If you ask adventure junkies about their bucket list, one among them will definitely be a bike ride to the Himalayas. It has even become a ritual among riders now. Fijoy Joseph, a traveller and photographer who recently went to this dream destination with a team, says Himalayan trips are life-changing. “The experience varies from person to person, but a positive change will happen for sure,” says Fijoy. “For some, the Himalayan trip will relieve their stress, while a few others will learn to get accustomed to a life without the internet. Then, of course, those stunning views. One can experience all sorts of terrains in one go,” explains Fijoy.
The trip that began on June 1 got completed on June 12. “Our plan includes 11 nights and 12 days,” he says.
The trip, which was exclusive for Malayalis, had 30 members, including three women. Fijoy says the presence of women is quite welcoming. “No terrain should be exclusive to men,” he opines. “Usually, men, that too adventurous persons, travel to places like this. However, these days women too head to the Himalayas.
In our group, there were three women; among them two came all by themselves.
That is a good progress,” he says.
Ask him about Malayali-only travel plans, he says that is to ensure comfort. “It will be easy to communicate.
Also, there will be a kind of comfort zone among the riders. In our trips, everyone — including the captain and coordinator — will be Malayalis,” he says.
This time, they even took photos in traditional Kerala attire. It was not easy to pose for photos in the chilling Himalayas in Kasavu sari, but the three female members did that without any inhibition. “Usually riders take photos in their riding costume. This time, we thought of doing something different and the women agreed.”
Fijoy organises the Himalayan trip during the four months when the Leh-Manali highway, the bikers’ paradise, is open. Pangong Lake, where the climax of 3 Idiots was filmed, Khardung La pass, the highest motorable road, Kargil war zone and Hanle are some of their halts.
Fijoy also points to the need of carefully-planned Himalayan trips. “It is always better to go there under the guidance of experts. We have Jobish M.B. for that. Also, we take the help of local guides. Otherwise, there are chances of casualty, especially in high altitudes. People go there with half knowledge acquired from the social media, which increases number of accidents. Visiting the Himalayas is not like going to Munnar or Meesapulimala,” says Fijoy, who is getting ready for the next trip in September.