Get your kicks on route 66
Trip Start Jun 25, 2013
63Trip End Dec 25, 2013
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Where I stayed
Hotel Maya Inrernational
Well it's been NH66 with also a bit of NH17 thrown in but it's certainly been 'interesting' to say the least. Having been lucky enough to ride some sections of the American 66 I can honestly say they share very little in common.
Ok, I'll endeavour to write up the last couple of days without omitting anything although with the onset of age, a bad memory and failing health it might not be too accurate.
I left Fort cochin at about 8 am and rode the short distance to the Vypin ferry intending to cross over the water inlet that fills Vembanand lake. As I was sat there I realised I still had my room key in my pocket and rushed back to the hotel to return it. It was a true Homer Simpson 'doh' moment. Anyway I made it back and managed to get on board. The crossing lasted about 10 minutes and cost the equivalent of about 5 UK pence . Take note IOM steam racket company.
Once landed I then carried on following my nose towards the north and kept taking little side roads in the hope of seeing the sea. To say the road was in a bad state of repair would've been an understatement of mammoth proportions - it was terrible. The potholes and broken road surface in general had me bouncing around all over the place.
I did a couple of food and chai breaks in the hope of letting my internal organs return to their iintended proper place, and whilst there, gave the bike a check over. I don't wish to tempt fate so I'm not saying another word on the subject.
It was in the low to mid 30's as I was riding (as it has been most of the time) but I was feeling a tad fatigued and not quite right. There were a couple more water crossings by ferry and a reasonable amount of backtracking on my route but the trouble with my usual 'follow your nose' style of travelling -in somewhere like kerala - is that somebody goes and puts water in your way!
It did make me smile.
As for the memorable driving incidents I eluded to in my previous entry. The first one occurred as I was popping along nicely at about 55kmph approaching a left hand bend when I became aware of a family of 4/5/6/7(?) in a little suzuki to my offside. Suffice to say there was no way they were going to make the bend especially as there was a bus driving head on towards them. Did they brake and pull in behind me? Did they **** - they swerved left forcing me to go off roading and being very grateful of a good run off into the bush. Judging by the sheepish looks from the driver when I caught the car up he knew he'd done wrong. My heart beat had increased quite a bit after this little incident.
The next was an almost copy cat experience although instead of a little suzuki, this time it was a coach - and with no run off just a large brick wall I had no where to go - bugger! Suffice to say the impulse was revved into the red line and I just managed to pull in front. As there had been two - and being a firm believer in things happening in threes - I decided that enough was enough.
As I was riding along thinking about finding somewhere to stay there was a noticeable drop in temperature and it was clear that I'd soon be getting a free shower. As luck would have it I saw a roadside tea and sweet stall and sat there for the next hour and a half whilst the downpour started and continued. My timing was unusually spot on and as luck would have it there was also a hotel 1km away. This place had a restaurant, wifi (apparently) and a bar - result. I checked in and had a little napette as I was feeling a little COLD. It's the first time I've felt cold since the UK back in Feb I guess?
I should perhaps have realised things weren't all as good as I'd hoped when the nice security guard asked me to move my bike to a less obvious location. Seeing as it was at the front of the hotel I couldn't see the problem until he explained 'men - drinking'. Ah ha - drunk men on my bike? I moved the mighty impulse and was grateful for the heads up - top man!
I took a brief walk around the local shops and purchased some energy drinks I saw for sale in the hope this would kick start me in the morning. On return to the hotel I had tomato soup that was orange in colour but tasted of nothing washed down by a beer. The bar was full of Indian men getting drunk and one in particular who seemed intent on using me as a source of amusement and showing off to his friends. I'm usually a calm person but maybe it was my hard riding day or feeling sick but enough soon became enough and the jokes stopped. Once things calmed down between us his friends took him from the bar - oh how glad I was for the security guards words of wisdom.
The wifi available at the hotel was also spot on - well it would've been had I rented the ac room on the 3rd floor and not the non ac on the second floor! I did ask if they had wifi and guess their answer was correct. Yes they did have it - just not where I was staying!
I left the hotel at about 8 ish and was pleased to see that everything on my bike was okay. The mornings ride went well but I couldn't shake off my general malaise feeling. I really didn't feel great and had a stiffness to most of my joints especially my neck.
It was about 3 or 4 pm when I noticed a rather fab looking establishment to my left. I pulled in hoping it wouldn't be massively expensive as it did look rather nice indeed. Well, the non ac room - with complimentary breakfast - was about 10ukp - result. What really swung it though was the swimming pool. I checked in, unloaded the bike, had a quick shower and headed off to the pool. The swim really helped loosen me up as did resting up against the pumps water jets and having them pound my neck for an hour. After a quick bite to eat I was in bed and asleep by 8.
This morning I woke at 8.20 (having slept solidly for over 12 hours) yet despite this didn't feel like riding. After breakfast and another lie down I thought I would attempt to push on and make it to Mangalore.
The good news is I made it but the bad news is I'm still feeling a bit sick . The Hotel Maya was a welcome sight indeed.
Shall I Google flu like symptoms, stiff joints, painful neck and loss of appetite? I think not - it's a cold and nothing else - actually it's probably man flu ;-)
I've still too far to go before I can be sick!
Anyway, the blog is once again updated and I'm off to bed. It's 7.30 - I'm clearly such a party animal.
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