Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kerala December 2011: Day Five

I woke up early in the morning at 4:45 and freshened up. Trivandrum was 170 km from here, but I had secret ambitions of making it to Kanyakumari today itself, if I reached Trivandrum before 12. Having had the special tea made by Uncle, he came to drop me off till he was sure I would not get lost in the town. From here I was to reach Changanacherry, and then take a route to get on to the NH47. But some misguiding and a wrong turn took me 10 km away from the actual route, and took another 10 km to get back on.
At the Coconut Vendor's open shop
Finally I found a board which said that Trivandrum was 150 km. it was 8 am already, and the roads did not really allow me to go faster than 20kmph. After lots and lots of tiring turns and uphills, I finally reached Kollam. I had covered almost a 110 km from my starting point, and had another 80 to go ahead. I had my brunch here at an 'Asian Cafe', two parottas and horrible tea and left. But moving ahead of Kollam wasn’t easy, it was already 11 by then. Never before I had faced stronger winds, and combined with constantly varying gradients, generally uphill, I was tired before I was within the 40 km of the city. I halted at a coconut vendor’s shop, relaxed for a while, and then moved on for the remaining journey.
The last part became tougher, with the winds building up, and still climbing. I cursed every downhill ride, because I knew, that once the fun was over, it’d be followed by another long and tiring climb.
Three in the afternoon, I finally reached the city, found a lodge and just crashed the moment I was allotted my room. I couldn’t sleep, the constant worrying about the cycle safety didn’t allow me to fall asleep. I went back, made sure the cycle was safely fastened to pillars, and came back. I fell asleep by 9 in the night.
So far, this day had taken the biggest toll on my health. My knees were feeling a bit weird by the time I had reached the lodge. I couldn’t stand for long without running out of breath, and was extremely drowsy. I had covered 190 km today, cycled on for marathonic 8hrs and 30 min, had spent the largest amount today on electrolytes, water and food so far in the entire journey. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the following day’s journey. I even looked around a bit to see if could go to Chennai from here directly, but ended up deciding against it in the end. I would finish this, no matter what.

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