday, but the traffic on mysore road never ends. I was little shaky in the beginning and though it was not even 6am, the skies were bright. Listening to some Chinese songs I zoomed ahead full steam. After a while, I could see the sun rise on my rear-view mirrors and that felt great. On to the left a train zoomed by, smiling at all the passengers, flipping off a few I made it to Ramnagara. Here I had lost my way last time, so cautiously took the old Mysore Road and reached Channapatna.

After Channapatna, the country roads welcomed me with two broad arms, and I just left the bike dictate the terms of the ride. After all the rains, the surrounding had turned green and it was so calming on the mind. Once I had a chance to spot Kabblu, the top was shrouded in clouds it was such a beautiful sight to behold. Shouting aloud that 1hr I will be there, zoomed into the town, parking my bike and with a mountain goat’s spirit wide awake, I was read for the trek.

TIME: 07:15


KABBALDURGA TREK:

Okay, this trek was slightly different. Past one week I had taken a rest week from workout. Hence I knew this trek would be okay but slightly harder than usual. It took me 40 minutes to reach the top. But if you are trying for the first time 90-120minutes should be considered.  Okay here we go with four stretches again:

i) Initial stretch

ii) 3 point stretch ?? – wait what!

iii) Viper stretch

iv) Final Stretch

So ready? Here goes nothing!

i) Initial stretch:

Usually this stretch is so chaotic that I never take the right route, but somehow get passed this. But this time, it was different. From the get-go all things fell in place and I took the actual route from the first step until I reached the favourite spot.

ii) 3 point stretch:

The 3-point stretch which was my favourite, steps had been carved out.  I mean yes, it helps but shit, feels bad. “Helping boys become men” – KA tourism dept. I got off the steps and was climbing up the mountain like a lizard, when I could feel someone watching me and slowly catching up. When I turned back it was dog wagging its tail wondering why I was struggling so much with the climb.

iii) Viper stretch:

At the viper, the dog found its own puddle and quenched its thirst. I did not stop, but on the go I had a sip of water and relaxed a bit. The dog and me had a conversation going.  I mean the effortless climbing of a dog is just a bliss to watch.

iv) Final stretch:

During the final stretch, the legs were showing signs of fatigue. But I kept pushing it.  And at the final moment, the dog wanted me to reach the top first and I want it to go ahead and lead the way. I sat down and so did it next to me. Finally I started running up and then it overtook me reaching the top first.

TIME: 08:00

TOP:

At the top, we visited the main temple first and paid our respects. Then with the dog wondering why I was removing my shoes and putting it back on. Then, I started making way to the shiva temple and my sleep spot. Once the shoes off I entered the temple and crashed on the floor. The dog was confused whether to enter or not, I sat near the door and try convincing it to enter. But it was outside. Once I started dozing off, I could hear light footsteps enter the temple in a confused manner hehe. Finally, the dog had also found its own sweet spot temple and was resting peacefully.

I was explaining how the past year had been the ups and downs of the year. Few of stories it genuinely listened with interest, rest of the times it just dozed off. After about 30mins or so, we decided to head back.

TIME: 08:30

TREK DOWN:

The trek down was an easy peasy one. It took me 20-30 mins of non-stop trek. The final and viper stretch was finished off in a matter of minutes. Then during the three point stretch, met a few people making it up, offered them water and then looking at the stairs I felt sad. Then decided to jump of the rails and go wild and climb down like a lizard I always am. Then the final stretch I just ran to the bike. Then met a person and started conversing with him for 20-30 minutes.

TIME: 09:15

RIDE 2: (Kabbaldurga – Channpatna – Bidadi-Bangalore)

This was 100kms ride back, decided to take back the Mysore road. As I left Kabblu, with still sweat dripping down my forehead like a small stream I washed my face in the town. Then as I started riding my bike, started cooling down. Whew! As I rode on about 3-4km, I turned back, promising her a return I zoomed into the town of Channapatna.  Upon reaching the old Mysore Road, I felt home. There is something so different about the mysore road, it is simply more enjoyable to ride on. It was a straightforward ride to home.

