I started the day at 7am by hailing a rickshaw to take me to the station for 150 INR. (Bargain seeing as the hotel wanted to hail me one for 350!)
I then arrived at an empty station with nothing to do for 2h, (once again the silly hotel told me i’d need these two hours to navigate the ticket office at the busy ‘rush’ hour station). So I had myself some idly for breakfast (like a fluffy rice cake eaten with curry, 12 INR).
I boarded my (on time) train to Calicut and sat myself in coach class (120 INR). Coach class unlike general and sleeper has seats. The train journey was about 3.5h long and surprisingly arrived on time.
Next was a short rickshaw ride to the local bus station (60 INR), where I had to navigate the unfamiliar layout and written texts to find my bus to Kalpetta. I’m not sure the locals were used to tourists in their bus station as I attracted some unwanted attention. I soon boarded my ‘prison’ bus (30 INR) and laughed about how empty it was. (Little did I know that it would pick up passengers along the way to the point where people would be hanging out of the bus.)
The bus journey was really pretty and went up the mountainsides of Wayanad. It also wound around 9 scary hair pin bends at ridiculous speeds. In fact the driver was so confident at going round the hairpin bends that he decided to over take a bus, over taking a bike whilst a lorry was approaching from the opposite direction….. And well crashed into the lorry… decided no harm was done and carried on!
Once I’d reached Kalpetta I had to jump on a second bus (15 INR) to get my closer to my hostel. This bus was full of school kids and I really had no idea where to get off or how I was going to push my way through everyone to actually get off, but I did, and then had to take 1 final rickshaw to the hostel (100 INR).
This would be the end of the story, but at about 6pm when I finally reached the hostel (which was literally in the middle of nowhere) I found out that I was the only guest and had a dorm room of 12 beds all to myself… scary or bliss… i’m still undecided!
In total journey took me 11h, cost me 487 INR (£4.87). The experience was well worth it and Wayanad was truly beautiful.