A trip which is impossible to summarise. Ok - let's try - GREAT SUPER FABULOUS. Two months since I embarked on it and I am still thinking fondly of my experiences.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
- Seeing three tigers in Bandipur
- The descent from Ooty
- The friendly, smiling & accommodating people; we here in the UK really could learn so much
- The South Asian drivers - on the whole surprisingly respectful to the two wheeler
- Kerala Backwaters
- Varkala chill out over New Year post tour end.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Attentive, caring, courteous, GSOH, intelligent, flexible, informed.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
One does require a good level of fitness to get the most out of this trip. The climb up Ooty is, of course, character building and testicle breaks are obligatory even with the best cycle shorts. There are other days too which say even on the flat are pretty full on due to the heat of the day very evident even in South Asia's winter and also, quite simply, the distances being covered.
The application of sense on the roads is required but do not fear. Cycle defensively, use your eyes to the max and above all watch out for pedestrians too who often just step into the road at will. But also remiember, it is only for a minority of the time that highways are actually used.
The accommodation is, on the whole, very good and I understand the first hotel I had the misfortune of staying at in Mysore with Exodus has now been changed due to consistently very bad reviews & experiences.
If possible, as well as staying in Varkala at the end for a few extra days, perhaps also consider coming a day or two earlier to Mysore. It is a lovely city to walk around in - how often can one say that about a large settlement in India?! I can recommend the Hotel Metropole if you are prepared to pay a bit more. Also you will be fresher for those early cycle days.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
I have noted a few earlier entries and regret to read that some have experienced serious to less serious injuries. I would kindly suggest that the combination of a two wheels, tigers, steep uphill gradients, elephants, cars, animals, very steep downhill gradients, king cobras, potholes and pedestrians may create some danger. The notion that somebody can come on this kind of holiday in South Asia and not expect there to be an element of danger along with roads that do not match the French autoroute does baffle me. India does not have an especially celebrated health & safety branch.
I am also asthmatic. It is surely obvious to ensure one has their medication to hand at all times and of course if the condition is severe then a mask may also assist. It is India. It is not Iceland.
However, I do advise Exodus to reiterate some points again & again in its descriptions. We live in a litigious world.
Btw - the reference to king cobras, tigers and elephants are not likely to impact your trip. More's the pity!