Lifestyle Travel 12 Mar 2018 Carrying on in a car ...

Carrying on in a caravan

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | PRANITA JONNALAGEDDA
Published Mar 12, 2018, 12:06 am IST
Updated Mar 12, 2018, 12:06 am IST
In a first, three young travellers have embarked on a road trip, in a caravan, to traverse the Western Ghats.
Rohit, Ankita and William pose with their caravan, Kiro
 Rohit, Ankita and William pose with their caravan, Kiro

Rohit Subramanian, Ankita Kumar and William Meara are on a unique journey! The ‘three nutty travellers’, as they call themselves, were individual adventurers until their love for travel brought them together, sparking the idea of a 100-day caravan trip.

“From the start, the idea seemed enticing! Three solo travellers coming together for an epic road trip! This is the first time something like this is being done in India. Caravanning hasn’t been documented here and that’s what we aim to do, alongside bringing the van life and camping culture to our country,” shares Rohit, who’s always wanted to live in a caravan.

 

“For Ankita, the idea has been in the head ever since she read Enid Blyton’s Five Go Off in a Caravan. William (from Ireland) is always up for adventures! We knew of each other in the past but this is the first time we’ve come together like this,” he adds. What’s interesting is that the trio are chronicling their experiences on the Instagram page @thecaravanchronicles, which has already garnered oodles of attention despite being just a week old!

Travelling in the caravan,  named Kiro (from ‘ki’ in Ankita and ‘ro’ in Rohit) which means crossroads in Japanese, has been a fun ride since it kick-started in Bengaluru. “I was petrified of taking a group journey because I’m used to solo travel. But I love the company and every day is a beauty. The best thing is that you wake up to different things every day. What’s more, you are taking your home everywhere you go,” gushes Ankita, who’s got her roots in Hyderabad, with her father growing up here, and her mother being Telugu-speaking.

William in a relaxed mood during their stop at The Gerry Martin Project in Hunsur, KarnatakaWilliam in a relaxed mood during their stop at The Gerry Martin Project in Hunsur, Karnataka

Interestingly, the heart of the trip — the caravan — wasn’t easy to find, because the production of the Matador they were keen to travel in stopped in 1999! “We sourced the vehicle from Tamil Nadu’s interiors. It was in a bad shape and we rushed against time to get basics like the painting job, wood work and of course the mechanics and electricals fixed. Since we’d travel in uncertain conditions, this had to be taken care of,” explains Rohit.

But the 100-day trip, where they’d explore the Western Ghats, covering Kerala, Karanataka, Goa and parts of Maharashtra, isn’t just a fun road trip. “Surfing, cliff jumping and wind surfing are some of the adventures we plan to take up. But other than that, our truck will be transformed into a food truck for a day when we’ll collaborate with a chef. We also have a band playing a gig for us. We will be giving out books to kids at some of the rural areas we stop in, making our caravan a library for a day. We are going to conservation sites and stocking up our kitchen with organic vegetables produced by farmers. We planned all this in just a month!” Rohit declares.

While caravanning can have its own set of troubles, the trio is sure living it up. “We had to travel in the summer due to logistical reasons but cannot have an A/C in this van. The beds are comfortable, though! We cook and camp when needed. We give lifts to school kids, travellers and the like. We have an open-door policy in the van which indicates that everyone is welcome,” shares Rohit, as Ankita adds, “The van is noisy! But there would be no other way to explore the underbelly of India.”

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