Project 365: Day 78 – The day of the second gear

17th September 2014 – Munnar, India

The smell of tea, filled my nicotine-infused lungs

And the sights around the road, cradled my eyes near.
The road changed soon, and the dust overtook the green.
Life, like the NH, is prone to changes. Just change the gear.
Munnar NH49 Kerala

The better side of NH49 – Munnar, Kerala

I wanted to leave early in the morning from Munnar to Madurai. But Munnar being such an idyllic place, my laziness got the better of me. I slept till 10 in the morning, and left around 11.

But still, what a ride it was! Even if only for a while. Munnar is connected to Madurai on the National Highway 49. In India, any road which connects two different states, is called a National Highway. And Madurai was already in a different state, that of Tamil Nadu.

This is one ride that any rider has to take at least once in a lifetime, because the scenery changes so drastically, and is an amazing experience. Mind you, its not a easy ride. The roads are mostly one-lane (that is one lane for BOTH sides of the traffic), and you are riding at high-altitude with steep cliffs on the side. And its going to be a very slow ride if you are on a bike that cannot go beyond second gear with the added of weight of a 100K rider (ME!) and his backpack. But the scenery around you, is totally worth it.

On the kerala side, the lush green tea plantations of Munnar, engulf your nasal senses for the longest period of time. Nowhere in India, is the air fresher than here, that I had to stop at times just to take a deep breath and enjoy it all. And once you cross into Tamil Nadu, the green gets completely overtaken by orange. The road is a disaster, with potholes the size of my bed, but looking from that altitude at little picturesque towns like Theni, and the lines of windmills, is not a bad sight too.

160 Kms in the second gear. I think I need some sleep now.

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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