Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kerala December 2011: Day Three

Kochi Chalo!
After a heavy breakfast in Ponnani, I headed towards Kochi. It was sultry in the morning, and was a bit warm. The roads in the beginning weren’t exactly what you’d call expressways. Cramps from my yesterday's  feat humbled as I warmed up. The distance today was only 115 km, and I did not want to take up more than four and a half hours for this (Though I had begun with an ambitious 4 hrs.) The backache from yesterday hadn’t exactly faded, but it regained its composure after the first hour. I stopped 4 times in the first 80 km, and those 80 seemed more than 150. The scorching sun over and above the fatigue from the last two days was already taking a toll on me. A jeera soda on the way eased much of the pain, but the guy told me that Kochi was 100km. Rubbish, I knew he was incorrect, but it was already 11 in the morning and temperatures were just going up, and even 50 km would look insurmountable.
The Varapuzha Bridge
After another two hours or so, I reached Varapuzha toll, which I thought to be on the outskirts of Kochi, but the package has its own set of surprises you. Once I got in, I reached a junction. It was almost 2 now, and I was totally drained out. I was a bit lost too, not knowing where to go, so I just stationed myself temporarily in shade somewhere nearby. I finished off whatever dates I was carrying along with me, and finally decided to use my GPS.
There are some moments in life, when you feel accomplished, satisfied, thinking that your goal is a whisker away (a km away in my case), when you are jolted into reality by a rude margin. 19 km, read my GPS! I don’t know whom I was cursing, the internet? Or the roads? Google maps? Anything that confronted me passed by tainted by plethora of imprecations.
You call these dangerous?
And then the traffic. I tell you, if there is anything that can eclipse the haphazardness of the Chennai auto-drivers, it has to be the bus drivers in Kochi; twice they forced me onto the footpaths, and countless times forced me to screeching halts. And building up momentum on the cycle after you are exhausted is frustrating. It was 3:30 by the time I finally reached my destination. Worn out and frustrated, a day’s stay was in order.

The true color or Danger

There is one thing annoying about the highways in Kerala, there are no milestones for the big cities!
There will be milestones for the the smallest of the colonies, but none for what lies ahead. I didn’t see a board for Kochi till I had reached there.
5hrs and 30 min, an hour more against my target, 125 Km, the day finally came to an end.

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