South India. Day 6. Calicut.

After 6 days on the road, I think I’ll take a day off and just rest up, loaf around, explore the city a bit… That and also because I have to buy a train ticket for tomorrow’s segment from Calicut to Kannur, which I have no intention of riding, as it’s mostly on the N17. There’s also arrangements to be made for my bike to be carried on the cargo car of the train. Knowing the way Indian bureaucracy works, I’d better work it out to the last detail now than to be given to the go-around tomorrow.

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The early morning Calicut city skyline, as seen from my room

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Turned my gaze down and what do I see? A bunch of guys living on the rooftop of the next building just below my window, busy with their morning ablutions.

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They’re fascinated that somebody is fascinated with their mundane activities.

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Prasad, one of the guys working at the hotel’s reception desk. He was kind enough to help me sort my mobile data plan with Docomo. Using a phone in India is about the most frustrating thing ever. One you cross the state border, your data plan is as good as useless. There are so many restrictions and procedures I won’t even bother to elaborate. India is a very paranoid country when it comes to the threat of mobile phone activated bombs which, incidentally, has happened before.

 

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The quickest way to get around. The railway station wasn’t near enough to walk so I took the lazy alternative.

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Busy Kozhikode railway station

 

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Easy peasy instructions on how to book a ticket

 

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Ticket done, now to sort out the bike.

 

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Another round of Q & A and I’m good for tomorrow’s train ride to Kannur, with bike in the cargo car.

Calicut is an interesting city, not very modern but with plenty of old-world charm. Walking around the bazaar near the hotel, I feel like I’ve gone back in time. As with anywhere busy in India, the atmosphere is always noisy, colourful and filled with every imaginable smell on the fragrance spectrum, from heavenly to some very funky, indescribable ones.

One thing’s for sure, it’s anything but dull in India.

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White Lines Hotel (see the white horizontal lines of the building, duh…), where I’m staying, is just a little bit off the main road so the noise doesn’t quite penetrate through. But once on the main road, it’s a different world.

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Miracle chrome polish, from junk to new.

 

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Absolutely no idea what miracle product this is. Cleaner banana slices, maybe??

 

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A ‘comfort station’. What a lovely name to call a stinky toilet

 

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Hand-pulled carts are still very commonly seen here.

 

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As are old billy goats taking leisurely strolls around town. Word of advice; never walk behind one of these strollers, unless you enjoy sniffing goat perfume.

 

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Local fruits are cheap and plentiful in India.

 

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All the vege stalls here seem to be using mini fluorescents to highlight their wares.

 

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Street food. Cheap, fast and very tasty.

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Only 10R for a small dosa and half a fried egg.

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