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Old 12th February 2014, 20:09   #16
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Awesome travelogue, palitrana!

BTW, Varkala is my home town. Though I am not related to the local tourism industry, I can say that it i one place you'd never want to miss out.
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Old 12th February 2014, 20:39   #17
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Really an awesome log to say the least. And surely driving the T-Jet would have been one hell of an experience. Driving in Kerala can be quite a challenge. But all taken in stride and vacation well done. Nice !

Quote:
Originally Posted by palitrana View Post
Post Salem, the four lanes continued in the form of the Salem Kanyakumari Highway. Kudos to the Tamil Nadu government for maintaining the roads in the way they were.
Small correction : Its central Govt. NH7 is NS-Corridor. Many maps call it Varanasi-Kanyakumari road.
But despite that kudos to TN govt for maintaining amazing State Highways. They are I guess the last few remnants of nice tree-lined 2-lane roads.

Last edited by ampere : 12th February 2014 at 20:48.
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Old 12th February 2014, 22:06   #18
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Default God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Day 8
Today was the day of the famed Houseboat ride.

Now Kerala houseboats is the most touristy and at the same time the best thing to do. The only catch - a lot of people end up having a very average houseboat experience due to the quality of the boat, people on the boat, etc. Through our research, we had determined one thing for sure - while a night stay on a houseboat sounds very lovely, this is the part that makes bad experiences what they were. And thus the decision was always to have a night stay in a proper resort and spend a whole day tripping on a house boat.

That was the reason we chose this most awesome property to stay on - one that had the best of both worlds - people to care for you as if you were their own kin and on the other hand an isolated resort in the best of settings. That is, my friends our resort - Ourland Island resort - a small oasis-type island with just six cottages (see the picturesque pic below), a tree house, an awesome and most helpful manager cum caretaker cum waiter cum everything - Ratheesh (featured in the pic below)!

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8406.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8416.jpg

Now back to the day. As I mentioned, we opted for a day boat cruise. And Ourland themselves had their brand new boat made available for us.

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8409.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8434.jpg

There really is no story that I can tell better than the pictures below. All i could help is to group them and have some fun.

Boats
These Backwaters being what they are, the entire transport and life is integrated into the lives of the people. Thus you will find all category of boats on the waterways as you will find all category of vehicles on roads. Let me explain -

The Crumbling sand laden Trucks

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8422.jpg

Cant really compare this, can we

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8425.jpg

Limousine

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8432.jpg

Mini Bus

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8437.jpg

The Moped rider in front of the Trailers

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8443.jpg

The Tempo

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8459.jpg

State Transport Bus!

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8505.jpg

Matador

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8579.jpg

And finally Ferrari!

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8599.jpg


On the Banks
All kinds of buildings, resorts and daily life go hadn ind hand on the banks of these waterways.

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8428.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8468.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8475.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8528.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8655.jpg

Birds
Please do note the swarm of ducks and the duck-herd (derived from shepherd?)


God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8493.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8500.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8541.jpg


The Waterways themselves


God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8488.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8589.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8606.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8614.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8618.jpg


And of Course Meen Curry!


God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8520.jpg



We hadn't had our fill of this country of God yet, but the clock was almost inching towards 5 pm and the sun was setting too. We had already instructed our boat guide that we had to be on the banks where we left our car by 5 PM as we had to travel to Thrissur.

Hence reluctantly, at about 5:30 PM, we alighted, loaded our luggage once again and headed out to Thrissur. For once, I actually wasn't that enthused at the thought of driving again, I wanted to go back to the island, back on the houseboat, keep sailing the waters, looking at boats pass me, looking at the horizon onto the Vembanad lake.

And the T-Jet did not like this non-chalance towards her. So soon as we got on the NH 47, she let us know her displeasure by promptly letting go of all the air on her rear left wheel. Drove a little ahead to find a Bihari (yes - a Bihari) puncture repair guy, who could also speak Bengali (yes-Bengali). While we were amazed, he was even more amazed that there was no puncture and just the air had let off! Filled up and moved on to our destination for the night through the usual commotion - now doubled up due to four lane roads and the vicinity of Kochi. Post, Kochi airport (man - the airport is like in another city), the traffic thinned off and we made a mad dash to Thrissur, reaching there by 9:30 PM!
Not many photos worth displaying other than the photo of The One - the most amazing biking gear i have seen (but most common in Kerala)


God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img_8670.jpg


Once we had reached Thrissur, we went out for dinner. And it was in Thrissur that i found it - yes the other part of this subject - My MEEN POLLICHATHU

God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img2014010800230.jpg
God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu-img2014010800231.jpg

A contended couple, who had accomplished all they had set out to do, went to sleep that night. Tomorrow, we start our return journey, of-course interspersed with that one last night of pleasure! More on that in the next day's post!

