Roads: Great (a shoulder most of the way)
Traffic: Took the NH, traffic was good unitl 9, from 9-11 it was really bad, and we were done by 11:30 To Kochi
Traffic: Pretty busy, we avoided the NH
The last two days have been pretty good, however not without the usual sores one gets after riding for some time. My hands are sore and Tanya’s knee is sore. Our brooks saddles seem to be fully broken in and are pretty comfortable (much more comfortable then synthetic ones). I am still amazed that there hasn’t been a stretch of 100m without a house or other dwelling of some sort. There are no farms and no forested lands here, just housing. This place is crazy populated.
When we rolled into Kodungallor we looked for a hotel. We saw a sign on the way into town which we liked, so we looked for it. It took us some time to find it and after looking at a few others we found it. The only room was Rs1000, it had AC and a hot shower. It was nice to have a little treat. The room was very nice (but small), and it was great to have the AC and the first hot shower in weeks.
Amma was in Kodungallor, which was cool, we will be visiting her ashram later. We decided to check it out and hopefully get a glimps of Amma. There were a bunch of chairs set up and many TV screens and speakers broadcasting Amma, however it was a pre-recording and Amma was nowhere in sight. The stands where packed with two types of people. Indians (which is a given, and the majority), there were also many westerns there as well. The westerners were all wearing white and dressing very similar to the way the Indian men do.
We waited around for a while listening to Amma speak another langage, but after 15 minutes I started to have chronic yawns (we have been very active you know). There was also the lure of an AC’d, brand new hotel room. Over the past few weeks Tanya and I have developed a slight TV addiction. Like junkies, we mope around when we can’t see our shows (30 Rock and Scrubs). We have to be careful as there are many other luring shows on the TV that could easily suck us in, we did not come to India to watch TV.
The next day we slept in, as we only a short ride to Kochi.
We left our very nice hotel room and were looking forward to the tourist hub of Kochi. We got onto Vypin island in hopes of avoiding too much traffic. It didn’t quite work out as well as we had hoped. I don’t know if it was the morning commute or what, the traffic was pretty heavy. Although it was only cars, bikes and buses, there were no trucks. You have to take a ferry to Kochi from Vypin Island, which was packed, but uneventful.
Once arriving in Kochi, we did as our guide book said we would, we took a sigh of relief. This place is so laid back. Riding our bikes though the town is a breeze, there is no traffic (oviously there was some traffic, but for a small town of 1.36million you would expect a lot more). It was about 11am and we took our time looking at many homestays for a place to stay. The guide book warned about the busy season and how one must book ahead if you wanted to get a budget accmodation. I don’t know if it was the Mumbia attacks or the recession (if you read this some time in the future, remember that at the time of this post, there was a really bad world wide recession happening). We had no problem finding a place, in fact we had many to choose from, all were afordable and pretty clean.