Found these three little guys going crazy in the river during an early morning hike! It was such a sight to watch, but I only managed to get a click much later! 🙂
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Trio”
I was lucky enough to stay at two spots during my trip to Trivandrum, Kerala – at the gorgeous Kovalam beach and at the backwaters of Poovar.
Before heading to Kerala, I managed to read few write-ups about this place. Being a Keralite myself, I didn’t know Kovalam meant grove of coconut trees. And guess what I saw there? An endless sight of coconut trees indeed.
I was here when I was a small kid and it is nothing like that now. It is a developed tourist spot, with natural beauty still kept intact. It is clean considering the amount of tourists that visit here and not to mention the localites as well.
Today a favorite spot for tourists, Kovalam was discovered around the 1930s. It’s an internationally known place for its adjacent crescent beaches. The city from Kovalam is around 16kms and the best way to commute is definitely in a cab.
Three beaches make this gorgeous Kovalam – the Lighthouse beach, Hawah beach and Samudra beach.
Lighthouse beach is the popular beach of Kovalam. The eye candy here is definitely the red and white striped lighthouse located at the southern end, called Vizhinjam Lighthouse. It is located on a Kurumkal hillock at a height of 118feet. It’s entirely built of stones and you can climb up the spiral steps to see a gorgeous view of the entire coast! Unfortunately, it was closed when I visited so I do not have a picture to show you guys! 😦
Then there is the Hawah beach which is to the north of Lighthouse beach. It is also called Eve’s beach.
Samudra is the north side of the beach. A rocky promontory separates it from the others. You will find upscale resorts like Taj and Leela here.
Things to do in Kovalam are plenty – like swimming, sunbathing, massages, cultural programs, cruises, surfing, fishing, and so on. For those who love to play, you can play football or volleyball at the beach.
I was very happy with my stay at Leela. The food is to die for and the management here is always ready to help. The day we arrived, a couple of us went down to the Lighthouse beach to see the lighthouse. That evening we had a football game on the hotels private beach and a quick dip in the beach before we called it a night. We had a quick dip in the pool before we got cleaned up and had a sumptuous dinner making us immobile 😛
I stayed at Leela Kovalam for a night, and man I didn’t want to go to my room. The view was to die for! When you look out to the sea, you feel like you can almost see the end of the world. The bright blue sky and the green sea merge seamlessly. And watching such a gorgeous view lying in the infinity pool is definitely an experience!
I was up early in the morning and I decided to go for a walk! I cannot explain how beautiful the view was. And a lot of fishermen going about their usual routine.
The next day we headed to Poovar. Poovar is another popular place in Trivandrum among tourists. It is almost the southern tip of the state. After Poovar, there is a village called Pozhiyoor which is where Kerala ends. Poovar was a major trading center a long back for sandalwood and spices.
I stayed at the island resorts and I must give you a heads up, it is the location that is key here. The resort was not up to my expectation. It was old and not well maintained. It was clean and just manageable, but I really do think they could do wonders with this place. Their floating cottages are pretty decent compared to their land cottages.
Poovar is no doubt a tropical paradise. It’s capsuled with countless coconut trees, and the beautiful and well-kept beach, you can observe the fishermen fishing. One can catch a beautiful crimson sunset here. Sitting at the beach, watching the sun go down with the marvelous oceans sound and the breeze, it really soothes you down.
The resort had arranged some activities in the evening, which I must admit was a lot of fun. If you’re going with a crowd, this definitely brings everyone to a jolly good mood. We also managed to play a bit of cricket among the coconut trees, which was pretty hard I admit, but we had a good laugh.
The food here is pretty lame and did not have much variety. The lunch we had in the first day was pretty much the same for dinner and for lunch the next day. I was disappointed. The breakfast menu had everything, but it really wasn’t tasty. It was merely ok.
Some tips and information that helped me out:
We checked out a little early as we had some meetings scheduled. The quick three day weekend was a bit tiring as there was a lot of traveling, but it was an awful lot of fun, having spent time with fun people at fun places. I am all about the beach baby! 😀
I am someone who loves to plan. I get excited with the sheer thought of my pen and book, noting down my plans in detail. Which makes me the person who do not get excited nor comfortable with impromptu plans or makeshift solutions.
So to push myself, I decided to get out of my comfort zone this long weekend. I planned driving down to Shimoga, a place located right in the middle of Karnataka, India. Everything was pretty much last minute. I figured out a place to stay by Friday evening and I chose two places to visit during the two days I was there.
Day 01. I started early morning and I reached my hotel around 11:00 AM and checked in. Since it was all last minute, the only option I was left with was a veggie place but the rooms were very much up to standards and most importantly clean and safe! I personally loved the receptionist there who was more than willing to help me with the details I needed to know.
If you’re driving down, you will notice a burst of vibrant greenery with scenic views on either side as you get closer to this place. The drive is beautiful with mother nature standing tall and pretty!
This place has a lot of historical importance and archeological sites that add on to the beauty of this place. If you have time, you should definitely spend some time to figure out where all you want to go.
I freshened up and stepped out to grab lunch and later head straight to my first destination.
825m above sea level, Agumbe is one of the peak points in the Western Ghats. Getting here is a bit hard with steep roads and sharp curves with very little civilization on the way! This is one among the famous places for watching the sunset in India. This place is also known as the Chirapunji of the south, and if you’ve been to Chirapunji, you wouldn’t argue 🙂
Seeing the world from up there is simply breathtaking. It gets misty most of the time, blurring your sunset viewing, but the reflection of the setting sun over the lake is a sight on its own!
