After my interrupted night’s sleep I was amazed to still get up bright and early and be on the road by 7am. Parker seemed his usual manic self even at that time of the morning. He gave me chai and a plate of NICE biscuits and waved me off.
Parker directed me back to the entrance to the village and up the steep hill- away from the TOD signs, but I couldn’t see where they went after leading into the village so I obeyed Parker. This road led me East and away from the coast. I really did not want another day on the inland road where there’s no shade, so I turned off South and down to a small village called Mithgavane that had an atrocious road surface. I had had no wifi for a couple of days now, so have been unable to download a map: I was just hoping that I didn’t come to a dead end.
It all worked out perfectly and fortuitously: the coast, which I’d seen miles in the distance, cut in to meet me at another estuary, by a bridge. My little lane came out onto a main road with TOD signs to greet me – and I was heading south again.
I stopped for breakfast after 10miles, the usual ‘Indian Burger’ and sweet, sweet tea. Three beady eyed crows watch my every move closely – I love the subtle viridian sheen to their feathers. This is a very busy little junction – an ambulance parked outside, several shops pulled their blinds up and men standing around. Horns honking – the usual bustle and dust.
Most of the trucks have “Horn – Ok – please” written on the back end. Unlike Britain, where a horn usually means “Warning!” or “hazard” – here, it just seems to mean “ME! I’m here!”. It also means the vehicle is coming through regardless of obstacles, eg before a bend or when overtaking. People inevitable beep their horns to indicate a greeting (I think) – it ALWAYS makes me jump out of my skin.
AT the top of a hill, with yet another shade free hot plain of golden grass, dust and bush before me, I crept into a large bus shelter, ignored the people waiting for a bus, stretched out on the cool marble slab provided for seating and fell fast asleep for a couple of hours over the midday. I needed the catchup. At around 12.30hrs I woke up a little more refreshed and got going again. Once again, I find myself on the inland road, with no coast in sight and little shade. How did that happen?
Over several bridges and up several climbs. I saw monkeys; a huge spider sitting in the centre of an equally large, orb web strung up high between trees; and a beautiful little iridescent turquoise – I’ll assume here- humming or hover bird, and its rather drab mate (they cavorted anyway). I think I managed to get a photo of him.
I love watching the monkeys (safely – from afar), especially the youngsters. An older monkey demonstrated how to climb off a roof with an overhang, sliding down the supporting pole like a fireman. The babies weren’t so confident, groping with their feet and hands and tail and slipping and climbing back up – they got there in the end though.
Cows are everywhere, of course – being reincarnated gods in the Hindu pantheon. Some of the cows have painted horns and eye makeup too. They are so gentle – even the bullocks.
In Kunkeshwar – with a large Hindu temple next to the beach – I am shown a luxurious room with a triple sized bed and a balcony overlooking the sea. It only costs 80,000 Rupees! That’s well over £80! I opt for the dark, basic room with the stained sheet on a smallish double bed next door – for 400 rupees. It’s a good excuse to get up early and I couldn’t hear the squeaky fan once I’d taken my hearing aids out. No wifi AGAIN though.
I go for a meal in the restaurant next to the Temple. An old man comments that he thought he’d seen me that morning. I realise he’s probably referring to Darren (whom I’m still trailing) – he says yes, he was ‘dressed similar to you’ (ie cycle gear. I guess us white folks all look the same to Indian folks – even the sexes!
A newly retired Terri following her heart into a world of woolly creativity. Live the dream