Our plan for saturday was to cycle to Dindigul, but we weren’t looking forward to drive for 100km over a 4 lane highway and stay in big city with 4 milion inhabitants which isn’t in lonely planet so we decided to change our route. Instead of cycling to Dindigul we drove to Karaikkudi. Neither in Lonely Planet, but a smaller city and on the route there should be villages with nice old houses. Because Tiruchirapalli is the crossroad of southern India, all roads from/to it are big and busy. Our new route turned out not to be different. The first 40km were on a wide road with no lanes but you could make 4 of them, and the Indians did of course. Several times we had to drive over gravel/dirt roads because of roadworks or something what should look like that.
After 40km we left the highway and took a very small road to a real empty, peaceful, beautiful and quiet part of India, with indeed beautiful houses in the villages as we were told.
In the villages are a lot of speed bumps (speed brakers they call them here). Some are visible and on a logical location, some are announced but a lot come as a complete surprise and they really are good speed brakers, even for us on our bikes! A collapse at 25km/h of Koens bike with one, changed Koens front wheel carrier into a piece of wrecked steel and had to be removed.
Now Koen has to travel further with 2 instead of 4 bags, this isn’t a problem but the balance on the bike just isn’t as perfect as it could be. Happily he didn’t crash (again) and the bike itself didn’t get damaged.
One of the locals who was on the spot where the ‘accident’ happened turned out to be our local gardian angel for the rest of the day and guided us the last 30km on his motorcycle, warning us for every speed bump. So finally we arrived safely at our hotel in Karaikkudi. After a necessary shower we treated ourselves on a nice beer (650ml which is standard here) with some spicey snacks. The bars in the hotels seem always to be in a dark cellar, with a mysterious atmosphere.