Pedalling the 3-peaks – A tale of grit and fitness
It is said that our dreams await us on the other side of grit. The refusal to give up and the determination to persevere bring our dreams alive. Add to this the camaraderie of Kalypso’s guides, their superior fitness-levels, and their quest for adventure and the beautifully laid-out 3-peaks route which is also one of the most challenging routes and you have the perfect cocktail of a thrilling adventure.
Why the 3-peaks?
At Kalypso, we pride ourselves on our attitude towards adventure. Not for us rash, irresponsible forays into the unknown. Our adventure tours are all well-researched and planned as far as routes, safety practices, weather and ecological issues are concerned. But beyond that adventure is in our hearts. Our search for newer and more eco-friendly avenues for adventure is an ongoing one. 3-peaks cycling tour is the result of just such a search. The tough route, the scenic landscapes, minimal carbon footprints, the hectic schedule all contribute to making this a unique and exhilarating experience.
3-peaks challenge – the route
4 days of tour, about 650kms of roads that came in all types –flat, undulating, steep climbs and descents, narrow, tarred, muddy-stretches and the vagaries of weather – all met with equanimity of spirit. This group of cyclists with varying levels of skill and experience – a couple of rookies, and some with mid-level expertise too in their midst, were led by the experts who had done it all before.
Flagged off from Kochi on the 1st of July 2019, the group of 10 set out first to Suryanelli near Munnar – a distance of 152kms and one which boggles the mind by starting at sea level and ending at an altitude of 5103ft. After braving the city traffic in the morning to reach the hills with its clean, crisp air and serene greenery was an energising tonic for our cyclists. A night of deep sleep later, they set out again, this time to Kodaikanal in the neighbouring state 164kms away and at a height of 6725ft. All along, the roads were tough and unpredictable, but the breath-taking sights beyond egged them on, they said. The tea and spice plantations, the green that seems to never end, the wet, slick roads all combine to create an atmosphere of magic. The next day saw them pedal off to Valparai at a distance of 170kms and a descent of 3937ft. The waterfalls that take one by surprise with their sudden appearance, the blue outline of the mountains in the distance merging with the azure sky and the ever present winding roads – evocative memories captured by smart-phones and human brains! The fourth and last day of the tour saw the group make their way back to Kochi from Valparai – a distance of 167kms. Followed by rivers and reservoirs, cycling past lush forests and plantations, our unwavering team finally arrived at Kochi to a warm welcome.
Kalypso guides and a few tales
This was not intended as a competition. There were no prizes, no winners. But the sheer nature of the event, the scope, the naturally competitive spirit of the boys and their innate love for adventure made them all set targets and achieve them. The wayside stops for a hot cup of chai or refreshing lemonade and a spicy snack, the banter and the impromptu races on deserted roads merely added to the spirit of the ride.
At journey’s end
Not all completed the ride. Some had to stop riding somewhere along the way. But that instead of diminishing the tour, only serves to underline its spirit of resilience. For they will be back the next time. Kalypso believes in the endeavour. From the hours of preparation to the actual start and then on the ride itself, the hard work, responsibility and love for nature on display drives us on in our pursuit of adventure with a responsible soul.