South India, Day 4. Triprayar to Ponnani

Breakfast is a simple affair at a little stall across the road from Dreamland. 2 pieces of apom, and a cup of Bru coffee, for only 38R. It’s a good enough start for my day. Anyway, I won’t hesitate to stop for a quick snack, and a cup of chai, when I see a tea-shop next. On the road, food is a constant. And it’s cheap.

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500 metres down the main road, I see a turn-off. I’m hoping it will lead to the coast. It does.

 

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Off the beaten track that’s off the beaten track… Out of curiosity, I turn off onto a sandy path leading towards the beach meandering between some houses. I decide to follow it. It’s hard going pedalling on fine sand.

 

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I come across a bare-shirted man in front of his house. Surprised to see a cycle-tourer appear out of nowhere, he stops me for a chat. This is actually the norm in India. They are not an inhibited people; not shy talking to strangers, and definitely not camera-shy. The hand-operated pump in front is his only source of water supply.

 

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Soon, his neighbour comes out and join us.

 

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Neighbour’s simple hut.

 

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My new friends from Triprayar; Sunil (in shorts) is a scriptwriter and speaks fluent English. He invites me for tea in his home, but seeing as it’s getting on in the morning, I decide to continue my ride instead. Well, at least I know this will be a good spot to camp if I should come this way again.

 

Scenes along the coast ……….

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Man plucking coconuts

 

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Coconut Man comes down. Rewards me with one for watching his performance.

 

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After I finish drinking the water inside, Coconut Man splits the fruit open with a deft chop of his special knife, slices off a piece of the shell which I then proceed to use as a spoon. Nifty…

 

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Nice Coconut Man. The thing sticking out of the crook of his shoulder is his razor sharp sickle-shaped knife.

 

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These coastal roads are some of the most beautiful I have ever ridden.

 

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A village grocer..

 

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Nice beach roads don’t go on forever. Here I’m back on the main road again.

 

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The road has been taken over by a colourful procession

 

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The sharp rapping of their drums is very mesmerising.

 

 

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In India, it’s hard to find anyone who shies away from a camera.

 

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“You’d better take my picture, dude”

 

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My destination today is Ponnani, but I think I’ll detour to Guruvayur for a quick look. It’s a famous temple town; we’ll see if there’s anything interesting.

 

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Guruvayur was disappointing. Nothing much to see. This is one of their biggest temples but I don’t think they’ll allow me to push my bike in.

 

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Lots of sweet tooth devotees in Guruvayur.

 

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Just outside Guruvayur, I met Denny Abraham George and Ajith Varma, on quick 5-day-ride from Mangalore back to Cochin where they live. Gave me a few tips on where to go and what to avoid on the way to Udupi.

 

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Ponnani coming up…

 

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Ponnani is a chaotic little town. Not exactly a tourist spot, and there isn’t much choice when it comes to accommodation. Dreamland this is not. 400R, take it or leave it. I won’t show you the bathroom…

 

Tomorrow, I’ll check out the old part of Ponnani before heading to the big city of Calicut aka Kozhikode.

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Triprayar to Ponnani : 70kms

 

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