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Story of my solo ride from Chennai to Kanyakumari on cycle!!!
It all started when I'm feeling bored of routine life. Need to taste something different from routine. Gave a thought and decided to go Kanyakumari on cycle. I informed in the office and took leave before 45days of my travel. Everyone advised not to go that long on cycle that too in the month of May. Some didn't believed until I started). My brother had cycle (Hercules gearless) and he convinced me to use his cycle for the trip. From then, atleast 2 - 3 days in week, I started travelling in Chennai (approx. 30-40Km per day). This gave enough warm up before the travel. Finally, started my journey on 10th May, 2015 at 6.30am.
Day 1: T.nagar, Chennai to Chengalpattu. Distance: 52Km
Like every child going to school, first day is curious at the same time very hard. Too hot and Humid. After 4hrs of ride, got cramps. But somehow reached Chengalpattu (walked almost 10kms instead of cycling) by 2.30 and checked into the hotel by 3.30 after lunch. Whole evening spent on whether my journey will be continue or not.
Day 2: Chengalpattu to Villupuram. Distance: 105km
Started by 5.30 in the morning. Whole strategy of journey changed. Took regular breaks. Had enough food. At the same time, rain started which made my journey easy. Reached Tindivanam by 1.30 which is my actual halt. But myheart said not to stop and I continued further. Reached Villupuram by 4PM which is 38km from Tindivanam. On the whole, I travelled 105KM in a single day. This boosted my confidence that I can finish my journey. Had food at least 8times. This continued till last day.
Day 3: Villupuram to Perambalur. Distance: 109km
With the confidence of 2nd day, I started my journey to reach Perambalur by end of the day. Without any hurdles, reached by 5.30PM.
Day 4: Perambalur to Trichy. Distance: 58km
Took enough rest at Perambalur and started to Trichy at 7.30 AM. No rain in the morning. Whole journey went on looking at the clouds for rain. Finally, by 12 it started raining. Reached Trichy by 2.30PM. Rain got heavier and checked into the hotel only at 4.30.
Day 5: Trichy to Madurai. Distance: 130km
This is a big day for my journey. Little afraid whether I do it in one day or not. Started off at 3.30 in the morning. No rain but cloudy. Except 20km of travel, everything went on awesome. In fact, the clouds and mountains at Marungapuri looks like heaven. By 4.30, I reached Madurai. This is real fast. I didn't expected this. Food at Madurai is Yummy!!! Had Kuthu Parotta and Chicken :D :D
Day 6: Madurai to Kovilpatti. Distance: 104km
Started by 4.00 in the morning. With the tiredness of previous day, unable to ride after 60km. Adding to this there is too much of humid. No hotels or eatables during the journey. Got stuck after 80km. No energy because of unavailability of hotels. In fact, I had two times lunch on this day. Reached Kovilpatti by 6.30PM and had dinner soon after I checked into hotel. Went on to sleep by 7.30.
Day 7: Kovilpatti to Tirunelveli. Distance: 59km
Started late because Tirunelveli is not far. Climate is good. Not a heavy rain. But the main problem from this place is Wind Farms. Opposite wind. Can't ride same as before. Since the distance is not too far, I am able to made it by 3PM.
Day 8: Tirunelveli to Kanyakumari. Distance: 85km
Final day of my journey. Took off with the all the excitement. This route is full of wind mills. Heavy rain and strong wind. Dark clouds. But my heart and mind both are in proper channel to ride the cycle. Kept on asking people, how much far is Kanyakumari? though I know. Just to listen from people. They say JUST 30km, JUST 25km, Just 15km. This really increased my confidence. Before reaching to Kanyakumari (12km far), I have seen the board saying "Welcome to Kanyakumari district". Man, that was amazing moment. From there, ride got faster. No wind mills, no breeze. Only coconut fields. Riding through them and enjoying cool whether is unforgettable. And finally my journey comes to end reaching Kanyakumari by 4.30 on 17th May, 2015 completing 700km.
