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NEWS & EVENTS | Cycle India (Kochi to Kodaikanal) | Itinerary
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Day 1, Fri 11th March 2005
We depart London. 13.45

Day 2 Sat 12th: India Kochi
On arrival in Kochi at 09.00 we are transferred to our Hotel in town. After a chance to relax and freshen up we have lunch, a bike fitting and briefing then the rest of the afternoon to discover a little of this amazing city. Kochi (Cochin as it was known in colonial times) is a major port on the west coast of India, set on a cluster of islands surrounded by sparkling blue lagoons and backwaters. Its historic links can be seen in the Colonial Bungalows, an old Jewish Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, the oldest European Church in India and a medieval Portuguese Palace. We finish the evening with a meal to sample the delights of this wonderful southern state of India.


Day 3, Sun 13th: To Kulamavu 80km
After breakfast we start off on our cycle challenge making the most of the early morning coolness heading southeast towards Kottayam Province. We start with a short transfer to Piravon enabling us to avoid the morning city traffic and reach a quiet countryside where the roads are mostly level throughout the morning. We pass through scenic countryside of temples, spice gardens, paddy fields and rubber plantations. This morning we break for brunch today in a spice farm and then set off on our afternoons ride which has a tough (optional) 15 km hill to finish off the day. We should reach our hotel Greenberg in the mid afternoon and have time to relax before our evening meal.


Day 4, Mon 14th: To Vandanmedu 60km
We wake today at 800m altitude and after an early morning breakfast we start our cycling day. It is a really beautiful but challenging ride with one tough 7 km climb as we head through the tea estates and deep ravines of the famed Cardamom hills. Much of the day is spent cycling through the cardamom forests forests that skirt one of the largest reservoirs of Kerala. Our destination for the night is the Carmelia Haven in the Idukki District overlooking the Periyar valley.

Day 5, Tues 15th: To Periyar 30km
Our destination today is the short morning ride to Periyar passing through forests, tea gardens and spice plantations. We will reach the wonderful Spice Village Hotel by lunchtime where we can either relax our legs by the pool for the afternoon or take off into the jungle. Periyar is one of the best wildlife preserves in India and has large herds of Asiatic elephants, Indian Bison as well as tigers. For the ornothologists it has over 330 species of birds including the majestic Great Hornbill. Tonight we see a little of the tribal population and their lifestyles before we eat and collapse for a fine nights sleep.

Day 6, Wed 16th: Vathalagunta 105 km
Today is our longest distance although probably one of our easiest cycling days. We cycle out of Thekkady and then have 9km of steep downhill before hitting the plains of Tamil Nadu. We will stop for lunch in the shade of palm trees overlooking the agricultural lands of the great plains of southern India. Today we head for the village of Vathalagunta where we spend the night.

Day 7, Thurs 17th: To Kodaikanal 55km
And so to an early start for our final cycling day and the toughest challenge too. By now our body should be used to the full cycling days and this may well have prepared us for the road to Kodaikanal. The ICT project based here is our goal, and this hill station at 2074m with its steep road that seems to go on for ever seems like a fitting end to the challenge. Our hotel for the next two nights is in the centre of Kodaikanal and tonight we have a special evening to celebrate the achievement of having cycled all the way from Kochi.


Day 8, Fri 18th: ICT Project Visit
After a more leisurely wakeup and a good breakfast we spend the full day at the ICT project close to Kodai.

Day 9, Sat 19th: Kovalam Beach
We have an early transfer to South Kerala � to the beaches at Kovalam, known as the Paradise of the South. The route passes through the famed temple town of Madurai where we will break for lunch. We arrive at Kovalam in time for sunset. We check into our beach resort and relax for the evening.

Day 10, Sun 20th: Depart for UK
After breakfast we depart for the Trivandrum airport and board our flight for the UK.

This itinerary is complicated and could be subject to change.

When to go:
The state has tropical climate with two monsoons - northeast (mid-Oct. to Feb.) and Southwest (June to mid-Oct.) Temperature remains relatively stable throughout the year and ranges from 18 to 35 degrees Celsius. March to May is the summer season. April to October are the hottest months and December-January is the coolest. However life goes on unhindered by the climatic changes and the peak of tourist season is in January-February. ICT chose March as a time to go because we will miss the peak of the tourist season, the hottest months and the monsoon.

Extending your trip:
ICT chose to transfer to Kovalam Beach instead of back to Kochi, as Kovalam is the only beach resort in Kerala and it would be a great shame for participants to miss it. ICT will pass on the details of the travel agent handling our trip to participants wishing to extend their trips for a few days. We also chose this spot because Trivandrum airport has direct flights to the Maldives and Sri Lanka and participants who transferred from Cycle Sri Lanka could catch a short flight on to Sri Lanka if they wished.

Suggested websites for more information on Kerala:

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