- A superb cycle trip exploring a variety of wonderful places in Kerala, with a lovely travelling companion Jenny (small group!) and excellent Tour Leader Deepak, Mechanic Kishor and Driver Viju.
We had so much fun and laughs as we travelled from the beaches of southern Kerala (flat, easy cycle), through delightful villages, stopping for delicious lunches, cruised along the backwaters (so relaxing), then cycled slowly up steep hills (easy achievable distances each day, but trip needs to be graded as moderate for the never-ending hills on some days, especially in the luscious green rubber and tea plantations), before heading for historic, quaint Fort Kochi, spotting dolphins and enjoying a sunset cruise.
* staying in the Homestay with Sally, Joseph and Liji, eating a variety of wonderful food and dressing in saris one evening.
* staying with Grace at Planters Homestay experiencing her superb hospitality, knowledgeable garden tour and delicious cooking lesson.
* Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and the forest walk spotting bison, giant squirrels, the great hornbill and Nilgiri langurs. Three hours was not enough and a day, or even a night camping, would have been so much better.
* the extra cultural shows suggested by Deepak, especially the Kathakali Indian dance and Kalari martial arts, plus the Ayurvedic massage.
* the variety of food; different at every meal. You will not lose weight, despite the cycling and heat.
* the friendliness of the Kerala people.
* wear loose t-shirts/ long cotton shirts, and padded longer shorts. Lycra OK but did feel out of place. Few casual clothes required for evening. Some beer can be found! Tour Guide Deepak has excellent knowledge of local restaurants.
* gel saddle cover provided but you may prefer to take an additional one or your own saddle. Take cycling gloves.
* take £ cash and change in Kovalam to rupees. Only saw one cash point.
* take biros, pencils and sweets for the local children you will meet along the way.
* take trainers or walking shoes to cycle in and for the forest walk. Long trousers and plenty of insect repellant advisable too.
* 15/10 to the friendly crew who supported us. Deepak was always available, accompanying us to every meal and recommending additional activities. Nothing was too much for him and he was so willing to make our trip a memorable one.
* bikes were in a great condition and well-maintained by friendly, excellent mechanic Kishor.
* handlebar bag was provided on bike and very handy for camera.
* seat belts in bus may have been useful as other drivers on the road were crazy. Our driver Viju was safe and a friendly, lovely man.
* accommodation was of a good standard. Swimming pools in first two hotels. Home stays delightful.
A brilliant trip. Highly recommended. Thank you Explore for an amazing holiday.
Published on: 19 April 2017