Most Inspirational Moment
The long cycle downhill from Ooty through the large pine forests, then through the tea plantations and finally into the amazing eucalyptus forests was a real highlight. The scenery is unforgettable as well as the feeling of moving from the cool early morning air at 2,200 metres in Ooty to the steamy humid heat closer to sea level a number of hours later. We also ended that cycle with one of the best meals we experienced with the most delicious grilled fish as well as a selection of curries and other “dips” and bread served for lunch. The stay on the boathouse was also a delightful and relaxing experience- just a beautiful way to spend an afternoon and evening / night. Breakfast served whilst the sun came up the following morning as we cruised down the river was very special.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Our tour leader Safi was excellent. Safi is very engaging, knowledgeable, organised and makes it his business along with his two colleagues (who were also superb) to ensure that the cycle tour is as enjoyable as possible for all participants. Safi ensures everything goes smoothly in order that the holiday is pretty much all enjoyment and zero hassle. Safi puts a lot of effort into enabling the group to meet local children (visit a local primary school), meet a local family and experience workers demonstrating the skills that have been passed down over hundreds of years. The local team led by Safi ensure that the bikes (which were excellent quality) are all in great working order (regularly checking / servicing them), always helps provide a feel for a local area and frequently takes the group on a walking tour and makes really good restaurant suggestions. Importantly, I think all persons on the tour felt very comfortable and safe whilst in the capable hands of Safi. Safi ensures that safety during cycling as well as in all other areas is a paramount consideration which is reassuring. Everything feels very under control.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Do not take too many clothes- opportunities to wash clothes as you go if required. Do not get too hung up on food hygiene concerns. The accommodation where we stayed and restaurants where we ate or were suggested for eating were all clean and well presented. Yes, take care but we had no issues. We did only drink bottled water (which was in plentiful supply) and used same for teeth cleaning. It may have been the time of year but we had very little issue with bugs or mosquitoes.
There is a lot of rubbish / litter on the streets and through many of the areas that you cycle (with the exception of the National Parks which are spotless). It is disappointing but you quickly get used to rubbish / litter being at the sides of the road and at stopping spots. There are many dogs which wander around at many locations but they all appear docile and do not bother people.