A Trip of Dreams - 2nd Anniv in Kerala!


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They say it is better to take a break and go on soul-satisfying hiatus when you are stressed out. I say a good holiday needs no time! Although this trip required planning. And planning I was for last 2 months to make it a memorable one from my thicker half! We have traveled to some important places in India and this place was on our agenda for a long time. What better way to check it out of list on the occasion of 2nd Anniversary, I thought.

So, I completed all the air travel bookings by August and thought of giving a surprise to wifey in the month of Travel. Boy! did she like it? A woman always loves surprises even if she pretends not to[:)] *hard learned lesson*

Anyway moving on with the travelogue, we took a 6 day sojourn to God's own country, which is in our country, Kerala. It is the land of green, I would say.

Nov 26: Day1: A trip like this does create some sleepless nights, so packing was done a day before and we were ready to make the trip. Couldn't sleep, so saying that we got up early would be a misnomer. But we did. It was a misty morning start to our headway to Mumbai, to catch our Jet flight to Kochin. Took a Shivneri, instead of Neeta's, Shivneris are always on time.
Landed in Kochi and were pleasantly surprised with the kind of infrastructure this city had to offer. On a very loose count I would have seen around 25 *big* car dealers in and around Kochi, with names ranging from Porsche to Jag! They don't call Kochi as Kerala's dubai for nothing. Or is it the money routed from there!! Stayed a night in Kataribag and roamed aimlessly in MG Road and broadway. Soaking in the intermittent rain and innumerable shops. It surely was a shopping arcade with stress on GOLD jewellery! Keralites love their gold ornaments.

Nov 27: Day2: Took an early morning cab from Kochi to Munnar, a place we have read about so much, and were ready to explore. Reached around mid day, with small stops enroute for clicking snaps on different waterfalls. I must say cab wallas do click some nice snaps, even with my DSLR. We had booked a homestay somewhere near town. It had a magnificent view of the town (see pic below). To our surprise the home stay was relatively empty with one more foreigner couple lodging up. Put our bags and started meandering around. We both just love meandering. It was raining hard this time, so bought a couple of umbrellas, and took some unchartered roads for trekking, clicking snaps. Amazing experience! Returned in the evening and witnessed an hour performance by Kathakali dancers. Those expressions are etched in my memory now!! To our surprise found out that homestay has home grown wine. Ordered a bottle and sipped away to sleep.

Nov 28: Day3: Knock, knock! (no response), Bang, Bang, thud thud! I got up, it wasn't a dream, opened the door, found our home stay caretaker standing outside with an apologetic expression. He mumbled, "Saar! It is a strike today, it is not possible for you to move around Munnar". I was still sleeping I believe, so could not understand him.
Finally after an hour got up, freshened and went down for breakfast. That's when found out, it was a day-strike for the dam issue! No cabs, no shops, nothing will be open. Day ruined! After a lot of pleading and nudging caretaker managed to get hold of an auto-walla who showed us around. Avoiding hordes of people shouting slogans. Saw the beauty of Munnar, tea gardens. The place looks like it has been touched by various shades of green. Breathtaking views from Mattupetty dam, echo point, eravikulam national park! Munnar is a proper hill station untouched by senseless urbanisation.

Came back home to another surprise, strike had been extended to next day. The day we travel to Allepey!

Nov 29: Day4: Our caretaker was a real help. He arranged for a cab who agreed to travel in the wee hours and reach Allepey before sunlight, so that we could avoid any chances of chaos. Took the journey, reached allepey, found a room to crash in for 4 hours, got up, got ready and moved to houseboat. This strike was turning out to be a blessing in disguise. Almost no traffic. There were hardly any houseboats running, so backwaters were empty. Lovely sights and what a stark contrast from cold milieu of Munnar to hot and humid weather of Allepey. Houseboat ride was a thing to remember. Food left a taste which still resonates in our minds. Breathtaking.

Nov 30: Day5: Another reason for this trip was to attend our close friends' wedding. So took a trip from Allepey to Guruvayur. In 5 days covered more than 800 Kms and reached a place which was again so different from earlier two. Everything about Guruvayur is religious. Stayed close to temple.

Phew! man I am tired writing all this. I am sure you must be tired reading it as well. So let me stop and let you a peek on some of the pics we took. Hope you like them.

