Cycling in God's Own Country
3 January 2016
3 January 2016
I started at 6.30 am today. I managed to cover major distance before the sun came out hard at me. I had covered 60 kms by 12 pm and I had reached Bekal fort.
The Fort had parking provision for cars and bikes. To avoid removing my bags from bicycle, I thought that I shall park it close to ticket window so that security would be able to keep an eye on it for me. But the guy at the ticket counter was unhelpful. Not only did he refuse to keep an eye on my bicycle, but also asked me to take a tour of the fort if I wanted to or else to leave! But many people were listening in to our conversation. One of them( Santosh with his family) asked me where I had come from. And it turned out that we both were from Mumbai! Needless to say that we immediately started chatting and had a nice conversation!
|Santosh's lil girl|
Santosh's wife hails from Mengaluru. So she spoke to the parking guys and made arrangements for my bicycle to be secure as I took a tour of the fort. When I returned from my Fort tour, I saw that my bags on the bicycle were covered by a blanket. Kamaludheen and Puspha, two people who worked in the parking lot had done it so that my bags would be shielded from the heat of the sun! It was a wonderful gesture and I was touched by it. I left after thanking them.
I rode to Konhagad after that and had lunch at Shalimar hotel. The Banana juice here was delicious.
Today's target for me was Kanhagad. But since I reached there before time, I decided to ride ahead. Next stop for me was Payyanur, for which I had to cover a distance of 34 kms. I met Police Inspector Mr. Melvin Jose on my way to Payyanur. He assured me that if I faced any problem in Kerala, any nearby police station would be available for help.
I reached Payyanur at 6.30 pm. The condition of the road wasn't great. I was not able to get through to the person who had arranged my accommodation for the night. So I prepared myself to spend the night in a hotel. But then it stuck me that I had contact number of Mr. Sudharshanji from RSS. I called him and asked him if he could help me to find accommodation. He promptly gave me address of Mr. V. K. Janardanji. It was pretty dark by then and the house of Mr. Janardanji was pretty far, in the heart of Payyanur. Also, I had met a guy who was going to help me to find a hotel. Since I had already asked Sudarshanji, it would have been wrong on my part to stay at a hotel and not going to Janardanji's place. The unknown guy who was going to help me to find hotel came all the way till Janardanji's place to escort me. It was totally dark and the entire stretch of 4 kms was remote. He drove his Activa while I rode on my bicycle. I have to admit that I was apprehensive about this stranger accompanying me till Janardanji's place and was worried about his intentions. But he took me to my destination in time, without any hassles. I felt guilty about having negative thoughts about such person in my mind. I realized that though there are some bad people in this world, there are equal number of good people, like the one I had just met!
I will be spending the night at Mr. V. K. Janardanji's place.