Travel Tips : Plan B

Lot of things can go against your travel plans. For some you carry spares. For some you know what to do. The probability of most of these not happening is very high. But there is one which has a higher probability and unpredictability. No – Not a puncture in the tyres.

People dropping out

Phases in your plan:

Urge – Time when that spontaneous urge that comes over you for a drive and to see / experience new things and places.

Plan – This is the time when you share your urge with bunch of your travel friends. As with everything, all want to be part of it. Exciting!! You start thinking of renting a RV / trailer. May be get some more cars.

Plan A – You sit over in evenings and start charting your course. Possible things to do and alternatives. Check on political conditions and local traditions.

But of-course – Plan A never happens. People drop out. They are more excited by the idea of travelling than the travel itself. Ånd some-thing _always_ comes UP. Since you read the title of the post, its always your Plan B.

Plan B – So cancel your RV. Make that awkward call to the resort to let them know that we won’t be taking over all the rooms. You are down to 3 – Including yourself. Perfect number for a drive. You just have a direction and everything else is figured out on the way. The plan is no plan. You all are connected. A little too perfect to be true.

Plan B has a lesser probability of failure. It fails. Inevitability.

Plan U – Get up early in the morning. Resist deciding your destination – not yet. Pack your usual travel bag with necessities. Now (very important) pick your equipment – Your MTB / DSLR / sewing kit / telescope / mmm … swimming trunks (yeah! whatever gets you ..).

Just start driving. *Slowly* roll your car out of your apartment… Still dark… Drive to the middle of the city. Stop at the red light at the traffic signal : This is the time/spot to decide your destination. Take the turn. Switch on your stereo. Drive.

Have a fantastic trip.

Also x-posted here.


Captain’s log 2010.12

02 : Chennai

First major non-fatal incident with the car. Right side of the car was full of dents and was unable to open the right side doors (Yup . Imagine that!). So dropped off the car in a workship in Chennai and crashed at a friend’s place. Everything from there was fun – Drive-in movie, Pondicherry – abandoned pier, near perfect weather, friends, food… Totally enjoyed that week as there was a lot going on and I had no plan or control over things happening around me. Loved the chaos.

03 : Madurai

Delayed by the workshop in Chennai, I ended up driving the entire evening till midnight to Madurai to meet my folks and brother for christmas. Finally NH45 -done-. On the way back to Bangalore, car freaked me out by simply switching off (Like I was hit by EMP) while I was pulling into a fuel station. Shocked for a minute. Good that I had my ‘toolkit’ with me. Proved useful!

Ideas for 2011

– Drive to Nepal

– Drive to Mumbai/Pune

– Drive the GQ

Hopefully I would be have time for all the above 🙂

ODO : 23057 KMs.

Captain’s log 2010.11

November’s destination was Bangalore. “No travels” was the decision. But…

03 – Madurai

Grandpa passed away. Emotions deep from past surfaced. Didn’t enjoy the drive because of the grim mood around.

04 – Yercaud

I decided not to go (Pu insisted that I should join them). Saturday, woke up and I could spend only 30 mins at home. The gang was already in Yercaud. Me being stupid and crazy, started off. Loved the drive up/down the hills. Lovely place! This time tailing the Green (Pu) and Black (De) Ninja. Should say that they are growing up. Sr joined us (or we barged in to his ride?) on his Royal Enfield Machismo 500. I developed a new respect for the 500. Thumping steadily.. Majestic.. (Thoughts of buying a motor bike started to linger! probably not). Pics here…

Odo : 21264 KMs. Semper Exploro!

Captain’s log 2010.10

02 – Coorg Madekeri

The Ninjas. Tailing the green (Pu) and black (De) Ninja  was a challenge! Cutting through the traffic like a katakana. Nimble and super quick!! Another lazy evening spent eating coorgi foods. Visited a future ‘home stay’ twice! 🙂 . Next day pit stop at Kushalnagar. Re was quite eager to find the praying wheels and started chasing monks . Had a interesting and a short tour. Fun.

03 – Mangalore

Friday afternoon, on chat :

(02:23:03 PM) Ri: ready to drive ?
(02:23:33 PM) Johnny: where to ?

And thats how it started. Off to Mangalore with one planned stop at Kukke.

On Twitter: Mangalore . On the way : French Press, Craters, No roads, 22*2 kms of awesome drive, Slept in the car for 2 hours (woot!), Mangalore bun.

