Day 40 - Thiruvaiyaru to Kumbakonam

Distance: 36km

I walked through the pitch black of the early morning - far earlier then usual. I was unable to keep any food down yesterday, and along with the dehydration I needed to ensure as many kilometres were done by the time the temperature hit 40 degree with an energy sapping 100% humidity.

 The best part of the day. 

The best part of the day. 

The mist rose over the wheat fields, villagers already spreading wheat across the road that would be threshed by the wheels of the traffic. By mid morning I reached a cross section of the Kaveri River where it split into two sections. I decided to walk along the island that sat in the middle of the tributary. To get there I ran up this steep ramp that put me onto the bridge - it reminded me of the Travelator from Gladiator. I then unclipped and lifted Colin as I climbed back down from the bridge to a morning congregation of people washing themselves. The villagers were obviously confused as to where I was going as they attempted to redirect me back on the highway.

 Is that the right way? 

Is that the right way? 

 Morning swim in the Kaveri

Morning swim in the Kaveri

I was over their input and hastily walked towards the vein-like footpath - densely covered by the tree line and I knew that it would only add to the sweat bucket of humidity. Ridiculous one would say that in my state I would choose this option, but I came on the adventure to explore all areas and fight - not to take the easy option.

 Bathing a cow in the Kaveri

Bathing a cow in the Kaveri

 Wandering through the banana plantations  

Wandering through the banana plantations  

My head was pounding and the body aching - the challenge was real as I began to drag Colin through the mud with a thick bed of leaf litter being pulled along with it. I questioned that maybe I should have listened to the villagers at the start - especially when I reached a dead end when the path almost immediately stopped and I became surrounded by banana plantations! Turning back at this stage surely couldn’t be the only option? I decided to weave my way through the banana plantation - and hopefully it would open up on the other side.

Sure enough it did as I startled an old lady. I couldn’t quite read her expression but she showed me who was boss when she viciously signalled me to wait where I was. Patience I reminded myself.

 Bringing over the supplys

Bringing over the supplys

 The Family

The Family

She returned with the entire family behind her - she limped towards me with her hunched back and looked up with this beaming no-tooth smile and gave me a handful of bananas as well as these things that were more sour than a warhead (apparently they are good for the eyes). Her son came over and cleaned up my tyres with his machete. I sat with the family as they brought out all types of food to try - nuts, coconuts and even flowers and I gave the kids books and pens to write on. Once again time seemed to pass by as we shared a special commonality. I felt back… like I never left.

I will forever carry the love and compassion they showed me. It is so easy to get caught up in your own ego and forget where your priorities lie. We are all equal - no life is more important than another. Our underlying nature is to show kindness and compassion towards each other. I do not wish to come across holier than thou as that is not who I am and I am far from it. It is my belief however, that compassion is a behaviour we should cultivate and practice more frequently for not only the wellbeing of others but also for our own long lasting happiness. Draw upon our commonalities not our differences - we are all human beings with one purpose - happiness.

 Smug Happy

Smug Happy

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