Kozhikode n Wayanad (draft)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A trip that seemed doomed finally came alive at the last moment and none of us who made it regretted that fact. Kozhikode, kannur and mahe were the destinations chosen this time. In many ways different because we were going for the first time without our regulars like Praveen, Vinodh or Vishwa, who were really missed and also because there was no trekking planned this time.

Our 10 pm in theory departure degenerated into a 12.30 pm out of bangalore one but that should be excused coz our indianness would have been in doubt otherwise. The usual chattering and battering followed all through the journey until one by one, the bodies fell asleep and the minds followed. Amit took it upon himself to stay awake the whole journey to give the driver company by just staring out of the windshield as if in a daze. How much of it helped the driver is debatable but it left some of us in splits atleast.

Most of us came awake when we started descending the heights of wayanad down to the Kozhikode region which was pretty much at sea level. The view, early in the morning, was awesome. Soon after the descent we were confronting the harsh reality of the coastal plains, the stifling humidity. One feature of kerala is the absence of any decently long section of the road without signs of civilization. Its almost as if, kerala is based on either side of the highways. One doesn't realise when one town/village ends and the next begins.

Soon we were travelling on a pretty crowded road and our enquiries as to whether we reached Calicut to our driver were answered with "No. We are in some place called Kozhikode". The poor guy didn't know that Kerala had renamed all its towns with their original (non-european version) names more than 15 years back. A fairly large town and not very crowded so early in the morning. Then the fun started. We hadn't reserved rooms for ourselves and had the not so enviable task of searching for a decent hotel, what with all of us sleepy eyed, tired, hungry and more importantly, lost. We were well and truly lost. We couldn't locate our position in the map that we had. After parking our vehicle near the city railway station, we formed a scouting group comprising me, shantanu, vid and amit. After doing a short round of the city by autorickshaw and then by foot, checking a few hotels, we zeroed on one which was both affordable and decent enough.

It was 10 am by the time we finished taking our baths and then landed in the vegetarian restaurent below our hotel. While munching sumptous amounts of the food, plans for the day were being made. The first destination would be Kappad beach. Telephonic enquiries with the operators also helped sew up plans for the evening in a house boat in the backwaters. Our new itinerary planner, Shantanu was working with amazing alacrity while not attending to the innumerable personal calls on his mobile. I take this opportunity to introduce our new accountant for the trip, Amit, who did a commendable job. He had, after all, the great legacy of Praveen to try and emulate. His innovative math, post trip, didn't find favor with many though ;-)

We moved along the NH17 towards Mangalore. Some
...to be continued

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