Gates of Hell – Day TWO

THE PATIENT WAS IN TEARS. He had become totally blind in a matter of two months. His wife had expired and he had discontinued his diabetic medications and injections for three months straight. I examined him in as much detail as possible and could give him no guarantee for his lost vision. If he had taken his meds and visited his ophthalmologist and physician regularly, he would at least still have his eyesight.Diabetic retinopathy is real and it’s very serious. Kidding yourself that your doctor is lying will only bring you ill health.

Will my suffering over 1045km bring awareness to the public?

Onward to:

Day TWO:

Hotel Chenduran Park, Dindigul

I got up at 330am, proceeded to brush my teeth and get ready while waking up the others who were still fast asleep. The plan was to go to Sirumalai at 5am but we found that the forest checkpoint would open only at 6am. Losing one hour of valuable time didn’t sound cool since we had to cover 290km that day of which 50km was uphill.

The elevation to Kodai is for 50km as can be seen from the graph.We started straight to Kodai from the hotel.

There was a drizzle but nothing that could not be managed. After taking some time to find the way, we set out at a good speed. The morning was chill and the occasional call of birds meant we were not the only ones up and about.

Maintaining an average of 25-28kmph, we stopped for tea twice along the way. I bought the guys some cake to eat before the climb at 630am. We reached the base checkpost on time and clicked a picture.

The climb was awesome and I managed to keep a steady 9-10 kmph speed.

Photo of Manjalar Dam:

Aravind caught up with me when I was having breakfast at the 15th km uphill.

Both of us then rode together to the top, taking photos near the famous Silver falls.

We finally reached Kodai at 1230pm and I found a chocolate shop (Aravind’s favourite cycling snack), took pics by lake,

then had lunch at ‘Thatha’s bread omelette kadai’. Bhuvanesh caught up in half hour and we started downhill at 1pm (or so we thought).

The road to Palani had ten km of further uphill (which none of us noted on the graph) and weren’t mentally prepared for. Cursing and whining within myself, I pushed on. After that, we were blessed with downhill adrenaline rush at 40kmph speed, except for bad road patches every two km.We managed to reach Palani only by 330pm, and raced at 25kmph average to Udumalpet. After that, exhaustion took it’s toll, and the average fell to a dismal 16kmph being fuelled by tea or drink stops to 22kmph on and off. We crossed Pollachi only by 730pm.

The road to Coimbatore saw us fully drenched in rain.At 50km from the point of stay, the rain started pelting our faces and bodies making it hard to see. We jumped down a platform and ran to take cover under a building. The rain had no intention of stopping but when it reduced, we decided to keep moving. While returning to the bike, Aravind placed his palms on the platform and cleanly swung his legs up back to the road.

Forgetting my exhaustion I followed the 18 year old, only to bang my left knee square on the platform. My vision blurred as my knee went through pain and then numbness. I closed my eyes, knelt on one knee and focused, breathing slowly and steadily.

When I felt I was fine, I proceeded to examine my knee. No pain on flexion or extension. No pain on internal or external rotation. There was some dried blood but I figured no broken bones. We managed to reach Hotel Pranov Residency only at 1130pm after navigating through highly irritating traffic which slowed us down to a 10kmph crawl.

The pain in my knee was more pronounced now.”Worrying”, I said to myself as I proceeded to insert my phone charger to the socket.

Exhausted from the day’s events we fell asleep almost as soon as our heads hit the pillow.This was probably our second most difficult day of the five day experience. (The worst was yet to come)

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