After a rest day, it was good to get back on the bikes again, although to be honest the scenery was similar to the long day approaching Fort Cochin.
The big news today is that after 8 days of incident free cycling three of the party sustained minor injuries, and two fell off their bikes.
I was slightly involved in Ken's crash and if I'm guilty this should be read as my confession.
I was at the back of the group when Rinto overtook me and shot off to his usual position at the front. Roger suggested (I'm already spreading the blame) that we go out after him and without giving it a second thought I set off on a lung bursting chase. We were soon hurtling through villages with Rinto in front, me on his wheel, Roger on mine and Ken on his. After a couple of kilometers, in a village and approaching a junction, Rinto was either slow to signal or I was slow to spot his signal. I braked quite hard but safely, but behind I could hear brakes locking with wheels and tyres skidding on the road. Roger stayed upright but Ken fell off, his fall arrested by his helmet and the rear bumper of a Tuc Tuc.
|Running the gauntlet|
Apart from grazes to his knees which were treated at a tea stop 2km further down the road in a cafe full of flies, Ken did not suffer serious injuries. Ken did point how that the brakes we have on these bikes are on opposite sides to the ones you get in Europe, something I hadn't really noticed.
Feeling slightly guilty I stayed at the back and missed Tom's crash. Apparently he spotted some railway lines late and braked too hard while crossing one of the many speed humps. He went over his handle bars and his wife fell off trying to avoid him.
|A lovely welcome|
Happily, we arrived at the Heritage Lodge without further incident and, after 60 km, in good time for a wonderful lunch. It's located right alongside a classic Keralan backwater and we spent the afternoon watching vast numbers of house boats glide past. it was a very pretty spot, but also a perfect place for mosquitoes. Our little heritage hut has air conditioning but no mosquito net. Mosquito queues up to bite me so this place may be pretty but it's my idea of a living hell.
I did bring a mosquito net with me, a single net, and with the aid of coat hanger managed to suspend it from the bamboo ceiling. This meant that I was on the inside, protected while Christine was on the outside. Now, apparently the reason that some people get bitten and some don't is that some people produce an odour that repels the little buzzers. Christine is apparently an odour emitter so was safe in the death zone.