The Royal Enfield and a short walk
The streets of Fort Kochi, to be fully savoured, must be enjoyed on foot. Saint Francis Church was chosen as the point where the walk would commence. A small sign board “Bikes For Rent” opened up the possibility of hiring a motor-cycle to explore Fort Kochi. Decided to keep the walking for another day and use the two-wheeler.
Went back to the street where the board was clearly written with all details. Yamaha, Honda and Enfield bikes were available on rental together with bicycles. Enfield came in two options: 350cc and 500cc.
Walked up the single flight of wooden stairs where a middle-aged lady greeted with a smile. Three other tourists were in the hall enjoying beverages, probably tea. The lady called someone on the phone and then handed the receiver to me with a subtle “Go on, speak” gesture. It was Ashraf. Yes, the bike is available, Ashraf confirmed. He politely asked me to wait for a few more minutes.
While awaiting Ashraf to finalise the renting out, a cup of coffee was offered. The two seats made on the wall next to the window facing the street provided ample privacy to the onlooker to watch the street life.
The unmistakable note of the bike could be heard from afar. Ashraf’s representative wanted only the Indian driving license. Kick-starting was old fashioned and gone. The bike had an ignition switch. Enfield has done away with decompression lever and the battery key. I believe the charm of the Enfield was the two key ignition, decompression with the tiny lever squeezed, making the ammeter read zero… Gear lever and brake positions were switched. Sorry, I digress. Exploration begins…
Vasco House, Fort Kochi Vasco house, located on Rose Street, is believed to be one of the oldest Portuguese houses in India. Vasco da Gama is believed to have lived here. This house features European glass paned windows and verandahs.
A random drive through the many charming street with old European style architecture among some of the streets…
One of the earliest streets of the area, this road has European style residences on both its sides. Located here is the Loafer’s Corner, the traditional hangout for the jovial and fun loving people of Kochi.
One more coffee and its time to wind up the ride… walk, that is.