hello, just to touch base with anyone else going on this trip. am just starting to think about visas etc. i'm feeling a mixture of excitement and dread!
Hi. I just sent off my visa application, never had to provide so much information before even for communist countries! I'm heading out on 29 August to Delhi and doing the usual tourist loop for a couple of weeks before joining the cycling trip. Not long to go now...
Hi Monica, I'm also going on this trip and looking forward to it, have done a few exodus trips now and they've all been good.
Completed my visa form online last week, (not the easist form I've ever filled in), you also have to complete a swine flu screening card, you can download this from the Indian visa webiste ( http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk/), talk about paper work!!.
one of the reviews says not to bother with travellers cheques as there are ATMs everywhere. just wondering what you guys think about this? i would prefer to avoid getting them.
am commencing shopping regime on sunday. I hate shopping normally but much more fun when there's a proper holiday looming ahead. 1st purchase = brand new me-sized rucksack to replace knackered old one. mind you new one will probably become knackered by end of trip!
Don't think I'll bother with travellers chqs, took them to Egypt end up being a hassle, will probably take cash to start with then rely on ATMs, also thinking about taking one of those preload cash cards as a back up.
How did your shopping trip go?, got my visa back in 4 days, so one less thing to worry about.
not sure what you mean about a pre-load cash card? probably safer than bringing debit card from home in case of loss.
shopping trip postponed til tomorrow evening. ended up at latin american festival in local park (as you do!)
my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
hi rob and all other fellow travellers
have now figured out what this is and am going to acquire one for sure. bought gorgeous new rucksack but reckon that it will get badly battered every day when it gets thrown on the truck/van/ vehicle that accompanies us with belongings. so hold-all probably more sensible. decisions decisions, i love it!
Glad you've figured out what I meant, how's your preparation for the trip coming along?, can't believe is only just over 4 weeks until we go.
I'm nearly there just need to buy a few things for my bike, as I've decided to take my own rather than hiring one and a few other essentials like sun cream!!
Have sent you a seperate email if you want to get in touch.
Hi Monica & Rob, I'm also booked on the Kerala trip (really looking forward to it) I've just gone through the endless online visa process (how much info do they need?) which involved phone calls to both parents for their place of birth.. :/
Re. Jabs etc. are you taking a course Malaria tablets and if so what did you go for? I think I took larium (?) when I went to Kenya & Tanzania but have heard negative reports on them since (I has some really weird dreams)..
Hi all, looking at the fit for travel website there appears to be low to no risk in southern India:
For other parts of Asia I have used Malarone (expensive but no side effects), this time it's tempting to not bother with any malaria drugs. Thoughts?
low to no risk sounds pretty definite so i'm going to give the anti-malarials a miss. also because i will be dosing up on stuff to stop stomach bugs and don't want to overdo it on the medication front.
Rob - didn't get email from you. ta for sending anyways.
am getting soo excited now - cannot wait!
I'm not taking anti-malaria tablets either, have been advised by the local travel clinic that the risk is low so there's no need to bother, and the ones used last time made me come out in a rash, feel as if I've spent enough on jabs already, pity there isn't on for preventing dodgy stomachs!!.
Monica I'll resend my email, must have been lost in cyber space!!.
Have a good weekend
I'm booked on this trip in Oct so one more month for me. Just wandering if any of you thought about or have had a rabies jab for your trip?
Look forwarding to hearing from you.
hi robyn, i think rob is having a rabies jab. but i'm not. don't know about anyone else.
bye for now, Monica
Monica's right, I've had the rabies jab, as there's a high risk in southern India with the travel clinic I went to suggesting that it'd be sensible to have it, with riding a bike your more vulnerable than if you went as an ordinary tourist and having been chased by dogs in the UK, you never know.
It's 3 injections over 4 weeks, not cheap mind at £50 a jab, but lasts for 3 years.
Enjoy your trip, we might be able to give you a few more times once we're back.
Ok, so a bit late for anyone who hasn't started their course of jabs :( I wish I'd been aware of this before now - they never mentioned it when I had my jabs at the doctors surgery.. maybe I can get kevlar leg guards? ;)
See you at Heathrow :)
Hey everybody not long until we leave now very excited!!
I haven't had a rabies jab either fingers crossed it'll be ok. How is everyone getting down to Heathrow, where are people coming from?
let's get rabies together! i am practising my scary moves so wild dogs won't want to bite me. i live in south London so will be getting the Heathrow Express from Paddington
see you there! Monica
I'm told that most of the dogs there are mal-nourished and therefore pretty lethargic so I'm not too worried about whether I can out run them :) ..unlike the staffordshire bull terrier that chased me in Balham and couldn't resist my calf!
