Monday, June 25, 2007

Day trip to Pearl Valley

I have been craving for a a bike trip since a few weeks now. I don’t know whether it was more a craving to be with nature or a craving for a long ride on our beloved bull (Royal Enfield). But we haven’t been able to go anywhere because the weather and our health were not keeping too well. Finally this weekend we ‘had’ to satisfy the craving. Searched for some blogs on the internet for nearby places where we can see nature at its best. Finally we settled on Pearl Valley as it was near and the description was good. A waterfall just 40 kms from Bangalore sounded too good to be true. So the plan for Saturday was all set with the helpful fellow bloggers giving nice detailed directions on how to reach there.

Saturday morning I had an extension of yoga class where they taught us Neti kriya which aims at clearing the nasal cavity and prevents cold, allergy which are so widespread in Bangalore. So after I finished my class and reached home it was almost 10:15 in the morning. After that we were thinking should we pack something with us for lunch or have an early lunch and go as we had read that we don’t get good food there. Finally we prepared bread pakoda and ate quite a few of them and packed the 'Bingo' snacks with us. We were all ready with thick jackets as it is getting cold and cloudy here in Bangalore and it was also very windy that day. Next day we read in the newspaper that some trees fell on the road near cricket stadium. It was almost 12:30 by the time we left. We went straight till the road forked. The straight road leads to Bannerghatta national park, take the left turn from there and keep going straight. Lot of new construction and new layouts are coming up on the road. When you keep going straight, you reach Jigni town. There you will find a crossroad but don’t turn, keep going straight. You have to reach Anekal. If in doubt, ask for Anekal, which is what we did at the Jigni cross road. The auto driver said it is 11 km from there. Once we reached Anekal we were just going by instinct. I was the navigator and Anurag was the driver. You go through the road passing in front of the KSRTC bus stop and the busy town market. Once you are out of the town, some sign boards say Thalli Road. Keep going on the road and you will see a board on the right saying Happy Homes or something. Thats where you should turn and take the road on the right. It is quite near once you are out of Anekal. But we didnt take the turn, instead we kept going straight and finally reached the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border with sign boards saying Welcome to Tamil Nadu and Welcome to Karnataka respectively. Took pictures, turned back and took the correct turn. On the way 2 boys stop us to give a 7 Rs ticket. The road also seems to be newly built. Kept going till we reached Hotel Mayura Nisarga run by KSTDC. That is the place where we have to park for a 3 Rs ticket. This is for two wheelers. It is more for 4 wheelers. There are some steps which take you down. There is a temple which was closed, Rocks, water and a small stream of water falling. Cannot be called a water fall. I had read that water is there only when it has rained heavily. But we were not disappointed. It was so beautiful. The rocks, the water, the butterflies, the trees, the trek, the weather, the was all so beautiful. It rained there and we were trekking on the mud path in the rain. It was the first time I was enjoying the rain without the fear of any consequences. It used to rain for 5-10 minutes and then stop for a while. It was nice to sit on the rocks and enjoy the beauty of nature. Whatever small stream of water was falling, it created small droplets and I had read that because the falling water creates droplets similar to pearls, the place is called Pearl Valley. Then we walked up and went to the restaurant and had tea. It tasted a bit strange..not sure why. We left from there at around 4:15.
The ride back was good…not as much traffic as we had while going. The roads are also good except for two patches of really slippery road. The TATA Sumo in front of us slipped and went right and again left before going straight. Anurag was scared more than me. I had two people to trust...Anurag and our bull. Not sure whom I trusted more to prevent falling ;) The ride has increased my love and respect for our bull. It has never failed us till now. The wind was so high that day; I could feel myself being pushed back or sideways due to it. Sometimes even the bike felt some push and pull due to the wind. I am glad we had such a sturdy vehicle...I would have been scared if we were on one of those plastic bikes.
Reached back by 5:30 and headed straight to the friendly neighborhood restaurant for 2 cups of coffee each, some idlis, dosas and chaat. Next day we were thinking of going to big banayan tree but were too lazy to do so. May be next time. On Sunday we went shopping instead at shoppers stop and Brand Factory. Also had lunch at The Dhaba at HSR layout. Food and service was unimpressive to say the least.

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