To home, we go
We didn’t need an alarm to wake up. We had a good sleep. At 4, we stepped into an ATM for a top up and left the small township of Mettupalayam. It was pretty dark as we made our way through the highway. It was pretty cool as we’d not done it during the trip. For about an hour, I was doing fine giving way to oncoming traffic with their powerful lights making me temporarily blind. But this was getting irritating as minutes passed. An hour later, I wanted to put an end to it and fortunately the sun was showing up. We stopped for a quick break and luckily the gap had brought in enough light for us to improve our riding.
We had reached Erode by then and out target was Salem for breakfast. Until Bavani, the roads were not reliable. The highway was being constructed thus diverting traffic to either sides of the road with unexpected changes in the level of tar. At Bavani, the roads split into two. The policeman helped us with the way and suggested we alter the route a little and proceed through Mettur instead of Salem. He said there was terrible traffic in the Salem route and would be better to avoid it. The roads that lead to Mettur were in excellent condition except that it had a lot of small townships on the way.
We stopped at Mettur for a quick breakfast and proceeded towards Krishnagiri. The route isn’t something we can talk about. The roads until Dharmapuri have enough tar on either side, but only that they’ve melted due to heat causing an uneven surface. Beyond Dharmapuri, roads are being built with bus drivers acting like maniacs. I couldn’t ride much with Allen through this route, as riding was never a pleasure. So, I’d overshot and was waiting for Allen at Krishnagiri. From then on, it was the GQ.
We thought trouble ended there; not really. The roads were much better, but the heat was rising to unbearable levels. Though we were in constant motion and could manage it, we were worried about the tyres bursting at high speeds and the engine overheating. So we ensured proper breaks and lower speeds until Vellore. There was one such stop at a tender coconut shop where we saw something hanging. It was an Alpinestars jacket. When I asked the guy, he said it was left behind after an accident somewhere nearby.
Near Vellore, we got ourselves something to drink and a packet of biscuits. Spotting a shady location, we started gobbling them up. I started losing energy at a high rate and I was able to feel it. The sun was scorching causing too much of a strain. I walked to a small store nearby to buy a banana and some water packets. I ate one and thoroughly washed my face. I couldn’t hold on for long. I told Allen that I would be speeding ahead and reaching Chennai as soon as I could. I maintained a consistent 110 plus and was in Sriperumbudur within an hour. Allen took his sweet own time to reach the spot I was waiting at.
We’d planned to reach his place inTambaram via the Chennai bye pass, but instead found a signboard that read “Chengalpet” pointing to the right. When we inquired, they said the adjacent road leads to Tambaram and the distance was about twenty kays. We chose take the route and unfortunately had to off road for more than ten kays. Roads were just being built and they were worse, but of course, we did save a lot of time. We had the sense of accomplishment we’d never experienced in life as the trip meter read 1547.9 kms!