My experience of Kerala travels

bblog bamboo village wayanad
Bamboo village,Wayanad  PC: Nicolas (my hubby)

5 years seems like a long time since we have been travelling to Kerala every year in a row without fail. But every time we reach this place on exciting Kerala tour packages for couple, it looks fresh and new to me! There’s something here completely fresh every year we come. It is not about the concrete buildings that sprout every month in the cities and towns, it is more about some hidden treasure that is unearthed with every trip of ours. It might not be new to the people here, but then it’s new to us, it is new to me for sure. I am Linda and my husband Nikolas and I have been coming to Kerala every year since 2010.

bbloog
My first click..PC: me and only me..

Our first ever visit was a day’s stopover during one of our luxury cruise around the world and that one day’s trip to the Kochi city and the suburbs were enough to make us fall in love with this beautiful place. By the end of the day, we collected enough information to pack our bags next year to come back here from Kentucky, where we actually live. We would love to call this our place now as we have been coming back every year without fail for the last 5 years. Our children tease us often telling we are on our Kerala tourism honeymoon packages every year and we both are in our 50s now! The place is so calm and pleasant that we truly wished we had come here during our young ages and we would have tried to get settled here itself. Kerala has such a charm and rich culture that we just love and respect the people here.

The Mysterious Mountains of Munnar

blog1
My happy place in Kerala, Munnar PC: Nicolas

Over the last 5 visits, we have been to many popular tourist destinations in Kerala and we know that there are so much more to visit even now. We usually take a 3-week tour here and once we just spent our days entirely at Ollur, enjoying the Ayurvedic wellness treatment. Once we even booked romantic Munnar honeymoon packages and the manager was stunned to see us ‘old’ couple booked on a honeymoon. He soon realized the matter and did not consider our age anymore as we are very much in love even now and enjoyed our ‘honeymoon’ days in the beautiful resort. We try to explore more of nearby places avoiding long travels unless necessary. When we were in Munnar, we had seen most of the Munnar like none of the other tourists would have! We spent 2 weeks in Munnar and have explored almost every nook and corner of the place including the forests and rivers.

blogg4
A naughty monkey in Munnar PC : me 

Our pictures taken in Munnar prompted our 2 children in their 20’s to tag along with us once on tour packages in Kerala. They could hardly spend a week here as they wanted to make the most of their India tour and hence, went to Delhi to explore a Golden Triangle Tour there for another week. They even managed a week at the Andaman Islands and enjoyed every bit of India they saw. That’s when they realized the magical effect of Kerala’s forests and monsoons that attracted us every year here. We enjoyed trekking through Rajamala and tried our luck with some mountain climbing too while in Munnar. It was quite refreshing even for our children to spend some quality time and we were happy about the long lost days of family tours we got back in Kerala.

Alleppey’s Alluring Backwaters

blog7 canal in alleppey
A canal in Allepey PC: Ram (our guide)

It was so captivating that, our daughter who got married soon after decided on honeymoon packages for Kerala and they had a wonderful time exploring the backwaters of Alleppey and Kochi. We have not been to Alleppey but we have enjoyed Kumarakom, Kollam and Trivandrum through the backwaters. We had befriended one of the tour managers we met during our second trip to Kerala, a very enterprising young man in his 20’s who was helping out his father in the tourism business. He helped us book his friend’s houseboat on a customized trip through the backwaters and rivers for a week which was unlike any of the luxury cruises we have experienced during our 50 years in the US.

blog6 gas delivery in allepey.jpg
Gas delivery in Alleppey…that was really surprising  PC : Nicholas

This was life to the fullest and the best enjoying the basic elements of nature which gave us the kind of happiness, serenity and relaxation none of our luxury trips have ever given! Though the boat driver was telling us that this particular boat was more booked for Kerala honeymoon packages, he was very kind to help us with seeing the places around and also served as a guide when the boat was anchored for sightseeing in the land. He even helped us with a small canoe ride that took us through the narrow channels of water in the interiors where the houseboat could not enter. That was amazing! In fact, that was the most beautiful part of Kerala we had ever seen so far. We actually saw people live on the banks of these rivers and living quite happily with the limited resources which were quite humbling.

