I don't have snaps yet. Once i will have them, I will upload here, Then this read will be exciting and live for you.
Why do good things come to an end is what I was thinking on 21st (Sunday) night. I was in the train on the way to pune (My work place). It was great week on a trip to kerala (God’s own state) last week with my college friends Janak (working in LoadStone, Ahmedabad), Vishal (working in e-infochips, Ahmedabad), Ricky (studying in symbiosis) and Rohit (studying in B.K. institute of Management).
It was way back in 2ND year of engineering, when we all went to Bombay for Tech fest and enjoyed a lot and thought of making a trip to kerala or Kashmir for a week. But years after years we did not get time to go. One or the other guy had few other engagements. And finally in December 2005 we all waked up and ended up planning a trip from 12Th of Jan to 20Th of Jan. We knew that we would miss Utrayan but for us being together was a festival not the occasion or a place.
I called few of my friends who had a trip to kerala in 2ND week of December and contacted the same guy who offered them a package. We also booked hotels and a quails from the same guy.
It was 12Th of January. I was very excited. As I was to start off for the trip that day. Ricky and I were to get the train from panvel. We had a bus from pune to panvel at 6.00 PM. I was to catch the bus from a place near to my house and Ricky was to catch bus from waked chokdy. It was 6.00 I was there with my luggage and was waiting for the bus to arrive. "Bus was late." It was 7.00 still bus had not arrived. I got few calls from ricky to ask where the bus is. We were getting late and time seemed moving fast. It was already 7.30 and but was still not there. Finally at 7.45 bus came and I got into the bus. It took around an hour to get out of the city and bus reached at waked chokdy at around 9.00.
We were on the high way and saw few 2-wheelers over taking our bus and realized that bus was moving slowly. I went to the driver and asked why was the bus going slowly; He said there is a problem with the bus and it would be at least 11.30 to reach to panvel. My friend had told me in the morning that train was 45 minutes late. So we still had some hope. Then I called my friend who was in the train and he said train reached vasai road 30 minutes earlier. Then my ass started burning and excitement started. I called two of my friends to see if there were any flights from Bombay to Cochin next day. It was 9.30 and we called a guy to send a taxi to drop us at panvel but he denied. Then we called a friend to go to a taxi stand and send a taxi for us. He talked to a guy having tavera for 1800 + toll. We agreed with that and asked him to overtake our Volvo and stand in front of it, we will identify that and will come out of Volvo. But he denied for that and said what if he did not find Volvo. It was 9.50 and we reached a patrol pump. We got out from the bus and asked tavera guy that we are waiting for him at patrol pump. Tavers guy then started and reached to us at 10.05. It was just 25 minutes to go and we had around 50+ KMs to go. Tavera was going with the speed of 140-150. And that time we really felt car makers should really make still high speed cars. It was 10.15 and we felt we won’t be able to reach on time. So I called my friend rohit and asked him to pull the chain so that train would stop for 10-15 minutes and by that time we would reach there. First they denied but then he collected his ass and finally pulled the chain. But train didn’t wait for more than 5 minutes. It was 10.35 and I got a call that train had reached station. We still had 5-6 more KMs to go to panvel station. And we didn’t even know the way to panvel station. We asked few guys and it was 10.40 and I really had a feel that train will have left. Then it was 10.43 that I reached station. I was to give driver 1920 bucks but I gave him 2000 bucks and didn’t wait to get the change back and simply rushed towards the station. And there was my train on platform no.1. We got into that train and Hugged three of our friends who helped us by pulling chain and just had a sense of relief and train started at 10.45.
That was just the start of the trip. There was lot more to come.
We friends met after a long time and had a talk since 2.00 in the night. Then we had a sleep.
13th of January: We all wake up in the morning had a tea with some snacks that we had. It was too hot in the noon. Vishal and I went to AC coach to charge our mobiles. Well, It was just the reason to get into AC coach. We reached Cochin at 11.00 instead of 10.30, Half an hour late, may be because of us only but we didn’t have complaints for that. There are so many Gujarati Dharam shalas at Cochin. We were to go to one of them. But it was 15 KMs from the station. And auto guy was asking for 300 bucks for 2 autos to go there. One local guy helped us to find a cheap hotel near station and we preferred to stay there rather than going 15 KMs spending 300 bucks.
It’s the day when we actually started our trip to kerala. Aljo (our quails driver) arrived on time 7.30 dot to pick up from the hotel. We started for Munnar. (Our first destination at kerala) We stopped at a water fall on the way. There was a difficult track to reach to water fall. Rohit and I started for that and others followed us. It was too cool place. We enjoyed there for more than an hour and started on our way to Munnar. We reached Munnar at 12.30 or so and checked into the hotel. Everyone was just amazed to see the hotel. We paid 40k (8k per head) for all the hotels and quails so deserved such a good hotel. All of us slept for some time and then we had lunch at 3.00 PM. Then we went to visit tea farms which Munnar is known for. Then we visited to a lake there and had a row boating. Except me no one really had an experience of it. Even I was also not very good at rowing. Still we went into the direction which boat guy denied us to go for. We changed our positions also while boating which was really dangerous. But adventure and excitement was the theme of the trip starting from train incident. We ended up boating for more time then what was given to us. Then there was a garden full of flowers. There was also a swing there. My friends Ricky and Vishal started showing there guts. Vishal was sitting on swing and ricky was standing on that and both started the swinging. In some time ricky fell down which really was a great scene for us to watch. J Then we went to the hotel and had our dinner. Then my friends who are staying on rent in ahmedabad and don’t have TVs at home started TV. And that too started F TV. We were five in numbers and we had two rooms booked. Janak and Ricky (Sas-Bahu always fighting with each other)) stayed in one room. And we three others stayed in the other room. It was till very long we were watching TV and at last all of us slept.
