Mosquito Hell

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
1
93
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Trip End Aug 21, 2011


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Where I stayed
The Beach Hotel

Flag of India  , Kerala,
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Heaven to have a lie-in after days and days of dragging ourselves out of bed at 6.30 or 7.  Unfortunately we hadn’t tucked the mosquito net in round the bed and woke up with several nasty friends in there with us and bites everywhere. Apparently Mikey had tried to wake me up in the night to sort it out, but I was completely passed out. Had delicious scrambled eggs, toast, jam and butter in our room’s balcony dining room overlooking the beach – such luxury and great to pass on the curry for once. After some relaxing reading and drinking coffee, we grabbed a rickshaw and set off to a market where the super-efficient receptionist said we would find a place to buy a new back wheel rim for Mikey. We had discovered yesterday that it actually had an enormous hole ripped into it by shoddy brakes. The first shop we went into directed us straight to Azil Bikes, a wholesale bike shop which was fantastic. They set somebody to work putting spokes into a new rim (although it had to be a slightly different size so hopefully it will be ok!) and also sold us everything else we needed. The guy cracked up when we asked for a big horn/bell and straight away sent his assistant upstairs to get something he said would perfect. He’s right! See picture – we both now have horns as loud as a cars and have been loving it! We had an hour online catching up with the blog and emailing friends before returning to pick up the tyre. The guy said that they didn’t have the tool to remove the gear cog (is that its name?) from the old tyre so he had ordered a rickshaw to take us to a man who did. Feeling nervous that this was not going to happen and we were going to be in real trouble (Most Indian bikes don’t have gears so we were nervous that they wouldn’t know what to do) we arrived at a workshop in chaos with tools/bike parts strewn everywhere. The guy in charge was very pleased to see us however and after talking to Azil Bikes on the phone got straight to work. It only took him about 10 minutes to sort and he chatted to us all the time and was very interested in our journey. He thought the state of Mikey’s old wheel after 3500 miles was really funny and said it needed to go straight to the skip.  When we said we would bring my bike round later to sort the buckled back tyre he said we would pay then. We took our new gear back to the hotel and loved having soup, sandwiches and chips for lunch in the AC restaurant. Such a treat when usually we have biscuits/crisps/fruit/sometimes pastries on a dirty step wherever we can stop without attracting too much attention! Pedalling back to the bike shop, our friend was disappointed that the wheel only needed minor adjustments, I think he likes a challenge, and wouldn’t take any money from us at all – so lovely. Back in our room we had great fun fitting and testing the new horns and putting decent brakes on AT LAST. ( I did it myself Dad – you would have been very pleased). That evening we had another scrumptious meal in the restaurant and then tucked ourselves carefully into the mosquito net to ensure that we didn’t get any more bites. I’ve got 13 big ones on one arm alone.

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