Breakfast of Champions

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

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Where I stayed
Palmy Residence

Flag of India  , Kerala,
Friday, November 19, 2010

Managed to drag ourselves out of bed at 6.45am, ready for our first full day of cycling since we arrived. It was actually lovely and cool outside the hotel when compared to our stifling windowless room. We headed straight to the ferry dock hoping to get a short ferry trip across the backwaters before starting cycling to Alleppy. The tour guides on the dock were incredibly helpful and friendly, but said there was no point getting the ferry, much quicker to cycle. They gently tried to persuade us to take the 8hr tourist boat trip to Alleppy, and even showed us exactly where our bikes could go. It was very tempting, but we both felt that we really needed to test out the cycling and make sure it was possible. Both men shook our hands and enthusiastically said "Good luck, you are strong!!" when we told them we had decided to cycle. The lack of pressure to do things has been a refreshing change from the constant demands in Turkey. The tour guides also showed us a hotel just up the road where they said we could have a delicious breakfast before we set off. The place was clearly very popular with the locals and we had our first proper Indian breakfast of a large pancake filled curried potato and onion, two curry sauces and something which looked like a donut but tasted like fish! I was very proud that we managed to eat nearly all of it despite feeling sure that it was not the way to start a 54 mile cycle. Delicious, sweet coffee went some way to washing the taste away before we set off.  We took the 47 road we had been on yesterday which would take us all of the way. It's quite wide and has a hard shoulder and relatively few potholes. We were really pleased that we did 14 miles in the first hour, reminding me what we can do on a plain and just how ridiculously hilly and slow the Bulgarian roads had been. Seeing a bike shop we stopped and had a fantastic hour in the shop while an amazingly wizened, fairly toothless, friendly  old man completely revamped Mikey’s bike. First sorting his totally buckled wheel, then getting to work checking on the rest of it, finishing by attaching a back rack to the front as his friend explained that the weight of the panniers was too much. We had a massive audience by the end, and the old man was very chuffed with the attention and challenge. He laughed so much he nearly cried when he found out we were going all the way to Bombay.  Another 10 miles down the road (now the bike’s better doing 16mph) we stopped to visit the Krishnapuram Palace Museum, a restored example of Kerulen architecture. It was great to do some sightseeing as part of our day, but the absolute best and funniest bit of the experience was the guide who insisted on making us photograph every (fairly dull) exhibit then grabbing the camera himself so he could take a photo of us posing by it. My favourite was when he made us lie on a table and wave! He also insisted we wade into an indoor pool with some very suspect looking water which he said was lovely. We saw a turtle and several fish swimming in it though.  Back on the bikes, we continued to make good progress. We’ve sorted the WC situation, realising they always have them in garages. No chance of nipping behind a tree here, there are people EVERYWHERE. AT one such stop we had a long chat with a man fascinated by our gear, inspecting everything, especially the helmets. We have also solved the lunch problem by discovering bakeries. We had some delicious pastries filled with either curried vegetable or egg, better than samosas and far less worrying than actual curry. The baker also sold freshly baked butter cake –Yum.  He was so pleased that we loved his food so much he gave us some cashew nuts as well. After the lunch the sun came out from behind a cloud and it got extremely hot, and it seemed to goto  the bus drivers’ heads and they became a lot more annoying and careless. Mikey shouted at several who came too close, however the big hard shoulder and dirt track at the edge of the road means we still feel better than on that road to Timosoara, Romania. 6miles before the town we started to lag a bit in the heat so stopped for an ice cream and some mango juice. Good to be rested before entering a town as they are always hectic and needed lots of concentration. We were really happy to be approached by a man from the very rooms the guide book had recommended and he brought us to an absolutely lovely room – Mosquito free! An excellent improvement on last night when I was too scared to go in the bathroom. They even have free bikes and internet. After a cold shower, we have arranged to do a canoe tour of the back waters tomorrow, chatted with  lots of other people here about what we’re up to on the bikes, and eaten most of the butter cake. It’s now 6pm and we’re going to find something to eat before an early bed. Mikey has just attached a moped mirror to my bike – looking good.
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mum and dad on

the beaches look beautiful.How lovely to have a swim to cool you down.What a great job the man made of the bike-must have made a huge difference.Speak again soonxxxxxxxxxxx

