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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Sunday 4 March 2018

India coast to coast day 6 and 7

India coast to coast day 6 and 7
During the last couple of days we transitioned across to the region of Kerala. Day 6 was a bit of a slog as we traveled 60 miles along some busier roads with not a lot to see. As a result the pace was high but so was the temperature that peaked at 43C. At one stage Mrs Crusader employed 2 Indian school girls on bikes as domestiques to lead her along until the next refreshments stop.
Mrs Crusader tucking in behind her domestiques
We had 3 tea shop visits during the day but none performed particularly well on either the AAA or tea front and didn't move my tea or tea shop search forward.
First tea of the day
After lunch our guide said he had recently been told about a beautiful village worth checking out and as we were making good time offered us a complementary ride there to see what it was like.
Cycling through the beautiful village
It was very pleasant and nice to be off the busy roads but sadly it didn't have a tea shop.
Heading back to the busy roads
At the end of our complementary ride we found ourselves flying down the hard shoulder of an Indian motorway. This might sound a scary proposition as it was like riding on the A47 but even with buses and lorries whizzing past I knew I would be safe, as long as my bell kept working.

We finished the ride with another race across a busy town that included the last of our 3 tea shop stops before the day was done 
Busy city centre tea shop
Day 7 started with a final temple. We are moving away from the Hindu region so will soon only have churches and mosques to look at. But it was a cracker and the second biggest in southern India. A fitting end to my selection of temples of the day.
My final temple of the day at Madurai
As there were no roads suitable for cycling then we hopped on the tour bus for a 60 mile transfer to the start of the next section. It was much greener here and also included our first site of mountains so I was interested if there would be an improvement in the quality of the tea as well.
Now in a greener and hillier region as we head to Kerala
At the Temple in the morning I had purchased a map of India from a very insistent gentleman. It only cost me the equivalent of 55p but apparently this is well above the market rate. When I discovered it was not only a map but the flip side was a fact sheet as well I felt it was a veritable bargain. The first of many facts I have now learnt is that In the region of Tamil Nadu there are over 77 million people and I think I have waved to most of them as I have gone past on my bike.
There are 77 million people plus oxen to wave to in Tamil Nadu
Our tea stop was excellent and possibly my favourite as it was good tea, was slightly off the road so less danger of being hit by a bus, our fellow tea drinkers were very friendly and there was both an indoor and outdoor seating area. Sadly no food so we had to make do with biscuits keeping its overall rating down.
Lovely tea shop off with lots of seating options
The tea itself was good and some of the rating team reckoned the best of the week (other than the ginger one) but still not above the mystical 7 out of 10.
Nice looking tea
It was now time for the only climb on the trip which was a 3 mile one going up about 400m. On the way up you could see the plains behind us as we were entering the more hilly Kerala region.
Leaving Tamil Nadu behind
The main attraction was the number of monkeys lining the route, like our very own Tour de France crowd (only more marsupial based). Some even ran alongside you just like in the real event although some of the punters didn't appreciate their support.
Our own Tour de France style crowd on the climb
After a couple of days of very different cycling we are now nearly a week through my Indian mission of trying to find a cup of tea worth more than 7 out of 10. It may be my theory is correct and no such thing exists but now we enter the tea plantation area so hopefully the quality will improve.
Entering Kerala at the top of the climb
Tomorrow is a rest day while we regroup before the hillier sections start.

Day after Tomorrow's weather forecast (temperature down to a chilly 24C)

Cafe ratings
Auraville visitor centre cafe
Othakkadai Madurai.                             6.0                3.8.               3.0                     4.27
Uthamapalayam.                                   6.3.               3.2.               7.0                     5.5

 Miles Average speed  Time riding  Metres climbeed
 Day1 familiarisation  2.9 8.08 0:21 2
 Day 2 Puducherry loop 14 9.76 1:26 77
 Day 3 Puducherry to Chidambaram  63.2 12.68 4:59 119
 Day 4 Chidambaram to Tanjoure  41.9 12.35 3:23 69
 Day 5 Tanjoure to Chettinad 63.6 14.35 4:26 247
 Day 6 Chettinad to Madurai 58.1 14.22 4:05 238
 Day 7 Madurai to Thekkady 23.2 11.99 1:56 581
 Overall 266.9 12.98 20:34 1333

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