I have come across different people at different locations. A guy giving me company for 5km on his bike just to speak to me, an elderly person who supported my journey and advised me not to travel alone, "Go on son, don't be afraid" said by a senior citizen, WOW!!!kinda looks from the people and of course why this Kolaveri? by some people which gave me immense confidence to travel the journey in 8 days. People at hotels where ever I stay took proper care for me. When I planned, it is 14 days travel. When I started, it is 10 days travel But I did in 8 days.
Every person who met me on the way ask bunch of questions which are actually same.
1. Where you are from? Hyderabad.
2. So you are travelling from Hyderabad? No, I am travelling from Chennai.
3. What you do in Chennai? I am working.
4. Why you are travelling? This question is the frequent question I faced from Chennai to Kanyakumari. I use to answer "Just for relaxation, leave boredom and to see beauty of Tamilnadu. Some people understand the answer and some people don't but everyone said "Yeah, it's good for health". LOL!!
I learnt a lot of things from this journey on survival, people, nature, food, experience, Freedom, peace, overcome challenges, confidence and above all MySelf.
This is the journey everyone has to be experienced once in a lifetime.
I never planned on to travel solo, to be honest! Of all the many treasures I have, I will be sharing one with you.
It was the time of late May 2014 and the results for my class 12th boards were just around the corner. After two years of rigorous studying to secure a position in JEE and also the 12th board results, I was apparently not happy with my lifestyle.
It was around this time, I took a little money from my father, informed him of my decision to backpack for a week and return soon!
Where? I did not know!
Why? I did not know!
When? I did not know!
I just left the house and took the first bus I got from Kashmere Gate ISBT, Delhi. The bus was Punjab Roadways and my luck dropped me to Chandigarh by the late afternoon of that long day!
Well, next one hour saw me eating, refreshing myself and back in the bus. This time, I was in the Himachal Roadways and it was all set for me to be in Kasol. (I planned this on the Chandigarh bus stand itself)
I was always fascinated by this place and so wanted to be around for at least once in my life. Guess what? The day has come for the 17 years old me to take a trip around of this amazing place.
I am a vegan and have never done drugs. Reaching Kasol and going different places made me realise that it is just for the ones who are looking to 'enjoy' weed and try on different drugs. Wherever I went, I was offered weed, opium and other 'stuff' which I was having a look at for the first time.
This was making me uneasy. I went straight to my camping site (Luckily, I managed to book one from Chandigarh) with the first rays of the sun next morning and planned to settle there for once and ever (It seemed!)
Luckily, I found one person there on the site who had a similar story and we ended up being together for rest of 5 days. (I did not look further for company nor did she)
All I know about her is the name, nationality and gender and have not heard from her ever since. But those 5 days from there on are something that happened to be the best time of that trip for me and her too (apparently!)
I took all the major treks in and around the area with her, had a great time exploring all those cafes, the place, the people, capturing those moments of life!
Coming back down from the hills back to Delhi, I had my results out and I secured a fine score, thankfully!
I guess that sums it up!
