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Published: February 28th 2008
Tuesday 26th February
At last a rest day. This morning we had a very interesting visit to a spice garden, followed by a ride on a huge elephant. Just six of us volunteered for a ride, (it was too good an opportunity to miss!) three to an elephant, it was quite an experience.
The rest of the day was spent resting and dozing- a very steady day.
Wednesday 27th February
Rode 45 miles today in countryside that resembled the alps-very hilly. We are now in Kottayam, near the coast, just south of Cochin.We rode through the town in the van, certainly a lot safer than out on the roads of these bustling towns and it gave us the chance for a well earned rest. It has been very hot today but lovely and cool on the tops of the hills and during the descent. The ride today was through tea growing plantations which we have now left behind. The scenery was absolutely stunning with well manicured tea bushes looking like a huge quilt and mist over the mountains. There are still some patches of affluence and further along the ride we have passed bare-footed people who live
in very ramshackled and tumbling down houses.
Bob, the 80 year old who took a tumble from his bike, is still in hospital. It is feared he has trapped a nerve in his neck and may need an operation. John, the co-leader of our tour is still with Bob at the hospital in Cochin.
I am getting used to curry every day - if not every meal- although I am not sure if my stomach totally agrees with this. some of the group are still suffering a week down the line.
Thursday 28th February
We cycled 30 miles this morning until we came to the houseboat that was to take us on river cruise. It is very hot on board the boat and we have all the fans switched on. We are sleeping on the boat over night then setting sail at 6.30am, cruising back up the river for 2 hours and finally we will cycle the last leg of the journey to Cochin.
We spent Friday evening in Cochin packing up our bikes ready for the flight home. Despite being a very nice hotel, 'Fort Heritage Hotel' built in 1668, I had a shock at night when I was brushing my teeth and a large object dropped alongside the washbasin. It was a 3inch long cockroach, which eventually scuttled behind the soap basket and then ran up behind the mirror. I let it be since I feel that you cannot interfere too much with nature in India since there is too much of it to make a difference and besides I hope that they eat the mosquitoes and bugs.
On Saturday we had a tour of Cochin, a walk around the spice markets and a harbour cruise. Today I had my first insect bites with flies on my ankles, which hurt the day after. Get out the cream.
Touch down in Manchester at 6.10pm on Sunday evening after an amazing journey. If you get the chance to visit India do it, it is a real eye opener.
I hope you have found these ramblings interesting. If you would like to watch the video I will produce, or view the many photos, just let me know as I will be keen to show them to any interested parties withn striking distance of Clitheroe, Lancs.
We rode 614 miles and climbed 9259 metres in the two weeks. For more photos and stats the following sites will take you to John Wilson's data;
Tot: 4.559s; Tpl: 0.046s; cc: 17; qc: 56; dbt: 0.0533s; 3; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb