About the challenge
We cycle through an historic and beautiful area known for its characteristic old forts, painted houses and maharajah's palaces. Trip highlights include the pink city of Jaipur, Ramthambore National Park - home to tigers - and the old abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, before celebrating our achievements at India’s most iconic monument, the Taj Mahal.
India offers a broad diversity of landscapes, people and wildlife, with an incredible mix of colourful cultures and a sense of history at every turn. From the most peaceful, serene landscapes to noisy, vibrant, bustling cities – an unforgettable experience!
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|04 Nov 2016||10||Open challenge||Limited||£299||+||£3950||Or||£1750||Contact office|
|18 Feb 2017||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
|03 Nov 2017||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
|17 Feb 2018||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
|03 Nov 2018||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
Brimming with cultural attractions including iconic Taj Mahal
Discover forts and traditional villages of historic Rajasthan
Chance to see tigers on Ranthambore safari
Stay in good hotels and former maharajah’s palaces
Day 1-3: Fly to Jaipur; time to explore sights of Pink City
Day 4-5: Cycle through arid countryside, passing villages and farmland, temples and painted Brahmin houses
Day 6-7: Safari in Ranthambore National Park, then ride on through wonderful rural village scenes and ancient Karauli to Bharatpur
Day 8-10: Ride to abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri; visit Tah Mahal; return to Delhi and fly home
What makes it challenging?
Fairly flat roads – but heat adds to challenge
Distances range from 30-90km per day
Conditions can be dry and dusty
Culture shock can add to challenge
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The cost includes all accommodation as well as all flights and transport; internal air tax; all meals except one as specified in the itinerary, and entrance to any sites visited as part of the itinerary. A bike is also included. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders/mechanics and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of guides, cooks and drivers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, airline taxes if charged by the airline, one meal as specified, tip for local crew, or international departure tax. It also does not include any entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Jet Airways, however, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.
Accommodation is on a twin-share basis. Hotels are comfortable and clean with private facilities, and vary from simple city hotels to former maharaja’s palaces which are wonderful insights to the region’s history as well as fantastic places to stay. Although standards are generally very good, please do not expect palaces every night!
All meals are included except one or two meals. The food is great and there is plenty of it. Expect diverse Indian-style food, not western-style. Evening meals are generally eaten at the hotels.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities and you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size) – who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, drivers and cooks. Your local guide knows the local area well, and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Drivers and cooks do not always speak English but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your ride. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in this country is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.
Support vehicles are with the group all the time. All luggage, spares, food and water is carried by them. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack or large waist-pack for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, mobile extensive medical kit, first-aid kits and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate.
Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
Cycling distances range between 30km and 75km, which is more challenging than it may sound when taking the heat and dust into consideration. Cycling is predominantly on tarmac roads, though surfaces are generally uneven, worn and pot-holed. There are some dirt tracks. The cycling is varied, with some days predominantly flat and some with gradual climbs, which can be very demanding in the heat. Traffic is usually light and we will cycle at our own pace, though we will re-group regularly. Even in small towns and villages it can be very chaotic, and you must be vigilant. We will be using 21-speed mountain bikes with semi-slick tyres.
We will be using 21-speed mountain bikes fitted with semi slick tyres. If you are unsure whether to take your own bike or use one of ours, please just contact us.
It is imperative that you supply your own helmet and wear it at all times while cycling, with straps done up.
There will be a range of spares in the vehicle along with a full tool kit; however, it is impossible for us to carry spares for every eventuality. It is vital that if you bring your own bike it is in excellent working order before departure.
Clothing & Equipment
We are travelling through remote areas where we could be exposed to difficult conditions at any time. The information above gives you an idea of the climate, but be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Temperatures range from pleasantly mild to hot! Rain is unlikely outside the monsoon season, though we should be prepared for anything! It can be windy, and there are occasional cold spells. Humidity is generally very low. Average Jaipur temperatures range from 10- 30°C with 5-10mm rainfall at the times we travel.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential; it should be valid for at least six months after departure from India. There is also a visa requirement for UK citizens; other nationalities should check entry requirements. For UK nationals, India has outsourced its visa application services to VF Services (http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk) and applications at the embassy in London are no longer accepted. There are also Indian Visa Application Centres in London, Hayes, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. There is a risk of malaria in some regions, so check for the most up-to-date advice. You should always check with your GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow cyclists and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through. AITO, our Trade Association, has recognised the work we do in this area and has awarded us 5 stars as a Responsible Tour Operator.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.