A contactless trip to northeast during the pandemic

Two youngsters from Kochi are about to set off tomorrow

A 60-day trip to the northeast and Ladakh during a pandemic may sound outrageous.

Two youngsters from the city have chosen to do exactly that as they are about to set off from Vytilla on Friday. Travelling, they claim, have restarted across the country and is safe when undertaken in adherence with the COVID-19 protocol.

“We have opted an overlanding trip with a foldable tent assembled atop our car. It has been designed aerodynamically with weight equally displaced and a ladder to climb inside. We will also be cooking. Such a contactless trip avoiding hotels for stay and food is, in fact, educative on how to travel during a pandemic,” said Ambarish V.M., an engineer and travel freak. Two years ago, he had carried out a motorcycle trip to Kashmir passing through 21 States.

Since overlanding units are not domestically available and are largely imported, the youngsters decided to make one on their own. While an imported unit costs anywhere between ₹1.50 lakh and ₹2 lakh, they could make one with around ₹40,000 thanks mainly to the support of their friends who were into welding and allied services.

“It took us around 15-20 days to design and make it. We then did a trial trip to Munnar for a week and the tent held up quite good. Then, as we were about to set out on our trip, came the second lockdown,” said Sreejith V.C., an automobile consultant who has chosen to share the adventure with his close friend.

They are planning to camp overnight either at petrol pumps or some idyllic and safe open spaces along the way. “We have scheduled our destinations for each day and plan to cover on an average 500-600kms a day,” said Ambarish.

The duo plans to use the trip for creating awareness about vaccination and even distribute masks. “Many people are still apprehensive about vaccination and we want to allay those fears and reassure them,” said Ambarish.

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