In February 2013 we are off to Kerala for a month for a cooking and tandem experience.
While checking out cyclists’ journals on Kerala on the excellent crazyguyonabike website we found a comment by Alexa McAuley about having to share a hotel restaurant with a bunch of whingeing Grey Nomads. Alexa has since re-assured me that sexagenarian tandemists are a different class of person altogether but I quite liked the idea of “grey nomads” cycling through the back country so we’ll try it out for this trip. Until I worked out what Alexa was getting at I had an image of grey-cowled monk-like figures, possibly intergalactic mystics from Alpha Centauri.
Kerala is the most southwestern state of India. It is highly regarded for levels of education, the strength of its economy and emancipation of women and it is also famous for climate, scenery, food, relaxed atmosphere and friendliness.
Our plan is to spend two weeks on one of Unni Pillai’s highly recommended Keralan cookery courses and two weeks cycling, focusing more on the mountains where it’s cooler and the scenery sounds wonderful. Unni’s plan includes lots of touristic activity in the famous Keralan coastal area and the famous Kerala lagoons, including one of the famous Keralan houseboat trips so by the third week we’ll be settled in and ready for something more adventurous.
My colleague Graham Barkworth, who has cycled a lot in India, reckons that Kerala is the best place in the world and his idea of a perfect holiday is to pootle around the backroads there, photographing the wonderful architecture, people and nature. So that’s the general plan.
Right now we are doing the planning and preparation. As I’m a gadgetaholic that means buying and testing gadgets, but mainly it’s about working out roughly where to go, where to stay and what information is available to help plan the trip, especially maps.
/next: 2. – Maps?