More Nick Cage at the Ritzy
Sep 05, 2010
Aug 21, 2011
Where I stayed
! The area surrounding Mannakad which we had picked put to stay in purely for the fact that it was 54 miles away from last night actually turned out to be very beautiful. Next to the Silent Valley National Park, the busy town was surrounded by thick jungle and towering mountains. Coming onto town on a terrible road surrounded by terrible drivers is always frustrating and we were tempted to plump for the first non filthy/brothel hotel we saw. Luckily however we decided to try and find a lovely looking one which had been signposted since lunch. The Ritzy Malabar Hotel was absolutely gorgeous. Staff so friendly and happy to see us and the place was immaculate, we couldn't believe it was only 800 rupees a night. (12 pounds) They brought us coffee and water in the room and we had a HOT! Shower and rest before taking a rickshaw into town. We then spent 2 hours in an internet café trying to sort Christmas and updating the blog. A rickshaw back to the hotel was followed by a scrumptious meal in the restaurant and then beers in bed watching 'The Rock’ – made hot exhausting cycling all worthwhile. Felt really excited that we might hit the coast again tomorrow!
The morning started with yet more bike fun. Pollys back tyre had deflated overnight, I detected a slow puncture (that is puncture #5) and spent a miserable 10 minutes sitting in the street fixing it as the now familiar rain started for the day. We took breakfast in the busy Indian restaurant we had been to the night before. We talked about how our first breakfast in India had been such a novelty, (actually nightmare!) now we just get stuck in to the curry sauces and dosas – loving it. We set off quickly and had a pretty straight forward day. The rain stopped almost exactly as we crossed the Tamil Nadu – Kerula border which was a relief and at last our clothes dried out. We had lunch in a bakery in a very hectic town, Palakkad, enjoying a dairy milk bar for pudding – love the fact that even small bars are really retro here and have foil wrapping inside just like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The route became annoyingly hilly as we skirted the edge of the Nilgiri Hills. Looking up at the mountains however we were just really glad we were not doing any more of those