When Ra was off  to the temple, I slept in the car (for about 2 hours) and was ready for the second leg of the drive. Also, on foot did a recon of KP base. Like a idiot I was scraping (collecting) moss off walls.. After a short nap (mm.. Not really), started off to a ‘private’ beach . Soaked wet in the sea. As always the ocean makes me think .. Hmm..

On Twitter: Soaked in salt water to an extent that I was puking sand. Now to taste some local food and brew …

After a bunch of phone calls, resourceful Ra finds some interesting places to spend the evening. Off at 1700 to ‘Liquid Lounge’ & ‘Froth on the top’ . Met a bunch of people. Back at 2200 (early, i know. Was tired & sleep deprived).

One thing I loved about this trip was that it was simple. No fancy hotels. No photos stops. No list of places to visit.  I would remember: 5 minute stop near a small stream with *fresh* water flowing,  Shiradi ghats drive and driving off with the 5l water bottle on top of the car  …

04 – Visit Dad.

Drove back through heavy rains! for about 4 – 5 hours.

05 – Chennai

DakshinaChitra . Enjoyed the “Shadow Puppet” show and the “Phou-Oibi dance by Laihui group from Manipur”. Interesting short day trip. Good conversations.

Captain’s log 2010.09

01 – Solo drive to Dad’s

A long long weekend and 4 days to kill. And I needed solitude to recharge, pay off sleep debts, connect with people, read/finish a book and get some tasty food into the system. And thats what exactly happened. In a solo drive, you’ve lot of time to think through many things. Therapeutic.

02.0 – Drive to Madurai

Bro gives me a heads up that there *might* be a drive to Madurai. Got a green at 2300. Picked up his friend and out of Bangalore by 0100. We reached Madurai outskirts by 0630. NH4.

02.1 – Drive to Chitradurga

Since I had my sunday free and to satisfy the urge of one of my friends to ‘drive out’. But not in my car this time. Was good. But mostly was mostly exhausted. Tried out ‘thatte idly’ from Tumkur. Huge Idlies!!

03, 04 – Bangalore.

Semper Exploro!

Captain’s log 2010.08

01 – Amsterdam & Brussels :

Wow! 😉 Pictures here and here

02 – Late night drive for coffee:

A crazy thought of driving to Channapatna for a late night coffee. Started after finishing our steak at Rendezvous at 2300. Was accompanied by two Ninjas, Girish & Kalyan. It was a good drive – uplifting my spirit. Came back by 0600 in the morning after lots of coffee.

03 – Drive to Jog Falls:

A drive to Alleppey didn’t happen. Weekend opened up. Over occasional street side snacks session on friday, we decided to go to Jog falls. It was on my list for a long time. No plans / preparations. We found a HomeStay near Jog falls by 1800. Falls was not in its full glory. Was bit disappointing. But we crossed over the valley and the view / experience was totally worth it.

Since we didn’t have any thing to do after dark, we decided to drive to the nearest shore line for dinner. Little did we realise that we were running out of fuel and had no option to turn back. We reached Honavara filled up the tank and stomach. Drove back late in the night. It was interesting in a way. 🙂 Good drive. Would go back for sure!

04 – Goa!

One of my longest drive so far. Enjoyed every bit of it.  Loved the drive through old goa cruising through narrow roads along the coast. Hired scooters; Drenched by rain; Lesson : King fish is expensive; Ocean is mysterious and daunting; Boat trip was hilarious; Screaming ‘Fenny’ makes good pictures. Coming back, was little tired but was fun driving at night on NH4. Intoxicated by Goa, miscalculated the return time. We reached bangalore next day morning at 0600. GooAaah! Pictures here ..

Odo: 13840. Semper Exploro!

Note : Cooking up a crazy and exciting plan for November. Hopefully it would come to pass. 😀

Captain’s log 2010.07

Visit Dad – A Drive

Always wanted to drive back to the place where I’ve grown up (a part of it). So decided to ditch the bus this time. Invited my good friend kalyan. It was a good drive. On the way back Kalyan had to go somewhere. Was not sure of driving alone for hours. But after the first 20 mins, I enjoyed every KM . It was just me, the car and the road.

