So while husband warmed me up to the idea of road trips on a bike, the day that I started to think about and dread the most was the day when we return HOME. The last leg of the journey. 700 kilometres separated us and the city of Chennai.
The route chosen this time was a slightly different to the route we used when we came to Munnar. This route passed the Eravikulam National park, Chinnar wildlife sanctuary, Udumalaipet, Tirupur and then the usual Salem- Coimbatore road. After relishing on the famous Kerala dish Appam and Kadalai curry (our delish breakfast!) we set off.
The road to Eravikulam National park from Munnar was among the most beautiful roads we have ever laid our eyes upon. We did not visit the sanctuary because of lack of time but promised ourselves to return someday to visit the park. The countryside looked absolutely ethereal with old rustic houses decorating the rugged landscape replete with everything that is necessary to complete the picture. The streams gushing through channels in the ground, plants, flowers, shrubs, trees calmed our senses. We started on one mountain and on and on and on it went. The entire panoramic view had only, the mountains we had crossed, about to cross and their serpentine roads for almost three hours. The sunlight hitting the heads of all these mountains and setting alight their peaks along with the luminous white mist was a bone-weary traveller’s delight. There were also tiny waterfalls occasionally making an appearance. I was totally consumed by the beauty that surrounded us hence forgot to click any pictures .
After about 3 hours of riding in the mountains, slowly but surely the plains came into view. It was a bitter-sweet feeling since we were finally headed home but we were leaving all of this beauty behind. Chinnar wildlife sanctuary came and went without making any announcement. Then came the Udumalaipetai Tiger reserve. The arid climate was now kicking in slowly. The amazing thing about this Tiger reserve is that it is the same tiger reserve we had passed on our first day of travel (Pollachi and Valparai). Yet that region of the reserve was lush and the air damp , but this side of the sanctuary the most arid. Fascinating! Then came Tirupur and our favourite Salem-Coimbatore highway (because the smooth road was kind to my spine).
After 12 hours of riding and breaking in between for every two hours or so, we touched Chennai. Actually,we had just reached the outskirts of the city. The traffic was at its worst, testing our patience at every turn. Another hour battling the traffic we came home and instead of the usual nap that follows a tiresome day, the camera in the bag was calling out to us. And so answer the call we did!