For great days like this...
We wake earlyish and coffee while i go to the v friendly travel place and, after a few computer crashes, buy two tourist quota train tickets to Trichy for our wholescale self relocation into Tamil Nadu on the 1st..... Indian Railways are very organised and the quota tickets only become available at 8a.m., two days beforehand, and will be gone in a couple of hours so, if you want to get anywhere, you have to do it then... Otherwise we’d have to wait till the 4th at the earliest
Then we get our bikes and, well before its gets hot, though its cloudy, we board the small car ferry 400m north over to Vipeen, which is the south end of Vipeen Island, which is very long and thin, stretching north south, with one straight road we go at with some gusto, having been confined on Fort Cochin, belting down the busy road with the tradly banging Indian traffic banging swerving and putputting past us.
And pass a temple with three bedecked elephants eating palm leaves and a band of drummers and trumpeters and even fanfares, which we all stand and watch while drinking club soda and then head on, tiring of the road after 20km so, swapping lungfuls of diesel fumes for lungfuls of jungle air and then sea air, we head off down a mudpath by a waterway to turn parallel to the sea, along the edge of yet more of the Keralan inland waters, the paddies and prawn farms and fishing lakes, the houses and waving kids and muddy puddles, and soon reaching a road out across the lakes to the sea which, hot and sweatily bothered, we jump straight in.
To get out and toddle about on our wheels, have some great overfried fish in butter in a cheap café, before tootling off down an empty road quite possibly going nowhere but which simply continues south, so we’re by the sea-wall going past houses and waterways and stop to jump in the sea while reading Theroux and Rushdie, and then tootle some more and turn left to stand on bridges over the water looking out at the silver and greenery, the herons and kites, and toddle on, pedalling lazily and, fortunately, not meeting a cul de sac so, after some luck, we simply get forced back onto the main road, bump into another temple festival with two bands, one bunch of drummers and another brass outfit who are half New Orleans jazz, half Indian arhythm, which is great to watch as we sweat and drink water and eat our daily ice cream and then pedal to the ferry, crossing in the usual jam of men and machines, having the usual nice barely-verbal chat with a couple of guys in dhotis, one of whom gives us some things which is very like a yellow-white natural candyfloss, and come back here and i sleep while Priscilla goes to a Kathikali dance.
Not a bad day. Simple. One of my best days of the year was a long tootle roundabout Hoi An, and another beetling about Kompong Cham in Cambodia, and this day was up there with those.
priscilla says she saw a gang of men wrestle an old guy to the ground who was yelling and screaming and trying to force a metal stick through an electricity substation wall into the substation itself... so he could kill himself... and the small old guy is writhing around under six young guys trying to stop him from kiling himselfand i passed a small old guy, four foot six, with bent necked stoop, and craggily lined sunken eyes, wearing a shabby offcolour t-shirt which reads you laugh at me because i'm different, i laugh at you because you're all the same