Shivdutt slowed his cycle and looked longingly at the beach. It is his first sight of Alleppey and he is fascinatedly gazing at the tides furiously pushing the wind into a smokestack. For Shivdutt who came from Hyderabad to Kanyakumari, this is his first visit to Kerala, and he is already under its spell. Alleppey is just a stopover for the 29-year-old who is touring India on a cycle. It took him only 2 days to reach Alleppey from Kanyakumari and he is already gearing up for that long ride to Kashmir.
Shivdutt was at Everest’s Base Camp when the lockdown was announced. Because of the lockdown restrictions he had to cut short the Everest tour and move towards Kathmandu. He was not allowed to visit hometown Hyderabad due to the restrictions. Since he could not use his ATM card in Nepal, he had no option than to work at a hotel in Kathmandu to fend for himself. He tried to ask local help to reach his hometown. But somehow when he reached Hyderabad by August, he was tested positive for Covid along with his entire family and went into isolation.
Once he recovered, Shivdutt waited till December to resume his travel plans. He transported his cycle in a bus and reached Kanyakumari and stayed at the Vivekananda Ashram.
He started his journey on Jan 1st and ever since he has been cycling 100-150 kilometres daily. Being the employee of a multinational company at Secunderabad, he had the provision to stay at places which the company had branches, including Kochi.
Shivdutt is floored by the beauty of Kerala “I should have come here earlier. I will surely make a trip again, only to explore Kerala,” he says. He is a budget traveller and prefers to stay with friends but if that does not happen, he is as happy to sleep at bus stations or ashrams. Now for that long cycle ride towards Kashmir to savour its gorgeousness.