One of my travel mates had to attend an office meeting at 9 over the internet and so we had to start late today. When he was busy with his meeting, I went to the beach and took a bath. This was my third and last outdoor bath on this road trip.
The plan for the day was to visit Thalassery, Mahe and then to Kozhikode. We were not sure where to stay for the night. One of my friends on the trip wanted to reach Cochin for Christmas. So we were discussing if we should reach Cochin or Thrissur or Kozhikode for the nights stay. A friend of mine from Kozhikode had offered a stay there. So we decided to stay in Kozhikode, if the offer still stays and if not move to Thrissur for the night.
We reached Thalassery fort, parked the car and found a vegetarian restaurant nearby. We had breakfast in this restaurant. Having food in bigger restaurants has this problem anywhere in India. The food available there is not local. We had idli and dosas the same which you can find anywhere else in southern India. The Thalassery fort had a lighthouse in it and was small in scale compared to the St. Angelo or the Bekal forts.
Our next destination was Mahe. Mahe is a part of Pondicherry union territory. And the tax here is a bit less compared to other states. So we filled our cars fuel tank. We took a stroll in the Mahe riverside walk. I found an interesting sight there. There was a couple showing a lot of Public Display of Affection (PDA). This is not the first time I have seen something like this. But everywhere else it happens behind a tree or a bush assuming little privacy. But here in Mahe, it was straight in the public and no one bats an eye. The Mahe riverside walkway is a well planned public park with some huge trees and a lot of bird shit around it. But the place was beautiful and peaceful for a stroll. The whole place had a french touch.
From the start of the trip, I had no plans of drinking alcohol. And my travel mates were fine with it. Unless they entered a place where alcohol is cheap. But since I denied, they decided to buy and take it with them. I warned them against it because of my previous experiences in Goa. If there is a car filled with guys and a bearded guy driving a car, the probability of it being stopped by cops is really high.
We were stopped and the police found the alcohol in our car. When my friends were speaking to the higher officials I was with the constables. One of them was very happy to see the Che Guevera decal in my car and was enquiring about Communism in Tamil Nadu, my home state. I was a bit proud when I mentioned to him that we had 4 Members of Parliament from Communist Party of India (CPI) elected this time and one among them is one of my favorite authors who got elected from Madurai.
The police confiscated the alcohol and the spirits of us too. We decided to hit the road again and to reach Cochin tonight skipping Kozhikode and Thrissur. This meant we were reaching Cochin a day before our plan and we had to miss our host in Cochin. A friend had arranged for our stay in Cochin. But since we arrived early, we missed our stay there.
Today is supposed to be the longest drive of the whole trip. We drove straight for 8 hours from Mahe to Cochin. Our plan was to stay in Cochin for a night. But again a series of mistakes in booking the room and cancelling it made us stay in Cochin for two nights. The first night was in a home stay and the next night in The Lost Hostels, a backpackers hostel.
We reached Cochin the same night and went to Fort Cochin. The beach was in festive mode. Christmas and the Cochin carnival decorations were everywhere. The beach was like a madhouse, people moving everywhere and a lot of food stalls and other shops selling multiple other things.
After spending sometime on the beach, we decided to move to the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica. The church was gearing up for the midnight prayers. And then it was time to rest for the day. It was shocking to realize I had spent more than 4 days in the Kannur district alone and haven’t covered it fully either. The realization that I can’t cover all the coastal places of Kerala in 9 days hit me.
This post is part of a series of posts. Do check the whole series here.