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Pedalling their way through the heart of Kerala

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Joy ride: The French couple who are on a tour of Kerala on bicycle.
Joy ride: The French couple who are on a tour of Kerala on bicycle.

A Correspondent

Nedumbassery: They have come to Kerala all the way from Annecy, a picturesque sleepy town in France, and have high expectations from their visit. And what better way to feel the pulse of the God’s own country than to travel across the length and breadth of the State on bicycles.

So Francois, 38, a pilot in Air France for the last 18 years and his wife Marian, 39, have set out to discover Kerala on their more than 10-year-old mountain bikes equipped with a Swiss knife and water bottle. On Tuesday noon, they headed for Munnar, and from there, will peddle to Thekkady.

Later on they will visist Kumarakom, and will reach airport on Monday, on their way to home. “We have heard much about this land from a relative and thus thought of visiting Kerala. We embarked on a bicycle tour as we want to know more about this land just by experiencing it,” said Mr. Francois. In fact, it was from a relative of Ms. Marian who married a Malayali woman, did they come to know about Kerala.

The short trip this year is just a trial-run before the big one next year, according to the couple. “Let us first make an impression on the conditions out here so that we can plan well before our year-long journey to explore India,” said Ms. Marian. Next year, when they come they will also bring their three kids along with them for the bicycle ride across India.

“The expedition to find out the coexistence of large number of diverse cultures in a single country will be a really amazing experience,” said the couple. For their kids, the duo will take back a video-film and still photograph album of what they see here.

The couple would prefer to spend their nights in shift tents in some house as guests. “Hopefully this will help us understand about the living conditions and food habits of Kerala,” said Mr. Francois.

They clearly understand that the journey on bicycles on roads could be haphazard as the roads are in bad state.

Further, Ms. Marian says, “the climate out here is really hot and the humidity levels are very high. So, we have no plans to set a particular distance to cover a day or else. I am sure this will be a challenging experience for both of us.”

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