A lot has been said about the beauty of Kerala. Well, am no stranger here as this happens to be my birthplace and a land I have several fond memories attached with. However, the last one week has been a definite eye opener of the exquisite prettiness that this lovely land of coconut trees, has to offer to the world.
Being married to a biker, has increased the adventure quotient in my life by a good measure, and being fond of bike rides since childhood... I am only loving it! :)
Yup, you guessed it right... we are just back from an advenjoyous biking trip to Kerala!
Banglore - Munnar - Eranakulam - Cherai Beach - Wayanad - Bangalore
...this was our route and the entire trip was a week long. This being my second long biking trip, I was better prepared and aware of what am getting into, and was all the more excited!
On Day 1 at exactly 5am, we kicked off the expedition from Bangalore and headed towards Munnar. The ride was enjoyable as the weather God was kind to us and so were the roads. Oh, I have come ot realise that a LOT depends on these two factors, they can make the ride very memorable or absolutely painful! The little villages and farms that we crossed along the way were a treat to the eyes, which were only used to mundane sights from the busy city life. We passed through the forests of Satyamangalam. Ah, the picturesque beauty of this place is mind blowing... no wonder Mr.Veerappan had made it his home ground for years! The ride through the dense greenery of Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary was delightful, with melodious chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves being the predominant background score that played on.
Our ride of the first day took us trough the 3 states. We had breakfast in Karnataka, lunch in Tamil Nadu and dinner at Kerala! (I am skipping the details of the exact route we took, because frankly I do not know it! :P I leave this task to my GPS hubby :D) Having covered 450km and with just 40km to Munnar we decided to call it a day at a small town called Marayoor.
The morning of Day 2, saw us meandering through the climbs of Munnar and taking in the enthralling sights that this lovely hill station has to offer. The scenic beauty is simply spectacular. The freshness in the air gets at you and energy seems to be bubbling within making you want to get out there and explore the place!
By the end of Day 3 we were drowning deeper in admiration of the mesmerising sights that beheld us in Munnar. Every little inch seemed to be covered in tea plantation and even a not-so-much-of-a-tea-lover me, loved the whiff of tea that the many tea factories emitted as we passed them. The best thing about biking is the option to ride into lesser known hideouts and exploring places at freewill. Oh my, every place we rode to was pretty in its own way, I guess I just have to pick Lockhart Gap as my personal favourite. The misty, cloudy, picturesque beauty of this view point completely floored me!
We spent our second night in Munnar in an amazing resort called The Tall Trees. The charm of this place is something that HAS to be experienced. Soft treks amidst its vibrant wilderness, walk to tea plantation and an delectable array of breakfast... ah, this place is definitely worth a stay.
By noon of Day 4 we were packed up again and headed off to Eranakulam. My uncle and aunt stay here and we planned to spend half a day with them. On time for coffee and a yummy spread of home made goodies, we reached around 4 in the evening. They were happy to be of help to us tired bikers and pampered us with comforts and yums... oh we enjoyed it all! :)
After a scrumptious breakfast on Day 5, we headed towards Cherai Beach, which is just about an hour away from Eranakulam. This is a cozy little beach, hidden away from the hustle bustle of the city. Our resort was aptly positioned to face the beach on one side and the backwaters on the other.
Early Day 7, we bid good bye to Cherai and zoomed towards Wayanad. Oh, this ride was tiresome. The sun showed no mercy on us and glared with anger, sucking out every bit of energy and tiring us completely by the time we reached our destination at around 2 in the noon. Owing to fatigue and lack of time, we couldn't do much justice to Wayanad, as all we could manage was a 2hr long ride through the place and a few clicks. The best part of the day was the much needed comforting sleep that we enjoyed!
Day 8, we were ready for our last leg of the biking trip. The ride started out well and with every kilometre covered, we were happier to get closer home! The last 100kms was the hardest! The once-in-1hr break became as frequent as once-in-10mins! Oh, our backsides cried for mercy and we had to oblige by taking short breaks often :D Finally, the last turn onto the street where our apartment resides was so exciting... ah, the feeling of coming back home sweet home! :)
The week long trip leaves us with loads of fresh and fun memories. Our bike still bears an MH registration, and this caused several baffled onlookers to stare at us with looks that clearly conveyed the thought running in their heads 'How insane of these two to be riding all the way from Maharashtra!' :D And the distinct accent with which most of the locals conversed in (broken) English left us struggling to stifle our giggles. The usage of elaborate punctuation in spoken English and the vivid expressions to express what they really want to say, left us amused though very grateful of the effort they made to guide two non-Malayalam speaking tourists. One particular incident left me in splits. We approached a resort in Cherai and asked if a room was available and when the answer was a nod, our next question was 'Tariff??!' (yes, we too had learnt to speak in monosyllables with punctuations, instead of framing full sentences :D ) a lungi-clad local Mallu, very enthusiastically stepped out and pointing to some random direction hospitably exclaimed 'Toilet avade undu!!' My minimal understanding of the language helped me comprehend the sentence to 'Toilet is there!!!' I am still trying to figure out how the word 'tariff' sounds anything like 'toilet' :D
From the winding roads of the ghats, the misty clouds over the peaks and mesmerising wilderness of Munnar to the sun-kissed beaches of Cherai... the trip was fabulous and every kilometre of the 1720km covered was worth it!! An experience I would cherish forever!
Kerala is truly God's Own Country, and He was a pleasant host to us! :)