– ODO- 7825 – 7896km
– Location- Santa Maria Hostel Cochin (Kochi), India
– Weather- 19-35 Clear and Hot
As I’ve moved further south into Kerala there are more and more people. Especially down by the coastal highway I’ve been following. That’s lead to some awkward situations trying to camp. The last couple of day I’ve been lucky but last night I got caught diving into the bushes by two kids. I looked away and hoped they would go away. When I looked up again there were about ten kids looking in at the bushes so confused. What’s this sweaty white guy doing sitting in our bushes?
I had to decide to wait it out in the dark or carry on. In the end, I packed up my stuff and rode out of the bushes and across the families drive, humiliated as they giggled in surprise.
Luckily just across the road was a petrol station. I stopped and asked an attendant if I could camp there behind the main buildings. He said yes for sure. As I was opening my bags and making use of the tap to wash my face and the plug to recharge my batteries a group of boys jumped the wall from their football pitch to head home for the night. They were so excited to see me. My mood changed in an instant and I now have 10 new Instagram friends. They invited me for food and to play football with them the next day.
When I spoke to Josiah last week he said that when he was cycling in India he asked at schools if he could camp on their grounds. As I get to the most heavily populated parts of the country I will try more of the same. The people are so friendly if a little confused about what I’m doing. Excepting – not hiding from – hospitality is something I need to learn.