Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

For more information on the Cafes I have visited and the latest cafe cycle news go to http://www.cake-crusader.co.uk/

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Wednesday 28 February 2018

India coast to coast day 3.

                                 India Coast to Coast day 3  

Although I was still none the wiser as to if a cup of tea could ever score more than 7 out of 10 I was now settled into the way of the bike in India and ready for our first long day on our way to the Arabian Sea. My only worry was that Mrs Crusader had decided that the style of Indian driving was much better than first thought and planned to adopt the "get out of my my" approach to driving on our return to the UK.

Our first challenge would again be getting through Puducherry. There is an old Indian proverb "you can ride a bike without brakes but not without a bell". I followed this advice as the basis for my urban area cycling approach (UACA) which was to close my eyes and then madly ringing my bell when crossing any junction. It seemed to work pretty damn well as I'm still alive. Once clear of the city the "real" India opened up before us.
Finally leaving the urban India
The roads were now clear and we had moved from the hustle and bustle of the city to the more tranquil paddy fields and banana groves.This area is known as India's larder. From time to time there were still motorbikes and lorries to contend with but these were now joined by oxen pulled carts as well. 
Locals hard at it in the Paddy fields
By mid morning we were ready for our first stop which was a charming tea room at Caddaloor and I was at last hoping to be able to test out the tea.
Outside our first proper India tea shop
The Barista insisted on giving us ginger tea (which is sort of tea) and a spicy deep fried rice cake thing (which is sort of cake). By now I had embroiled the rest of the tours punters in the way of cafe rating but as always with new cycling guest they were far too generous with their markings and I had to intervene.
Over generous tea and cake rating in the charming indoor seating area
Although the ginger tea was very nice I still felt it needed to be capped at a 7. The spicy deep fried rice cake thing was excellent and although only a sort of cake got a high food rating putting the cafe at Caddaloor into first place for India.
Ginger tea and fried rice cake thing
Back on the roads I was impressed just how advanced Indian technology had become because as we in the west struggle to deliver the driverless car the driverless Oxen cart was a regular site here.
A driverless Oxen car
We were surrounded by photo opportunities but as I stopped to take a photo of yet another paddy field a passing moped pulled over as he thought I had stopped to buy a plastic bucket from him. They were very good plastic buckets and I was tempted but had no way to carry it, so to our mutual disappointment continued on plastic bucketless.
Plastic bucket sales opportunity went begging
After a quick picnic lunch we were off again on some more very quiet roads as we headed for the big town of Buvanagiri.
Cycling past more bananas
Here we found our second stop of the day. There was no indoor or outdoor seating area which had the inevitable impact on the tea rooms Atmosphere and Ambiance rating.
Outside the tea shop in a big town
Here there was a proper tea man making the tea. This involved pouring the tea from a great height into the glass (and back again several times) for what reason I have no idea but it was a neat trick and one I shall be adopting to impress guests requiring tea back at Crusader Towers in the future.
Tea man doing his tea trick
For the sake of research I ordered a white (chai) and black tea as this would finally be my first proper cup of Indian tea and I wanted to know the best way to take it. One taste of each confirmed that the chai needs to be consigned to the never drink it again bucket (if only I had bought one earlier) while the black tea was the way forward. 
Chai (white tea) should be avoided at all cost.
Once again I was aided by the group and we felt the tea was nice but hardly the nectar I was after and certainly not a 7 plus rating.
Tea rating outside the tea shop
It was now meant to be a short bike ride to our hotel although a couple of us did some extra as we missed the turning and the Broom wagon had to be despatched to turn us around. Despite this we got to our hotel an hour ahead of schedule!
Got too far ahead of the group and missed the turning, whoops
All very interesting, I hear you say, but what about temple of the day. Well I had a choice of three to choose from on this ride but our hotel had its very own temple facility so even though I failed to work out how to get in I've made it today's temple of the day. 
Todays temple of the day
It was a fascinating 63 mile ride and I was impressed by the quality of road surface that compared favourably with those in rural Norfolk, plus the Indian people we met were very friendly waving and shouting hello. Many motorbikes also pulled up alongside and wanting to chat about our journey with no other motive than satisfying their curiosity as to why anyone would want to go cycling in their country for fun.

I still haven't found that special cup of tea yet and we don't get to the tea plantations for a few more days but tomorrow's 42 mile ride promises an excursion to a temple that could well be a contender for not only temple of the day but temple of the tour.

Tomorrow's weather forecast (what a surprise 30C + and full sun again)
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Cafe ratings 
Auraville visitor centre cafe


Average Speed
Hours on bike
Meters climbed
Day 1 familiarisation 
Day 2 Puducherry loop
Day 3 Puducherry to Chidambaram


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