This was our first lengthy cycling trip and it has inspired us to book another next year. The long distances, level of difficulty and heat were perfectly manageable ( my husband and I are reasonably fit leisure cyclists in our early 60s ). I did decide however to walk rather than ride up the 37 hairpin bends which was no problem. Everyone was buoyed along by the great group camaraderie and the prospect of a shower and good meal at the end of the day. In my opinion this is the perfect way to see parts of India not on the normal tourist trail. Highly recommended.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The houseboat was unforgettable - like something out of the days of the Raj.
The visit to the orphanage was sobering and inspiring - wonderful work being achieved . We were lucky to meet the remarkable Swiss lady who has spent her life raising funds to keep the place going.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Safi was competent, professional and always attentive to the group's needs and diverse requests
Abi with his ready smile was always there to give support , checking the bikes daily and ensuring we had a good supply of water.
Vipin did a great job shepherding the stragglers. We always felt we were in safe hands.
It was also very thoughtful of the team to arrange a surprise cake and poppers for me on my birthday.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take a plentiful supply of pens to give to the many children who greet you along the route. They love them !
Take a can of insect spray to blast your room before bedtime . Some hotels provided smoke coils , nets and socket inserts , but not all.
In Ooty take the opportunity to travel by train on the small gauge rail from Coonoor ( as featured on a BBC programme about the old steam engines of southern India). Also an evening at the Kathakali theatre in Cochin is fascinating ( booking made with proprietor of Ann's Residence ).