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The First Step to a Holiday of a Lifetime

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| Rajasthan Palace Classic Tour | Himalayan High Roads Adventure | Ladies in Ladakh with Tiffany Coates |
| Spiti ‘Little Tibet’ Adventure | Kerala Mountains, Wildlife and Beaches Tour | Kerala Tea and Spices Tour |
| India Home Page |

Kerala Mountains, Wildlife and Beaches Tour

IND-MB1Our Kerala Mountains and Beaches motorcycle adventure is another H-C Travel ‘first’, offering a dramatic contrast to our other Indian tours, and a great winter touring option.

Kerala lies at the southern tip of India, and offers some very dramatic riding with its truly unspoilt beaches, spectacular mountain rides and wildlife. Unlike the mass tourism of Goa, Kerala offers empty roads, glorious scenery, highly rated hotels and a friendly welcome everywhere.

Our motorbikes: As well as our new 500 cc Royal Enfield Bullets, we have some ‘traditional’ 350s, modified to improve their touring ability: higher bars and improved grips for comfort, reinforced rear struts to improve handling, chrome mirrors, crash bars, and short silencers.

Our accommodations:  We use an eclectic range of high end accommodation ranging from boutique and luxury hotels to jungle and rainforest resorts, beautiful beach hideaways to ecoIND-Kerala Motorbikes lodges, and we are sure that each one will be an enjoyable and unique experience. Electric mosquito machines are provided throughout the tour, and nets are provided in the main areas, the backwaters and Cochin.

Just to say that I had a fantastic time in Kerala. Everything was brilliant - hotels, locations, route - and all topped off by Daniel himself, ever ready to help and entertain - great guide, great guy.  Wonderful holiday.

Mel Fawcett, UK, 2010

Danny and his crew were absolutely great in all respects during the fourteen days we were with them. I can’t express what a fantastic time I had. Please accept my thanks, and total recommends to anyone thinking of using Danny and his team in the future.

Tim Porter, UK, 2010

After many weeks of travelling in India, this is paradise

Rick Stein, chef, 2013

 

Highlights

    • Our hotels – we use excellent accommodation throughout, no ‘tourist’ hotels for us!
    • The food – even if you don’t think you like Indian food, you will love Keralan cuisine
    • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
    • Munnar tea plantations – as far as the eye can see
    • Thattekad Bird Sanctuary and the Periyar River
    • The unexpected and surprising
    • Mountain switchbacks – the Indian way
    • Masinagudi
    • Vythiri ecoresort
    • The beach at sunset

Itinerary.IND-MB2to3

DAY 1 ARRIVE COCHIN. After your overnight flight, we will greet you personally on arrival in Cochin this morning, and transfer you to our beach hotel, nestled among acres of palm trees with uninterrupted views across the Indian Ocean into the sunset. Here you can unwind after the long flight and enjoy some R&R by the pool. Then we have an introductory meeting to get to know each other and our bikes, hopefully with time for a short ride. We finish off with our Welcome Dinner and free beers! Abad Turtle Beach.

DAY 2 ALLEPPEY (free day). A leisurely breakfast sets the scene for a relaxing day. You can go for an exploratory ride along the coast, past mission churches, unspoilt fishing villages, backwaters, lighthouses and beaches shrouded by endless palm trees. After this you should be starting to adjust to the pace of life here. And if you haven’t quite chilled out enough, book a massage, go to a yoga or cookery class or just order a refreshing beer, grab a hammock and relax! Abad Turtle Beach.

IND-MB4to5DAY 3 ALLEPPEY – KUMILY (200 km). Now you are ready for your adventure! An early start today for a long day's ride through some truly spectacular scenery. We traverse the backwaters and rice paddies before starting the ascent through the rubber and tea plantations of the Cardamom Hills and Southern Ghats. Stopping for chai (tea) and small snacks every hour or so we climb on largely empty, well-surfaced roads until we reach the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Here the views become more sensational as the road gets worse! This route is largely untrodden - whereas tourists usually see the area by taking the boat on Lake Periyar, we pass through 100 km of the 770 sq. km sanctuary on our bikes. There is an abundance of wildlife, from flora, birds and insects up to bears, leopards, elephants and even tigers, although they keep themselves well hidden usually. And no traffic. The riding is slow, and we will often switch off engines to freewheel down narrow lanes and take in the full sounds of the forest. (There is an easier route available too, and if there is any risk of animal attacks we will use this route). After riding to over 2000 m, we finally meet up with the good road again and rejoin the highway for the final short run into Kumily. The temperature here is much cooler than by the beach and you can reward yourself with a nice hot shower. Greenwoods Manor Hotel.

DAY 4 KUMILY (free day). We stay in Kumily today, so you can decide what you want to do. If you would like, there is an early 6 am start to take the Periyar Lake boat trip to see the wild elephants, or you can get up a little later and ride a working elephant through the plantations and have a shower with him, or just stroll around the town, take in the sights, do some spice shopping and enjoy the atmosphere. Greenwoods Manor Hotel.

DAY 5 KUMILY – KODAIKANAL (150 km). We drop down to the plains again on some very good roads and stop for a traditional Tamil lunch at the foot of the Palani Hills. We head off in the heat of the day, but temperatures soon drop as we ride up to the hill station of Kodaikanal at 2000 m in just 30 miles. If there’s time, you can take the bike around the paths of the summit, explore on foot or horseback, hire a boat on the lake in town, or just enjoy the local dairy products - cheeses and ice creams - and mushrooms. Zest Hotel.

DAY 6 KODAIKANAL – MUNNAR (165 km). A mid-morning start gives us time to cruise back down, to stop for lunch at the restaurant at the foot of the Palani Hills. We then ride across the plains for about an hour, before climbing again through 17 hairpin bends and the start of a road of never-ending tea plantations. After stopping for tea on the edge of the Tata tea estate, the world's largest, with a splendid view over Devikulam Lake we carry on to the enchanting hill station of Munnar, and our hotel. Windermere Estates Hotel...IND-MB8to9

DAY 7 MUNNAR (free day).  A chance to explore the delights of Munnar and the surrounding area.  We can go in search of the Nilgiri Tahr, a rare mountain goat, in the cool of the morning. About half of the total world population of about 2000 animals live in the ranges below the Anamudi Peak (2695 m), the highest in southern India. We can ride the beautiful road down to Marayoor, or to the Mattupetty Dam and up to Top Slip. Or how about a visit the tea museum and take a jeep tour to the highest tea estates in the world?. Windermere Estates Hotel.

DAY 8 MUNNAR - OOTY (OOTACAMUND, 250 km). Leaving Munnar, we ride through Eravikulam Park, with its abundant monkeys and scattering of elephants, leopards and tigers. We then pass through Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, stopping for tea at Marayoor, famous for its local sandalwood. Looking out for herds of wild elephants sauntering across the road, we then descend to the plains of Tamil Nadu and stop for a late lunch at a roadside restaurant near Coimbatore. Then we head back up into the Nilgiri Hills, hairpin bends aplenty, to a height of 2000 m and our overnight stop in Ooty, 'Queen of the Hill Stations'. Holiday Inn Gem Park.

DAY 9 OOTY – MASINAGUDI (50 km). See Ooty by motorcycle or on foot. Ride up to the Dodabetta Peak for fantastic views of the surrounding plains, or Avalanche Point, where there was snow and an avalanche many years ago! Visit the botanical gardens, English-style public (ie private) schools and churches, tea gardens and shops (or sleep in!). We then take our final mountain ride down a steep ghat road with over 40 hairpins to Masinagudi in time for a relaxed lunch and a pleasant afternoon by the pool or searching for tigers in the forest. Jungle Retreat.

DAY 10 MASINAGUDI – WAYANAD (175 km). An early start to go looking for elephants and tigers if you haven’t spotted any yet. After a fantastic hearty breakfast we’re back on the motorcycles to traverse the huge Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and into Karnataka State. We stop for a pleasant lunch at the Bandipur Sanctuary and then head west into Kerala. After passing through Muthanga and Wayanad Sanctuaries, where spotted deer, wild boar and langur monkeys are common, and if we’re lucky we’ll see elephant herds browsing near the roadside, we overnight in a sensational ecoresort in the middle of the forest. Vythiri Resort.

