Day 2 of our five day long Kerala Coastal ride, when the actual coastal ride on N66 began. Prior to this trip, I read a lot of reviews about NH66 over the internet, mainly about the road conditions and safety. Finally it was time to get first hand knowledge of the route.
Attempt to see Muthappan performance
Chang put this idea to cover a traditional dance called Muthappan peformed in Parassinikadavu temple near Kannur, which was on the way (100 km from Kasargod) to our next destination, Athirapally waterfall. Muthappan is performed early in the morning from 5:45 am to 8 am and in the evening at 6 pm. It was a little tough target to achieve but we managed to reach temple by 7:30 am, although it took us 20 minutes to cover last 1 km because of the rush. Just by looking at the number of people at the entrance, we immediately decided to drop the plan. We couldn’t imagine to pass through that crowd with all our bike gears and see the performance. As we had already parked our bike, we utilized this halt to have breakfast in a nearby restaurant.
15 km stretch after Bekal was in very bad condition due to work in progress. Although against all those negative comments about the road condition, I would say that NH66 is very well maintained and very scenic road but definitely not worth calling a National Highway, streets in Bangalore are wider than this. This so called highway pass through local markets of different towns and sometimes right in front of house gates. NH66 is full of crazy rash drivers, especially those colored printed Buses. You are riding at a speed of 80 km/hr, suddenly there are two buses coming from the opposite direction side by side and there is no space for you. You have to slow down and most of the time go off road to survive.
TIP : I strongly recommend full bike gears who is planning to ride on this route.
We joined Salem-Kochi Highway after Thrissur which is a good 4 lane highway. Suddenly, I started realizing that I was riding a Harley which goes to max 180 km/hr. Road size came back to half after some 30 km near Potta, while entering Athirappilly forest but the excitement got doubled. Riding through Athirappilly forest with a great road along Charmadi river is a bliss or I would say a mediation in itself.
We have learnt two things in this trip : first, always check the closing time of the places that you are planning to visit and second, waterfalls also have closing time. We managed to reach our hotel by 4 pm, which was just 1 km away from the waterfall. We quickly untied the bag and tripod and dumped them into the room and rushed towards the waterfall.
It was a Sunday evening and by looking at the crowd, it appeared to me that this waterfall is the only available option to spend an evening in the whole Kerala. We managed to find a parking space after lot of efforts, purchased the ticket and passed through security. We managed to win the first battle and then second started to penetrate the crowd to go near the waterfall and it was a very tough job. There are three views of the waterfall :
1. Panoramic view over the hill (straight path after main gate takes you there)
2. Base of the waterfall : To go to the base of the hill (you need to take a right after you see a big canteen inside, this one is more adventurous and scenic but it closes by 5:30 pm).
3. To the late comers, who couldn’t manage to come on time. You can see front view from the main road which is the most common picture of the fall.
We stayed in a so called resort named Bethania Resort. I would say location is the only good thing about this hotel. Rooms are very small with single beds which are suitable for only one person. Its river side restaurant has very limited options available for the dinner.
Tip : There is a restaurant near waterfall named Rainbow restaurant, this restaurant gives you amazing view of the waterfall.