Pes-Ctrl-Esc-Boys group ! sounds weird right .. actually we had a group by the same name, yahoo group to be precise in our engineering days. Now, the group is not that active and the creator-cum-owner of the group Chetan is in US for higher studies. However, once or twice in a year we make sure to get together for a trip.
A few members of our group decided go for a short bike trip around Bangalore on Saturday(March-29-2008). The obvious choice was Nandi hills due to several reasons - decent roads, moderate distance (60 km - ideal distance for a bike trip). Besides myself the participants were Madhukar, Ritesh, Praveen, Alok, Madhan, Rohith, Anand and Sandeep H.R. Totally we had 6 bikes( 4 pulsars, 1 victor, 1 scooter). The trip got materialized because of initiative taken by Madhukar. He called each one of us got confirmation for the trip and simultaneously initiated a mail chain.
Hebbal - Meeting Point
The plan was to meet at 10 am opposite to Columbia Asia hospital (towards Yehlanka after Hebbal flyover). Before leaving home in morning I just had a glance at the city page in newspaper. It was mentioned that there will be a rally of Rahul Gandhi somewhere near Hebbal, so road users around the place were warned about traffic snarls. I tried my best to reach as early as possible, but I managed to reach the meeting point around 10.45 am, with Praveen as my pillion. By 11 am everyone had arrived and the bike trip started officially.
Ride to the top
In the ride, first we came across clusters of posters and hoardings put up by politicians welcoming Rahul Gandhi. Proceeding further we passed in front of the ground in which rally was about to take place. Congress party supporters from all around Bangalore were gathering at the place in packed buses. A few km ride from there we came across trumpet interchange of Bengaluru International Airport, the construction work was almost near to completion. At Devanhalli bypass we halted for 10 minutes and quenched our thirst by having yell-neeru[tender coconut water]. From there a ride of 4-5 km took us to the deviation to Nandi Hills from the highway. The initial stretch was in good condition unlike my previous trip to the same place. The roads seemed to be laid out recently. After the two deviations(one left and one right), the uphill ascent started. Going through the hair pin bends turned out to be arduous task for my dated bike, especially with a pillion rider. I was last to reach the destination at 1 pm and pulsar boys had reached the place 10 minutes prior to me.
After taking entry ticket(Rs. 3) and parking tickets we entered inside. Since all of us had been to place previously we were not so much keen on sight seeing. We randomly roamed here and there taking photographs. After a while some of us felt hungry and decided to have lunch at one of the two hotels. By some crude logic we decided to enter Hotel Mayura Pine wood. Inside the hotel we had to wait for 20 minutes to get a table and after that we waited for 15 minutes for a waiter to take our order. The menu was very simple and we ordered usual chappties, gravies and rice items. After lunch we sat for a while near the edge of the cliffs having breathtaking view of villages downhill. At several kilometers away near the horizon we managed to spot yet-to-be-inaugrated Bengaluru International Airport(BIA) by making out a long runway, small terminal building, ATC tower and fuel repository.
Later we went to the park tried out playing with see-saws [:P], it was nice to recall our schooldays when we used do the act daily in playgrounds. Then at 4 pm after playing 4-5 games of poker, we started our return journey. On our way back we had tea(micro tea to be precise- bcz of its size) at a shop at one of the junctions. While having tea we thought of going inside BIA as we had sufficient time left in buffer. From the highway, we entered the airport thru trumpet interchange(it was 95% complete).
A 5 km ride from the interchange took us to lone terminal building. We were not sure whether we will be allowed inside the building, but the security after initial reluctance allowed us inside. The terminal building was not really that big but it was way better than the current HAL one(separate post regarding this). We took photographs check in counters and in the departure longue. As it was about get dark we decided to leave the place immediately. On the way back to my home I dropped Praveen at a bus-stop near Urvashi theater and came back to home at 8 pm concluding short and sweet trip. Also, I had noted the odometer reading before leaving the airport terminal, applying simple arithmetic the distance to the new airport will be 40 km from my home !
Photographs are shared at picasa: Nandi-Hills-2008