Waterfalls and Tea plantations.

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
Trip End Oct 01, 2006

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Monday, May 8, 2006

My young friend John and I set out on Rocinante to go and see some things, riding the mountain roads about 25 kilometers. John is one of those clever kids who is related to or knows everyone in the town, if not the whole state.
A couple of times we had to stop and chat with friends or relatives on the way.
There are a few Indian tourists up this way, but no westerners, which I don't mind at all, being in Varkalla at the moment, I find myself a little annoyed sometimes with the "ashram americans" who waste weeks and months sitting in a corner in a building in Trivandrum, chanting things in a language they do not understand, seeking some sort of internal truth that is there all along. . . Yes, I do sometimes get slightly peeved at that sort of thing, which is exactly why I travel solo. .
And yes, I know I am a rambling man in more ways than one, so I will get back to the story. .

About 5 kilometers out of town, Rocinante's throttle cable broke. . I hoped that in the spare parts compartment in the back lockbox there was a spare, I thought there was, and sure enough, to the amazement of the gathered village men, I had the carburetor top off, and the throttle assembly apart in less than a minute. The new cable was installed within 10 minutes, I decided to do a little carb clean in the process, and then I did what the last "mechanic" who put in the throttle cable did not do, causing the break:
I oiled the cable. Inside. The whole operation took under 20 minutes, and the men all congratulated me on being such a good mechanic. Probably just being polite, an Indian mechanic would have done it in 10 minutes, of course though, those 10 minutes would be spread out in 30 second intervals over a period of 3 days. .
All is right always with the world. In Mirayoor I had the sissy bar modification done, then found a compatible spark plug, some more chains to chain down my bags when they are on the racks traveling, and even came up with a fresh sheet of 250 grit emery cloth for cleaning the points, which really do tend to foul up. The throttle cable seemed a natural progression. . .I waited for other problems, but none came. With the new cable installed, though, Rocinante seemed quite happy, and of course the new ignition parts helped as well. .
John and I continued on our way, of course after I had to drink chai with the village men, and saw tea plantations and waterfalls. Feeling a bit like a mentor to the teenager, and him always asking me for advice, I told him that the most important muscle in the body is the brain, and it needs to be excercised and made strong. Also that one needs to develop as many talents as one has, as talents are a gift and should be shared. Not many people play music here, there is drum beating and dancing and such, but not much in the way of true musical sound.
In any case, John has a fine and strong brain, and many talents, so I think he will go far, even if he never leaves his village. He really wants to get a computer, he will be taking classes for internet in the next session of school, so I'm going to keep my eyes out on the curbside, as wasteful americans, and especially wasteful bostonians throw out perfectly good ones all the time. . .I took his address for this purpose, but if I find that computer for him, I'll have to pack it well, as the Indian parcel system is **ahem** not the best. .

After a good day and a clandestine beer with my new friend, I retired once again to Asha Lodge, spent a good night sleeping, and headed to Munnar, to find the famous mechanic there, a man by the unlikely name of Eugene. Throttle cables are all well and good, tappet and rocker-arm adjustments, ok, I can do this, but the drive chain and wheel-drive system are well buried under the magneto casing on the enfield, and need to be adjusted properly.
So when the sun rose and I had my coffee and farewells, I set off up the high road to Munnar, to find an Indian Enfield Legend: The mysterious "Eugene. . "
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