Explore Wayanad with Muddy Boots
Travel to the lesser explored destinations in Kerala with Muddy Boots.
Located in the North-East, of Kerala the district of Wayanad is best explored with Muddy Boots. Following their passions ex- IT professionals, Pradeep Murthy and Roby Paul Kurian want people to experience Wayanad as it is.
Murthy made his first trip to Wayanad in 1989, while Kurian made his trip in the early 80’s. They fell in love with the place and after 15 years of working in the IT industry, the friends from college started ‘Muddy Boots’. It is an organization that organises cycling, trekking, and kayaking trips to South India’s best kept natural secrets. The men started the organisation the early half of this year, “We have been trekking and climbing for a very long time now. We have an office in Wayanad, and Bangalore. The Wayanad office has six employees”. The rugged, unexplored terrain and their constant visits to the place pulled them back to Wayanad. “It’s something that was in the back of our head for years now. We find climbing, trekking and kayaking very interesting” said Murthy.
The men dedicated the last seven last months, moving in and out of Wayanad and tracking the place through GPS. “We are probably the only people who use GPS technology. We are comfortable with use of the technology, and before going on a cycling trip, we check the altitude profile of the place before setting out on the trek, or cycling trip.
Before setting out on a trip the professional’s recce the place on a bike or a car, which helps gauge the length of the route, and figure the right rest stops. We take stops every 10 to 12 kilometers, so that people can re-hydrate again. And then when we are individually satisfied with the trip, we pilot the trip with the help of some friends. It’s still not considered a commercial route, and then when we get their feed back on the route we take paid customers on the same route. In case of a trek we would have done the taken the trek a couple of times” said Murthy.
One of the guides has been trained in the Wilderness Medicine and First Aid training which is extremely important because some times people during the trips people come down with headaches, dehydration, they break a leg or a hand. The guides are trained on the procedure of first aid, and how to deal with such issues. So far Muddy Boots has done about 8-9 trips since August. “During monsoons, one can’t go trekking or camping. But one can go cycling and its lots of fun” added Murthy. The organisation provides the bi- cycles to the cyclists. They have a total of 12 cycles, and some of which are mountain bikes with 21 gears or so which do not slip too easily. It is meant to be used in rough terrains typically for a leisure crowd for guests who are not into cycling.
The team went on a 180 km cycling trip from Hunsur in Karnataka to Wayanad in Kerala recently. Speaking to Murthy about the experience, “Actually, there are many ways of going on a tour. One can start at a higher elevation, there are mild climbs, and we normally avoid very steep climbs. There is a bike pilot in the front, and nobody crosses him and also sees to that he doesn’t let anybody race down. For the long trip we started cycling a little after Hunsur, then into Gonikoppal in Coorg, from there we cycled to Kutta where we stayed at a home stay in middle of the forest which after 7: 30 is not safe to go out alone because of the wild life. You have crackers being burst at night to scare away wild elephants. Next morning we left for Kattikulam, and rode into Pullpally and then into Sultan Battery and finally we reached the edge of Wayand. The whole point of this trip is to give people an experience of Wayanad. We covered 180 kilometers in two and a half days”
There are two support vehicles following the cycle, and another bike guy traversing the group. The back up vehicle is for people who do not want to cycle any more, and can sit in the vehicle. Participants need to carry nothing, and the group keeps stopping every 10 kms. “We insist that they drink a lot of water to keep them hydrated, and eat fruits and keep which will keep them refreshed” said Murthy.
The three day cycling trip from Bangalore costs about Rs. 8000- 9000. And one day hike into Wayanad costs about Rs 1500 which includes pick up from resorts, entrance fees, guide fees, a lunch pack, snacks and water.
Kurian said, “We have spend enough time in Wayanad and we understand everything about the place. What we would love to do is to give people a complete experience the stories about the place, its cuisine, the history right from the Neolithic times to the tribal Kingdoms, have camp fire conversations so that people can go back much enlightened. Earlier people would go on a holiday for the sake of taking a vacation but now people want to experience something. One is the nature part, the culture part and then the adventure part. That’s what having an active vacation is all about” Muddy Boots has trips all through November and December and they are on a tailored basis.
Pradeep Murthy: +91 99005 68784