The Russians are coming!
Trip Start Jul 07, 2008
270Trip End May 27, 2010
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Sakthi Hotel, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, South India
Cloudy and warm
Mettapulayam - Coimbatore - Pollachi (81kms)
There's not much to say about the ride today. The road was a little up and down, traffic was appalling in parts and there wasn't much of interest along the way. We made really good time, and were in Pollachi by 1.30.
One of the highlights happened at 7am this morning, just as we were finishing our morning coffee. We had paid our bill and the proprietor appeared to be telling us which way to go, despite the fact we hadn't actually told him where we were headed. So Dave started blathering on about going to Pollachi and the coffee guy was just pointing up ahead. That's when I spotted all the bicycles and that there were foreigners riding them. Turned out, they were Russians (8 of them) and they had come from Coimbatore and were headed for Ooty. With them was a photographer for The Hindu newspaper, taking photos of them so we joined in. It looks like we could be famous tomorrow!
You can imagine what a sight we made, pretty soon we were surrounded by locals all wondering what the hell these cyclists were doing hanging around in Mettapulayam. We exchanged information about our trips, they had flown into Cochin and were only in India until the end of January. They were hoping for some nice views on the Ooty road because they had been to Kodaikanal and it had been cloudy the whole time.
I don't think I mentioned the Russians when we were in Goa, but there were a lot of them, as well as Israelis. Turns out the only two countries they can get visas for are Thailand and India.
The other highlight of the day was coming across a textile factory that had planted frangipani trees in its grounds. There were hundreds of them, all different colours - usually we only see the white variety with the yellow centre - but there were peach, bronze, red and a beautiful flame orange. We could just smell them from the road, probably because it was the middle of the day and too hot, it is in the evening they are at their best, like honeysuckle and jasmine and all the other heady, perfumed plants.
Reading: Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro (still)
The Last Grain Race - Eric Newby
Cancer Ward - Alexander Solzenhitsyn
Utterly Monkey - Nick Laird
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Tesseract - Alex Garland
Mr Vertigo - Paul Auster