Kerala Cycling Trip
In God’s own country, epitomized for its traditional roots that imbibes every aspect of life, be it food, architecture, language or art forms, Unventured invites you join us on a spice scented journey as we take you on our ”God’s Own” Kerala trail that will take you through a journey into the heart land of exotic birds, palm lined beaches, traditional Kathakali dance performances, lip smacking cuisine, quaint country side, people and their way of life. As we move along, you will be smitten by the splendor of God’s own country and its culture. Amongst the irresistible attractions of Kerala are its performing art forms, on the trail you will witness a Kathakali and Kallaripayattu performance that will add to the revelry of your exquisite sunsets spent watching over shores, backwaters and mountains in Kerala.
On this 8-day trail, we’ve packed the right mix of cycling, leisure and exploration. You will experience stretches that challenge your limits, sceneries that indulge your senses and interactions with the locals that expose you to their culture and way of life. The expedition starts from Fort Kochi, a traveler’s hub with rustic charm and quaint history lined streets, burgeoning with art bazaars. Our trail that begins to this sight of delight will traverse through flat land forests, spice lined loops, placid backwaters into the heartland of explorers who came looking for spice. On this expedition our travellers get an insight into the natural beauty of God’s own country, its cultural and religious past, the people and their way of life. Through culinary experiences like home-cooked meals, you will delight in their exquisitely flavored feasts. This expedition combines Cycling and driving through the spice trail.
Travellers are expected to arrive at Fort Kochi by 12:00 noon. We will spend the evening with a ride to the beach and set out to Fort Kochi and its surrounds. This is best explored cycling along streets that are abundant with an eclectic mix of history,Portuguese era cathedrals, Dutch Palaces and soak in the fragrance of spices while you re-discover this quaint town.
Today we ride out towards the hills away from the coastline wandering through small villages and plantations. Our stop for the night will be in Thattekad, also known as the “Flat forest”. Your journey to Thattekad will take you through the wealth of Kerala as you ride past rubber and pineapple plantations along the trail of the Periyar River. We halt at a homestay in Salim Ali Bird sanctuary (The richest bird habitat in peninsular India) named after the famous ornithologist who explored the region’s bio diverse wealth for avian life.
Today is the day for all you wildlife and photography enthusiasts. We’ll start our day early to catch up with some fine winged wonders of Thattekad with a trained birder. The may be chances of spotting the elusive Ceylon Frogmouth but certainly sight the Drongo, Cuckoo and hopefully the Indian Pitta that breeds in the sub Himalayas and winters in the very region of our ride in southern India. Post an early lunch we will drive out toward Thekkady and begin our short ride once we cross past the highway and enter the surreal views of the mountains and cardamom plantations.
Rise and shine wake up to the smell the spices. Today, we walk through the heartland of spices with a guided spice plantation walk, learn the “roots” of cardamom’s, pepper, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg and many more lesser known flavors that have tingled the taste buds of natives and outsiders alike. Apart from delighting your senses we will also get an insight into growing,harvesting and processing of spices that adorn our plates day after day. We then head down hill through winding roads to the backwaters of Kumarakom and soak in the dreamlike backwaters in an over-night cruise boat. The party begins here and ends on the other side in Alleppey the next day.
After you have experienced the quintessential Kerala on the green backwaters through Vembanad, disembark from your cruise at Alleppey, best known as “Venice of the East”. Today will be a leisure day for you to explore the canalled pathways, perhaps even ride up to the Marari beach or sit back and enjoy a massage and saadhya meal or relax by the gliding, placid backwaters.
After you have soaked in the backwaters, today we will gear up to ride by the coastline from Alleppey to Fort Kochi. Expect stunning views of the beach to your left, walk though sandy pathways to the shores, get a glimpse of the Kerala way of life as you ride past quaint villages and perhaps even play a round of cricket with the locals. Of course, scrumptious sea food on your platter will add to the thrill of your ride.
Today is a day to mingle culture, heritage and the arts. Perhaps, sprinkle a tad of toddy as you walk past beaches lined with cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, the antique stores on Jew street, the spices on Mattancherry, you have an option to spend the day taking a cruise to Vypin island, the largest fishing harbor in Fort Kochi and return to spend an evening exploring Vintage bars, quaint art cafes and enjoy a Kallaripayattu and Kathakali performance exclusively set up for you. Indulge the “Artist” in you and sign up for a Kathakali make up session.
Today we bid goodbye to new found friends and take home with us memories of mesmerizing, idyllic Keralan environs, the taste of local cuisine, the locals pride in their traditional roots and picture perfect images of palm lined beaches and surreal sunsets.
As this lovely time spent on our bicycles ends here, we part ways with a souvenir for you to show your friends back home when you share your Kerala memoirs.
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