Tuesday, April 16, 2019

166) Medigeshi Fort Trek: (5/3/2019)

Place: Medigeshi Fort Trek
Distance: 150kms x 2 = 300kms
Directions: Bangalore > Dobbaspete > Madhugiri > Medigeshi
Krew: Madhu (Howle)  > Karthik (Sippy)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Kunti Betta trek
Budget: Rs 425/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:                                                  
Alright, this trek was one of those scorching hot treks on the borders of AP in the middle of peak summer. The trek as such was awesome, but the heat drained our energies pretty bad. Last time, if you remember we were stuck on the mountain as on fire. Climbing down the hillock with fire all around you, yeah something crazy alright!

Medigeshi is the hometown of Aditya and we had last visited this beautiful and peaceful town in 2017 when we had been to Ratnagiri Fort. Last time we had trekked Medigeshi was in Feb 2014, 5 years earlier. Regarding the crew, as usual Madhu, who was forced to empty his quarterly leaves was always game :P
TIME: 22:00 (21/2/2019)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, as usual, did a few push-ups and sit-ups and was all set to go. As Madhu had returned late previous night we decided to leave by 7AM. Left my home at 6:30, picked up Madhu and we left Bangalore.
TIME: 07:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri – Medigeshi)
Okay is this was about 135-150kms ride. To start things off we rode on the wide Tumkur road at a slow pace enjoying the wonderful sunrise. As we had the entire day to ourselves, we decided to take it slow. Cruising along at a comfortable place in the cool weather, we pulled over at our regular hotel for some tasty breakfast at Dobbaspete.
TIME: 07:45

After a light breakfast, we took off from Dobbaspete and entered the butter smooth snake way to Madhugiri. With the Koratagere by-pass finished the ride proved to be a kick-ass one. The roads being nice, traffic being less and surrounding views being awesome, we just allowed the bike to take us to Madhugiri. We rested for a few moments at Madhugiri as we wanted to buy a water bottle, looking at the gigantic beauty we winked at her, promising a trek shortly we carried on. Continuing further, we reached Medigeshi, parking our bike near the temple premises, we were all set for the scorching trek ahead of us.
TIME: 10:00

It took us about 60mins to reach the top. As the sun was burning in all its glory, we did take a lot of stops to cool down. But yeah, the trek proved to be a really nice one. Like always I have divided the trek into the following segments:
i) Gateways – 10 to 15mins
ii) Rock Face – 10 to 15 mins
iii) Steep face – 10 to 15mins
Sooo, these were the stretches, let me run you through each one. Keep up with me here!


i) Gate-ways:
To start things off, we had to make it through a lot of gates. The path is quite clear and runs you almost to the top. But this initial stretch has a lot of steps and pretty much drains you, if you add the hot weather into the equation you get the zombie walk.

ii) Rock face:
Once out of the gateways, we found ourselves in the open, with the sun’s mighty rays crashing right down on our skull, we had to cross a pure rock face. This, actually we found to be a little better and easy than the previous phase. We spotted a lot of old halls in ruins with pillars fallen here & there.


iii) Steep face:
The last phase of the trek consists of ascension of a really steep rock phase. Steps had been carved, but nevertheless we had to be extremely cautious during this ascent. After ascending the steps, there a few gate-ways again and once out of them, you can spot the huge Indo-Islamic style building which marks the top.
TIME: 11:00

The top of Medigeshi fort consists of lot of buildings and granaries. You could easily spend an hour or two just exploring these places. Firstly we kept the large building for the last. We glimpsed through the resting homes one by one and made it to the strange tree. The tree is just spooky, and the path to reach was through a door of thorny shrubs. Crazy! After fooling around the tree for sometime, we next made it the granaries where food/oil used to be stored.


These granaries have only an opening on top and are about 15-20feet high. Climbing these proved to be risky but damn fun and a perfect test to all the exercises I was doin back home. Finally we crept into a small cave kind of structure and rested there for good 15-20mins. Waking up fresh, we had a sip of water and check out the main building which we had reserved for last and decided to head back down.
TIME: 12:15

The descent was quite straightforward. We took the same route as we had climbed up. But as we reached the steep steps, climbing down these was actually pretty intense. And amdist all this we just sat on the steep steps for 5-10mins and took in the view in front of us to the fullest – talk about getting acclimatized to danger! Once we reached back the gates, the temperature was soaring past 35degC and we were pretty much zonked out. Reaching the temple premises we hopped on our bike and saying sayonara to the beautiful town we took off.
TIME: 13:00 


RIDE 2: (Medigeshi – Madhugiri – Dobbaspete - Bangalore)
This was about a 150kms ride back to Bangalore. As we left Medigeshi, we were pretty much de-hydrated. We were cruising along at a slow pace and all off a sudden we saw this place “TUMBADI” we were like woah, I started thumping Madhu’s back “maga tumbad, hastar, wait, pull over, pull over”! Thinking I had gone mental, Madhu pulled over and asked what the hell had just happened, said I was only thirsty and bought some water bottles. Hydrating ourselves back, we rode non-stop to Dobbaspete and stopped there for some full meals batting.
After a nice heavy lunch we rode back to Bangalore. Dropped Madhu home and reached back home in one piece!
TIME: 16:30

Well, the second trip of the mind-flusher series was a crazy one. Hiking up Medigeshi in peak summer was basically like putting yourself into the furnace and locking the door to see what it feels like inside. But the trek as such, was very nice and all the working out had shot up the stamina, felt good \m/”
Until next time Cia \m/



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

165) Kunti Betta Trek: (22/2/2019)

Place: Kunti Betta Trek
Distance: 125kms x 2 = 250kms
Directions: Bangalore > Bidadi > Ramnagara > Mandya > Kunti betta
Krew: Madhu (Howle)  > Karthik (Sippy)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Kabbe hills trek
Budget: Rs 325/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:                                                  
Alright, this was a kick ass trek which marked a start of a dominos of trips. Kunti betta even though a little commercial now, if visited on a weekday can be surprisingly calm and tranquil. Overall this chapter was fun, well-composed and old school like always! \m/

I had/have taken sabbatical leave from office for 8-12 months. Was it a rash decision? Or was it cold blooded calculation? Or was it an experiment? Don’t ask me. Few things in life just has to be done, not all in pleasant manner. Now it was one of those times where I had centre my life in-between things that I value the most. The red bloody streak begins!

So, with no differentiation between weekends and weekdays, I almost felt I had figured out the fourth dimension of anything - time. Each day, feeling the same and sticking to a good yet flexible schedule consisting of reading, physical workout, meditation and hobby was paying off.
Freezing upon Medigeshi Fort, I asked around to see if anybody’s up for the trek. Madhu responded saying he was forced to take a leave and had nothing to do that day haha! Game on fellas!
TIME: 22:00 (21/2/2019)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and was all set to go. Taekwondo was given a day off. Left my home at 6AM, made it Madhu’s home (which btw, is not a straight one road from my home, I want to make this very clear :P) picked him up and we were out of Bangalore. As i rode i joined the Mysore road and was heading towards Mysore, Madhu asked "hey u said medigeshi is towards tumkur road". I just smiled "Change of plans buddy"
TIME: 06:15

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Bidadi – Maddur – Mandya - KuntiBetta)
Okay, this about a 125km stretch on the butter smooth Mysore road. As we left Bangalore, we were surprised by the icy cold weather on the outskirts of the city. Bangalore had basically become a boiling pot, guess the traffic was getting horrible. Anyway, we enjoyed what the icy cold weather as we cruised along at a slow pace and pulled over at Bidadi for some yummy breakfast.
TIME: 06:45

After a yummy breakfast, we hopped onto the bike and took off once again. There was no hurry, so we cruised at about 60’s looking around and speaking all the way. As we crossed Mandya, we pulled over for a small tea stop. Post some tea and buying a litre of water, we proceeded further and took a right deviation near Up south correctly, and then got lost :P
We ended up near some canal, and asking the ladies who were washing clothes for directions we rode amidst farms and cattle we made it to the base of the hill.
TIME: 09:30


Well, as we reached the base, we looked at the school kids who were roaming out the class. Giving them back strange looks as to why they were out of class and making monkey faces, we ran towards the hill.

Well, the ascension took us 30mins this time. Investing time on martial arts had always paid off! And this time we didn’t sweat it out much as well. Kunti betta trek is very similar to Skandagiri, a long walk on varying terrains.  Ready for the trek? Okay, like always I have divided the trek into the following categories:
i) Initial Stretch – 10 to 15mins
ii) Wastelands – 10 to 15 mins
iii) Uphill Run – 10 to 15mins
Sooo, these were the stretches, let me run you through each one. Keep up with me here!

i) Initial Stretch:
To start things off, we had to make our way through few boulders. The path was quite clear on this one. But the background view is something not to be missed during this stretch. It offers a kickass view of a lake afar.


ii) Wastelands:
Once we reached the peak of the first hillock. There lay vast landscape between us and the final ascent. I wanted to spot the final ascent which had a clear pillar on top. But I was not able to. I concluded that my memory of the route was bad. But roughly knowing the direction heading, we explored two alternate routes. Pushing through the shrubs me made out of the second phase as well.

iii) Uphill run:
The final stretch is damn fun. It runs thorough the boulder terrain and we hopping from one boulder to another like knights on chess board. When a clear muddy path was in front we went running like kids with limitless energy. Finally about 30mins of climbing we reached the top of Kunti betta.
TIME: 10:00

As we reached the top, I was disappointed to see the pillar pushed down and broken. Hoping the same would happen to the bones of the people responsible, we took out the water bottle and had a sip each. As I removed a complete packet of Mazello, Madhu burst into laughter. We had a few pieces each and began exploring the top. After finding a nice place for photography. We made into the shade amidst the rocks and rested for about an hour.
TIME: 11:00


Well here’s the crazy part, the descension took us an hour. We left the top after resting for an hour. The climb down was smooth until we crossed the waste lands, then we decided to take an alternate route and explore some other route like last time. We ended up stranded and making our way down few steep phases we made it to the school to find the same old naughty kids outside. Cooling out heads at a water tank nearby, we filled up out water bottles and were about to leave. “Maga that’s some lunch they’ve got cooking for these kids, let’s go and ask if they will spare some for us too, smells yummy :P” i told madhu, he saw and thought for a while and then we decided to let the kids have it. We took off, with of course a nice trek in our bag.
TIME: 12:00

RIDE 2: (Kunti Betta – Mandya – Bidadi - Bangalore)
This was about a 150kms ride back to Bangalore. As we left Kunti Betta, I insisted that we take back the narrow mud route through the green fields and join back the road latter. As we rode at a slow pace and we pulled over. Standing on the ridge, staring at the bullocks plough the land, I realised I should be doing the same, but inside my head. Reach to depths and remove all the dirt & shit filled over the years from the corporate world. Make the mind fertile, innocent and wild once again. Madhu tapped my shoulder from behind and said “im hungry, if you don’t hop on back, I don’t mind leaving you here :P “ Howle!


The ride back was decent one, we took it easy as there was no hurry. We decided not to have lunch on the highways but instead go back near home have rolls like engineering days :) Reaching back RR nagar, we had some yummy rolls and lime soda near Madhu’s place and headed back to reach back my home.
TIME: 15:00

Well, the mind flushing series has begun. And this was the perfect start. Kunti betta like always was reserved for special occasions. 100th trip saw it and now this. Last time I had twisted my knee at this place and was limping for weeks, this time, I was expecting something similar but guess all the elements wants the bloody streak to happen!”

Until next time Cia \m/



Friday, April 5, 2019

164) Kabbe hills trek: (27,28,29/1/2019)

Place: Kabbe hills trek
Distance: 300kms x 2 = 600kms
Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Hirisave > Kikkeri > Hunsur > Virajpete
Krew: Datta (Dattu) > Ashok (Momz) > Deepak (Deefu) > Karthik (Sippy)
Bikes: Enfield > Pulsar                                                                   
Previous Visit: Huthridurga trek
Budget: Rs 5000/head

Kabbe hills is one of the calmer version of Tadiandamol. Less visited by tourists, Kabbe is a short hill to climb, but the position of the hillock is in such a way that it offers a very beautiful view from the top. Few notable events of this chapter are  taking an hour to cover 10kms, sleeping in some random bus stop, diverting a group of bikers and leading them until they found we were some random people, last but not least amount of cheating we did during card games in plain sight! \m/

2019, I wanted to start with something different. After digging up few places, considering the weather conditions, we decided that Virajpete would be the general side we’d be heading towards. Digging deeper found this place called Kabbe, which happens to the twin of the biggest peak of Coorg – Tadiandmol. The crew wanted on board were somebody old school as we didn’t know what to expect from the place and trust me it totally paid off to take the old school route on this one!
TIME: 23:00 (26/1/2019)

Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee listening to some Doors. As the pick-up was scheduled at Dattu’s place, left comfortably by 6AM and after formal greetings we left Bangalore.
The plan was simple – GO, CLIMB, COME BACK!
TIME: 07:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Nelamangala – Kikkeri – Hunsur - Virajpete)
This 300kms first day ride had to be one of the craziest done till date. As we left Bangalore, we cruised along at a pretty decent pace. We decided to take the Hassan road as we had thoroughly enjoyed the route during our visit to Tadiandmol.  We pulled over at our regular hotel for breakfast. Once funny incident that occurred before we reached the hotel.  

The Diversion:
A group of about 50-75 bullets were on full on roar on Tumkur road, somehow, momz with his bullet got into the crowd and even though he didn’t mean to, he was successful in steering away 10-15 bikes with us to Hassan road :P while others continued straight towards Chitradurga. Best part is he had no clue what mischief he had pulled off, poor riders had to get screwed from the higher ups-  yeah hierarchy or anarchy?!.
TIME: 7:30
After our tummies full, we stepped out for some light tea. Knowing there was some greenery around, we decided to just have tea and proceed and pull over in a peaceful spot. After about an hour of riding we parked our bikes on the highway and pretty much stranded off into somebody’s farm. Finding a peaceful spot, we were pretty much up afloat speaking to dogs and cows of the farm.
TIME: 10:30

The Decoy:
As we left  the “somebody’s” farm, we proceeded towards hirisave, remembering barely the right roads we asked localities for direction and we were happily en route Kikkeri. Once we reached Kikkeri, we missed a turn that took us into completely country roads and the two bikes got separated. Dattu and me were happily floating and going in circles around a town meeting the same railway tracks again and again. When we crossed the railway for the third time we realised we were in some deep shit. We called Momz and deefu and they started laughing at us and said they’d wait for us near the highway about 30kms from Hunsur, I looked at Dattu and asked him “ last we asked that localities about an hour ago he said Hunsur is 40kms”

Buying some Koppiko and a bottle of cold water, we stood on firm ground for a while and then proceeded further. Meeting deefu & momz who were already sitting peacefully in a grassland nearby, we met up and after a hearty laugh we pulled over at Hunsur for some lunch!
TIME: 13:00

After some heavy lunch and some lemon tea we felt the dizziness drifting away. Hopping back on our bikes, we proceeded merrily to enter Virajpete and pull over at our standard juice shop. I can tell you my bag’s weight increased atleast by 7-8kgs.
TIME: 16:00   

Reaching the home stay we had some tea and proceeded towards the Cheluvara backwaters which flows within the home stay. Crashing in the waters, we floated on the water. Post the sunset we set the campfire alight and sat around it with some music and snacks drinking juice. The party went on until late night, we spoke of all sorts of shit like animies, school life, imitations, the last time how we all made it back from WH, Himalayas plan for 2019 and finally we crashed.
TIME: 02:00

Day 2: Kabbe hills trek
Woke at about 7AM, had some coffee and began to wake up others as well. We all went for an early morning walk into the estate and had a second round of coffee and juice at the tree house. After an excellent breakfast we packed lunch in a hot box and were all set for a day in the hills.
TIME: 09:00


We left the homestay and reached the base of hill in about 30mins, hardly 10km from homestay. Upon reaching, there was guard and he said we could go only to one of hills as the other hill was banned. We were okay, but he also said we can’t stay at the top for long, this go us worried, we tried negotiating, but he was a forest official and in a way it was good to see them stick to rules.

We kept all our back packs at the post, and began running towards the top. The climb was not a big one and the path was quite clear. But the view we got from the top was excellent. We did loaf around at the top for about 30-45mins. And finally decided to head back.
Upon reaching the base, we picked up our backpacks and as we rode back there was some strike at various places and the roads were blocked, we asked them for directions and took a narrow road between two beautiful estates.
TIME: 12:00

Finding a bus stop nearby and the aroma of the rice bath sitting in the backpack hitting us all hard, we decided to pull over at the bus stop and finish off what was a very memorable lunch.
We doubled back to the homestay, slightly disappointed with the trek – tats how life is right, a total ..forget it!. And finally sat at about 2:30PM, lighted a few and started explaining the epic card game of Mendikot to Deefu and Dattu. Trust me, next thing you know the campfire was alight at about 8PM, and we were floating and playing for about 6hours straight.  The greenery kept fading but we were getting into the game totally. The epic marathon lasted for about 12 hours and crashed back into our beds after a heavy dinner.
TIME: 02:00


DAY 3: Ride back
Third day, woke up as usual at around 6AM. Had nothing to do, so opened the fridge and was trying to finish off all the left overs silently, when all others heard the cling and came rushing for an early morning party :P. We sat around the camp fire which as almost dying and I looked around there was a thick log of wood, and a bottle of kerosene. The challenge was accepted by momz and together we put the log into the dying embers and poured kerosene over it. It set ablaze like a signal fire haha. After a nice heavy traditional heavy breakfast we decided to head back towards Bangalore.
TIME: 09:00

The ride back was surprisingly smooth. We took the Mysore route while heading back, and guess what, we did spot some elephants as well. Jumped ofd the bikes and headed towards the edge of the road to get a closer look, by then I realized what I thought were other ordinary people were actually forest guards, smiled at them and stood alongside for few minutes and hopped on the bikes and Mysore dhaba was the target.
We reached Mysore pretty early so, continued further and pulled over at our regular Dhaba at mandya for some light lunch. Post lunch, felt drowsy as the sun was blazing, never the less we rode at a constant 70-80kmph and made it back to Bangalore in one piece.
TIME: 17:30


This chapter I must say slightly different. The trek was small, but the homestay was excellent. We weren’t allowed to stay on top of the hill, but the lunch at some random bus top was very memorable, the going around in circles in a town was damn funny and something I’ll remember for a long time. And last but not least, the amount of laughter, secrecy and ofcourse my cheat codes in the game of mendikot made this a wonderful trip”

Until next time, Cia \m/