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Old 20th September 2015, 14:40   #16
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Post 8 : Stay at TTDC Kanyakumari

The TTDC Hotel, formally known as Hotel Tamilnadu - Kanniyakumari on Kovalam Road shares the compound with a lighthouse. The rooms are not nothing to write about, but the location is great. Every room on the first floor has a balcony where you can laze around, gazing at the sea and hearing the waves crash against the rocks. Those who have seen any government guest house at some point of their lives would immediately identify with the layout of the rooms and the decor – they feel like stuck in a time warp in the 70’s. We inspect one of the rooms and complete the check in process. The reception personnel issue us a couple of paper slips, which we are told are the coupons for the complimentary breakfast! We take some time to freshen up and head to the restaurant for dinner.

The lighthouse at night - apologies for the rather shoddy image quality:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150830_221854-1.jpg

At the restaurant:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150830_212602-2.jpg

The restaurant is in a cottage-styled facility opposite to the main building. On the inside it’s more like a canteen but has an undeniable, semi-colonial charm to it. The menu is rather limited, with set meals, and the standard north Indian and Chinese fare. The canteens of most of the government guest houses and holiday homes specialize in some finger-licking chicken curry and fried fish. This one is nowhere close to those standards, but the food is not unpalatable either though a bit on the spicier side. Service is almost non-existent as there’s just one waiter running around - I had to walk to the freezer to get a bottle of Mountain Dew. The two kids are really slow eaters and we are the last family to walk out of the restaurant at 10:30 PM. Back in the room, we sit in the balcony enjoying the sea breeze for as long as the mosquitoes would allow us, and finally retire to bed by midnight.

Monday 31-Aug, Day 3

We wake up by 6:30, but the kids are sleeping like logs. It’s quite amusing to see the resident peacocks and peahens emerge from their nests, wander in the grass from sometime and then fly off elsewhere to get food. By the time we coax the kids to wake up and get the little one ready, it’s close to 10 and we are refused breakfast rather apologetically at the restaurant. Apparently the morning breakfast is a set affair which they have wound up by now, though they can serve us bread-omelette against payment.

A resident peacock loitering inside the campus:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_074831.jpg

A peacock in flight - heavily post-processed as I did not get enough time to set my camera:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0083.jpg

The very basic rooms of the TTDC:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_115704.jpg

Views from the room balcony:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_111501.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_105021.jpg

Notice the 3 different colours of the sea - that's where the waters of the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean meet:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0091.jpg


The City had a well deserved rest for the night:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_104002-1.jpg

Energized after breakfast:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_104022-1.jpg

The lighthouse in the morning:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_105220_01.jpg

Unimpressed by the food at TTDC, we decide to head to the Seaview Hotel for lunch. In the meanwhile we had to change rooms because the AC stopped working in the morning. The staff were quite supportive and shift our belongings to the other room with little fuss.

The parking at Seaview is pretty unique – flanking the building with an open view of the sea, it offers some of the best views of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in all of Kanyakumari. We order Chinese and the food is great. Moreover, the service is excellent and it’s great value for money as well.

The views of the memorial from the Seaview parking:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0111.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0112.jpg

Notice the unique presentation of the watermelon juice - almost resembling a Bloody Mary!:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_152428.jpg

We wind up our lunch by 2:30 PM and head to the ferry terminal. We manage to find it with some difficulty, pausing and wondering for some time whether cars are allowed through the crowded alley. To our great disappointment the ferry has been closed early due to rough winds. Our plans have been upset once again – now we need to make sure that we reach Kanyakumari early enough during our return trip so that we have enough time to visit the shrine. With nothing much to do, we head for the Beach Road to soak up the sun and the sea breeze.
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Old 20th September 2015, 19:29   #17
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Post 9: Afternoon at the View Tower, trip to Poovar

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_161939-2.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0119.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0120.jpg

The View Tower is one of the main attractions on Beach Road and for a good reason too. Because it juts out somewhat into the waters, you get to catch some of the freshest, unpolluted breeze blowing in from the sea with a dollop of mist thrown in for good measure. The breeze is so strong at times, it can blow you off your feet literally. Winding our way to the top and experiencing the wind blowing through my hair, I am inclined to believe that it has better therapeutic benefits than an hour’s worth of face massage.

