Lot of things happened in the past week. Getting hold of the suitable stuff is quite tedious job. Last week took trike to Puttur & got a camera mount fabricated. The finishing was tolerable and only thing bothering me was it was bit heavy. I was shocked to find that camera looked skyward when turned to front and my belly, not my face when turned towards me. He could have bolted a flat iron piece and made sure it is level before handing it over to me. So took the trike again to the same place, paid more money & made it more satisfactory.
There was some confusion about net access. GPRS charges ( 2 GB for 99 Rupees) are much cheaper. The USB modem that has a GSM slot is in market & with that both browsing & uploading becomes much cheaper. Finally realized that it is not within my reach at the moment (Minimum one or two weeks needed) & took a data card from infamous private operator that is supposed to be Number One. It is expensive but I am hoping it will be more reliable.
The Hydration management is a tricky job & got a 2 liter hydration sac from Wildcraft outlet in Mangalore. Suffering from urinary inconsistency, I tend to take less water and that could be very dangerous in hot climate in long rides like this. Now this water sac will be in the bag & I can keep sipping all the time.
Few days back Anil was following me on our Omni in village road. A scooter coming very fast & overtaking us did not see me till last moment and passed very close to me. So it is clear that a slow moving vehicle behind will hide me from the view of the drivers coming from behind. So I have to very careful about my visibility. Here is a interesting article on visibility.
There is still confusion about crossing Kerala. Shankaranna & Ravi have advised to avoid many parts because the road is in poor condition due to heavy traffic & heavy rain. My B plan has always been taking Tamilnadu route to travel towards north & I would be happy if you share your thinking on this aspect. With lower visibility on road, riding trike will be dangerous in heavy traffic. Tamilnadu means taking NH 7 upto Karur but bypassing Madurai and after that towards Sathyamangalam via Erode.
I had opted for Kerala on first leg thinking it is safer. With higher literacy and vibrant media, I had hoped it will be better. Now I am seriously reconsidering the pro & cons of taking Kerala route regarding Heavy traffic, Communal problems & frequent haratal, I am feeling Tamilnadu could be better. 24th hartal in 6 months in Kerala was observed in July. I could be easy target in such disturbed circumstances.
On the Shiradi trip, I had told Dinakar that I need thirty minutes rainfree to set my riding rhythm. Unfortunately there was heavy rain within fifteen minutes & it unsettled my riding. Same way, the trip from Thiruvananthapuram will decide whether I finally take Kerala or Tamilnadu to ride.
Now things are all in place for me to take a train to Thiruvananthapuram on 17th. Reaching there next morning, I will be pedaling to Kanyakumari. I will be starting from Kanyakumari on Friday, 20th morning. Comments and suggestions are welcome, especially on Kerala / Tamilnadu choice.