24. February 2014 – 12:48
We are back from our bike tour through Kerala, which we tested for you to include it in our program.
And it was unique! On small and well-developed village roads we meandered uphill and downhill through tea plantations, jungles, small villages and through the backwaters. Our tour ended on the beautiful sandy beach of Mararikulum.
Since our time is short and we had already visited the places before, we completed the route in 6 days. But in order to really enjoy the tour and to be able to discover Kerala with all our senses, we will expand the Kerala bike tour for you!
The first time on bicycles through Kerala and trying to avoid the main roads was of course not easy. Although we had planned the tour well before, without the information of the locals we would probably never have found our destinations! But that’s exactly what made this tour so successful: close contact with the people. It was my third time in Kerala. One time I travelled by bus, the other time we had a car available. Both times I enjoyed Kerala very much, but already after the first day on the bike I had the feeling of having got to know Kerala better than the two trips previously put together. We rode through small villages through which no tourist had ever come before and certainly not on a bicycle. From everywhere, hands of friendly people waved towards us and a whole group was always formed to give us information about the direction. We couldn’t speak malyalam (the local language) and the locals mostly couldn’t speak English, but the conversation with hands, paper and pen worked surprisingly well.
On the very well developed road network we went through a wonderful green landscape, which changed with every day. We spent the whole day outside and whenever we needed a break, we just stopped at one of the many small restaurants. Here there were delicious snacks, as well as complete and very cheap meals with rice and various vegetables (for 50 cents) and our favorites: Parotha, a typical South Indian bread that is eaten with delicious curries.
On the first day a rickshaw took us with our bikes to Kodanad 60 km outside the metropolis of Cochins. Here is an elephant training center and you can watch the powerful animals bathing. At about 70 km (getting lost included) we meandered through the hilly green landscape to visit Thattekad, a Bird Sanctuary and later stopped in Neriyamangalam for the night.
Day 2 was probably the hardest day for us. We climbed for 85 km to 1450 meters high Munnar in the tea plantations. Before the climb we rode along the river Periyar and later through forest and plantations.
Our longest day was day 3 from Munnar to Kumily where the Perjiar wildlife sanctuary is. For 110 km we went through the Westghats. The journey through the tea plantations and later the rapid descent through Kardamon, Pepper and coffee plantations was probably the highlight.
On the 4th day we went uphill again at 1200 meters to the Hillstation Vagamon with magnificent views. Before that we drove through the jungle of Kerala and crossed tiny villages. Quite steeply it went up and down. The 17 km down into the valley of Vagamon were spectacular. A strong thunderstorm in the evening cooled the heated area. Also today we drove almost 100 km to Pala.
Day 5 took us to the backwaters in Allapey and later to the beach of Mararikulum. We cheated a little and took the 45 minute ferry across Lake Vembanadu. Through rice fields and through canals we went through the waterway network. After 90 km we ended at the great sandy beach between Allapey un Kochi.
We drove for 50 km straight along the beach to Kochi and reached our destination in the afternoon!
A successful and physically demanding tour came to an end after 6 days. Today in Kochi we will be a bit lazy and rest to travel tomorrow by train and bus to Hampi.