Chikmagalur with CAM

Booked for this ride about a month back. Punya also signed up for this. It was a fantastic ride and the climb to Mulayanagiri was epic. (considering that fact that I’m totally out of shape) More…

Chikmagalur with iFolder team

Couldn’t resist a drive to Chikmagalur (even though, I was there last week) when the team proposed a drive. Enjoyed those curvy turns in the hills and the coffee estates. Enjoyed the synchronous moments of the man and his machine. Pictures …

Den Hague for GUADEC 2010

Thanks to GNOME foundation for sponsoring my travel and accomodation. And to Novell for the rest. Had a productive GUADEC. End of a wonderful July!

Best is yet to come – Semper Exploro!!

Mystical Mullayanagiri

When I saw a mail in  BBC from Cycling And More (CAM) about a ride to Chikmagalur, thanks to the caffiene in me – was so excited and started to pull in people. Punya and Me signedup immediately and was waiting for the day.

Day 0

Action started a little early. Friday evening, I was getting late at work and had to deliver a package to my brother. Already late, I decided to use the Bike (fastest during peak traffic) and went around. Asked my bro to wait for me on the main road. A brief drop (felt like a environment friendly drug dealer on a bike :))  and I was on the way to the meeting point and made it on time. Meet other riders, loaded the bike and found my seat.

Day 1

Sleep deprived the previous days, I slept like a tree log. Thanks to CAM for arranging a comfortable bus. Woke up at 4 AM, bus stopped at Shalkaleshpur. Zombie walked to a hotel. Around 7ish – the adventure began. Started a bit late as I had to fix my rear wheel hub. Route was lovely. It was simply green. Enjoyed riding through some slushy area. Went off-course a little and reached the breakfast point. Punya’s bike got quite a bit of attention for it being one of a kind 😉 . By then, some faces were becoming familiar – Mohan, Biju, Arvind R, Arvind N, Manjula …

The real test started. There was a steady climb for several KMs .  The group thinned out . Finally Me and Arvind R teamed up. Few kilometers before Chikmagalur saw Manjula and Arvind N tailing us. All four of reached Chikmagalur on schedule. I should say that riding in a small group is more fun than chugging alone. During lunch, ‘Iron man’ Mohan and Ram joined us. Other riders were reaching Chikmagalur .

We were all pumped up looking at the hill that we would be climbing – Mullayanagiri. It was about 20 kms of pure climb. Took some pit stops during the climb. But the last 2 KM killed my spirit. Nothing left in my body, I was worn out. Stopped for a while. Recovered a bit and reached the top. By then Mohan, Manjula, Arvind R, Arvind N were at the peak already. Downhill ride was fun!

Rode about 110 kms.

Day 2

Did a leasurly ride to Belur. Rode with Punya through the lake and sunflower fields. Belur temple is Wow! Spent a little time there . Many started the second leg of the day – to Hassan. We (not Punya) decided to skip. Hopped on the bus. Sleepy … Woke up in Bangalore.

More pictures –

Some more here –

Captain’s log: 2010.05

Fatigue that accumulated over the last 2 months (I was on the road every weekend) took me down. So decided to rest and recharge. But I have to keep moving. Instead of covering distances with car, I was training for Sunfeast 10k run.  Running is helping me to drive longer.

Now since I’m back, this month ended with a travel down the timeline (minus 500 years!). Till time machines are available (like the phonebooths), this is one of the ways to travel to the past : HAMPI.

Planned my route using . Pictures here, here and here. And yes MangoTree is a must if you are there!

My reviews on – Place where we stayed. Mango Tree

928 KMs in 44 hours. ODO says 7878 and Johnny says ‘Semper Exploro!’

Captain’s log – 2010.04

New diesel powered wheeled motor vehicle was added to the Fleet. Tagged KA 03 MM IXIIIVwith sunlight copper anti weather layer with Four rubber compounds of 165mm in width with mass of 1400 kgs. Propelled by a 1.3L turbo powered diesel engine with powerband range of 2200 to 3400 RPM.

Ranganthitu bird sancturay : With shutter bugs.

Shivasamudram :

Nandhi Hills : Early morning sleepy drive.

Pondicherry :

Coorg – The controversial awesome trip.

Mysore – Gopalaswamy Betta : No plans and awed.

Pearl Valley : Catch up with old friends (friends from age 4 🙂 ).

Madurai (x 2) (Family trip – Dad / Bro)

Crossed 6000 KMs as of now.

Semper Exploro!