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Day 2 of The Candid Odyssey

Normally, we will stay around one day per destination. On certain days, it will be just continuous travel. Today is such a day, all-day travel. Early morning in Coimbatore is so calm. At least the bus can now go through the streets freely. The shops haven't opened yet. Before the city wakes up, let's leave for Mettupalayam. It's a connecting bus station. It's a bit struggling to find the right buses because the sign boards are in Tamil only. Nothing is written in English or Hindi anywhere. My native language is Malayalam. I know English and some Hindi also. So, I had to ask around 10 people to find the right bus to Coonoor. Right after we board the bus, an incident caught the attention. There was a mentally weak man. He created some problems for passengers who sat beside him. This made many others angry, even though they were simply watching. One person assaulted him and pushed him out of the bus! He also left the bus, and the rest is unknown. That was disgusting. But we could only just watch. There is something called empathy that lacked here. I always believe that empathy is the basis of our acts towards others. This kind of situations make that belief firmer.

Coonoor is a hill station. Yes, we are going up! The bus journey is exciting. A lot of hairpin bends along the way. Hundreds of monkeys on the roadside playing, eating, and grooming each other. The lush green trees and the morning sun give us a serene view. It's comparatively colder though. As a first layer of cold prevention, we have a head hat. From here, we will be going to Ooty via toy train (yes, you read that right!). These trains run on steam engines and it's part of Nilgiri Mountain Railways. It connects people with different hill stations. The passengers are tourists, mostly couples and families. We are probably the only ones traveling alone. The train goes through the top of the hills, in between scenic trees. Hundreds of Eucalyptus trees packed together offers the best natural beauty. Those desktop wallpapers that we use to see from childhood is becoming a reality now :) The train runs very slowly, and even walking could have been much faster. Even though everything is faster these days, people still love to spend money to go slower sometimes, ironic! It's up to us whether or not to enjoy the slowness, right?

Once we reach Ooty, we walk here and there trying to understand the place and to enjoy nature. It's all about the viewpoints and climate. That's all mostly. That's why we will get on another bus, with no further delay, to Gudalur. It's is also part of the Nilgiri Mountains which is associated with Western Ghats. The journey offers good views, a forest vibe, mists along the way, and even fresh carrots on sale. From Gudalur we are going to Kozhikode. As it's night and raining heavily, the bus is almost empty. At night, we reach Kozhikode, whicb is a vibrant city. We can walk across the town, including the Mittai Theruvu (Sweetmeat Street). It's a culturally significant street known for its market and art. As it was night, the market was empty. All we could notice was some suspicious people doing some suspicious things in a suspicious way. Better not get into trouble, let's hurry to the railway station. Today, we are going to sleep on the train. Usually, if a train journey is longer than 6 hours, we will be taking the Sleeper Class journey at night so that 1) we can save a lot of time and 2) we can save the accommodation costs for that night. So, expect this strategy to be reused many times as we go further. We also need to take many precautions while sleeping on the train. Like using the rucksack as pillow, keeping the phone and wallet in the rucksack, keeping the pepper spray in pocket, etc. We need to take risks, but no foolish risks. So, we will always take precautions. Oh, I didn't mention where we are going next. We will see tomorrow :)

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