You need to be careful with your camera as the mist can fog up your lens in no time – keep the lens cap on and make sure that you don’t attempt changing lenses.

Magnificent views from the top of the tower:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0126.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0129.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0133.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0139.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0146.jpg

We spend close to an hour here and then head further down the Beach Road to witness the sun setting over the Sunset View Point. Having had our fill of Kanyakumari, we head back to the hotel for checkout.

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150831_180021-2.jpg

It’s already dusk and it’s rather amusing to see the bevy of peafowls returning back to their nests – there are so many of them, you almost feel like you are in a poultry farm!

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0158.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0162.jpg

We were booked at Estuary Island, Poovar from the 31st till the 4th – I had already called them earlier to inform of our late check-in, just to make sure that we don’t miss dinner even if we get late. Checkout formalities complete, we hit the road again at 6:45 PM.

Google Maps suggests two routes – one via NH 47 also known as the Salem – Kochi – Kanyakumari Highway and the other through a lesser known SH 179. I am tempted to take the latter as it runs closer to the beach, but then decide against it as it was getting dark. I’d rather be on a busy highway than be on a narrow, sparsely populated one in uncharted territory in the middle of the night. However, we soon realize why Maps had suggested close to 2 hours for a 67 km trip.

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-kanyakumari-kovalam-route-map.jpg

The roads turn narrow once you are out of Kanyakumari and the traffic is dense with trucks, buses, tempos and minivans. Nagercoil traffic can easily compete with rush hour in Bangalore and to make things worse, there are far too many one ways and diversions. After almost an hour of bad traffic, broken roads, signals and diversions, we are finally out of Nagercoil. However, quaint little towns keep popping up every 10-15 minutes, hence progress is slow. We are finally relieved to see a diversion for Estuary Island after Marthandam. The road is no more than 10 feet wide but smooth nonetheless and we reach the resort without any fuss.

It’s well past 9 PM by the time we are through the resort gates. There’s a little bridge over a canal that you need to cross before reaching the parking zone. The parking however is almost 500 metres from the cottages and we are allowed to drive further inside to offload our luggage. From the looks of it, the property looks really nice and expansive, however we have a leaking AC inside the room. We check a few other rooms but come back to the first, with the assurance that the AC would be fixed by the time we are done with our dinner.

We immediately have a smile on our lips once we walk up to the restaurant – it overlooks the estuary and feels serene, almost giving you the feeling of a floating restaurant. However, there are plenty of mosquitoes to play spoilsport, and the food prices are also on the steeper side. We settle for a bowl of mixed fried rice, some garlic chicken and a chicken stroganoff. We are assured that the quantity would be sufficient for all of us, which it is.

Though service is slow, the food is good. I get up for a quick trip to the washroom and just then it happens – in the dim lighting I hardly notice the step and before I know it, I see my phone flying across the tables, hitting the corner of a chair and stopping just short of the waters! Apparently there’s no visible damage, but a vertical scratch across the screen which I am not able to wipe off. Once back in the room, I realize that what seemed to be a scratch is a vertical crack in the form of a “Y” across the breadth of the screen. Thankfully, it seems to be on the surface as the touch is working fine. We finally retire to bed well past midnight after a long and eventful day.
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Old 21st September 2015, 02:06   #18
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Post 10 : Tuesday 01-Sep, Day 4. Estuary Island, Poovar

We wake up in the morning and head for breakfast. Breakfast is chargeable but we have nothing to complain as the spread is vast and the charges are rather reasonable at around 350 per person. And of course we don’t mind the great view of the estuary thrown in for good measure either. The resort complex has all the standard attractions including indoor games and a sandy play area dotted with coconut trees with swings and hammocks. The pool is nice, there’s a gift shop beside the restaurant but the best part is the mini jetty from where you can get boat rides around the estuary and to the beach. We plan to laze around in the day and spend the evening in Kovalam which is around 16 kms from Poovar. I will let the pictures do all the talking…

The main building:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_101152.jpg

Our cottage:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_112500.jpg

The Restaurant overlooking the estuary:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_101307.jpg