TIME: 11:00

CONCLUSION:

Upon reaching home, had some 3 dose slept for a while, then got up and then had proper pappu rice and all and dosed off again. Then Koof called me and said to meet at Blue Wings. So went to BW and crashed there for about an hour so, then after coming back did 50pullups, 100pushups and 100squats in total of 15minutes. Happy birthday to me, FTW!

Cheers all \m/


Sunday, June 2, 2024

203) Huliyurdurga Fort Trek: (1/6/2024)


Place: Huliyurdurga trek

Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms

Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Kunigal > Huliyur > Ramnagar > Bangalore

Krew: Dileep (Koof) > Karthik (Sippy)

Bikes:  Pulsar                                                                                                  

Previous Visit: Ratnagiri Trek

Budget: Rs 350/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

Alright, this was one chapter that shook up our core beliefs. This trek saw a lot of funny and intense moments. It was a thrilling trip from getting lost in the thick forest to riding back in slashing heavy rains. Loved every minute of it, so here goes.  

INTRO & PLAN:

Friday was lazing around at Blue Wings, Koof called me and asked if any trek was planned for the weekend. Since I had nothing to do, we decided to head out. Oh yeah, the camera was non-functional. It had been my loyal companion since um, 2016 I think. I was down, but were more about the experience, and photos next.

TIME: 20:00 (1/6/2024)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Yeah, I was awake by 3:30 am, stretched out, and got ready. I left my home at about 5 am and picked up Koof from his home. As we were riding, we saw what stood once as Laxmi bar. Years of memories at this place hit us hard.

TIME: 05:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Bidadi – Ramnagar – Maddur - Huliyurdurga)

This was a 100 km simple ride to the Huliyurdurga. As we hit Tumkur Road, speeds picked up. The skies were filled with dark heavy clouds and the forecast for the day was a downpour. Once we took the deviation from the Nelamanagala toll, we continued on the Mangalore highway for about 20 kilometres and pulled over for a nice breakfast.

TIME:  06:30



After the breakfast we a kick-ass coffee which shot up energies and we hit back the roads. Once we reached Kunigal we took a left deviation, and the roads just became superb. We enjoyed cruising on this road to reach Huliyurdurga. Asking the locals for directions, we reached the old temple and parked our bikes and with the Astral goat’s spirit wide awake, we were ready to climb.

TIME: 08:00



HULIYURDURGA TREK:

The proper trek is only 15-20 minutes of intense creepy climbing. But ours took about 60 minutes. Let me explain.

Lost in the Forest:

Ok, once we parked our bikes. I was in high spirits and barged into the thick forest explaining to Koof how we had to find a temple from which the trek started and all. But we had entered at the wrong point, and it was a pretty thick forest. The silence of the forest was quite spooky. We could see signs of wild animals all over. A skull of probably a dog was left on a rock, a wild rabbit hopped past us, and then a chemboth was walking peacefully. All these signs suggested that we were seriously off track. So, we decided to head back to the place where we started. 


 

We had spent about 45 minutes, and we were drenched in sweat, and I was down and out. Once we made it back, we tried to step back and try to read the mountain, there seemed no climbable spots. So, I decided to go back and ask for directions from the locals. As I was heading back, head held low in dejection, kicking stones out of the path, I saw nicely laid steps, my eyes followed the steps and behold I spotted the starting point of the trek, an old temple.



Actual trek:

I called Koof, and explained how the neat steps had misled us. We laughed about it, but we were both pretty beaten up by the forest adventure. So, we climbed the steps and sat and rested at the temple. Then the actual trek began.

 

The trek started by ascending steep rock faces. It was challenging and nice. Then a narrow path runs through boulders, one must squeeze through these narrow spaces to make it to an opening. Here the trickiest part lies, seasoned climbers can climb without any support. Otherwise, it is better to allow somebody to climb and pull. Once we both were out of the tricky spot, then it was a straightforward climb. Slow and steady we took steps, keeping an eye on the skies. Dark clouds were heading our way from afar, we knew it would pour by evening.

TIME: 09:00

TOP:

We spent about 30 mins at the top. We wanted to spend more time, but because it could rain, we decided to head back early. At the top, we just had one piece of chocolate and drank water and slept. The winds caressed us and almost put is into deep sleep in a matter of minutes. Once we were up, we discussed the route to take back. We decided to explore a new route via Ramanagar.