I started back quite late and by the time I reached back, it was time for dinner. So I packed some dinner and refreshments and headed straight to my room. I wanted to get an early start the next day to my second destination.
Day 02. The river Sharavathi takes a glorious leap from a height of 235m. That’s Jog falls, the second highest waterfall of India, for you. This guy can be pretty intimidating. The river has four cascades Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket which merge to form the huge waterfall.
Best time to visit Jog falls is during the monsoon season when the falls will be worthy of its name, unlike my experience this time. But since I knew what to expect, I wasn’t disappointed.
You can hike down to the base of the falls but, you cannot take a plunge in the water. It has been closed with fences and there are security guards present throughout.
You have to mentally prepare yourself if you are going to hike all the way down. It is 1398 odd steps and they can get really steep. I did count while climbing up so it’s possible I would’ve missed my counts here and there 🙂
As you climb down diligently, it gets tougher, but not less enjoyable. When your heart is pleading you to stop, your curiosity makes you want to see what’s out there.
The first mistake you do while hiking, is having things in your hand. Leave all your belongings back in your vehicle. Carry a bottle of water and camera. Avoid wearing heavy clothes like jeans and anything black is best avoided.
Once you’re down there you will reilish the sight – the gorgeous view of giant showers bouncing off the rocks and reaching down as vaporous spray, with cold wind smacking your face.! A sense of achievement dawns on you and it all suddenly seems worth it! You will be ecstatic in many ways 🙂
Climbing back up is a pain and can be very scary. So, assuming 1400 steps, you could take 100 steps at a time giving you 14 breaks or 140 steps, giving you 10 breaks; whichever fits well with your body stamina. There are pit stops in between where you can buy yourself water, glucose some fruits like cucumber and pineapple, and a few refreshments. I had water with me, but I did stop for a glass of lemon juice with cardamom in it which was truly a life saver. Having that when you’re all drained out, you can really feel how fast it works on your body giving you the boost you really need!
By the time I reached back on top, I was covered in sweat and hungry like hell. There are washrooms available for those who wants to freshen up after the trek. They are quite clean and you have to pay a nominal amount to use the facility. There is also a decent restaurant right there, nothing posh, but good in terms of food and cleanliness.
After I freshened up and grabbed lunch, I started back. The weather on my way back got really bad which slowed my travel like crazy. I got home pretty late, but I was thrilled to be back on my bed and thankful to be safe after that blinding drive against thick sheets of rain. Tired and worn out, I slept off within minutes!
My quick getaway was quick indeed. Next week I have another travel planned, this time not an impromptu one! I just hope the weather doesn’t go all ruthless again!
Mid of 2013 was the most the important month in my life. It was the month I got married. With anything that could go wrong during that month, it was still the biggest moment of all.
Little did I know that one year down the line, I would be handed with another excitement. No, it was not a baby 😛
Everything happened so fast that there was no time to comprehend anything. Let me recall how it all started.
So it was a day after we informed our landlord that we plan to shift, my husband got a call from work asking if he was willing to work from client site for a period of 6months. Obviously his answer was a Yes, but the only problem was, HE DID NOT HAVE A PASSPORT! We informed our landlord with deepest regrets that we will not be shifting due to this last minute development and he was alright with it. But to make matters worse, for him to get a passport, things were a bit more complicated than we thought. He is a citizen by descent, and not by birth. So the proceeding in such a case was different and he could not opt for the faster process. And to get an address proof that was accepted by the officials was not easy either. We tried banks, company letter, and rental agreement. Finally a telephone connection from the government was our only hope. We ran around from one office to the other and finally we had it in our hands, just in time for his appointment. All went well there and then came the police verification. With one thing after the other going on, we didn’t get the time to digest that it was in fact going to happen. Finally the passport was here and then came the tickets. It was time for him to fly. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling exactly. I was thrilled that he was going which meant some sort of upgrade in his career. But I must admit this: when I saw him pass that gate, I felt lost.
Ten months into being a couple doing things together and being together all the time, it sort of affects your brain. Being alone suddenly makes you realize how attached you can get to another soul.
Moving on to better things in the story.
His flight landed few hours late than what was estimated. His friend/colleague was there to pick him up. He got busy within moments and each day was a new excitement, to hear about his day in a new country. I killed my time doing the things I used to do, trying my best to keep myself occupied. I was trying to join him two months later for our anniversary month, if all went well. All the documentary work was going on the side and I tried my best not to excite myself, in case things didn’t work out in my favor.
As it always happens, nothing was going well. My work faced a roadblock first and when that got sorted out, my Visa processing faced a block. When I thought things were finally set, I faced issues with some licensing issue for the software I needed to work with. I still remember that Friday when I almost got a heart attack. No one knew how it could be fixed and it was clearly a big mess. With all the long process to follow between offshore and on-site, I figured it could never be fixed overnight.
I don’t know if it was the panic attack or the determination to be with my husband, I worked late that night trying to figure out what was going on with my software. This issue was faced by my counterparts for almost a year now.
Hell, I don’t know what happened next. Two days with that and I diagnosed the issue and fixed it. I was proud, yes. But I was more relieved than proud. My final block had passed. Now all it took was the tickets to reach me and for me to pack my bags.
I will see you on the other side where I write the travelogue of my life’s best adventure so far. 🙂
Just a girl who travels.
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