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4.33 

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Gods own country... for the gods that dont eat!!
Oct 29, 2009 06:53 PM 4291 Views
(Updated Nov 01, 2009 05:21 PM)

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We visited Kerala in the Last week of September, booked a 4N5D package. After days & weeks of research on the net I decided to book my trip through Sanguine Holidays. I read a lot of positive reviews about Sanguine on Mouthshut as well as other sites. The package pricing was one of the best without compromise on Quality. My itinerary looked something like this. Cochin / Munnar / Thekkady(Periyar) / Alleppey / Cochin.


Nimisha from Sanguine was very helpful and cooperative throughout the booking process. At the airport we met Rejeesh our Driver cum guide for the trip. Communication was a major hurdle as Rejeesh did not speak hindi and his English was limited to 2-3 word sentences. Within minutes we set forth on our journey to Munnar a long long long drive 4-5 hrs…On route we visited Cheeyappara & Valara waterfalls and Karadipara View Point. We stopped at another scenic waterfall and had breakfast at a dhaba.


Day 1 & 2:


At Munnar we were booked at Hotel Misty Mountain with "Tea Valley view" room. The View from the room was amazing. Munnar is one of the best hill stations I’ve ever visited. Being a Mumbaite I’ve visited a few hill stations but Munnar’s beauty can’t be compared to any of our local hill stations(Mahableshwar, Mhateran, Lonavala, Khandala, Lavasa). Its a class apart. At Munnar we visited Eravikulam National Park, the drive up the mountain to the National park was magnificent. Valleys and Valleys of tea plantations….steep winding road up the mountain covered with clouds…greenery everywhere quiet mesmerizing.can’t be described in words. After the bus journey the walk further up the mountain is steep but refreshing. Cool breeze with 0 pollution simply breathtaking…and leaving:-)


Later in the evening we went for a Kathakali show…I would highly recommend this to everyone(I know what u r thinking. even I thought it may be boring.but its not…its quiet an experience. They also allow you to click pictures with the dancers which is fun. On our driver’s persuasion we tried the famous Kerala massage at "Mudra". the rates for full body massage was exorbitant so we settled for head and face massage which too I though was quiet expensive…Rs300 for a 25 minute massage. An advice to my readers, please do not indulge in the head and face massage nothing special about it. In fact my local barber gives me an excellent head massage(Himtaj oil) that lasts for 30 – 35 mins only for Rs 50( tip inclusive) Can’t comment on the full body massage as I didn’t go for that one. Rs 1500 for 45 mins .Phew…Nevertheless the two days at Munnar was invigorating. Other activities done at Munnar were speed boating(Recommended) Flower garden trip. Tea shopping.


Day 3:


Next stop Thekaddy… The boat safari was unique but for us it’s special because we escaped the boat tragedy by mere 24hrs. We were on one of those boats a day prior to the mishap. The wax museum was interesting a run down version of Madam Tussards but worth a trip. Other activities at Thekaddy were spice plantation tour(If possible ask for Paul to take you through the plantation tour, he is very funny and conversational) spice shopping. Handicraft shopping.


*Day 4:


*Next day we drove to Allepey for our 1D1N stay on the Houseboat. The houseboat was way beyond my expectation(I read so many bad reviews about the houseboats that I was very skeptical abut getting a good one) but our houseboat was very neat and clean. The only problem on the houseboat was that the water in the taps was from the backwater stream below(the boat crew denied it) the water was murky…I used bislery for oral hygiene…and though I initially thought I would skip my daily bath…I eventually had one after looking at the people who live on the banks of the backwater. This water is their lifeline…they use this water for all their daily chores that involves water.The cruise through the canals and streams watching people go about their daily routine on the banks of the backwater was a humbling experience. The cruising time however is very less(12 – 1.30, 3.30 – 5.30, 7.30AM – 9.00AM) Another advice you might want to seriously consider. Carry along some movie/music Cds as there is nothing much to do after 5.30 – 6.00 once the boat is anchored for the night.


Day 5:


After disembarkation we drove to Cochin, on route we visited Allepey beach…was too hot so we didn’t spend much time there. In Cochin city we visited St. Francis Church, Jewish Synagogue, Jew Street, Dutch Palace & Chinese fishing nets. After sightseeing we barely had enough time to make it to the airport. I asked Rejeesh(driver) if we had time for lunch….he said yes we could have lunch and still make it to the airport…trusting the localite we decided to have lunch in a restaurant(big mistake)…after lunch while on route to Airport we got stuck in traffic…our flight was to depart in an hour and according to our driver we were still 45 mins away from the airport.as time ticked by our hopes of making it on time was diminishing fast.I called up the airline and checked for the next flight…as by then I had given up on making it on time for the flight…we finally reached airport at 15:50 for a flight originally scheduled to depart at 16:05. Luckily they had not stopped the boarding process as the flight was delayed by mere 15 minutes. So it was an exhilarating and happy end of our trip to the Gods Own Country…


Enjoy Gods Own Country…don’t be picky about food…


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