At KTDC Tamrind Kollam, we woke up to a spectacular view of the lake from our hotel window. After visiting Kanyakumari yesterday and riding for 460 km, we were in a mood to take it easy today.
Today’s destination was Thekkady that was 160 km away. It sounded like a walk in the garden after having done 630 km in a day. We started the ride under strong sunlight after a laid back breakfast. The road throughout the day was beautiful, covered with trees from both the sides and the tarmac was one the best that I have ridden.
As we were approaching the Ranni forest area, the increasing green cover was soothing to eyes. The road was full of twists and turns which we thoroughly enjoyed but on the negative part, it was a time-consuming and tiring ride. Tiring for me as I was profoundly sweating inside my riding jacket due to lack of ventilation at low speeds. Due to the heavy sweating, I was losing a lot of water and I started feeling terribly weak and sick. That meant we had to make frequent stops and keep myself hydrated. For the first time during the ride, I felt like quitting due to weakness. However, a look at the surrounding forest would lift up our spirits and I would be back on the bike.
A lot of breaks meant we had bonus time to click pictures.
On our way toThekkady, we crossed a junction, where one the roads lead to Sabarimala. I was aware that Sabarimala is a famous Hindu pilgrimage centre but got an idea of the devotees it attracts by the number of jeep like vehicles carrying an insane amount of people that we encountered the whole day. We didn’t have any plans to visit the pilgrimage centre and we were happy worshipping the nature by riding through one of the dense the forest in India.
As we reached Thekkady we rode to our pre-booked accommodation which was a homestay. Our adjacent rooms were occupied by foreign tourists. An interaction with them and we learnt that they have been travelling in South of India for quite some time had visited a lot of places, some of which even we had not heard off. This interaction with them made us feel like aliens in our country and made me wonder what took me so long to do such a trip.
We had been together for last 6 days and though were enjoying each other’s company and the ride, we both understood that we required a time off from each other for a while. So while Shohrat decided to take a nap, I went on to discover more of Thekaddy on my bike. Ironically, this day was also special because it was Shohrat’s birthday! So I decided to surprise him with a small cake during our dinner. It but obvious that he was missing his lovely family at home on this special occasion.
With smiles and great enthusiasm about the next day’s ride, we called off the day with a good night and well deserved sleep!