TIME: 09:30


CLIMB DOWN:

The climb down took us 15 mins. At the tricky spot, I decided to head down first and then Koof could just jump down I would catch him haha! Even though the climb is short one, it is pretty tricky and gives you a super feel. Once we made it back down, we visited the temple at the foot of the hillock. Picking our bike, we left, as we left we saw a group of young buffalos grazing, it got scared by the bike and started running, and from afar its mom started chasing us. We got out of town with a buffalo chasing us away! :D

TIME: 10:00


 

RIDE-2: (Huliyurdurga – Ramanagar – Bangalore)

This was an 85 km ride back. We decided to pull over at a bakery for some Stings. After gulping down, we felt energetic and took the Magadi route. This route went through Huliyur forest, and the ride trust me was fantastic. From that point, we took a right and entered into the country roads. The atmosphere was so peaceful and greenery all around, we just cruised enjoying every bit of fresh air we could take in.

As we entered the town, we were in such high spirits enjoying the ride, we failed to notice fresh cement that had been laid on the roads and we rode off directly into it hehe. Somehow calming down the construction workers we made it out.  After reaching Ramnagara, we picked up speed once again, discussing chameleons, monitor lizards, and Komodo dragons we entered back into Bangalore. We could see a few juice shops open, so the ban of sales was not taken seriously after all, eh? So, we decided to hit 7Hills Dhaba for a quick drink and munch.

TIME: 12:00

 

We spent about 3hrs at the dhaba, speaking about work and other stuff. Once we left, there was a slight drizzle, we loved it and as we rode towards Koof home. But once we reached Uttrahalli it started pouring cats, it was the heaviest downpour for 2024. Monsoons in Bangalore were surely underway.

I asked Koof if he was okay to continue, and he was A-okay. And riding slowly at about 30kmph we glided our way through gushing waters and onslaught from the skies, but what a beautiful ride it was. I dropped Koof at this place and rode back and it was a joy, at traffic signal was looking up at the skies, and after much-awaited months, the rains had finally returned.

TIME: 15:45

CONCLUSION:

There is an old saying, - there are only two types of people, those who love riding in the rain and the irrelevant.

Until next time, Cia \m/



Monday, May 27, 2024

202) Ratnagiri Fort Trek : (25/5/2024)

 


Place: Ratnagiri Fort Trek

Distance: 150kms x 2 = 300kms

Directions: Bangalore > Dobbaspete > Madhugiri > Ratnagiri Fort

Krew: Madhu > Karthik (Sp)

Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                                   

Previous Visit: Bhairavadurga.

Budget: Rs 500/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

This was another simple trek to the mystery fort of Ratnagiri. The route and the gateways can be confusing, but fun nevertheless. First time, Madhu joined hence the idea was to keep it simple and stick to the process we knew.

INTRO & PLAN:

It was two weeks since our trek to Bhairavadurga, that was some rattling trek eh? So, the week after that nothing panned out, and ended up having some monk and golgappa in Bangalore itself. When Madhu came up and expressed his interest to join for the next one. I was more excited than him haha! With the destination unknown, but the plan clear, we decided to head out weekend.

TIME: 11:00 (22/5/2024)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Oh yeah, woke up by 3:30 am, did a few stretches, and gave a wake-up call to Madhu. He was up by 4 am as well. The plan was to meet at my place at 5:30 am. Surprisingly, Madhu arrived at my home at 5:15 am itself. Wow! This was a happy surprise, and we took off immediately without wasting any time as every minute before sunrise is precious.

TIME: 05:15

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri – Ratnagiri Fort)

The ride from Bangalore began smoothly, it was dark and slightly chill. We rode at a pretty good pace to exit Bangalore in a whiff. Afterwards, the roads opened and so did the sky. Just before the sun rose, the temperature took a sharp dip. Once we reached Dobbaspete, we pulled over for a tea stop as we had covered a good 50km and it was just 6:15 am. 


