Kerala Group Cycle 2016
Get off the tourist trail and have a totally unique, local experience! Return home knowing you have transformed the lives India's vulnerable children…
Don't you wish you could give something back on your next trip away?
You can join our fundraising tour this November in Kerala, where it is not about what we can take from the experience but about giving hope and a brighter future to those who need it most!
- Over 65 million people live in the slums of India.
- One child going missing every minute.
- Over 40% of these children have never been found.
- Traffickers prey on children from these slum communities.
It is absolutely vital that we empower these children with an education which will free them from this vicious cycle of ignorance, disease & poverty.
The Kerala Group Cycle Tour will generate much needed funds, allowing the Australian organisation Forget Me Not (FMN) & Indian organisation Lakshya Aakriti Foundation (LAF) to do just this, continuing their life changing work at the 'Brighter Futures Study Centre' in one of the poorest slums in New Delhi, India.
The 9 day tour from Fort Kochi to Pozhikkara Beach, Trivandrum gives you the opportunity to experience one of the most beautiful sections of Kerala's coastline. I have personally cycled this route back in 2013 and have been blessed to return, retracing the route a number of times since. I have never seen another foreign cyclist on these roads, the experience which I wish to share with you is something so special & totally unique. We will also have the support of Diptesh Singh, the Chairman of LAF plus the guidance of many local friends I have made along the way..
You will travel along quiet roads with very little traffic, through small fishing villages, under the shade of coconut trees. The ocean on one side & Kerala's famous backwaters on the other, undeveloped and totally natural. In india they call Kerala 'Gods Own Country' you will quickly understand why, it really feels like you are cycling in paradise.
Kerala is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and was named as one of the ten paradises of the world by National Geographic Traveler. It’s a destination which is especially famous for its ecotourism initiatives. Kerala has a unique culture and distinctive traditions, offers warm hospitality, mouthwatering cuisine and beautiful scenery. All of which has made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Our 2015 tour was a life changing journey for participants, it was inspiring to watch the group come together in such a supportive way. All participants had extremely positive experiences, as you can see by the reviews..
When: 30th October – 8th November 2016
Where: Kerala, South India. Starting Fort Kochi and ending at Pozhikkara Beach, Trivandrum.
What: 9 day tour - 2 days in Kochi, 4 days cycling & 3 days off. Each cycling day on the tour is approximately 60km (total 240km).
From my past experience you can expect to travel at 15km/hr which takes into account breaks to view sights and take photographs. There will be stops for breakfast, chai/ fresh coconut water & snacks enroute in scenic locations, plus western style toilet stops.
The cycle days will start at 6:00am and we will reach our destination by midday. The course is very flat with some small-medium hills towards the end of day 4.
There will be opportunities for: cultural & sightseeing activities; Ayurvedic massages or treatments; shopping; and swimming on the days off in Alleppey & Varkala.
** We would like to invite your non-cycling partner to ride in our support van to they can be right there to share the experience with you.
Your fitness: medium level of fitness is required as the roads are flat & quite good in Kerala. We also have a support van with us at all times for any person needing a break.
The climate: The average temperature at this time of the year is 27 degrees C. There is little chance of rain as it is coming into the dry season. There is plenty of shade and breeze on the route as we are traveling on small roads on the coast.
Accessibility - Flights: You should fly into Kochi International Airport. It may prove cheaper to book return flights to Kochi from your home destination, and take an internal flight or local bus/taxi from Trivandrum (the finishing point) back to Kochi. There are however, international airports in both Kochi & Trivandrum.
Your participation fee of $1600 includes:
- Bicycle hire - please advise if you would rather BYO bike (I can advise you on the procedure).
- 9 nights accommodation in 3 star quality (one night in Ashram style accommodation in Amritapuri).
- All meals – Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, fresh fruit, chai, fresh coconut waters and mineral water (does not include alcohol).
- Support van – this will carry all luggage & any tired cyclists.
- One Kerala style cooking workshop in beautiful scenic location.
- Two Ayurvedic massages or treatments.
- Entrance to any temples or tourist attractions.
- Airport transfer.
- Optional yoga classes & group meditation.
$1000 Fundraising Component: Each participant must fundraise an additional $1000 (more if you wish). This will go directly to supporting the children's education at the Brighter Futures Study Centre. (Donations of $2 and over for your fundraising efforts are tax deductible for your supporters).
Itinerary, in short. (subject to change)
Day 1 & 2. Official welcome in Fort Kochi, Cycle fitting & Cycle tour of Fort Kochi, Traditional dance performance, Authentic South Indian Meals.
Day 3. 60km cycle to Alleppey
Day 4. Day off, Alleppey Backwaters, Massage, Swimming beach, Temple visits, Lunch & Dinner on Houseboat.
Day 5. 60km cycle to Amritapuri, Night in Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma's) Ashram
Day 6. 60km cycle to Varkala Beach
Day 7 & 8. Days off in Varkala, Free time, Massages allocated, Shopping, Temple visits, Swimming beaches.
Day 9. 60km cycle to beautiful backwater retreat location for last nights program
Day 10. Checkout of accommodation by 12 noon. We wish you a happy onward journey from here..
This upcoming fundraising initiative will be both a physical challenge and a relaxing holiday. Your efforts on the road during the day will be rewarded with luxurious massages & Ayurvedic treatments, long lazy dinners under the stars, and the opportunity to relax in the peace and tranquility of Kerala’s backwaters.
Meet amazing people, have an unforgettable holiday and return home feeling satisfied, knowing you have made a difference in helping change the destiny of some of India’s most vulnerable children.
We look forward to seeing you in India.