Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kerala December 2011: Day Four

On the way to Allepey
After a delayed start, I moved on towards my next destination, Allepey. A day of rest had charged me up, and the effects showed on the road. After the first 5 km within the city, I entered the national highway. Miles flew, before I realised, I had covered 40 km in less than 90 min! this won’t sound like much to a biker, or for that reason maybe even a cross-county cyclist. But for a hardtail MTB rider, this would definitely be stunning. I grew conscious after this realisation and it trickled down to the remaining journey. I reached Allepey in hardly two and a half hours. I reached the boat jetty, and was supposed to take a boat ride to Kottayam, from where I’d reach my destination in a kilometer or so. But the boat I planned to get on was cancelled, and the next boat wasn’t until next two hours, and it would take another two hours for the boat to reach Kottayam. I did not have the patience for all that, and so, decided to cycle instead.
Too much tempting to tread, isn't it?
So I cycled to Kumarkom, around 35 km from where I was. Reaching this place was difficult because of the road, which was difficult to find among the potholes. Reaching Kumarkom also opened my eyes to some saddening features of some of the less developed provinces of this state. I stopped once to get directions from a lady walking by, and she literally ran away, maybe fearing me to be a bad guy. Somewhere in the next village, again I had to stop for directions.

Crossing the bridge towards Kumarkom
I stopped a mother and a daughter, and the mother pushed her daughter away and rudely gestured me to get lost. I had similar experiences with the males as well, but somehow managed even though my GPS was malfunctioning. Kumarkom and then Kottayam. By the time I reached, I was exhausted and after all these days, totally tanned!
The house I stayed here in has to be the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen! Normally I do not use such adjectives for architectural feats, but this was different from anything I had seen before. Housed right in front of a paddy field, the home was compounded by four walls made of stones. The building was a single floored structure, with the construction along two adjacent sides of the compound walls. The rest of the portion was all gravel, with a well centered in the compound. There were two entrances, with some vegetable farms around outside the compound walls. The entire building was white, with white marble corridors. Entering the compound immediately soothed your mind, and you felt peace, the kind of which makes you want to retire and settle somewhere in a similar establishment.
I had the traditional Keralite red rice for lunch, along with some other  curries.
Mr. George Podipora, and aunty, whom I stayed along with were wonderful hosts, I immensely enjoyed their company.  In the evening, uncle took me out to show his fields.
The day ended with almost 6 hrs of cycling and I had covered nearly a 130 km.

Day Five: Kottayam to Trivandrum; The day of extremes

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