Cycle India 2012 Itinerary
January 20th to January 30th
Day 1: Depart London for Cochin
Day 2: Arrive in Kochi.
Bike fitting. Overnight in Kochi at Lotus 8 - http://www.lotus8hotels.com/
Day 3: Kochi- Thattekad (Hornbill Camp)
The hills are not too high and the down hills not too dangerous, as we make our way through lush scenery. We only rise a bit in altitude, which is best for a first day, as we ease people into the challenge. Overnight camp: a luxury tented camp with en-suite toilets.
Start Height: 4 mts
Max Height: 38 mts
End height: 38 mts
Distance: 65 kms
Day 4: Thattekad - Kulamavu
Today we will gain about 800 meters in altitude. The main altitude gain will be over a distance of 15 km so it's really not that steep for most of the time. There will be a significant difference in temperature between the start and the finish area. We start in the middle of the jungle and will finish in hill country! Today will be difficult and hard but rewarding day. (Transport will always be available if anyone is struggling with the climbs).
Start Height: 36 mts
End height: 801 mts
Max Height: 801 mts
Distance: 74 kms
Day 5: Kulamavu to Periyar
Today we start early. The route is undulating. The scenery is absolutely stunning but it is not all as easy as it sounds, in fact there are some serious climbs on this leg as well, a day not to be underestimated. We’ll stop cycling after around 60-70 kms and transfer the rest of the distance by bus. With a bit of luck we should be able to offer the afternoon as free time because there is loads to do in Periyar. The Tiger Park is only 4km away from the proposed hotel but the last boat leaves at 4 pm. The viewing is from a relaxing boat ride, following the shore of the lake with a possibility to see game when it comes out of the bush to drink or to graze. (elephant, buffalo and wild boar have been spotted by our guides). The whole town is full with places offering massages for those aching muscles, souvenir shops, or perhaps one would fancy an elephant ride!
Start Height: 801 mts
End height: 922 mts
Max Height: 1144 mts
Distance: 107 kms (37 kms bus transfer)
Day 6: Periyar to Vagamon
An absolute stunning day, a fantastic highlight. The cycling route passes through spectacular sights of the tea gardens interspersed with pristine forests that have made this place so beautiful. Today will be mostly off road and the ride will be tough, but the sceneries en-route will be nothing short of awe inspiring. As always, there is a catch; not one meter of this day will be flat, there are major ups and down, it just does not stop. The hardest and most difficult day of the entire ride. There will be adequate transport present as a backup as this is not for the faint hearted. A Challenge not to forget!
Start Height: 922 mts
End height: 1090 mts
Max Height:1185 mts
Distance: 52 kms
Day 7: Vagamon to Marari
And finally down to the plains. Its downhill all the way to Eerattupetta and then level roads to the backwaters at Kumarakom. The climate becomes warmer as we go down to the coast. We stop cycling at Thanneermukkam and embark a houseboat for a late lunch. On completion of the cruise, we transfer to the beautiful Beach resort at Marari.
Start Height: 1090 mts
End height: 4 mts
Max Height: 1091 mts
Distance: 80 kms
Day 8: Depart for Vijayawada
We take a morning flight to Vijayawada where we will be taken to visit the construction of our new Heal Paradise Village at Thotapally. Most of the fundraising from Cycle India 2012 will be used to construct Heal's most ambitious project - a self-sustaining school for 1000 orphaned children.
We will then transfer to the Heal Children's Village at Guntur to meet the children and see first hand the work of our charity. Previous cyclists have suggested this is the highlight of the Cycle India event, and the children certainly appreciate having the visitors.
Day 9 - Spend Day at the Heal Village
We will spend most of the day at the Heal Village then take an overnight sleeper train to Hyderabad.
Day 10 - Fly home!
Early morning flight from Hyderabad arriving back at London Heathrow early afternoon of the 30th January.