Hi Margaret. I'm Dean and I'm also going to Kerala on 14th November. As ever, I'm looking forward to exploring another part of the world on two wheels and making new friends. I've been fortunate to cycle tour in other parts of the world, but this will be my first trip to India. Looking forward to meeting you and the other 12 participants for another adventure.
We went on this trip a few years ago - it sounds like the route is fairly similar to then. I reckon it was one of the best trips we have done! The cycling was energetic but eminently do-able for the 'average' cyclist. The temperature some days was extreme so be advised by the guide about resting at midday. If you do feel up to it have a go at the climb to Ooty - it is hard but a great sense of achievement when you get there. Food is wonderful and certainly different - a lot of vegetarian dishes and much is cooked with coconuts or in coconut milk. If you get a taste for it you can get some great Kerala recipe books in a bookshop near the old synagogue in Fort Cochin. Our bus driver was a chap called Ashok - I gather he was still doing this trip last year - if he is with you, you will be in good hands. He is a gem! Have a great time.
I have just returned from this trip last week. I had the most fantastic time! The cycling is brilliant and the Ooty climb is tough but we did it as a team and the feeling at top was something else! Please feel free to ask me any questions in preparation for your trip.
Having just returned from this trip a month ago I thought I would pass on a few tips:- When we visited the orphanage a few people in our group had brought baloons, party trumpets (noisy but the kids loved them!) and small toys for the kids. We had enormous fun there!
I also took Maynard winegum sports mixture (a kind of longer lasting winegum) and they were brilliant whilst cycling, so thought the rest of the group and guide. One bag is not enough!
Other useful things - a strap to put your camera around your neck. Gets sweaty in your pocket and you want easy access so keeping it in camelback not always ideal. Also antibac hand gel, wet wipes, sweat proof suntan lotion and mozzy spray all very useful!
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