I wake up to hear Modhu complaining that he hasn’t has a good night’s sleep. The constant blaring traffic on the busy M.G.Road and nasty mosquitoes kept him sleeples. His pillow is dotted in his own blood its a rather gruesome sight, he has my sympathies. I had some trouble falling asleep but otherwise slept like a rock. Harsha didn’t seem to have had any such trouble either.
The weather is being kind on us today, it is already raining, and we’re saved from the trouble of having to pull over to don our wet gear. Today unless we run into very rough weather we should reach the most beautiful dead end in the country, where all roads end and well all roads begin, Kanyakumari. This thought has me in good spirits.
Once we’re ready we head for breakfast, I love the chutney that is served with my dosa, which is in effect very mildly spiced finely grated coconut drowning in coconut milk. I have a more than generous helping of chutney, hell I hog an astounding amount it. It really is quite yum.
Our bikes saddled, our tummies fed, we gas our bikes and head toward Kanyakumari. The rain soon ceased, the sun came out, I stopped to get out of the wet gear. The others chose not to risk it but I was feeling very uncomfortable. Thankfully for me we didn't ride into more rain.
We soon reached Allepey famous for its beautiful backwaters. We however didn’t make a stop there. I've visited Allepey in the past. The water at the edge of the city itself is dirty but head slightly inward, pay a bit more and rent a nice house boat that’ll take you further along the backwaters. And have yourself a slice of parasdise. It is really serene to lie on a house boat that is gently rocking in the water, against a setting sun. But as I said, we just moved on. We stopped for tea at a shop just after Alleppey, along the road I went past a boat [:)]
The sun is beaming down on us. We were well and truly riding along the coast now, there are times when you spot the sea, smell the sea and the landscape has changed dramatically.
I spot an elephant being walked on the highway but my camera batteries died and I couldn’t get a decent shot, except this one [:)]
Breakfast is now a thing of the past, I’m famished and so are the others. We ride into and out of many small towns but can’t find any decent restaurant. With no choice, we ride on. I’m feeling very thirsty and pull over for a drink of water, the others do likewise. Harsha, is an absolute foodie has been constantly cribbing for food. At our stop he soon disappears and arrives with a handful of bananas, there are no shops in sight. I've no clue where he managed to find them. Modhu and I politely decline. He proceeds to make a meal of it. It quite honestly is too many bananas atleast for Homo sapiens.
Finally, we spot a decent restaurant. The waiter is a Mallu from the very heart of Kerala. He doesn’t understand a single word of what we’re saying in our broken Tamil. But we thanfully get what we ordered, I’m only thankful for that. This was only until Harsha decided to charge of things and managed to confuse the waiter to an extent where he’d have gotten us a mountain of food if not for our timely intervention. Harsha sure makes for some amsuing incidents.
Lunch done with, we ride on. A note on Kerala buses here, especially so the Green ones that have "Super Fast" written on them. Keep away. Get off the road. They kill. The bus drivers in Kerala do not care for any vehicle smaller in size than their own bulk. They charge towards the incoming traffic like an angry bull with its tail on fire. Bloody Maniacs.
We soon near Kovalam arguably the most popular beach in the whole of Kerala. The last few kilometers seem to go on forever. On reaching Kovalam there is huge water body sort of a group of ponds set amidst rocky walls. And one side coconut trees as far as the every can see and on the other side dark green trees, a light house painted in red and white bands and the blue sea its beyond. The glow of the evening sun only accentuates its beauty.
We ride inward towards the beach. The sea exudes a strange sense of calm on me; ironic considering the sea itself is this huge choppy body of water. What a beautiful sight. We soon discovered that to get the famed Kovalam beach we had to take a narrow path down just before the Leela Group of Hotels. It is a very steep descent mostly people wouldn’t risk it but we rode our bikes down this steep road onto the beach.
Yep, we rode the bikes onto the sandy shore of the beach and set them there. I must have had a very goofy expression on me now, I'm really excited. It is easy to see why Kovalam is amongst best beaches in Kerala. The shore is huge, the water is clear, the sand white. I roll up my trousers and walk along the shore as the cold sea water kisses my feet, it really is quite divine. We spend about half an hour lazing around the beach. I want to spend more time but Modhu is egging us to get a move on. I’d love to come back here someday. It’d be wonderful to walk along the long shores of one of the more secluded beaches at sunset or jus play beach volleyball [;)]
I’m quite disappointed that we didn’t spend more time at Kovalam. We leave Kovalam and ride on toward land’s end, Kanyakumari. It is well past 6:00pm when we cross the border into Tamil Nadu. We make our way past the mess of traffic at the border. The roads after Nagercoil almost entirely without traffic, soon we’re at Suchindram only 15 km from Kanyamkumari. There is a huge body of water on the right I can’t see it but the cold wind blowing off it is really refreshing. We reach Kanyakumari at around 7:30pm in the evening. The hunt for a hotel ensues we find one that faces the sea and check-in. We can also see the famed Vivekananda Memorial Rock and Thiruvellavar Statue from the room, both of which are lit.
Long showers and laziness see us get refreshed and ready at around 9:30pm and we head to get some dinner, only to discover that all restaurants in the vicinity are closed. Thankfully we find a Gujrathi Hotel at some distance and have some very sumptuous Gujju Food. One customer at this hotel wanted an “Unlimited Meal” defined, to which the hotel owner wittily answered “Hamara Khana, Tumara Paet”, meaning “Our food against your appetite”. Funnily enough the guy who asked this question left. We had a regular limited version and started head back to the hotel. We hadn’t stepped out of the restaurant when it started to pour, it literally was pouring, almost as if bucket of water was being emptied on us. With no choice we waited at the restaurant chatting with the owner and amongst ourselves. A good half an hour later the rain subsided just enough for us to get back to the hotel. Some dry clothes and into bed, we have to wake up early to view the sunrise.
Day three we’re at India’s southern most tip and the sea is sings me to sleep.