We decided to move at 9.00 on 15th and latest by 9.30. But no one of us woke up early and we started at 10.30. Before that we had a heavy break fast. In every hotel that we stayed at kerala, break fast was complementary from the hotel. And in almost all the hotels we had heavy break fast so that we don’t need to have lunch. To start with we went to a place which has beautiful scenery. We had so many snaps there. And then we moved to echo center. But we didn’t hear echo. It was just the name of the place. There we had chocolates. One of the chocolates was with rum and tested also very well. From there we moved to a place which is the highest point in kerala. One has to go there by bus. Rout to that place was so risky. Roads were such that only one bus can go at a time and there were so many turns in between. At every turns roads were large enough to allow two busses to go. So on a normal road if two busses have to cross each other, one of the busses had to take reverse till it finds a turn so that they can cross each other. It was a bit cold there so we had tomato soup there. And then we came back to our hotel “Hill View”. We had a dinner at the hotel’s rest. Only even though it was costly as no one was in the mood to go to city. It was a candle light dinner for us and we had snaps of ours looking into each others eyes. In the night we all went for a long walk. We reached hotel at around 11 and then everybody slept. That was the end of our journey to Munnar. The best places of all.
All of us wake up at 7.00 in the morning. And we left Munnar at 8.30 in the morning. We went to a tea factory first. But “BAD LUCK”. Factory was closed and was to start after 10 only. And we didn’t really have that much time to wait for. So we had few snaps there and left for Thekady. It’s the place known for Periyar Lake, Its dark forests, spice plantation, Elephant ride, and jungle safari. We reached there at 12.30. Hotel that we booked for was really nice one. We had a milk shake when we reached there. Then we all had sleep for some time. All of us wake up at 2.30 and we started at around 3.00 to enquire about places around thekady. We found bumboo rafting and jungle safari a bit costly; not only in terms of money but also in terms of time. It takes whole of your day starting at 8.00 in the morning to 6.00 in the evening. So we didn’t opt for that. We then booked our tickets for Dar tracking and Periyar lake visit in boat. Then we went to spices plantation at thekady. We got to know about so many different spices plantation, how they grow and all. Then we went for body massage which we were really excited for. It was a nice body massage but not as nice as we all were expecting. We had dinner after that and as we had massage all of us slept early.
From Janak’s point of view it was a great start of the day. We all went for day trekking starting from 7.00. L It was 3 hours of walk into jungle and we got to see only two dears nothing else. L All of us were really so tired. Then we went to hotel and had our break fast. There was some problem in our booking in the hotel so we had to move to the other hotel and guess what??? It was a 4 star hotel. My God!!! It was first time I was even entering into 4 start hotel. It has swimming pool, Gym, Snooker, TT table and so many other stuffs. We all had some rest at the new hotel and then at 2.00 we had to go for a visit to Periyar Lake in a boat. It was two hours visit and we really got to see everything except lion that we were expecting to see in our trekking but from distance. L Then we all went to hotel and played TT. It was 5.30 and we all went for swimming then. Then we went for dinner in a rest. Near to our hotel. And then came the best part after tiresome day, sleeping J
It was the day we had longest of traveling and may be the worst day of our trip. Reason may be our high expectations. We were to go to Allepy that day which is known for back waters. It was 200+ KMs from thekady and we started at around 7.30 in the morning. We reached there at around 11.30. We had a house booked for us. We went into the house boat. Initially it was a great feeling. There was a world space radio which was our only source of entertainment in the boat. It is longest lake in the Asia according to the boat guy. And we could see that. We even saw a board which said Cochin is 65 KMs away and so lake was at least 65 KMs long. Then suddenly one of us gave an idea of having vodka to drink which can help us in shortening the day. And three of us (Kiran, Ricky and Rohit) agreed in it and we had vodka in the house boat. It was first time for me so I was a bit cautious while taking it. And that vodka made us sleeps early; don’t know about other two.
It was the day of white gories. We started from allepy at 9.30 and reached Kovallam which is known for its beautiful beach. It is one of the best beaches in the world. And we found so many foreigners sleeping with small small clothes on their body. J My friends Vishal and Rohit spent their whole time in taking photos only. While we others went into water and enjoyed a lot. We also visited a light house there. At about 7.30 we went to hotel. All of us had a bath and then we went to rest. for dinner. It was sea facing rest. But food was too bad. You feel sleepy after playing with water so we all went to hotel and went to sleep.
It was the last day of trip and we were to leave kerala that day. All wake late in the morning as it was AC hotel. But my friends Rohit and Vishal didn’t miss a chance to watch white foreigners. At around 10.30 we left for Trivendram. We went to a 1000 years old temple there. One is supposed to go inside the temple by wearing dhoti. J Then we went to a zoo. It was very hot there so we didn’t really enjoyed watching animals. Then we had good lunch there and left for our train. We caught train at 3.00 in the noon and all slept till 6.00 in the evening. Had some snacks and again slept and wake up late on the next day morning. I reached Panvel at around 9.00. Train was half an hour late. Then I took a bus to pune and reached home at about 1.30. That was the complete end of my lifetime memory “A Trip to kerala”.
Labels: kerala trip, Kiran Thakkar, train incident