17 April 2017


Allapuzha – Calicut (235 km)

The day started very early, without briefing, and most teams left already around 7:00 already - with 235 kms and partly crowded streets, the day promised to be long. 
We followed the coastal street, where driving in that sunny, early morning turned out to be a real pleasure.
Backwaters in the early morning sun

Fishermen reparing their nets

Coconut tree plantation in the backwater area.
Why is everyone complaining about chaotic traffic conditions in India's streets? You just have to find the right one!

First stop for challenge #1 of the day: Snap a photo of your rickshaw and teammate by a Kerala backwater!

We had to be somehow creative to get the extra points for a traditional houseboat included in the picture!

First real stop in the old spice capital Cochin (Kochi):

Since the 14th century, Cochin is an important spice trading centre and therefore quickly got in the focus of interest of European colonialists, who competed for spice trade monopolies.
Pepper, cardamaom, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, star anise and turmeric are all grwon and traded here. The streets are heavy of the spices's smell, and the shops are a real feast for all senses!
Any idea what this might be?

"No parking" ... (when we arrived, the shops where still closed)

Slim local cats getting a treat by a friendly fish vendor (other cats we saw that day were less lucky).

No idea how these spice trucs make it through the narrow steets.

After sightseing and challenges (finding out lots of facts about Cochin's history and spices) we decided it was time for a hort rest:

Our Frankfurt rickshaws.

Splashing around in the Arabian Sea

Rickshaws and goats relaxing.

Adrian even chilled with a goat.
We decided not to continue by the main street, the national highway, but to take the ferry shortcut - not sure it was that much shorter! But it was fun to meet the other teams, and various other locals and travellers! 

Five or six cars and rickshaws made it on the ferry at each turn.

Crammed little ferry, but escorted by dolphins!

Last tea stop in the afternoon, with many other teams.
 And then we really had to rush - we missed the flagdown at 6:30 by 5 minutes, due to the massive rush hour traffic and a police officer, who refused to let us take the straight way but sent us in a detour (comprising U-turns leading directly in heavily jammed streets) - our nerves where on the edge!

Driving across the streets of Cochin:

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