Elizabeth & Olaf on

Hiya guys, Well India sounds like it is improving for the intrepid cyclists! Glad you guys are managing to make some headway and at least having the horrid experience in Romania to compare things to you know 'at least its not that bad'! All is good here - George is off finishing the horrid hard bit of his 'spec-N' course so he has been gone since Wednesday and I wont see him for two weeks now! At least he will be so busy he won't have much time to miss Olaf..speaking of whom - he is on great form these days - lots of 'gagagagagaga'! but now Mummy or Daddying yet!
Had OjOj and Christoph over for sups last night - very merry indeed! Oooh Don't know if you have heard through anybody but George knows which ship he will be Captain of next year - its HMS Puncher! The name just makes me think of you guys saying "Pretty Punchy"! but the really exciting bit about it is that it is the London URNU job so we will have a nice flat in London to use whenever we want! He will probably start in July - and then we will all have to call him Captain Shakey!
Well enough of my ramblings - have a great time and speak soon! xxxxxxxxx

triciagick on

Gosh you two - it all looks absoutely brilliant now and I rather wish Dads and I had booked to come down south! Might do that another time. We're getting a few enquiries for next year and so are busy with quotations - can't be bad.
I absoutely loved the hands on museum - too many 'do not touch - do not photograph - in our establishments. Looking forward to catching up with Ellie and Dave tomorrow night.
Hope we can talk soon
Heaps love

Bev Carter on

Greetings from the Carters, for once Mr Nev, I'm speechless (now there's a first I hear you say)!, it looks amazing, wonderful, chaotic, loud, the list is endless. You are two truly amazing people and I'm not surprised the 'locals' help you so much. Not much going on in rural Midhurst, but we're all keeping well. Keep enjoying the curry for breakfast, lunch and supper, take care of yourselves and will catch up again soon. Lots of love and hugs Bev and the Carters xxxxx

Foos on

Guys! I've just spent an amazing 2 hours catching up on all your adventures; can I just say that your blog is like the best story ever, and totally addictive! So many congratulations on making Istanbul in 9 weeks, such a fantastic achievement. And Mikey looks sooo young without the lovely ginger beard! (That is a compliment btw!) My heart sank when I heard that your bikes were temporarily misplaced (to put it politely!) So glad it worked out in the end, I felt so sorry when you wrote about being up for 24 hours without bikes, luggage or hotel room, nightmare. Really pleased that it turned out ok in the end, the beaches look lovely. Although I have to be totally honest and say (as Pollen will well know) that the thought of curry for breakfast is truly awful...

I've just been at home for the latter part of last week, on yet another thrilling civilian management course in Portsmouth. A nice chance to get home for a bit and I caught up with Clarey when we went for dinner in Old Portsmouth, which was lovely. Cornwall is amazing but not well renowned for it's shopping opportunities so I made the most of being back in civilization to start my Christmas shopping, yay! I caught up with my parents too, who have just got back from a 3 week trip to South Africa, including some seriously luxurious safari-ing. They asked after you both and I gave my mum your blog address so they can follow your amazing travels.

It was our one year anniversary on Saturday, and to celebrate Ian and I did the very grown up thing and went to see the new Harry Potter on the day of it's release, along with all the children in West Sussex! Quite embarrasing to be almost the oldest in the cinema but it was really good, quite scary and I jumped quite a bit, much to the amusement of the 9 year olds sitting behind us!

I'm really busy at work now as I'm the only dentist on the base until the New Year, so the buck stops with me! I'm enjoying being the boss though, and I'm lucky as my team are lovely to work with. Very excitingly I'm going skiing over New Year with the Fyfe family in France, can't wait! Time to brush up on my rusty skiing. I reckon one year we should all go skiing together, that'd be amazing!

Anyhow I'll stop rambling as I'm taking up far too much space in your blog...please take care on those Indian roads and continue having the best time!

