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Old 24th December 2015, 16:30   #16
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Default Re: Drive from Kolkata to Baruva, Vizag & Araku

Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post

thanks for the nice travelogue and the beautiful photographs. As it happens, I am travelling to Baruva tomorrow with family. A month back, in an urge to go somewhere, anywhere, I tried booking the APTDC resort at Rushikonda, but there was no vacancy. So a friend of mine suggested Baruva. I checked accommodation availability in APTDC website for Baruva, found 3 rooms left, and immediately booked one. Didn't do any research.

Today, I thought I would find some info about the place, and a google search revealed your travelogue.

Not many people in Kolkata have heard of Baruva, so I was feeling a bit hesitant to take the family there. But after reading your travelogue, I feel much assured now.

We will start tomorrow morning around 5 am, and hope to reach by 7pm. No plans to go to Araku, Bora etc. Just 2 days of relaxing, but will probably go see the Rushikonda beach. I am in the "4x4 addicts" whatsapp group, so if I have some queries, I will surely ping you :-)
Me. Sinha, I am really happy to see that the Travelogue has fulfilled its purpose. Sharing the information we have for helping others is the best thing a real Traveler can do and Team-BHP is a great platform which supports it.

I have really enjoyed your Ladakh TL and hope some day I can travel that route. I am always reachable in case you need any help.
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Old 29th December 2015, 18:25   #17
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Default Re: Drive from Kolkata to Baruva, Vizag & Araku

Back from the Baruva trip. It was interesting to say the least.

We paid for only 1 night's accomodation (stayed for 3 nights), and the entire food bill was free. Fell off your chair?
This is how it happened.

We started at 6 am from Kolkata and with the excellent roads and about a 2.5 hr (in total) break en route, reached the Baruva resort around 6 pm. Distance was around 720 km door to door. Then the fun started.

It turned out that in spite of having a confirmed room booking which was fully paid for at the APTDC website, we didn't have a room. Thats because the manager of the resort had given out some rooms to people who did not have bookings, and he was "hoping" that at least one of those would check out that day which would free up a room for us. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. They extended their stay.

So we waited and waited, while the manager was trying to "convince" some of these folks to clear out a room, but they flatly refused.

An hour turned into two. Still we were waiting in the office. After a 12 hr drive, kids were getting itchy, wife was getting mad, and I was running after the manager. Then the manger suggested that we finish our dinner at the restaurant, and by that time, he would have the room ready. So, we finished our dinner. By 10 pm, the room was still not available.
It was at this point that my wife and I started raising our voices in front of the other guests and threatened reporting this to the police. Then the manager offered us that he would make our whole stay free and all food free for our entire stay, IF we agreed to sleep in the office for that night, and next morning, he would get us a room.
We were sure that we would get the room next morning because a large group from KiiT University in Odisha was occupying 7 rooms and they would be leaving the next morning.

So we agreed. The staff there cleaned up the office room, laid down mattresses, with pillows and clean bedsheets, and we slept there for the night. Actually it wasn't too bad, and we slept peacefully. The only difficulty was during using the bathroom which was outside the office.

As promised, we got a room the next morning.
The room (and all the A/C deluxe rooms) are great, with a huge balcony. The resort itself is awesome. The beach is almost virgin, though there is a fishermen colony about 500 feet to the right of the resort, which apparently hadn't heard about "swaach bharat" as I saw few of the fishermen doing their morning stuff on the beach, and then going to the water with their lungi up or pants down to clean themselves.

On the 3rd day of our stay, the manager handed us Rs.4000 in cash. It was not the entire amount of the room bill (Rs.1700 less) but we settled for it. We didn't even look at the food bill after a total of 7 lavish meals over 3 days for 4 persons, including pakoras, tea/coffee, snacks etc.

It was not surprising though, as the manager didn't want a police report or any complains to AP Tourism (especially since this is Chandrababu Naidu's portfolio), because he was quite obviously filling up his pockets with cash from the unreserved bookings.

So, all in all, not bad. There is nothing much to do there other than laze around and relax all day, so this is perfect place to get total rest for yourself. We didn't want to visit Rishikonda or Vizag anyway.

As I have often seen in my various trips to Ladakh, HP, Sikkim etc., Bengalis seem to be everywhere. Met a total of 4 Bong families during these 3 days at the resort, out of which, 3 of them had driven their cars from bengal (not including me). Bongs are the new Japanese tourists these days.
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