Day 8 Stats
Total Distance - 139 Kms
Average Speed - 40 KPH
Driving Time - 3.3 Hrs
Fuel Consumption Average - 12.4 KMPL

Thought of the day - From mountains, to beaches, to backwaters, accompanied by fish curries, biryanis, papadams and payasams - Man this state is a whirlwind!
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Old 13th February 2014, 01:28   #19
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Quote:
Originally Posted by palitrana View Post
I am sure a lot of people who stay/travel in Kerala will echo these feelings. I was disappointed a little, especially when compared to our Rajasthan trip.
There are no wide empty spaces or gaps between towns/cities - Kerala is just one big urban agglomeration hence you cannot expect free flowing traffic. Think of it as driving through suburban regions all the time.

It can be a bit stressful, hence people who enjoy driving typically drive to their destinations early in the morning or late at night. As it is a small state, it is possible to pretty decent distances relatively quickly at those times.
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Old 13th February 2014, 07:14   #20
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Nicely written travelogue. Kerala is indeed God's own country when it comes to nature (hills, backwaters and beaches), and food.

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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
There are no wide empty spaces or gaps between towns/cities - Kerala is just one big urban agglomeration hence you cannot expect free flowing traffic. Think of it as driving through suburban regions all the time.

It can be a bit stressful, hence people who enjoy driving typically drive to their destinations early in the morning or late at night. As it is a small state, it is possible to pretty decent distances relatively quickly at those times.
+1 to that. Recently, I drove from Mangalore to Coimbatore through Kerala (through Kannur and Calicut). It is endless winding two lane roads through towns with no break in traffic. It was most stressful from 5 to 9 in the evening. It took about 40 minutes to just cross Kannur around 6. After 9, the roads became empty and it was total fun driving through those winding roads.
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Old 13th February 2014, 12:19   #21
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Nice travelogue and excellent pictures of the whole trip, I had a grin on my face when I read "Devils own road" I have been there and drove on kerala roads so I totally understand your pain.
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Old 13th February 2014, 13:42   #22
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Nice title to a nice thread!

I like the juxtaposition of Gods Own Country and Devils Own Roads...
And Meen Pollichathu - ah!
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Old 13th February 2014, 13:53   #23
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Palitarana, such a tempting Kerala Backwater travelogue after quite a while in Team- BHP. Looks as though you enjoyed every moment of your stay in God's own country. The pictures of the beautiful resort and its surroundings and finally the Meen Polichatu, I am sure must have rekindled the urge among many of the readers to plan a Kerala trip once again! Keep it going.
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Old 13th February 2014, 13:55   #24
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Nice log with awesome pictures and narration! Got hooked onto a travellogue after a long time!
Got a good glimpse of the God's own country!
Thanks!

Last edited by nishantdlv : 13th February 2014 at 13:57.
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Old 13th February 2014, 14:27   #25
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Hi palitrana, I can totally understand the state of your mind while driving through Kerala. I am a native of Kerala and this is for me a daily affair - slow driving and long traffic jams. Imagine, this is one state which considers tourism as one of its core industries. Hopefully with the widening of National Highway this will improve and there will be better roads for every one!

rgds
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Old 13th February 2014, 14:52   #26
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

WOW..

Great pictures and nice write up.. Since I am a mallu myself... i can understand the frustration you must have had with all the traffic in small towns..

I am sure you must have greatly enjoyed the boat ride and backwaters..

Cheers!



Quote:
Originally Posted by palitrana View Post
Day 4

Today was a touristy day. However, we were not the run of the mill tourists, running from this view point to that view point, just for the heck of it. And especially having driven so much yesterday, we decided to spend a lazy morning, take in the cold weather (something we can only dream of in Mumbai), read a book, gaze at the surrounding tea gardens, hear the birds chirp! That was more our kind of tourism!
Mod Note : Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Also avoid typing with excessive dots.........like................this.

Thanks!

Last edited by moralfibre : 14th February 2014 at 08:14. Reason: See note in post.
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Old 13th February 2014, 15:43   #27
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Nice writeup and awesome photos of the whole trip... You must have had a nice time in Gods own country.
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Old 13th February 2014, 20:50   #28
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

wonderful writeup and pics are too good.

Kerala is all about the scenery and the beauty and been never about roads.
You should come down sometime during the rains. Rains amplify the beauty of the state. To top that that is a off season time too.

I had in fact done the same trip in reverse direction. Your travelogue has kind of brought that urge in me to write one myself.

Cheers and keep riding.
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Old 14th February 2014, 09:25   #29
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

Nice travelogue, palitrana. You chose the destinations wisely. Munnar and Aleppey are the best places to spend time in Kerala. Had you had more time, one day at Wayanad also could prove well worth it. And you had the best tool to entertain yourself during the times spent on the road, too.

Awaiting details of the return journey!
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Old 14th February 2014, 11:55   #30
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Default Re: God's Own Country, Linea T-Jet, Devil's Own Roads and Meen Pollichathu

First of all, thats one awesome trip that you have had. A nice travelogue too.. Complete with great pics..

But I am a bit disappointed at the "Devil's own roads" comment. I personally feel that Kerala has got better roads that a lot of other places considering the geography of the state.

My recent drives to and from Kerala have proved this. I agree that there is scope for improvement - or may be its just a well planned move to reduce the speed and accidents..
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