After a sipping hot cup of tea, we felt fresh and alive. Then, we went on the hunt for the breakfast stop we had discovered last time. And it was a tough search eh. After a while, we found the old couple, and trust me this place is out of this world. They serve the best idly vada and pulao on the roadside. It was a super heavy breakfast and so worth it.

TIME: 07:00

After the awesome breakfast, we headed full steam ahead but made a conscious stop just before Madhugiri to stretch out. After which we continued for another 40km to spot Ratnagiri afar waiting to greet us. The ride through the town was superb, with high fort walls and whatnot. This gave us an impression of what people of the olden days must have felt like. Reaching the base of the hillock, we parked our bikes and with the goat’s spirit awake we were ready to capture the hillock.

TIME: 08:30

  

RATNAGIRI FORT TREK:

It took us about an hour to ascend the fort. The weather was cool and gloomy, but what was unique this time was the eery silence that hit us hard. With no one around the silence was dense around us and tended to cave us in.  Ok, the three stages of the trek are as follows and let's see if you keep up with us, let's go!

i)   Way to the Door.

ii)   Amazing Mid-Riff.

iii)  The Last Stairs.


i)  Way to the Door:

The initial stretch, the point between the parking place and the fort entrance, is the most tricky and enjoyable. A simple way is to run your eyes all along the hillock and find a small door like in the wall. Then you figure out your way to the place. Every person might choose a different path, but the goal is the same.

TIME: 08:45


ii) Amazing Mid-Riff:

Once we made our way through the entry point of the fort, a strange silence hit us. . A clear stony path was visible, but the place was quite heavy. The fort walls shrouded with creepers and branches gave us the chills and felt super at the same time. We kept our senses on high alert and took each step cautiously. This stretch we relished every moment as it was eery and nice at the same time.

TIME: 09:00

iii) Last Stairs:

The last stairs could be spotted from a layout, which consisted of lot of granaries. We spent some time exploring the granaries, learnt from Madhu that they looked like where fruits were stored for the process of ripening. Once on the last stairs it was matter of simple climb to the top.

TIME: 09:15

TOP:

At the top, the wind speed picked up. We picked up the helicopter seed and started playing with it. The skies were calm and cool, and the weather was perfect. We ran around getting a 360-degree view of the place, we found a spot where the fort wall had crumbled and the wind was gushing at a super pace. Going ahead, we found the cave where we usually crash.

TIME: 09:30

 

TREK DOWN:

We spent about 45 minutes at the top. Since it was Madhu’s first time, we discussed various topics and then finally we decided to crash for a good 20 min. After which we decided to head back down.

The trek down was a smooth one with no stops for rest. We took about 30min to get back to our bikes.  The trek back was fun, and we tried descending a few rock faces instead of taking the stairs, giving a glimpse of what was instore in the coming weeks. We reached back our bikes and took off from the beautiful Ratnagiri.

TIME: 10:45


RIDE 2: (Ratnagiri Fort – Medegeshi – Madhugiri - Dobbaspete – Bangalore)

The ride back was a smooth one, we had decided to pull over after every 50 km to stretch out. Hence as we began the ride back, the sun was blazing away in all its glory, making us feel dizzy. We reached Madhugiri in a matter of 30-45mins and pulled over for the first stop.


After which it was a non-stop ride to Dobbaspete, on our way to Dobbaspete we saw a brutal accident where a person had died on the spot. Keeping composure and trusting the process we just glided on in Whitty Dhaba for a super-duper lunch.

TIME: 12:30

After a nice lunch, we took the NICE road to crash back into my place. We had sipping hot cup of coffee after which Madhu departed to his home on his bike to another part of the city.

TIME: 16:00

Great and smooth trip, Until next time, Cia \m/



Sunday, May 12, 2024

201) Bhairavadurga Fort Trek: (11/5/2024)


Place: Bhairavadurga trek

Distance: 60kms x 2 = 120kms

Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Solur > Bhairavadurga

Krew: Dilip (Koof) > Karthik (Sp)

Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                                   

Previous Visit: Huthridurga trek

Budget: Rs 250/head  

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

Wow, this was a fantastic trek to the craziest of Navadurgas – Bhairavadurga. The climb is steep and challenging, A few stretches are very risky but without risk, it’s not fun either, right? So yeah, this was one kickass trek which we enjoyed a lot!

