After your mini-rejuvenation at Swaswara, it’s time to being the final leg of the journey, hugging the coastline south past Mangalore, dipping inland through the cluster of national parks, before a night in Kozhikode, and the home straight to the finish line and celebratory hurrah in Cochin.
Fitting to your newfound lifestyle of yoga, healthy eating and general wellbeing, why not make an early pre-dawn rise and commence the gruelling 400km past Mangalore, India’s coffee and cashew exports hub, to the Tamara Coorg. En-route be sure to take in Maravanthe beach, arguably the most stunning in Karnataka state. The National Highway runs along the edge of the beach, with the River Suparnica enclosing the other side of the road. Continue along the coast until Muki, then head south-east until you reach the north edge of Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, where The Tamara is located.
The Tamara Coorg is one of India’s newest luxury resorts, set on a sprawling 170 acres of unparalleled natural beauty. The Tamara’s eco-cottages on stilts are made from reforested spruces, with cantilevered decks that appear to levitate, creating the perfect viewing platform over its stunning environment. This is something totally unique, a perfect reward for what will probably be the hardest day of travelling on the itinerary.
Don’t worry! It’s not all vast sweaty journeys in a tropical climate without reward – The Tamara Coorg is one of a kind, but we didn’t want to end your treats there. Have a lie in, wake up to the sound of birdsong in the jungle, and in your own time set-off on the short, highly scenic 130kms to Orange County Kabini, another of Natural Mystic’s favourite properties.
Orange County Kabini is a luxury five-star resort positioned perfectly on the banks of the River Kabini. The cottages, with their mud-styled walls and thatched roofs are inspired by the design of the Kuruba. Once here, you can spend an action-packed day taking a riverboat safari to Nagarhole Forest on the other side of the Kabini, or a vehicle safari in search of leopards, tigers, and elephants (the latter shouldn’t be too hard to spot – Nagarhole boasts the largest Asiatic elephant population on earth!). You can get extra close to nature by taking an early evening coracle ride down the river, before a candlelit dinner aboard an intimate, traditional boat. For the most adventurous, a perfect after dinner treat comes in the form of a night trail, which exposes the forest’s fascinating nocturnal insects, reptiles, and birds.
Today is your final day to enjoy all that the forests of southern India have to offer. A 125km journey around the Kabini reservoir and south into Wayanad district will lead you to Vythiri Resort. Though not technically a very long journey by the standards of pervious legs of the Run, expect this to take a while. The roads through the forest are slow, hazardous, and not anything like how crows fly (or herons, bee-eaters, kingfishers, buzzards, or eagles for that matter, all of which can be found in Wayanad’s forests).
After the past two days, perhaps you think we’ve shown you everything there is to see in the cluster of forests and nature reserves of this part of south India. Think again – away from Vythiri’s main resort and perched 80ft high in the canopy of the forest is a luxury treehouse. This really is the best way to experience nature in all it’s glory, provided your nerve can handle the height and the spooky bird and animal calls at night!
The home straight has arrived! Bid farewell to your treetop haven, and shake and rattle your way along the final 250km to the finish line at Cochin. The Adventurists (the impressive adventure company who organize the Rickshaw Run) have this to say about the finishing line festivities:
“vehicle parades around town, drums, huge crowds, noise, the occasional camel, colours, the smell of petrol in the air. It’s spiffing. What better way to…wrap up two weeks of glorious mayhem on three wheels?”
After your rest/adventure/spiritual awakening (delete as applicable) from Goa to our specially chosen forest hideaways, this jubilant party atmosphere sounds just about perfect.
Should you decide that you might actually catch a few hours shut-eye, or all the bouncing along bumpy roads has kept you craving some pampering, then we reckon you’ll appreciate The Brunton Boatyard. Moored on an historic stretch of Kochi’s famed harbour, Brunton Boatyard offers stunning views of the Kerala coast and has an eco-friendly approach to travel. The promotional video below might whet you appetite..
So, that’s it! You’ve handed over back battered tuk-tuk to the Adventurists, celebrated through the night, and clocked about 3000km of madness on your way to Cochin. We would embed a googlemap of the epic journey here, but rather wonderfully google have informed us that it is just too large! Here’s the link to the googlemap instead.
After you’ve come all this way, we think it would be mad for you to fly straight home. Natural Mystic have rustled up one final treat for you – a reward for all the (*cough) hard work of the past two weeks…
50km south of Cochin you’ll find Kumarkom, a small town on the banks of the enormous Vembanad lake. Coconut Lagoon, owned by CGH Earth along with Swaswara (see Part 3) and Brunton Boatyard, is an almost surreally pleasant boutique property. It can only be accessed by boat, making for an unforgettable arrival which will set the tone for a stay here. Observe village life unfolding on the backwater doorstep of the luxury resort, lounge in a hammock before a refreshing dip in a private plunge pool, and make sure you take a sunset boat trip out on the lake. We think this is the perfect end to one of our most ambitious and rewarding holiday itineraries ever!
To make this itinerary a reality, or to start planning your very own holiday of a lifetime, get in touch with us at:
For more information about who we are, check out our other pages:
For more information about The Rickshaw Run, or about The Adventurists, see their website: