A long bike ride however exciting, is not child’s play. It not only drains out some unimaginable amounts of mental energy focusing on the road, but also physically rusts the joints as you sit in the same position for hours. There is little that we can do about physical stress but mentally we can be better prepared on some days. That’s why we hit the roads on a random Saturday, all packed up – because G was excited.
Our booking was made in GRT Nature Trails Sky Rocca, a fancy looking place – a choice that we rarely make. Since we were going to be on the road for a while and because Yercaud is not really a very big place, we decided to stay put in a comfortable accommodation.
We started geared up in our rain-wear, track pants and the same boots we wore for our Kilimanjaro trek. The last few days indicated the possibility of some heavy downpour. We planned to depart at around 0900hrs, so that we could cross Salem (the city before Yercaud) around 1130 hrs and escape the rain; and if we still got caught, we thought our gear would save us. Against all such prediction, 240 kms and some 5.5 hrs were spent under the sun, which further got a bit intense somewhere in-between.
The drive was so good and smooth that it is almost boring to write about it. But a road trip on two wheels is best done in Tamil Nadu than anywhere else. We checked-in to our Valley View room at around 3.30 pm and as we freshened up, there came some complimentary cookies. Yes, they looked like any other cookies; but they weren’t.
We ordered two extra plates of the complimentary cookies (which we had to pay for) and as we relaxed looking out of the window, we were stunned by the view. That moment we realized that the sunlight had actually made the trip pretty spectacular. The valley view was transforming every second. From bright to dull to dim to fogged up; hours were spent just looking out from our sit-out.
I hit the infinity pool for swimming and enjoyed some 30 minutes of lying on water, looking up at the sky.
The evening was spent just exploring Sky Rocca. As we moved for dinner to the restaurant, we noticed the Sky Walk – a special place to sit and watch the town, the mountains and the clouds below you. Yes, everything was below even though Yercaud is not really very high. We watched the twilight for a bit but decided to catch a glimpse of the view under sunlight next day.
I set out to run, the following morning and was take aback by my lack of stamina for elevation running. I ran for about 2kms and returned but was glad that I got some clean & clear track to run on. After a good shower, we headed for an elaborate & long breakfast – nothing exciting but nothing to complain about either. The day was spent reading and watching the view but then around 3pm, we were headed towards the town on foot.
It was like returning back to the 90s. The town looked like it had been untouched by the changes happening in all other places. They sold the same 5 rupee flutes, 2 rupee honking toys and the lovely bhajjis that i thought were out of fashion. However, it was a delight to walk the streets of some forgotten times. We ate multiple plates of bhajjis and when we were done licking our fingers, we walked along the lake. As we looked around, we noticed a woman using an unfamiliar roaster for the masala-corns that she sells; asked her if I could take a picture and got one.
The rest of the evening was rather a repetition of the previous, except that we got to Sky Walk before sunset. We sat there for an hour or so, grabbed our dinner and went back to our room. Of course we were wondering about those butter cookies. Ordered a parcel of 500gms of the cookies but before midnight, there were only 4 left.
We will never be able to explain the mystery cookies or the reason why there is a blog post for a rather uneventful trip. Maybe some experiences are better written down and are to be savored by us when we read about them again. It’s hard to describe the joy of being on the road, looking at nothing and wondering about everything; it’s verbally unjustified when you have to narrate some silent hours of incredible peace and it’s tough to help readers vicariously put their bums on the saddle, for another 5 hours.
That was Monday morning – 5hrs, 240kms and back home. Or were we?