I will also be getting the Heathrow Express for Paddington so I'll look out for any other cycle types :)
I'm flying out from Manchester, rather than going via Heathrow so won't see you guys until Dubai, due to the flight change I'm now connecting to same flight to Bangalore.
I've heard a good tactic to scare off the dogs is to squirt them with water, failing that just pedal like crazy!
Yeah Monica we can get rabies together!
lets hope they r too scabby to run
Guess we may all meet at some point on the trip out then, getting excited!!!
see you all soon
Hi, I've been out here in Rajasthan for nearly 2 weeks and although there are lots of dogs they are mostly asleep due to the heat! The streetfighting pigs are a whole other story though...
Matt - no rabies jab - reporting from Jodphur :)
PS hope to meet up at Bangalore airport, I'm on a flight from Delhi landing 5 minutes after the group flight.
Isn't that a Rolling Stones track? ;)
Good to hear the dogs are half asleep though..
3 days to go
I am actually travelling to tuscany in the next couple of weeks - couldn't find any posts for that but I did do the Kerala trip a couple of years back. It was one of the best holiday experiences I have ever had. So I thought I might just write a few words about things you can look forward to! We had a great guide - Pete who had a great knowledge of the area - make sure you get him to take you for Street food. The south Indian cooking is fabulous. The Masala Dhosas followed by green pea curry in Guruvayur were awesome. Also the egg puffs in Nanjangud - I am drooling at the thought!! Actually I am not normally veggie but ate veggie the whole two weeks and thoroughly enjoyed it. No sign of a stomach bug either. One thing that I would strongly advise is to take a bottle of dry hand wash in your camelback and use it religiously before eating or you put your hands anywhere near your mouth.
The ride down from Ooty is one of the best! 60Km without pedalling!! The ride up is challenging but do-able - everyone made it in our group. You start at something like 1000m, ride up to 2200 but then spin all the way back down to sea level so think that you are getting double the ride down for the ride up! :-)
If anyone has any burning questions - I'll look back in before we go to Tuscany and i would be glad to answer (if I know!)
We're off on this trip on 3rd Oct - a few of us are chatting on this thread in Oct. Thanks for your tips. Was just wondering if you found it best taking a camelback or could you just slot your water bottle on to your bike. What about a handlebar bag - was thinking of getting one of these for easy access to camera etc. Just wondering what worked best for you and your group. How was the fitness level in your group? One more question - were there many swimming opportunities?
Look forward to hearing from you! Have fun on your next trip!
so i can answer a couple of questions now with confidence having survived the trip. not only survived but absolutely and totally loved it!
there's a slot for 1 litre water bottles and plenty of water available throughout, so camelback not essential. but kinda handy.
some people had handlebar bag and others used bum bag thingey, or cameras hanging round the neck. i travelled very light cos the van is there whenever you stop properly.
there are a few really good swim opportunities towards the end
as for fitness - i'm definitely not mega fit (honest) and i managed absolutely fine. sometimes it was a slog but never too much so.
definitely no need for rabies or malaria
i would love to do it all over again, it was absolutely top! feel free to email me direct for any other questions email@example.com
So pleased to hear you had a fantastic time. Thanks very much for your advice! I have also emailed you!
Agree with Monica had a great trip, definately met my expectations and will do it again if get the chance.
Only things I'd add are if you're using water bottles they'll get pretty muddy (as I found out) especially as if it's wet so a Camelback might be a better option.
Also there's no mud guards on the bikes, so you might want to take clothes you don't mind getting muddy, but plenty of chances to get laundry done if needed.
Not sure if anyone in your group is taking their own bike, if so watch out for customs on arrival as they asked me to pay import duty - you don't need to, and you don't need any extra paperwork either, stick to your guns and they'll back down, seems this is one of their common tricks.
Most of riding is fairly steady, apart from the climb up to Ooty but you can take as long as you need or jump in the support van if you're really struggling.
Finally take plenty of bug spray, as I was bitten a fair bit.
Have a great trip.
I have to agree with Monica & Rob, an amazing trip - we packed so much in, it seemed so much longer than 2 weeks.. and Peter (the guide) is a top bloke :)
We did encounter a bit of rain which is not a problem as such as it's tropical but we did encounter "red" mud and without any mudguards all ended up pretty splattered - don't wear your best white cycling top.. (like I did) and you may right off any white socks..
Agree with Rob about muddy drinks bottles - camelback is a good idea.
Only other thing I forgot was a travel plug
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