We have a dream ! Our dream is to ride to Kanyakumari from Pune on bike !
This dream was going to turn into reality on day 5. It started very early for us as we left to witness the sunrise at the Dhanushkodi point that was 16 km from our hotel. For a change, I left my riding jacket and pant in the hotel and just carried the helmet as the safety measure, a decision that I regretted later. The crosswinds on the way to Dhanushkodi were strong and my sweater and 3/4th shorts were not helping to cut through the winds. This reduced my speed considerably which really annoyed Shohrat as he wanted to reach Dhanushkoodi before the sunrise. The riding jacket, gloves, pant and the shoes collectively help to reduce the drag in the crosswinds helping you to carry more speed comfortably. The crosswinds were not the only issue, there were a million fat bugs at the dawn making the riding difficult as they would end up on our helmets.
The luck was surely not our side as the road was under construction just a couple of hundred meters before the end of the land. Moreover, the cloudy weather meant no view of Sun rising and no view of Sri -Lanka (I later learned that Sri-Lanks is NOT visible from Dhanushkodi). However, a look around and we realized that were surrounded by water on 3 sides and the view was mesmerizing to say the least. While were busy soaking in the view, the sun did come out of the clouds if not within the sea.
After ticking off Dhanushkodi from our list we came back to the hotel, loaded the bags on the bike and left for Kanyakumari. Riding towards Kanyakumari meant entering the mainland India via the Pamban Road Bridge and leaving behind the Pamban Island. This bridge has a hell of a view. I am sure the view from the train will be an ecstatic one making you feel as if the train is moving on water and not on land!
After a quick photo session on the bridge, as we left, I remember an eagle flying just above me in the same direction as mine as if it was escorting me till the end of the bridge. The ride from there till Kanyakumari was filled with excitement within and windmills around. I would not be surprised if somebody told me that windmills generate half of the electricity in that region. By 3 pm we entered Kanyakumari and rode straight to the beach to the End of India! We spent around an hour clicking pictures, soaking in the view and pinching ourselves to make sure that we were not dreaming!
We left Kanyakumari and started our ride towards Kollam in Kerala. Before leaving Kanyakumari city I got my chain inspected again from a local mechanic who said the Hero mechanic at Rameshwaram had screwed it up and he adjusted it as per his judgment. I was seriously doubting about the chain staying in its place till the end of the trip.
Kerala is a unique state. The highways in Kerala feel like narrow roads in the city. It is difficult to identify where one city ends and the next one begins as the borders of the highway are inhabited throughout. Due to the narrow roads, it takes double the time to cover the same distance in Kerala when compared to the other highways. So far during our trip many people asked us where were coming from and where were we heading to. It was in Trivandrum though a gentleman wished us “Best of luck and happy journey” after hearing out our plan, all this happening at a traffic signal. At Trivandrum, we decided to have dinner and so we stopped at Sagara Restaurant where the owner of the restaurant looked after us well!
The Kerala delicacies really lifted our spirits up and we got back on the road. Kollam was 70 odds kilometers away. This night ride was better than the day one as the temperature at night was pleasant. Plus the Traffic on Kerala highways always kept us busy and alert. We reached KTDC Tamarind Kollam by 11 pm. After unloading the bags, we hit our bed and before falling asleep, we made mental notes:
Kanyakumari – Check!
Pune to Kanyakumari on Bike – Check!