From Calicut (Kozhikode), the riding was hectic on NH 17 but by now, I was getting used to Keralite driving and enjoying it. I passed through the small territory of Mahe, administered by the Union Territory of Puducherry, and noted the crowded petrol stations. I was later told that petrol is 10 rupees cheaper there. As liquor is also cheaper, Mahe is a place to stock up on all essential liquids.
The driving in northern Kerala got a little more calm and pretty soon, I entered Karnataka - state number 3 on this trip around India. I got around Mangalore and overtook a police van and pretty soon they were flashing their lights and waving me over. I thought, "OK, here we go, first police stop in India..." but there were no worries. They were just curious and wanted to take some photos. I told them I was trying to get to Udupi before dark and they quickly let me carry on.
I reached Udupi and was greeted by the United Riders Udupi Bullet Motorcycle Club and they put me up in a hotel in town. It was good to hang out with like-minded people and share tales from the road. They gave me tips for riding in Spiti and Ladakh and set me up with a few contacts there. In the evening, we went for a quick tour around Manipal where my sister studied for a number of years and the facilites looked very impressive.
Onward to Goa tomorrow!
Watch the video of the friendly police check near Mangalore:
The Konkan coast begins north of Kerala and continues through Goa into Maharashtra. On this route are some of the most famous temples in the region, some of the country's best-known beaches and the entire region is a culinary treasure-house offering seafood and vegetarian cuisines as varied as Konkani, Goan and Malwani.
Spiritual Awakening - The Ganesha Coast
The Forgotten Shivappa Nayak Palace