INTRO & PLAN:

It had been a week since my return from Nashik. And was ready, we had narrowed down the plan to some hillock towards Madhugiri. But then Koof had a hectic week and wanted to go someplace close. Hence late night on the previous day we decided it would be the hillock that would send shivers down one’s spine – Bhairavadurga.

TIME: 22:00 (10/5/2024)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Yeah, I was awake by 3 am. Stretched out a little, sipped some coffee was all set to go. I left my place at 5:30 am and picked up Koof.  We had seen this roadside idly and dose stall near DVG petrol bunk since last two time. We decided to finish off breakfast in Bangalore itself.  The shop opens at 3:30 am and closes at 6:30 am and the food was decent but yeah it will be crowded. We spent about 20 mins at this place and left Bangalore.

TIME: 06:30


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Nelamangala – Solur - Bhairavadurga)

This was about a 60 km easy ride. As we left from Bangalore it was easy cruising until just before Nelamangala. We ran into a massive traffic jam, which extended to a few kilometers, but thankfully it was slowly moving. The reason was a bad road patch which had given away due to rains. Post this jam, we cruised well and took a deviation after Solur, and without any assistance from Google Maps enquiring with people we reached the base of the hillock.  We requested some locals to look after the bikes and helmets as we began the trek.

TIME: 08:00

BHAIRAVADURGA TREK:

This is one of the most challenging and beautiful treks. We did not want to get stranded as monsoons had started. We took about 60 mins to climb with sufficient breaks. So here I have divided the trek into three phases, so keep up with me here!

a.      i. Initial forest

b.      ii. Steep climb

c.       iii. Final ascent



Initial Forest:

This is the tricky part considering one can get lost easily. Once we spotted the hillock, we knew which phase of the rock to climb. Keeping that as an anchor we wandered on the peripheries of the forest and then decided to enter it once we felt comfortable and watching signs of water flow from the hilltop.

As we entered the forest, there was dead silence with only insects chirping and peacocks cawing. The dried grass was strong, and it took some effort to wade through them. Locking our sights on the initial rock phase, we made it through the forest in about. 15 mins.

TIME: 08:15

  

Steep Ascent:

Okay, this phase requires skill and is challenging but at the same time most enjoyable. As we started, the rock phase offered good grip but was very steep. Carefully reading for cracks we played each step cautiously and proceeded inch by inch to reach what we call as the “crazy ascent”, here trust me, it gets almost vertical, and the grip also falters. Hence one has to be doubly careful. Koof went ahead, and I stayed back, and we pushed through this phase to reach the fort wall.

TIME: 09:00


Final Ascent:

The final ascent is an easy one. We rested at the fort wall for some time and then pushed step by step. This phase is also challenging but not as risky as the previous one. It took us about 15 minutes to complete this phase and reach the top.

TIME: 09:15


TOP:

We spend about 45 minutes at the top. We searched for a nice spot and laid down. It was windy and uplifting. Watching the clouds hovering in the sky, we dozed off for about 30 minutes. Then once we got up, had some water and chocolates. We stretched out a little and decided to head back down. The residual feeling of the trek up was still lingering. The more challenging the climb, the more is the feel.

TIME: 10:15


DESCENSION:

The trek back was easy and took 30-45 minutes to reach the bottom. We made it to the fort wall and this time finding the route back to the forest was not difficult as most of the grass was burnt out. Once into the forest, it was an easy descent. The pathway was clear and Koof was wondering, how he repeatedly fell here during our last visit.  Reaching down was not the problem now, finding back the route that led to the place where we had parked our bikes. We plucked a few mangos and kept them in the bag before finding the path that eventually led to the bike.

TIME: 10:45

  

RIDE 2: ( Kuddur – Solur – Nelamangala – Bangalore)

The ride back was simple. Off late after each trek, having a “sting” has become mandatory. Good rush it gives. Madhu said he could join in for a sitting if it was in RR Nagar. So RR Nagar it was, we crashed in at a local bar before heading home.

TIME: 12:15