PS - We spent more than 34 hours in travelling, 75% of our trip expense in cab fare, 20 hours eating, captured more than 1K pics, but still could only see a bit of Kerala. Wish we get there back soon. Left to explore: beaches [:D]

Misty morning start in Pune - Day 1
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Waterfall enroute
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One of the horde of monkey relaxing near waterfall
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View of Munnar town from our stay
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Kathakali
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Tea gardens in Munnar
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A tree earmarked for natural bee plantation
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TSIVipul

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I have already planned my longest road trip with my friends some 6 months before,that trip was planned for May 2012 after our semester exams to GOA from Meerut by my car with +- 20% if comes in mood,but now after seeing the pics,I have now thought of discussing with the friends to get this trip extended to Kerela,after all going to Goa and then leaving those 500-600 kms will be a nonsense act,right?
Its great that you people celebrated the 2nd anniversary in 'God's own country',after seeing the pics,I remembered a horrifying call from my GF some 5 days back,here is a small description,just enjoy(I hope she will not make an account on TAI):-

Time:About 9:30 pm,I was studying in my room and suddenly my phone vibrates..
Ignore!!
Again Vibrates..
Ignore!!
Again vibrates..Now quite angrily I said "Don't you have to study,either study or sleep".
She:Vipul,just wanted to talk to you..
I:But I want to pass..so bbye.
She:one minute,only,please..
I:Okay then be short and fast..
She:My friend's partner has ditched her after some ...(Hope you have understood)
I:I'll never do,okay now let me study.
CUT..
Again phone vibrates..
I:Have you gone mad?Meet me in morning.
She:Will you MARRY me??
I:What?
She:Will you..
I CUT the phone again..
Thought for half an hour what she can do and what can't if I say NO.Called my friend and he gave me a 2 years long temporary idea saying "This will give you two years to part from her".
I called her after half an hour..
She:Yes,now tell me..
I:Of course dear,we will marry..
She:When?
I:Right now I am 19 and I have to wait till I get 21,else I'll be in jail..Now let me study..please..bbye good night.
SWITCH OFF the phone.

From that time I am really horrified..
 
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Really a Greeny Travelouge[;)],

Due to strike, You enjoyed the trip without crowd.

Pics are Fresh & Foggy.

Congrats for the trip.

(Do add more pics)
 
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@Thetraveller, Happy anniversary[cheers]. the pics are very good. Kerala is more beautiful when it rains! Pls upload more pics of the boat house. How was the food in boat house and the expense?
 
Thread Starter #7
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@TSIVipul - I can understand what you mean [:)]

Really a Greeny Travelouge[;)],
Thanks Appu

Thetraveller - as usual very nice travelog [:)] you reminded me my honeymoon days [:)]
Oh great. You went there for honeymoon. We saw a lot of honeymooners in Munnar. It was a different sight.

@Thetraveller, Happy anniversary[cheers]. the pics are very good. Kerala is more beautiful when it rains! Pls upload more pics of the boat house. How was the food in boat house and the expense?
Thanks Serrao. Will try to upload more pics. My only deterrent is 2 stage process. First I need to resize my pics and then upload.
Regarding costs - we booked a one room AC houseboat for 7 odd grands including all meals. 12 - 9.30 next day.
 
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I had been to Munnar few weeks back and you reminded me of all the places. Did you manage to go to Ernakulum National Park ? I missed it as it was too crowded.. otherwise I enjoyed whatever I did at Munnar. Its a beautiful place to relax and have a perfect vacation. Good to see the clicks !!
 
Thread Starter #10
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@Chandranath - thanks. Yes it was surely much more greener than I expected.

@pahujaamit - yes I did [:)] As it was a strike that day, we could get tickets in 5 mins and bus in next 5. It was a very good experience. The pic of goat is from the national park itself.
 
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@The Traveller: That was lush green experience to you in Kerala.
The pics have come so lively.[thumbsup]

My Kerala trip is pending from long time, in Feb 2012 i will be visiting Kerala via Mangalore...
 
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Nice thread Thetraveller, i am planning a drive to Kerala from Pune during Christmas and unlike you i havent done any planning yet at all..will take it as it goes - havent even booked places to stay - i m beggining to think it could get adventurous:stupid:, any must go recommended places (munnar and allepey looks like best bets) ?
 
Thread Starter #13
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Yes Munnar and Allepey should surely be on the list.

You can also travel to Thekkady, heard it has nice places to stay in the middle of jungle, away from civilization.
Also, Kovalam, as the beaches around that area are good.

Request Keralites to pitch in with their suggestions too. As sometimes, you do not find good places on travel sites [:)]
 
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Hi , can someone from Kerala please suggest a good place for me to stay nearby the allepey backwater areas ?
I am not looking for a snazzy commercial hotel or house boat but more a homely laid back cottage and preferably away from the busy places - i am willing to travel the distances if need be - it just needs to be close to a scenic back water area - i plan to drive down next week from mumbai.

Many Thanks in advance
 
Thread Starter #15
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Hi , can someone from Kerala please suggest a good place for me to stay nearby the allepey backwater areas ?
I am not looking for a snazzy commercial hotel or house boat but more a homely laid back cottage and preferably away from the busy places - i am willing to travel the distances if need be - it just needs to be close to a scenic back water area - i plan to drive down next week from mumbai.

Many Thanks in advance
Iron Rock - while roaming around on the houseboat we saw a lot of guest houses on these islands which fall in the backwaters. You can find out about these and book them.

Someone from Kerala will have to guide you for this.
 
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