A knock on my door – ‘Bag Please Mister’ as my door is opened for me whilst I panic in my room – I am late – again – I stand in front of the porter (who has just walked in) – I am naked and hand him my bag – ‘Why did my alarm not go off?’ – did the others get up ok? – I wake up my neighbouring rooms – Bernie and Beryl lay on their bed still fully clothed from last night – then I look at my watch – I read it upside down initially – Its 5.25 – what the hell is this guy doing in my room? – the concept of time here is crazy. I’m up – I need water, coffee and food – Tony is up – he has to get his baggage and bike from the truck before it drives off at 6.30 to flag our route – it’s another quick goodbye for him before he goes back to bed – I’m jealous – I need sleep too.
It’s now a 2 hour breakfast as we sit and drink tea and coffee and the toast keeps coming – I’m in no hurry today – we have to meet at a point at 2pm and do the final ride in together. Morgans out here today – I ride with Rod and Victor and we leave last at 8pm taking our time – we’re all wearing our new turquoise cycling shirts – it’s hot and I’m sweating a lot – last night’s drinks are pouring out of me as the day rises to 30c by 9.30am. There’s a few climbs but it’s a great ride – lots of turns to miss – lots of chai stops – we ride slowish – at my pace – I’m feeling weak today. It’s a funny feeling – the final ride – it’s been a long journey and people have spent 8 intense weeks together – you never forget something like this and often people can become lifelong friends. We pull in about 1pm and hit the lunch truck – our trusty friend who has supplied us with fruit and sandwiched on the nicest and weirdest of locations – you can have lunch here between 8.30 and 3pm – depending on the day – I will miss my 6 daily slices of water melon an my cheap white bread sandwich.
At 2pm we group ride the final 4k to Kanyakumari – we get cheered as we come in and assemble at the harbour for photos in front of the huge Thiruvalluvar Statue on an off shore Island – this is the most southern point of the Indian Peninsular and where the 3 seas – the Indian Ocean, The Bay of Bengal and The Arabian Sea meet. We spray each other with champagne – have a few hugs and photos – it pretty emotional. It’s about 4060k in total for me – 3800k for the ride and the rest in a few trips at the start and a ride or two at some of the wildlife places – well I made ‘EFI’ status – it’s a good feeling – there’s a few of us – I’m glad to put the bike down now.
A party tonight and a great slide show of our trip – there’s shots of all of us and some of the crazy places we’ve been to – there’s a few tears in people’s eyes – some are leaving in the morning – some – like me have a few days for last minute shopping etc. – some are going off elsewhere for another adventure straight away – I’m ready to go home and get into my own bed. After a few drinks and some great food I head to bed at 9.30 – last night has really caught up with me – for the first time I am going to switch off my alarm completely – now that’s a good feeling – into the refuge of my suite – the AC is pumping – football on the TV – it’s going to be a great sleep…..