Lots of love, Foos xxxxx

Alison Cunnington on

Wow India sounds amazing and so vibrant. My daughter has just been given the opportunity to go to India, flying in to the same airport as you, as a visit as part of her 3rd year of her teaching degree. We have helped her put in her letter of why she should be chosen and I now hopes she gets it by the look of your photos.
Keep up the good work and keep bloggin.
Love Alison xxxxxxx

Tricia Gick on

Thrilled to hear you've finally got to Thandigudi - I bet those little children are thrilled - think you'd better not sign up for any more sponsoring though! Am just about to to meet Fiona and Freddy for a walk at Old Park - it's a bit frosty here, but not the whiteout predicated.
Have a fantastic time and look forward to speaking soon.
PS Grampa's birthday today xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

clareabelle on

ahhh off to bed now. In need of an early night as been poorly for the past week (not like me) & can't seem to shift the most irritateing night cough- horrid. Anyways have just enjoyed your latest instalment thank you and my exciting news is that Jules got back from 9months in central/south america on Tuesday. I cooked for 8 of us (had arranged for 4 of her friends to turn up as a surprise! Bryce then turned up as well) on tues eve & yesterday she came to stay with me in Southsea. Great few days. She leaves on Tuesday to do a ski season in the Alps-jealous! Her tan is ridiculous and I bet it's really deep having been topped up for 9months. It'll be there forever. She's so well & it has been amazing to catch up, well begin too. Shame she didn't write a blog like you both! Imagine the book you will have once this is all printed?!!! Thanks for my bedtime story, you take care on those roads. Love to Thandigudi, happy memories.

Love you lots, Clarey xxx

P.S. it has just got ridiculously cold here & snow started in the north, might have some down south at the weekend!!!!! thank goodness for UGGS & fur coat! oh & heating being fixed! x

Jojo on

Hi Guys - waiting with baited breath for next installment to here where you have been and got too. Busy at this end of the globe Peter & Edith came to stay on Sunday so party time as you can imagine - we are expecting Amanda and Dom to arrive this evening in time for supper with us all including Elizabeth who will bring Olaf here for early bath and bed and will stay the night herself (no guesses as to why!). Time seems to be rushing past and it will be a week on Monday that we have the 'traditional' ladies christmas lunch here - all sisters + Tricia,Betty, Marion and Fiona, and then it will be his lordships christening before they all disappear sking leaving him with CJB and me. Then Christmas. You must be getting very excited about meeting up with family in India. Hope we get to skype or whatever sometime then.

Loved the post card of Turkish bath _ A and I had one 5 years ago when we went to Turkey - you needed to grow a new skin afterwards when they had scraped all the dead skin and dirt off you ugh!

Happy travelling all love Jojo and Christopher

newtonandkiri on

Hi Guys!

Looks very exciting, especially the ice cream! Not so sure on your palace museum, very dull experience if you ask me. I wouldn't worry too much on the loo front, just go in the garden, that's what I do.

Well, we've had some decent amount of snow here up north (ish) and it's pretty chilly out for the bipeds but not for us of course with our beautiful fur coats. Well, hair coats really as we dogs have the hair, it's the pesty cats that have fur. On the man's (and woman's) best friend note, I have a feeling that we'll be seeing a lot of a certain border collie puppy soon called Maisie. She's not quite moved into a cottage up the row but it's all looking pretty imminent! More friends good'o!

You both look after yourselves and keep cool (the bipeds are very envious!)
Lots of love xxxxxxx

triciagick on

Jojo and I are mystified as to why our photos have disappeared again - wondering if Travelpod have sussed out that we are not actually travelling! Anyway, just having another bash at it and will be really cross if I've disappeared again. Great to hear from you today - bit worried about those brakes and will be glad when you're on the flat and narrow - just two and a bit weeks and we can bring you some super duper brake pads and tyres out. Bourcia was pleased to get the form back and kept stroking it saying how lucky it was to have been to Istanbul!! Mighty nippy here but no snow yet - masses of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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