DAY 11 WAYANAD – SECRET BEACH (200 km). Heading west descending the ghats, and then south, avoiding the horrendous congestion of Calicut, we arrive by mid-morning at Guravayoor, one of the most famous temples and pilgrimage sites in southern India. We stop at the Sanctuary for Temple Elephants, where the elephants are trained for processions and elephant races. A handler will show us around and explain the personalities of the elephants and you have the opportunity to be with the elephants, without any barriers or cages. Then it's back on the bikes for a quiet section of the coastal road to our beautiful, undeveloped beach resort. The people here are incredibly friendly and make great efforts to wave and shout as we pass, they want us to feel most welcome and have not yet become blasť towards strangers. Spend the afternoon catching rays in the sea, and if you’re lucky dolphins too, and marvel at the sunset. Nattika Beach Resort.

IND-MB13to14DAY 12 SECRET BEACH – THATTEKAD (90 km). You have time for an early dip in the Arabian Sea before we head off for Kodanad. Kodanad is a forestry department kraal where orphaned baby elephants are rescued, cared for and trained for a working life. Timing is crucial so we can join in the daily bathing and rub down in the river, so no lie in today! A little known but well kept road leads us to our hotel. This is close to paradise and we spend the evening watching the birds nesting for the night, and the villagers playing and working in the lagoon, with the croak of bullfrogs to complement our conversation. Hornbill Inn.

DAY 13 THATTEKAD (free day). As our tour draws to a close, the excitement and variety doesn’t cease as we change our mode of transport today. An early morning plantation walk is followed by canoeing in the Periyar River, with its sand boats, and even the option of white water rafting. In the afternoon we take a short ride into the forest where there’s a boat trip on the lake to go elephant and wildlife spotting. And if you don’t have books to finish, how about a mountain bike ride this evening?! Hornbill Inn.

DAY 14 THATTEKAD – COCHIN (50 km). Our final ride takes us back to Cochin and a last chance to cement those memories. After saying our farewells to our bikes, in the afternoon there’s time for sightseeing and shopping in the old town. The atmosphere here is somehow different, and unlike any other Indian city – more relaxed, more open. Famous churches, cathedrals, synagogues and palaces are all within walking distance, and the sights and smells of the famous Chinese fishing nets and the market, with its teas, spices, nuts, fabrics, rosewood, Kathakali masks, cigars make this an enjoyable wander. Take an early evening stroll around the fort, with the sun setting against the Chinese nets and giant container ships offering defining images of Cochin. We bring our tour to a close with our Farewell Dinner overlooking the harbour – and beer is once more on the house! Abad Grand Residentia Hotel.

DAY 15 DEPART COCHIN. We take you back to the airport for your morning flight home, and say our goodbyes - until the next time! Your flight arrives in the UK later today

Total distance    c. 1500 km

Kerala Mountains, Wildlife and Beaches

Dates

Rider

Passenger

Sgl rm suppl.

05 - 19 Feb 2017

£2,345.00

£1725.00

£675.00

19 Mar – 02 Apr 2017

£2,345.00

£1,725.00

£675.00

04 - 18 Feb 2018

£2,345.00

£1,725.00

£675.00

18 Mar - 01April 2018

£2,345.00

£1,725.00

£675.00

 

Ready to book? Please click here

Price includes: 12 days Royal Enfield 500 (new, left foot gear change) or 350 Bullet; oil and maintenance/spares; 4WD air-conditioned jeep support vehicle; group leader with medical kit/training; Enfield mechanic; tours/guides listed; airport transfers; all entrance fees to monuments / parks / reserves; 14 nts hotel accommodation; all breakfasts, some dinners; soft drinks/bottled mineral water on tour; road maps/information packets

Price excludes: Flights, travel insurance (both available from H-C Travel); refundable security/damage deposit US$500, to pay locally in cash; visa (c. £90); fuel; alcoholic beverages; laundry service; tips / gratuities.

Houseboat cruise. We can offer you an optional houseboat cruise after your toura traditional Keralan boat is a great way to get even more from your mountains and beaches experience! Prices on request.

 

Any questions? Please click here

| Rajasthan Palace Classic Tour | Himalayan High Roads Adventure | Ladies in Ladakh with Tiffany Coates |
| Spiti ‘Little Tibet’ Adventure | Kerala Mountains, Wildlife and Beaches Tour | Kerala Tea and Spices Tour |
| India Home Page |

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