At the breakfast table - little one’s favourite:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150903_095220.jpg

The Jetty:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_101230.jpg

It’s a quick boat ride to the beach:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0195.jpg

The "machan":
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_111536.jpg

A sit out at the corner:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_111042.jpg

View from the restaurant:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_111053.jpg

The play area:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_112938.jpg

The Gift Shop beside the restaurant:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0192.jpg

The little one enjoying at the pool:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_142038.jpg

"The Trees They Grow So High":
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0427.jpg

Fighting for space in the hammock:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_113125.jpg

At the Ayurveda Center:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_134152.jpg

Long walk to the parking:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_175118.jpg

In front of the parking:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_175144.jpg

The City resting by the trees:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0167.jpg

And finally, a 180 degree view of the estuary:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_110312.jpg

The camera on the Galaxy Note and S series can quite compete with the DSLRs in bright daylight. In fact, only 4 of the 19 photos here are from my DSLR - the rest are mostly from my phone with the newly cracked screen, with another 3 or 4 shot by wifey on hers. Fortunately the impact did not mess up the AF on the camera module or any of the internals. Let me see if anyone can figure the DSLR ones out!

Last edited by thefuturist : 21st September 2015 at 02:16.
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Old 28th September 2015, 01:08   #19
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Post 11 : Evening at Kovalam beach, dinner at The Taj Vivanta

After a rather late breakfast in the morning none of us were in the mood for lunch. We call up room service at around 3 PM and order for sandwiches. It’s around 5:30 PM by the time set off for the Lighthouse Beach at Kovalam.
We had already visited the Lighthouse Beach a few years back, and the only thing that held our interest this time was the evening snacks at the German Bakery. We had given it the slip last time due to its exorbitant pricing and had settled in favour of the more reasonable Swiss Café, still it was something that we wanted to tick off our checklist.

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-poovar-kovalam.jpg

The road to Kovalam had its usual share of traffic and it took 40 minutes to cover a distance of around 20 kms. I don’t have the heart to enter the rather narrow alley that leads to the Lighthouse and we continue towards Kovalam via the NH47 Bypass Road after turning off the navigation. Fortunately it’s nice, two-lane roads all the way to the Kovalam Beach which is just a 200 meter strip of sand below the rocks. We catch the sunrise there and head back, in the hope of finding a way towards the Lighthouse Beach.

Sunset at Kovalam Beach:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0174.jpg

You can see the Leela Kovalam at a distance. I wonder what’s the point of setting up a resort if there’s no access to the beach:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_184036.jpg

After driving around the Beach Road for a couple of times, I figure out that our best bet of reaching the Lighthouse Beach was to park somewhere close by and then walk down. We enter into a lane by the Turtle on the Beach and find a slot to park by the side of the road. There’s a narrow lane going down which was being paved with bricks by construction workers. After a few paces we realize that it’s a new road to the Hill and Sea View Resort – the same place where we had stayed the last time. We ignore the calls of various shop-owners and head straight towards the German Bakery.

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We climb the stairs and settle for a row of seats facing the sea and order for their signature chocolate walnut cake, cold coffee and chocolate milkshake for the kids. While the cake was pretty good, it was quite expensive at 150 bucks a piece. The ice coffee was just about ok while the shakes were rather thin and simply not worth the money. We wanted to taste some of their other savouries and ordered a mushroom pizza. Do note that this place does not serve any form of meat and their pizzas were all-veggie affairs. The bill came to all of 1600 bucks, so you can very well imagine how expensive this place is. However, I would still recommend this place just for the experience. One of course is the old bookstore at the corner of the café that lends an old world charm to it. Another thing to note is that you can sit here with a cup of tea for as long as you like – no one will come to bother you. We soak in the sights, sounds and of course the aroma and by the time we walk down the stairs, it’s well past 9 PM.

The view from the bakery:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_204208.jpg

The very old-worldsy book store:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_204122.jpg

We had been Googling in the meanwhile about the best place for dinner and zeroed down on Molly’s Retreat Restaurant. We try to call up the place but no one is answering the phone. After the long trek back to the car, we set the GPS and head to the restaurant. We pass by the place and hardly notice anything. It all becomes clear once I get down from the car and walk towards the rather nondescript gate – the place is closed for renovation. It’s almost 9:30 PM now and our options are rather limited. Summoning up the courage, I call up our next option – The Bait at The Taj Vivanta. While wifey was rather apprehensive about the cost, I was apprehensive whether they would be willing to serve us at 10 in the night. Mercifully, the call was answered by cheerful staff on the other side assuring us that their kitchen was open till 11. I point Google Maps to The Bait and off we go!

I have my doubts going into a narrow lane and I was right. We stop a few metres short of the sand and it’s obvious that Google Maps would have pointed us towards a back exit which probably would be more apt for our common quadrupeds on the streets. We head back towards the crossing and thankfully notice the sign for the Vivanta now. The security have a questioning look and when asked about the restaurant, he pointed towards their parking on the other side of the road while mentioning that a buggy would pick us up in the next 5 minutes or so.

The parking is quite spacious and surely enough, an electric buggy arrives to pick us up as we disembark the car. It’s a long ride to the restaurant through the dimly-lit pathway, but thoroughly enjoyable in the night. The restaurant is a welcoming sight – a wooden structure in front of a beach lined with mini palm trees. The staff is extremely courteous and make the kids feel comfortable in no time, helped of course by a bribe of a Tropicana mango juice packs which both the kids simply adore.

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150901_214258.jpg

Back from the restroom, I see that the manager Mr. Ali has struck up a conversation with my wife. Quite a smart young lad, my wife tells me that he is from the same part of the country where I come from, and even speaks a bit of my mother tongue. Better still, his hometown is just about a couple of hours from my Alma mater, where I have spent 4 glorious years of my life. My memories hark back to those beautiful times and soon we are chatting like long lost friends! In the meanwhile we also order for the food – a Chemmeen Manga Curry and Dum Ka Gosht. Though the prices are on the higher side, we are advised that 2 curries would be more than sufficient for all of us, and better still, they are accompanied by steamed rice on the side. Ali wishes us Bon Appetit and takes leave and we dig into the delicious curries which taste even better in the dimly lit, romantic setting by the sea shore with the cool breeze caressing your senses every now and then. Once we are done with dessert, we happily pay the bill which comes to a paltry 2.5 K – a colossal value for money going by the service alone. My daughter points to the red heart shaped balloons and the waiters happily bring a whole bunch to her. The tip is quite generous as well (they did earn it) and by the time we are dropped back to the parking by the buggy, we are quite convinced that this was the best dining experience that we have ever had.

The drive back to the hotel was uneventful and we happily retire to bed around midnight.
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Old 1st October 2015, 01:04   #20
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Post 12 : Wednesday 02-Sep, Day 5. Transport strike

Our original schedule for day 5 was to meet a friend in Trivandrum and spend the day at their place. However, the trip had to be called off on account of the transport strike on Sep-2. We were told by the hotel staff of possible road blockages in some areas, and especially around Trivandrum which is supposedly a politically sensitive zone. So we decide to spend the day at the resort, visit the beach across the estuary and indulge in some boating as well.

I wake up by 8 and decide to go out for a stroll before the kids are ready for breakfast. The intention was mostly a light jog so I decide to leave the camera and carry on with the phone in my pocket. It’s a 3 km jog to the highway and back and the meandering road cuts through some lush greenery interspersed with canals. I slow down my pace and start snapping up the scenery.

There are plenty of small canals - I find one with a bridge over it:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_082550.jpg


Coconut orchard:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_082933.jpg


Cute little boat by the canal:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_083409.jpg

This is an almost 70% crop of the original image - I could hardly believe my eyes after viewing the cropped image on the monitor. With such a capable imaging system on a phone, I wonder why Samsung still doesn't see success with their mirrorless cameras:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_083444.jpg


Reflections:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_083959.jpg

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_084216.jpg


What! Bokeh in a phone camera?!:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_084249.jpg


A really tall one:

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_084509.jpg


While returning back, I climb a small hillock to see above the vegetation. Nice!

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_091130_01.jpg


Post breakfast we are ready for a nice little boat ride across the estuary and through the mangroves on the Neyyar river. A 90 minute ride costs 1800 bucks including taxes and is conveniently arranged by the hotel. Better still, the boat picks you up right from the resort jetty and drops you back there.

We were also interested in visiting the beach across the estuary. The resort does have a courtesy drop to the beach (and pick up as well), but the service is not operational today due to the absence of lifeguards on account of the transport strike. Tough luck, but anyway we still have 2 more days here to venture out into the beach.

It took me quite a while cleaning up the photos of the boat ride. They are coming soon in my next post.
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Old 1st October 2015, 02:48   #21
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Post 13 : Boat Ride across the estuary
As I had mentioned earlier, the boat picks you up from the hotel jetty itself, which is mighty convenient. Payment is directly through the hotel, so no need for any bargaining. The boatman picks us up at 12. The sky is bright but not too sunny either, and the cool breeze flowing over the waters make for a fantastic ride.

Our ride. You might have witnessed the same photo in one of the earlier posts where I was showing around the resort:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0195.jpg

Off we go:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0200.jpg

A burial mound perhaps:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0201.jpg

An adjacent resort with semi-floating rooms:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0206.jpg

An interesting shrine in the middle of the estuary:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0216.jpg

Water mango (don't exactly recall the name). Apparently the fruits are poisonous:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0242.jpg

Coconut grove in the shallow waters:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0244_01.jpg

I start juggling between the phone for videos and the DSLR for stills:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_123039.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_130030.jpg

3 boats side by side. The appalling resolution is due to the fact that it's almost an 80% crop:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0249.jpg

The trio - much closer now:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0252.jpg

Look ma! A cormorant:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0261.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0282.jpg

This one loves a higher vantage point:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0265.jpg

We come round the rear side (the front actually) of the resort:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0268.jpg

The City taking a day off at the parking with a similar hued Jap cousin, thanks to the transport strike:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0270.jpg

"Under the Bridge":
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0271_01.jpg

Now a water pineapple!:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0301.jpg

Coconut vendor with his fare on a boat:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0305.jpg

Everyone's happy after a pit stop with coconuts for refreshments!
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0309.jpg

We ride through the natural arches created by the vegetation
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0310.jpg

Local boatmen:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0324.jpg

Wow! Our boatman says it's an eagle, but I believe it's more of a hawk. Cropped to 70% but this one came out moderately sharp:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0326.jpg

A houseboat:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0341.jpg

I believe these are the same guys who supply the boats to the resorts:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0342.jpg

Hawks yet again, and now two of them! I can hardly believe my luck. Cropped, but sharp nonetheless for an 18-105 lens:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0347.jpg

And now a female kingfisher... 70% crop again:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0352.jpg

...to two young fishermen:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0362.jpg

Traffic on the waterways! Did someone mention transport strike?:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0366.jpg
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0376.jpg

Continued to the next post due to the 30 image limit per post which I have exceeded...
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Old 1st October 2015, 03:38   #22
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Post 14 : Boat ride (continued)…

Our 90 minutes of boat ride draws to a close – a refreshing one through the estuary connecting to the Neyyar river and then through the mangroves, with a first-hand experience of the beautiful water bodies and the associated flora and fauna.

This one was captured with the phone. Slightly post-processed:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_121034.jpg

More cormorants:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0371.jpg

It's time to head back to the resort now:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0384.jpg

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0382.jpg

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0388.jpg

I head towards one of the sit-outs for checking the shots while the little one is in a playful mood
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_111042.jpg

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150902_132404.jpg

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Post lunch, we head back to the sit-out for our evening coffee while I manage to capture the beauty of the sunset over the estuary
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0423.jpg

With the 2nd day at the resort behind us, we start planning for the next day - a trip to the beach in the morning, followed by a drive to Neyyar Dam, and back to Poovar after visiting our friend in Trivandrum who happens to be a rocket-scientist. Stay tuned.

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Old 14th October 2015, 19:40   #23
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Dear thefuturist, No updates to this thread for long time ? Eagerly waiting for the next part of the story including images.