Romantic Rendezvous at the Beaches

bloog beach
Sunset at Kappad beach….Hatsoff Ram for this wonderful click…

One of our cheap Kerala family tour packages was theme-based as we wanted to enjoy the beaches of Kerala throughout the state. During our previous visits, we had visited the Kovalam beach, Fort Kochi beach and Trivandrum beach only. We read a lot on Kerala’s locations and came across an article that explored quite a lot of beaches some of which were world famous. Since we did not want to miss them, we booked on an exclusive beach holiday and landed in Trivandrum from where we took a car to take us to the various beaches and the resorts nearby during the trip. Even though we had visited Kovalam’s beaches, they have a special charm and we spent our first night of the trip in the Leela Kovalam beach resort to enjoy the sunset and the sunrise there.

bllog camel ride on kochi beach.jpg
Camel ride at fortkochi beach..that was thrilling PC: me

The next day we visited all the beaches nearby and went to Trivandrum. We had not visited the famous palace of Travancore which we visited on our way. It was unlike any other palace I have seen so far in my life! Apparently, this was a popular place for family tours and honeymoon packages as the place was quite crowded. Sankhumukham beach was particularly beautiful with the Mermaid statue were we took some pictures too. After spending some time at most of the beaches in Trivandrum, we went to Varkala Beach which was also called Papanasam beach! The cliffs and the warm springs from them converging into the ice-cold sea at Varkala were amazing. We visited the Allepey beach next and stayed over at the Marari beach resort. Though we had read that this was ranked among world’s top 5 beaches, we had never imagined it would be such a beautiful experience.

First stint with Ayurveda

blog ayurvedaa

For those from the Western countries, Kerala’s beaches may not make sense in the first place. There won’t be coast guards, beach benches, bikini-clad women or kids playing with a beach ball! But I can promise you, your mind will go all blank for a good reason. All your worries and tensions will fly away, the moment you step out in these amazing beaches. It is plain nature in its raw elements that relaxes you rather than the beach chairs and a host of other facilities at the beach. Believe me, Mararikkulam turned is where we tried out our first stint with Ayurveda and it was an awesome experience. This is something you must try out while on exclusive Kerala tour packages for family. We were so awestruck by the place and the Ayurvedic massage that we enjoyed there that we enquired more about it later in our tour and decided to indulge in 3 weeks of Ayurvedic rejuvenation on our next tour of Kerala.

blog ayurveda

We booked in advance as advised and were booked in a cottage at the center. It had no air conditioner or swimming pool! The food was plain and mostly bland. They gave you medicines from time to time which tasted extremely bitter. But all that endured, we felt at least a few years younger and stronger inside and outside after the treatment. It was a 15-days treatment and a week’s rest after that and we were back to the US where our friends and our children kept wondering what magic potion we had in Kerala! The staff seemed initially detached but we realized it had more to do with the language than the attitude. Over the years, we also understood the basic words in Malayalam and soon befriended most of the staff at the center. We even learned Yoga which was practiced there and continue it over the year and a half now since we learned it.

And miles to go…

blogg a young vedic student,thrissur
Meet my friend..a young vedic student, Thrissur PC: me 

We have planned our next trip and this time, it is going to be a longer one as we want to travel first and then undergo the rejuvenating treatment before we come back to Kentucky. This time, we have planned a trip to the North of Kerala to explore Kozhikode, Kannur and Palakkad and then visit the plantations in Thekkadi. We are thinking of investing there but need to find out if there are any legal restrictions as we are American citizens. Once we are done with the travels, we will enjoy our days of Ayurveda at Ollur where we went during our last visit. And we realize, there’s so much more we have to explore in this God’s Own Country for which we will keep coming back!!!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s