For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
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Wildlife & Polar highlights
- Types of Holiday
Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
This was our first time in India and the first cycling trip we've ever done. We were a group of 12, plus Shakur our leader, Kurian our driver, Franklin our back-up man and Anil, driver, water-supplier and all-round cool guy. The group were of mixed ability which worked fine - we had loads of coffee stops, happy bushes breaks and although there were about 5 long days of cycling on the trip, from 8 till 4.30, it was all quite manageable. The route of this trip is superb. Using mainly backroads, then the odd venture onto main roads and into the busier towns, we saw such a diversity of scenery and got a great insight into the daily lives of the local people. All of it was so enjoyable, so fascinating. Weaving your way through full-on Indian traffic is exhilarating and hilarious but somehow or other it all works and we all got through the experience unscathed. The backroads do have quite bad potholes in places and can get a bit bone-shaking but they're worth it, honestly. The accommodation is all of a really good standard I felt. I got the impression from more seasoned travellers in our group that this is one of the better trips in that respect. And the food! Oh my god! Fantastic & in abundance - only regret was I couldn't eat all of it!
There were so many highlights it's difficult to choose. From the first morning when we did a circular route to Auroville, we were hooked. What a way to see a country and what a country! We were like wide-eyed kids with the biggest grins on our faces all through the journey - the sights, sounds and smells, the colours, the smiling friendly people, the beautiful children, the dogs, goats, cows - there was something amazing down every street, round every corner. It was a morning we will honestly never forget, just wonderful. And the people all smiling and waving, so friendly, cheering us on our way. And the food!
Shakur and his team did a great job and looked after us so well on this trip. You could see that the more we enjoyed ourselves the happier they were. There were a couple of occasions when the route had to be changed or certain excursions cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, ie a strike on the day we were supposed to visit the tea plantation factory! But Shakur would get on his phone and next thing it was all organised and we still managed to visit the factory although it wasn't up and running. We left an ipad in one of the hotels - they rang Shakur, got on a motorbike and met us en route about 40k down the line. Every time we stopped Kurian or Anil would fill our water bottles, make sure we all got our coffees and teas just how we liked them. They didn't rest until they were sure we had everything we needed. Franklin cycled at the back all week, taking care of the slower members of the group and helping anyone with bike problems. We couldn't fault these guys, they were just great and helped make the holiday such an enjoyable experience. Thanks guys.
Bib shorts aren't practical for these trips - best would be a couple of pairs of thin liner shorts with some fast-drying over shorts. We had a couple of serious downpours en route and I wished I'd taken a second pair of shoes to cycle in - some people cycled in sandals. Gel seat - cheap one off Amazon - proved v useful. We did need to wash clothes now and again - take a decent travel wash or use the hotel laundry - quite cheap. American Express travel card was only accepted once, best off with Visa or Mastercard. Money exchange in airport offered us a much lower rate than anywhere else. ATM's sometimes run out of money so taking some pound notes out with you is quite handy, there are loads of "foreign exchange" places. Practice your camera face - many Indians we met wanted to have a photo taken with us - funny but true?! Our group ranged in age from 46 to 73, everyone coped well with the cycling, although there are so many photo opportunities that go whizzing by, a Go-Pro would have been quite handy.
This will certainly not be our last trip to India, or our last cycling trip. We absolutely loved it. It was very well organised, the route was really well planned and we got to sample all the highlights that Tamil Nadu & Kerala have to offer from the tea plantations, to cookery lessons, houseboat trips, temples, palaces - you name it. Loved it.
This was a lovely trip, taking in a lot of the sights and sounds of rural India which we could not have discovered for ourselves. We also visited many of southern India,s foremost sights. The cycling was as billed and very enjoyable, mostly on quiet back roads, although the chaotic traffic in the cities should not be underestimated.
Reaching the top of the hill at Thekkady!
The group leader didn't communicate plans very clearly and didn't always do what he said we would do. For example he promised a stop near a lake in three kilometres which I looked forward to as I'm a keen bird watcher, we didn't stop. He described a morning ride as undulating, it was a 12 kilometre climb. The deputy, Abi, was absolutely excellent.
Enjoy! Take plenty of money, the costs add up, tipping kitty is a substantial sum.
The trip notes need to be clearer. As it transpired that the tips kitty wasn't for tipping the support team I find it very hard to know what the money, over £50 per head, was spent on. That's an awful lot of snacks and cups of tea at Indian prices!
An excellent trip with good leaders, brilliant cycling, excellent food, amazing sights and a really friendly group.
Meeting the local people who were incredibly friendly and welcoming
Scary cycling in some towns/villages
Cooking our own meal under guidance!
Staying in a plantation owner's family house
Exploring vegetable, flower and spice markets
Cycling from door to door with only 1 transfer
Seaker was a really good, knowledgeable leader who adapted the schedule to allow for the particular interests of the group.
He was able to give confidence to those of us slightly worried about the amount of traffic in a few of the places we cycled through although we were mainly on very quiet roads.
He found us brilliant places to stop for tea breaks and lunches at small local restaurants and made us feel that we were truly seeing the "real" India
Respect local traditions, pack light, go with the flow, make sure you get your visa sorted and join the right queue at the airport in India!
I have been on 3 cycling trips over the last 2 years (2 with Exodus) and this was by far the best.
No, a quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of this cycling holiday.
If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may of course bring it along. A discount of GBP150 will apply if you do so.
India has delicious food to cater for all preferences but, like anywhere in the world, hygiene is important. Keeping your hands well washed before eating, staying as hydrated as possible and sticking to bottled water is the best protection against an upset tum. Otherwise, mashed potato is apparently a good cure!
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
No. Indian visas must be pre-arranged in advance. Check the Indian embassy website for details.
Will Shoubridge - Agency Sales
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