. They had a gorgeous 5 year old daughter,Vinoda, who showed me all of her school books and named all ofher drawings in English. She also got out all of her jewellery and put it all on. Her lovely mother made coffee and cut up fruit and sweets for us. After Mikey came and had his coffee and they had a look at the tyre, the father wanted to go to the next town on his motorbike and try and get one for us.They also wanted us to have lunch with them –so lovely. We said that we could make it the 3km however and swapped addresses before leaving so that we could send them a thank you card. Reaching the next town, luckily it was quite large and had a bike shop open on Sunday. I sat shivering for an hour while Mikey and 2 men helping and 3 watching, bodged some brakes on and finally managed to find some new tyres to fit. The road next to the shop was completely flooded (water over our feet when we were on the bikes) and each time a car went past it soaked us all. Leaving the bike shop, having shown them our speedometers, helmets and gears, we realised that there was no way we were going to be able to do another 40 miles so had to settle for heading to Pollachi and accept that it would be 2 more days until we reach the coast and hopefully the sunshine. We arrived after 17 miles, truly filthy and found an OK room to collapse in. Despite the difficulties of the last 6 days cycling, we both feel really glad that we came to Tamil Nadu. Apart from Thandigudi which was the whole reason for coming, the rest of Tamil Nadu has been a fantastic experience
. We haven’t seen any other white people in 6 days (apart from an Albino Indian in Poopara – very surreal) and have had to fend for ourselves as the guide book and the map don’t include any of these places. However, people have been really excited to see us, children waving and random people introducing themselves and asking where we are from. The food is also delicious. We just had vegetarian curry, paneer butter masala and parota. (bit like naan but even nicer). Would definitely recommend a visit, but not now! Rainy season is exhausting and so far it has been constant. We have also just caught a new headline which reports on flash flooding in Tamil Nadu and very sadly over 100 killed. Also for anyone else thinking of coming, I would recommend leaving the bikes behind.
Back on the plains, we woke up feeling confident that today would be fairly straight forward compared to the last week. Although we had 60 miles to do until our destination, flat plains make for speedy riding and we were looking forward to being back at the coast in a couple of days. Little did we know that when it started to pour with rain as we were loading the bikes at 8.30am, it would continue ALL DAY. We both need new tyres and brakes but couldn't find any in Palani that early on a Sunday morning and had to set off hoping to get some enroute. 20miles in, we were soaked, cold miserable and ANNOYED. 3 km before a town we had decided to stop for a break,Mikey’s tyre completely blew up. Using our last inner tube was hopeless as the actual tyre was completely corroded. A crowd of 5 men gathered under umbrellas to watch him try to fix it, swapping the front and back tyres around and using ducktape to bind together the huge split where the inner tube was bulging out. The rain was torrential at this point and a lovely family invited me into their house to have coffee