This morning, we woke up to the church congregation singing mass. We left a little later than usual ( about 9.30am ), because Cherry took some time to finish the write up for the Blog. Soon we left St. Sebastians Church, Aavoli, after thanking the Vicar, Fr. Mathew Valiyamattom for his hospitality, and posing for photographs.
Soon we passed by Vishwa Jyothi College of Engineering, Vazhakkulam, where our point of contact, Asst. Prof of Computer Science, Mr. John Jose organised a quick meeting with the HOD, and Principal. Both were extremely cautious, possible a trifle suspicious. After promise of follow up, we quickly moved on, for we we needed to make good way to make up for the late start. We were met by the sight and smell of pineapple and rubber sheets at Vazhakkulam - there seemed to be plenty of both here.
After carrying on a bit more we stopped by for refreshing "Kanji Vellam". The lady of the house offered to fill our carry bottle as well - the same hospitality we had seen unfailingly across Kerala.
A little past noon, we had reached Thodupuzha, and met with a Mr James of Mudra Offset printers, Thodupuzha, with whom we had a quick discussion of Free Software possibilities in the industry, and state of the art free software alternatives. At Thodupuzha, we also passed by a Petrol station, where a bus which was packed to capacity had stopped by to fill up. We speculated on the legality of the whole situation.
Soon we had wandered up to the IHRD College of Applied Sciences, where we were given the opportunity to speak with students. We did the routine that had developed by now: Anoop spoke about the social perspective of the walk, Sooraj did the Free Software intro, and Cherry did the career talk.
We passed by Mahatma Gandhi College of Engineering, Thodupuzha, but were too late to do much there, and thus moved on, the terrain getting a bit uneven, as the walk had begun to encounter the western Ghats again after leaving them before at Palakkad. The road followed the southern bank of the Thodupuzha river, and we passed by beautiful, palatial homes here. We also came across a resort and a drive in restaurant - the settings were obviously quite wealthy, and pretty. Soon the road left the riverside, and beautiful stone hedges bordering green slopes welcomed us, as we made further into the foothills of the Ghats. By nightfall, the beauty of the rubber and coffee plantations had given way to the enchanting silhoutte of the mountains we were to climb tomorrow. A bit further on, and closer to Arakkad, near Ashokan kavala, and the road had twisted enough that presently we could see the twinkle of lights from settlements on the mountain to the right their reflections dancing and dodging between that of the nightsky, from the river flowing at its base.
We took abode at St. Mary's Church, Arakkulam, where Fr. Ephraim Kozhuvanal, a charming, elderly man, played host.
People who walked:
Random notes of places passed by:
- Moonnam mile (Malankara)