Distance: 103 km
Traffic: First 30km was busy and hectic, last 73km was extremely light and enjoyable
Roads: Road construction for the first 30km, smooth and flat last 73km
It took us a while to get out of Madurai (a city of over 1 million people), we made it, however we had to do 30 km on o busy road that was under construction before our turn-off.
Once we got to the turn-off, the rest of our ride was one of our best riding days yet, hardly any traffic, freshly paved wide roads and because there was barely any traffic, even though this goes against all of my general safety precautions while cycling, we both popped in our earplugs, listened to our music (quietly so we could still here anything coming) and ended up riding 103 kms. We arrived tired to Pudukkottai, but notice there were quite a lot of hotels to choose from, we went to one of the nicest looking first and were told they were full, we then went to the next nicest and there were full also!
I asked why and they hotel worker said the whole town was full because of weddings!! We started to get a little concerned, but went to try some more, we did find a room that was actually pretty decent and we’re relieved.
Traffic: Very light
We had a fast and flat day of riding through farm land, rice paddies, and little villages. We arrived to Thanjavur and started looking for hotels. Once again we were faced with most hotels we stopped at being booked up and full (with exception of the dodgy ones of course)!! Because in a city it is fairly difficult to look for hotels on a bicycle, after a few failed attempts at full hotels we called around. We found one listed in the Lonely Planet with a room, we headed there and it was a bit of a dump and there were charging a lot for a fairly gross room (which they can get away with because it was in Lonely Planet), we took “the last room”, which I found hard to believe, and did our best to stay out of the hotel except to sleep.