Thursday, December 4, 2014

Preparing for a bike ride around Coimbatore from Chennai

This year's planned unplanned trip was almost a necessity.  Was tied up for the first 6 months of this year. No way to get around and seen the worst of what it is to be tied down to a place, this years plan was drafted back in March this year. Wanted to get lost and find my way back. Was desperate to get lost.

First my plan was to go to Kolkatta after hearing a lot about the place from Abhijit and Prajeesh who were my roommates at that time. For a long time I was fixed to Kolkatta. The date was almost finalized for Thanks giving (Nov 27th to 30th).

Started to check for places to see in and around Kolkatta, had the list of places to see. Planned to set-up my base near Howra and travel by bus and tram.

All was well until new expenses started sprouting in June. Had to complete my house work. Stair case tiles, exterior painting and internal painting in my house was pending for close to 3 years. After working on  the costing, this years trip was in a limbo. Kolkatta will make it a little more expensive, so decided to settle with some place close by, still let me get lost. Decided on Coimbatore. I was panning a bike trip to Ooty along with Neet Vijay for Shankar's marriage in Coimbatore (First week of Feb/2014). Unfortunately had to miss Shankar's marriage due to a prepone in my travel plan that was suppose to be a week after Shankar's marriage.

Coimbatore was finalized and tickets were booked right on the day booking was open. Two more months to go, only risk I had taken was on this ticket cost. I can cancel and back-off if things turn bad after jumping in to completing my house work.

Finally got the house work completed. Ended up spending more than what I had planned for. Pushed as much expense to my credit card to hold back liquid cash, which is needed for the trip (In case I did go forward).

Two weeks to go, I made up my mind to go forward with the plan. Still wanted to keep in mind the plan can be dropped. Separated the expenses that are towards the trip and expense that is not exclusive to the trip. Put down a checklist to start working on.

Image of an spread sheet with a checklis of items to cover to prepare for the trip

Only way to hold back cash for the trip was to hold back my credit card payment. So did so :)

Plan part was all set for the unplanned trip :)

One more week to go, ran through the items that were exclusive for the trip. All was set :)

I was starting Thursday early morning. My mom kept receiving the parcels for me and she had no clue about my plan. Monday over dinner told her I will be going to Coimbatore and will return on Monday. She just acknowledged.

Wednesday I asked her if she had a 2 liter bottle. She asked 'Why', I said I wanted to take out petrol from my bike as I will be taking it with me to Coimbatore. (Yes, I am taking my bike with me). Now she got confused. She asked if I was going on office work. I said "No". Next question "Are you going with your office friends", Same answer. Last question "Are you going alone". Answer "Yes". No more questions. She found a 2 liter, I filled it with the petrol from my tank, left half a liter to reach the railway station.

Before starting my work on Wednesday, had my bags packed. Had my travel bag packed with things I will need for the travel. I had to take another separate bag for my Camera.

With the bags by my side, started the work. Had already told Troy I would want to leave an hour early and not to schedule any calls for 2 pm CST. Troy had me roped in until 2 pm CST :)

One piece of advice from Troy was not to just take pictures of places I see, but to have me in it. I did assure Troy that I will have a picture with me in it.

It was 1:30 am IST. The last meeting was over, picked up my bag and off I go to hoist my sail for the trip.

Destination: Chennai Central Railway Station

Keep reading

Day one - November 27th, 2014:
Chennai to Coimbatore. Boy o boy. Bike on train. Off to a cool spot for the night.

Day two - November 28th, 2014 (1/2 ):
Cool spot to a picture perfect lake. Done here. Next what?

Day two - November 28th, 2014 (2/2):
Crazy night ride with show stoppers. Made it. Finally :)

Day three - November 29th, 2014 (1/3):
Went as per plan.

Day three - November 29th, 2014 (2/3):
Did not go as per plan. All was for good ;)

Day three - November 29th, 2014 (3/3):
Picture perfect river side for sunset

Day four November 30th, 2014:
The day it should end, it started all over again. Rush till the finish line

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