Time for a beer
Trip Start Jun 25, 2013
63Trip End Dec 25, 2013
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I will write an entry later once food consumed and I've a beer in my hand.
The last two days were stunning and I'll explain all later.
Ye ha - I'm in Kanniyakumari ;-)
Where to start........................
I was planning on an early ish start yesterday morning but was surprised none the less by the 5am knock on the door for the early morning temple visit. Suffice to say, I didn't go! I'd had a late ish night doing the blog and watching a Bruce Willis film on tv so thought an 8 ish start would be fine. I nodded back off to sleep for what seemed like 10 mins before the same guy knocked on the door offering me chai. Now usually I will never turn down the offer of tea but this time I did - it was now 6.30. My sleep in was clearly destined not to happen.
Anyway, I dozed some more before packing up and heading off to collect my bike. The hotel (wipe your feet as leaving) had a parking area a few streets away - due to the fact that there was a no parking rule that was (amazingly) adhered to.
I collected the bike, returned to the hotel, loaded up the bike and headed off down towards the no entry sign. The policeman there didn't take any notice of me or the other bikes as we went around his roadblock. The temple area that I was now riding around appeared to be like a giant roundabout and I was soon back with PC 'I'm not bothered' who had now been joined by PC 'I'm really not bothered'. Suffice to say I had the audacity to disturb their duty time by asking for directions. It went along the lines of showing them the map and pointing to Sri Lanka and asking where the eastern end of India was. Suffice to say, if this was in Penzance and you were asking the filth for directions to lands end they would now both point East and direct you to Plymouth! Oh how I laughed.
So having graciously accepted their directions I thought I'd give them the benefit of the doubt - in this case 5km - and see what happened. The road ended! I then retraced my footsteps (tyre tracks actually as there wasn't any tarmac for the last 2 km) and pulled up alongside Constables dumb & dumber who by this time had been joined by a third policeman. Now this officer clearly was destined to remain a Constable (whilst the other two were promoted) for the duration of his service as he knew the answer and appeared keen and interested - top man!
So off I set intent on getting as close to Sri Lanka as possible. The tarmac road was good but soon ended at a small car park and bus turnaround point. It appeared that I'd reached the end but for some reason it just didn't feel right. My odometer reading suggested that I still had about 12 kms to go but the end was clearly here. I wandered around and took some photos before drinking chai and looking at the map. That niggling feeling was getting to me.
After a second chai i got back on the bike and slowly rode out of the small hamlet. As I was leaving I saw a bus off to my right driving on the sand. Ummmnnn - I wonder? It was then that I decided to thoroughly prepare for the unknown and set my gps coordinates and stock up on supplies of food and water just in case. I checked on tide times, left a note for my mum detailing my anticipated return time and contacted the HUBB forum for advice on what tyres to use and tyre pressures. Ok, I clearly am lying but having recently been on the HUBB site and seen somebody asking which cable ties to use in sunlight (yes really!!!!!) I felt compelled to write a few lines -
So with more enthusiasm than skill I headed out onto the sand. The fully laden impulse appeared to dislike this new riding surface and repeatedly shaked her head in disbelief whilst all the stupid rider could do was laugh out loud. I was loaded up with all my luggage and didn't really have enough power but once out there commitment to the cause was everything. I have never worked so hard to keep a bike moving as I did yesterday. I rode through soft sand, compacted sand, water inlets and more salt water pools than I care to remember. My jeans were soaked on the outside from sea water and on the inside from sweat. The route appeared to go on and on and it was a case of I've come this far I WILL make it.
I can't remember ever enjoying riding a bike more! One memory that did come back was years ago on a bike riding course (off road) at 'work' when three of us were told 'under no circumstances are you to attempt to ride through there'. Well surfice to say I had to try - failed and had to get dragged out by a 4x4. This thought came to me as I was getting bogged down in sand with the full knowledge I didn't have the benefit of the McGregor/Boring man safety roadshow following closely behind.
Anyway, after lots of sweat, a few 'moments' and more laughter than appropriate for a man on his own -I reached the end. I sat there with the biggest grin ever - I was so happy. It was about 7 miles in total which doesn't sound a lot but believe me it was hard - but top riding.
The return journey was equally as amusing but this time I had my chest puffed out. I'm not sure we all need labels but feel that I might now have almost qualified as a probationary adventure motorcyclist.
Once back on tarmac I realised how exhausted I was but knew that the bike came first. Salt Water, sand and a recently greased chain meant she needed a wash ASAP. That little combination is the best cutting paste known to man and needed removing. Within 20 kms I'd found a chap to wash the bike and all was good. A 100rupees later I was off down the road happily singing outloud once again.
I had a quick lunch (stunning South Indian dosa on banana leaf) before making a revised plan. I'd decided on stopping at the next hotel and crashed out. I was shattered - happily shattered.
So, this morning I was on the bike by 9 and sat drinking tea by 5 past at the first puncture wallah I came across. No problems but thought a pressure check might be prudent. The weather had cooled considerably and I put this down to the cyclone that had struck land the day before.
Today's ride was amusing for other reasons, not least the fact that I had to take avoiding action for a peacock that ran out in front of me. The road heading south was in great condition and as approaching the South peninsula you see a range of mountains that to me - having been riding in such flat dusty conditions for so long-looked like a giant serpent heading towards the sea.
Anyway, I'm now having a beer having not long got back from a stunning sundowner. I'll try and upload some photos but the wifi connection isn't great. I may have to stay in the bar whilst they upload - bugger ;-)