today we booked tickets on a seriously long bus ride (10-12 hours) to reach bangalore, the bikes, and the world beyond southern kerala. since the bus doesn't leave until 5, we were stuck in munnar ... which is a great place to be stuck, incedentally. still feeling the rush from the amazing trek we took yesterday, we rented a motorcycle.
this was not before i attempted to rent my own bike, nearly jumped it from under me and peeled out all over the bazaar down town, nearly crushing myself and getting many a laugh and disapproving scowl from the locals. i handed the keys to my bike back and decided i had better learn how to ride a motorcycle before i, you know, rode one.
we took our single bike to a big dirt parking lot full of trucks. there, for perhaps an hour, we rode back and forth moving through the gears and basically teaching ourselves how to ride a bike. one of us would ride around while the other one sipped chai at the tea and cigarette stall nearby. our constant stallings and failure to be even remotely graceful brought kind laughter from some spectators sharing the lot. after a while we got the hang of it. well, eliot did anyway. i still sucked. since eliot had paid for the bike, i let him have the helmet and drive, while i rode on the back.
carving through the hills outside town was stellar. we ended up on what turned out to be a private rode, but with no knowledge of that fact, we enjoyed the space and scenary. we passed a shrine to shiva built under a boulder (obvious due to the characteristic tridents painted everywhere). we crossed a rope bridge over a creek that swayed back in forth in a stomach turning sort-of way. we even saw a huge gray snake moving through the tea plants.
back in town we had a sub-par lunch at some much lauded restaurant. i headed into town looking for a cup of ginger tea (southern kerala looooooooves this stuff and so does drew. in fact, he's obsessed). eliot took the bike and headed out to burn rubber all over creation. hopefully he makes it back to town in time to catch the bus ...
in unrelated news, i met a really nice young lady at the internet cafe here in Munnar yesterday who told us about her two friends also biking india. if you are this young lady (jessie ... jess ... ica?), drop us a note. we'd love to stay in touch and, if we can find your friends, form a gringo-foursome bike-a-go-go.
keep peddling, ghosties.