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Tue, 21 Mar 2006:

I am not the most organized traveller around, but this time it wasn't my fault that the plans were a mess. When shres and me planned out a trip to Calicut, it involved a day time drive through Wayanad and two extra days for the drives. But what came to be was a final and hasty booking on an AC bus from madiwala. We can take the rough with the smooth and we were prepared for a rough trip. We had got the seats 27 and 28, which are right above the rear tyres of the bus. If that wasn't enough someone else had already booked those seats from Kalasipalayam due to some mixup with the ticketing. We got the seats re-allocated to 21-22. But the guys who had got ours weren't really particular about sitting anywhere and we managed to hold on to the seats.

Shreyas slept on, while I was listening to Zeppelin and singing along. And at around 2 AM, the bus broke down. There was some problem with shifting gears and the guy managed to drag it to a nearby hotel. When I walked into the hotel, I was surprised to find someone sitting at the far end in a Yahoo! T-shirt. It turned out to be Jemshad, who was headed for Lakshadweep. We had tea and went our seperate ways, forever more.

In an hour, another bus coming in the opposite direction was flagged down and we swapped buses. By about 4 AM, we hit the ghat section of the road. Intially till we got to Muthanga, the road was pretty flat and minor gradients round the hills. After we got into Wayanad for real, the hairpins started. At around 5, we started our descent from the hills and towards kalpatta.

Because of our delays, we saw the hills of wayanad in the light of the rising sun. The camera had almost run out of batteries and the road was very bumpy - half the photos I took of the dawn are blurry and wavy lines of sun. But the hills looked ethereal in the morning mists. The curves of mist around the foothills, the bright glow of the sun behind the big ones - so beautiful.

We had a bit of early morning confusion about where we were supposed to get down. Since both our phones were unreachable, by the time I got into coverage, there was a huge number of SMS messages about where we are and all that. We were told that we could get down at Kunnamangalam, which around 8 Kms away from the NIT. I called up the reception party about that, who first said "no, come straight to calicut" and called back to check if we could get down there after we were about 2-3 kms beyond the circle. Finally, we got to Palayam, where they picked up us and took us about the same way we came for 20kms to get back to the NIT.

The time - quarter to nine.

When you ascend the hill of prosperity may you not meet a friend.
                                                                -- Mark Twain

posted at: 09:03 | path: /travels | permalink | Tags: ,