This happened all happened on my way home from Namakkal to Coimbatore when I was returning from my hostel (high school) It was dusk, with my earphones on listening to mild songs I sat near the window, the weather was also warming
The bus stopped @ Erode bus stand, it already turned dark...having the street lights on I can see a old man begging, he looked wise and healthy yet he's still begging and I could see physically disable working hard in the same bus stand, I refused to give him my money and I had this terrible look at him and switching my eye to that physically challenged simultaneously
*My objective is to make him feel bad about himself *
Finally the driver came after his dinner, a humorous guy sat beside me, the sense of his talking was captivating,(still it was dark I could barley see his face) I enjoyed talking to him, he was kind and happy which made me feel happy, I enjoyed the weather, I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed the breeze, it made me feel comfortable, eventually I liked the person beside me, so I slept trusting he won't do any harm
Finally i woke and its 5 min away from my departure, I wanted to see him, his face
Then we reached Coimbatore bus stand, we came out, with the help of street light I saw him
But it' was the same beggar *shocked* I felt like I was fooled, ashamed , but yet I was not angry anymore I spoke to him nicely after this we laughed a lot, it was nice, we said bye but all of a sudden he went to his job again! Yes! Coimbatore bus stand! Again! Begging! Oh...my god! This was his routine (day time erode...nyt time coimbatore)
M ay be he will earn more than I imagine...whatever the reason is, he's out there begging and he's amazingly happy, this is how my journey ended
This may not be the best, but this! I'll never forget
Well, if you want to know about the experiences which I had as a solo traveller, then you should go on reading the following post. I am writing the article in a general sense to help you understand about the awesomeness which is associated as a solo traveller
‘Empowering', ‘Exciting', ‘Deeply morale boosting' and ‘freeing' are some of the "adjectives" best used by women folks who have travelled alone and are actually doing so frequently as well.
- Do you want to be closer to the richness and inherent diversity of your favorite country or place?
- Do you want to indulge in doing something which is full of fun and craze?
- Do you want to simply forget anything and everything just by doing the things which you haven't done before?
- Do you love yourself and want to indulge in some of the fun filled times where you can potentially find the best company "in you" as you don't have to depend on others?
- Are you actually looking for the times, when you are the masters of yourself where you want to do things according at your own "will" right from getting up in the morning to doing things till going bed?
If yes, is your answer, then gear up for some of the most interesting, awesome and lovely times of your life through top 10 safety tips for travelling alone
Here, I am discussing few of the important reasons for travelling solo which you will eventually start loving:-
Usually, a solo trip for women results when group of friends doesn't join you at the eleventh hour and you so much want to travel in the weekend that you eventually show your determination to finally move out to travel.
You may have to encounter few of the precautions where you shouldn't roam at late nights etc. But be brave and confident and I am sure you will easily find yourself going with the flow.
In 1993, I rode from Seattle to Vancouver and then back down the coast (Page on piaw.net). When I crossed the border, I stopped at a bike shop and asked if there was a campground I could pitch a tent at. The customer behind me said, "No, you're not pitching a tent, how about staying with my family instead?"
In 1994, I rode from Seattle to the California border (Page on touring.www/1994/trip94.htm). At Twin Harbors, I was stopped by the rain. I took the bus into town after pitching a tent, and as I was in a candy shop I said boy, it'd be nice to get out of the rain instead of going back to a wet tent. The lady running the shop said, "We're a motel too. My husband will drive the van out to pick up your tent and bicycle and you can stay in a room." They charged me $25.
But I've had really great experiences traveling with friends too. (See Piaw Na's answer to What and where was the best meal ever made and enjoyed, and of course, why? for one example)
If you travel by bicycle, you get at least one of those incidents that I've described on every trip, whether you're solo or in a small group. It just happens. It's the magic of traveling by bicycle, and I can't recommend it enough.
My friend's sister had gone on an epic ‘GIRLS ONLY TRIP' to Singapore. The way she described about her trip was epic.
The trip made her more confident in interacting with new people and making friends quickly. She made so many friends, met so many people from completely different backgrounds. According to her, meeting each new person was like reading a new book because each person had such amazing stories to tell about their lives. Some even inspired her.
I have never seen anybody so satisfied with trip. She gave the credit of the amazing experience of the trip to the company she traveled with, which was: TRAVART. The way TRAVART makes special efforts on making their travelers comfortable is commendable. They make sure that we remember the experiences of the trip for a lifetime. In fact, they customize the whole trip according to the travelers. For them, the travelers experience and happiness is the greatest reward. They give a well researched itinerary to fit a traveler's need and also give personalised ones.
What's even more amazing about this company are the rates. They have very cheap travel rates. Here, take a look at this screenshot taken from their site: