Another beach town. . .

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

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Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Season was winding down almost to a standstill as I rolled in, Hot weather, and occasional rain signals the onset of the monsoon. .
The original plan was to go down to Kanniakumari, at the tip of India, but as things go in India, plans have a tendency to change. Having my lunch at the 'funky art cafe,' I heard the familiar inflection of an American accent, and looked over at the group next to me, asking after such fact. Indeed, a young mustachioed man by the name of "Steve" was sitting with a group that had just "escaped" from the ashram in trivanandrum, and were on the hunt for a party. .
Turned out to be quite a fun bunch, and for four days, we formed a "crew" which seems to be the modus operandi of the travelling monkey show that is a beach town in India. Of course, I was astounded at what some people pay. . Steve and Sarah, who were coupled up at the time, were paying 700 rupes for a place. . I didn't have the heart to tell them that I was only paying 100. I think they were staying in a place called "taj mahal," and at those rates, I should say it better damn well be the frigging taj mahal. . Others in the crew did better on price, and after a few beers and deeply philosophical conversation, they all headed off to their respective rooms.
Of course, being just about the only guests on the beach, we ran into each other quite a bit. Many dinners and kingfishers ensued. Turns out also that they knew Linda, my german friend from Arumbol, and Linda was still there, getting yoga-ed out. An e-mail to her, and on my next to last night, there she was, walking up the beach path, and sitting down for dinner with us. It is fun to see people again that one has not seen in awhile, and she and I have been near to the same places many times, though the timing was off a bit usually. .
Circles lead in, and back and out again, but I have thrown her on the back of Rocinante ("roce" meaning a nag horse, and "ante" meaning before. . ) and now have a travelling companion. I need not worry about her, she can take care of herself, being a master in the arts of Ninjitsu, or ninja. . You can't make stuff like this up. . .

Going from the dying seasonal beach town was much easier this time. Though it was nice to swim in the sea again and to be near the coast, it was time once again to hit the dusty trail. We decided to go north through the mountains by a slightly different route than I had taken down. .
There were good people in that Ashram crowd, a barrel of laughs, and also I could live vicariously the Ashram experience, which so many who search seek here in India. There is wisdom in practice and meditation, but in the end one opens the door to one's own heart, there is no "diet pill" solution to the matters of spirit and soul.
As for myself, I am searching for nothing, and so have had no real interest in paying 350 Rs. a day to chant and meditate and do yoga all day. I have done that myself for free. .

Loading up Rocinante we headed north toward Munnar once again, hoping to reach Bangalore, which I hadn't quite reached before. By this time it was tuesday, and we hoped to reach "Bang" by friday, a bit of a tall order for a distance of over 800 km.. .
Ended up staying in a city about 80 km south of munnar, Kattyamangalore, or somehting like that. We had to search all round to find a lodge, as there was apparently a Bollywood film crew that had booked all rooms in the town until the 20th. Luckily enough, we found spartan accomodation at a place run by a christian man, named Matthew of all things, and Matthew had kept a room aside for "emergency."
We have had to maintain, in some places, the charade of being married, so that we can get a room, it is hard enough to find two single rooms in many places, let alone a double, which saves money. Rocinante's petrol tank is thirsty, and eats up all spare rupees, but having a companion helps a lot with expenses on both sides. Also, as I have said, she can kill a man with one finger in a dozen different ways. Of course, one needs to find a man with only one finger first. .
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