Here is a conclusive post, polished by the bias of retrospective contemplation, back in the UK it’s easy to look back and have a flood of positive emotions wash away the sweat, agony, severe bonking and that worrying buildup of salts in every crease of your clothing! Building up the bikes on arrival at Madurai was easiest ever, no unnecessary overpriced accommodation to hide away in, straight up semi-conscious struggling to stay within the ever-disappearing budget.
After a short contemplative wonder in Madurai we decided to go for the longest day in the saddle straight down to the tip of India… in full blown summer, with a constant seasonal headwind to beat the pending monsoon. ive never bonked that hard until then, or since!
That day in the saddle… only 140km, really flat as it was practically coastal, but it destroyed me, I literally crawled into a roadside restaurant shoveling sugar and salt in my face, washing it down with worrying amounts of water. I thought I was dying.
The short exploration of Pondicherry revealed an old Utopian hippy commune go terribly wrong over time. Its as expected, Utopia is a direction, never a reality…. inevitably writhing towards the inevitable corruption by greed. Auroville was a beautiful project, a testament to visions of the community that wanted to create a non-religious center where inner peace is achieved through rigorous meditation and unconditional adoption of socialist ideals.
The rest of the trip was a sweaty blur back up to Chennai, over -through Andhra Pradesh and through Telangana…. Telangana is a new state where everyone is chasing the fictitious new money as ‘migrant’ workers flood the city looking to fill the new jobs.
That place was batshitcrazy…. the worst place id ever been to, I would recommend maintaining a 100+ mike wide birth around it…. here are some images, but I will let someone more qualified explain how terrible this place is. We completely abandoned seeing the sites for the sake of our sanity and safety.
As we ran out of time approaching the border of Maharashtra, it was time for our last romance with the worlds biggest company The Indian Railways! This time with a little added comfort in the notorious sleeper class!
Oh the luxury, soon it will be variable-temperature taps, drinking water, friends, family, sit-down toilets with toilet paper, humane temperature, glorious-cold-rain, green grass, clouds, decent coffee, recognizable vegetables, refrigerated products, stable gut-flora….
Yet I know it will be no time till I miss the sunburns and sweet nonsense, the overwhelming sense of being far-far from home and all the unimaginable things I will get used to on tours to come, solving problems beyond my scope of reference and using alien tools; these are the things were wired to do, far removed from the inner city bustle, in a field navigating by celestial bodies, soon enough ill be lost again. I hope.