A trip to Kerala was dream come true for us as we were planning for the last few years but due to various reasons, were never able to make it. This time we zeroed in on our Kerala tour packages for family and booked our tour before anything else could disrupt our plans. We had a month to go and as usual I started searching online to know more about the place where we would visit soon. But my dear brother was never interested in knowing things in advance and he did not let me go far checking what to expect in Allepey during the tour. We had actually planned to land in Kochi, spend the night there and move to Munnar from there. We would spend a day and half in Munnar and head to Allepey. Then we had 2 days in Allepey. From Allepey, we would go straight to Kochi airport and be back in Delhi. That was our 5 day tour plan. All we were told by our tour manager was to come prepared for monsoons as the rains had yet not stopped. We were wondering how we would enjoy the houseboat tour if it rains! Anyway, we had our tour plan charted out well and the tour manager had sent us the car’s number and the driver’s contact that would pick us from the airport. He would stay will us through the tour to make things easier. We were quite excited and had packed some extra clothes just in case we got wet. Out camera was ready with a couple of additional memory cards and charger. We all had our own expectations of Kerala and had listed out what we wanted to do in our Kerala travel packages.
As we were in the flight, we were just discussing our plans in Kerala and that’s when it struck us that each one of us had a different agenda and were wondering who would get disappointed. My mom wanted to buy some spices, handicrafts and the Kerala saree for herself while in Kerala. My dad wanted to relax and enjoy his time with all of us. My elder brother wanted to try his luck trekking and I was looking forward to the boating trip to do some fishing. We met with a young newly married couple and a few others who were also on Kerala tour packages for couple. We soon reached Kochi and the climate was too good. It was almost 5 and looked a little cloudy. It was only drizzling slightly but the climate was cool and windy. The airport was small, compared to the Delhi Airport and we collected our baggage easily. As we walked outside, the driver, one Mr. Manoj, was ready to welcome us with the placard which had my dad’s name. He was very friendly and spoke decent English and Hindi too. Within an hour we reached our beautiful resort in Kochi. The place was really good, a beautiful waterfront cottage which had a beautiful garden and landscapes. There were a few couples who just landed at the private boat jetty after boating. We later got to know that they were on their honeymoon packages for Kerala and the boating was complimentary for those who booked the rooms here. That was exciting but I knew that we won’t have the time and we could enjoy boating in Allepey. The dinner was Appam, Roti, Paneer and Egg curry which we all enjoyed a lot.
The next day early morning, we were ready for our Munnar trip. Our driver picked us from the resort by 8 after breakfast. We enjoyed our Puttu and Kadala breakfast even though it was a little heavy. The journey to Munnar was splendid. We managed to finish one memory card with photos and videos of waterfalls and the rains that welcomed us here and there. We stopped by Thommankuthu waterfalls which was a spectacular place. Though my brother wanted to try some rock climbing at the place, he was too scared to ask my parents who would get furious at these adventures! We met many couples here on their Munnar honeymoon packages which made me and my brother wonder if we were going to the wrong place!!! A majority of the crowd seemed to be honeymoon couples and we were 2 teenagers travelling along with our parents. Thankfully, our parents never minded that and we continued our tour to reach our resort amidst a spectacular tea estate by noon. There were a couple of cottages nearby where we met a few other kids of my age and we were happy that the place was great for family holidays too. Even though we thought our breakfast was heavy, after the bumpy ride and the winding roads uphill, we were hungry by the time we reached Munnar. We enjoyed a lip-smacking lunch served on the banana leaf. It was literally finger licking since the hosts wanted us to eat with our hand instead of using the spoon! We all enjoyed the food thoroughly, especially the Payasam!
We spend the rest of our time in Munnar roaming around the tea estate, did some sightseeing, visited a dam, Mattuppetty dam and did boating there in the lake. All around us were young couples on their Kerala tourism honeymoon packages and few families too. My brother and I managed a few hours’ trek at Rajamala. It was the right season as the crowd was only building up. We soon were on our car on the way to Allepey. It took us a few hours’ ride to reach Allepey. As we closed in on our resort, the place looked totally out of this world. On one side of the road was a canal brimming with green water on which there were some small wooden canoes carrying people! On the other side were some old buildings. The road was narrow and there were fishermen and other tradesmen ready selling their products. We reached the resort where everything around was lush and green!
We enjoyed the Sadya which was served and it was slightly different from what we had in Munnar. We got some amazing seafood too here. Allepey again seemed to be a popular destination for Kerala honeymoon packages as there were even more honeymoon couples enjoying their houseboat and canoe rides here. I couldn’t contain my excitement and wanted to set out on the boating spree. Apparently, our houseboat was planned for the next day, but the resort manager arranged a canoe ride which we all enjoyed thoroughly. It was the evening time and the sun was not very bright. Manoj asked the canoe guy to take us through some narrow water channels where we saw a church, a school, a temple and many houses. On one side we saw a vast paddy field a little away from the shore. The coconut trees and the mountains that bordered the place looked picture perfect. By sunset we reached back to our resort. I was a happy soul. My dad managed to take my mom for some shopping where she bought some spices, a Kathakali mask, some jute bags and a Kasavu Saree which looked simple and elegant. We enjoyed the tea with banana fritters and samosa which tasted quite different from how we made in Delhi. But it was good anyway.
The next day morning, after the breakfast, we were on our houseboat cruise. I was totally excited and so were the others. The boat had 2 rooms, a beautiful deck, a television with some cable channels and even a kitchen. There was a cook aboard and a driver who sat on top of the boat. From outside, the boat looked totally traditional, in wood. But as we got inside, we saw these arrangements which surprised us. The ride was slow as Manoj was explaining us some important places we covered in the boat. We even got down at a couple of places for shopping and bird watching. We tried our hands at fishing as we went to the middle of the backwaters where it was quite deep. We caught a couple of small fishes, which our cook fried into a delicious snack to have along with tea. Lunch was served on board with seafood. The driver even let me control the boat for a while which was the most exciting part of the tour for me. We saw a lot of ducks swimming through the backwaters making a whole lot of noise. There were a few other smaller houseboats in the backwaters with honeymoon couples on cheap Kerala tour packages. The sunset was amazing. Even though we could have spent the night on the houseboat itself, since there was nothing to do in the dark backwaters, we decided against it and returned to our resort where we had a yummy dinner with roti, appam, duck roast and chicken curry.
The next day morning, we did some shopping. My mom bought a wooden houseboat model that looked similar to the one we travelled on the previous day. We visited the Allepey beach and a couple of museums. Manoj took us to a restaurant nearby that served the best seafood and non-vegetarian dishes which we all enjoyed eating along with rice for lunch. It was a lot of fun, and we had finished 3 memory cards already. We managed to buy another one from the convenience shop inside the resort and we took a lot of pictures of the beautiful resort and the pool where we enjoyed the evening. As we were having our dinner, we all were quite happy that all of us enjoyed the tour thoroughly and all our plans worked out perfectly in Munnar and Allepey. The next day early morning, Manoj dropped us back at the Airport on time. It was a great memorable Kerala trip that we all enjoyed a lot.