Bikes Reunited

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of India  , Kerala,
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So, off to the airport in the hope that there are a couple of bikes hanging around.Funny wobbly head lady from the hotel called for a driver who appeared from nowhere to drive us back to the airport. His driving was far from relaxing, not an ideal start to the day.  We were greeted at the airport by a mountain of luggage.  Desperately scanning the boxes and bags we found what we were looking for, however, some nervous moments passed as the bike boxes had been ripped open.  Our fears of important bits of the bike falling out in transit did not come to anything.  We dragged them to the small walkway between customs and arrivals gate and spent a very hot and oily two hours piecing them back together.  Watched by customs officers, currency converters and taxi drivers, we battled away providing them with a good show for the morning.  We had a major part of Pollys bike broken, the rear gear shifter had cracked but luckily we had a spare and we fixed it.  Otherwise, the bikes were back as they were.  It must have been very confusing when we appeared through the arrivals gate already pushing a fully loaded bike.  The hundreds of Indians waiting for relatives off the next flight watched our every move with interest as we made our first few turns of the pedals.  There was a real sense of relief that we were back in the saddle but also a degree of fear about what the day had in store.  The first few miles were taken very slowly trying to work out how bikes would be treated by the Indian drivers.  We are struggling for a map so had to stop at every junction to confirm which way we should go.  We stopped at a shack where a guy was fixing car tyres, he provided the air our tyres desperately needed.  We had not eaten and were struggling in the heat.  Bananas and biscuits were a temporary fix and kept us going for a few more miles.  We then had a mad lunch.  Trying a local working mans café we sat at the table and ate samosas and other things which we couldn't work out what they were.  Sanjit, the boy working there was lovely and asked us about our story.  They had a steady stream of blokes coming in, the woman would put a plate of rice in front of them and then slosh on a variety of sauces.  They would set about demolishing it with their fingers until the lady would return and slosh on some more rice and sauce.  The afternoon was quite a chilled ride, kids sitting two to a bike, would race alongside.  A couple of the towns were hard to negotiate our way through.  We kept asking for Varkala beach, everybody so pleased to point the way and in some cases even give us a distance.  We reached the beach and it was amazing.  Hundreds of locals played on the sand, many braving the crashing waves.  We had a much needed drink and I went off to find a room.  I found a great little wigwam type building perched high on the cliff overlooking the beach.  After some bike maintenance and repacking we strolled out for dinner along the cliff path.  We were treated to another cracking meal, calamari fresh from the sea and prawn masala.  We opted for a taxi back to the hut as the cliff path was now in darkness.  The driver asked us when we got in, "Are you the two cyclists I saw at the airport this morning?".  Very excited that we were, he helped us plan our route for the next day.  That was a long day but amazingly we are back on the bikes and fighting fit.
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