Regards,

A travelling enthusiast like you
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Old 16th October 2015, 08:55   #24
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Thanks tanwaranil. Typically I get time during the weekends to update the travelogue, but the last couple of weeks had been sort of busy. I will try to post some updates over this weekend.
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Old 16th October 2015, 15:40   #25
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Really interesting travelogue and nice way of portraying your trip.

How was the little one during the long drive? I am planning our first long trip with our little one onboard (2.5 years) next week so hoping she will not be bored
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Old 16th October 2015, 19:35   #26
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She was fine as the roads for the whole drive were smooth and devoid of twisties. Kids normally complain on bumpy roads, ghat sections or in hot weather and fortunately none of them were applicable for this trip.

Since none of these are under your control, on your part you just need to make sure that your kid stays hydrated and shaded from the sun during the drive. Do carry plenty of juice packs and dry snacks (of the non-spicy variety). Also, make sure that you have a few of their favourite songs (nursery rhymes, catchy tunes, etc.) loaded on your USB - I have one such folder to fall back on for times when she turns cranky. Fortunately for us, she has a particular liking for KT Tunstall so that we don't need to tolerate her nursery rhymes for long.
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Old 7th December 2015, 03:06   #27
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My profound apologies to those who had started following this thread but had finally given up hope of reading through the conclusion during their lifetime. Work pressure and rotten office politics had kept me away from writing. I thought of taking up the pen (or the keyboard if you please) again last month, but the festivals played spoilsport and a post-Diwali trip to my hometown did not help things going either.

I would tend to agree with anyone who’d say that the last few posts have sidestepped from the main focus of this travelogue, of whether the City was finally able to make it home in a tankful. However, I did want to make it a contiguous account of the entire trip – it’s rarely that you go on a 9 day driving vacation across 3 states while covering a distance of close to 1700 odd kms. Of course there are enough gurus on this forum who have covered the length and breadth of the country with places as far-flung as Leh but I wanted to keep this a little different – of retaining the spirit of a relaxing family vacation while catering to the auto enthusiast as well. So all those eagerly waiting for the finale, please bear with me for a few more days!
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Old 7th December 2015, 03:41   #28
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Post 15 : Thursday 03-Sep, Day 6. The beach across the estuary, drive to Neyyar Dam, Trivandrum and back

It’s our third day at Poovar, and from the looks of it should be the most hectic one so far. We have plans to hit the beach in the morning, followed by a trip to the Neyyar Dam and finally a visit to our rocket scientist friend at Trivandrum in the evening.

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Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-neyyar-dam-trivandrum.jpg

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The beach itself is a narrow strip of land across the estuary – no more than 100 metres across at its widest point. The resort offers a complimentary ferry service on the hour, from morning 8 till 4 in the afternoon.

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Through with breakfast by 10, we wait for the 11 AM ferry. The boat ride is short and uneventful as the beach is just 300 metres across the estuary. It’s a nondescript beach with horse rides and the odd coconut seller. We spend less than an hour there and head back to the resort by the 12 PM return ferry.

Arrive at the beach...
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150903_113224_01.jpg

It gently slopes on one side:
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0434.jpg

The lone horse on the beach. Would you believe if I told you this shot was taken with a phone? No wonder Nikon plans to lap up the camera division of Samsung!
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-20150903_112713_01.jpg

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0452.jpg

There was this strange building on the other side of the estuary. It looked strangely out of place - more like a dilapidated European barn house and caught my fancy

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0439.jpg

This is a neat trick that the boatmen show to entertain the kids. There are a lot of tiny fishes in the estuary - the boatmen can expertly scoop one up with their hands, place it on the palms of the children and then again place them back in the water - all this without harming them a bit

If you look closely, the fish is almost translucent

Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0450.jpg


Back to our rooms we take bath, get the kids ready and realize that none of us are hungry for lunch. We start packing for the trip – snacks, water bottles, umbrellas, and an extra set of clothes for the kids when we realize that my daughter’s favourite toy for these trips – a nursery rhymes player has gone missing. A quick check in the car yields in the negative, and we realize that we must have left it back at the hotel room in Kanyakumari. My wife is visibly upset as she had found that particular model of Fisher Price after some search at the toy stores and my daughter was particularly fond of it.

I decide to call up the TTDC hotel and fortunately manage to find the caretaker who had assisted us in shifting our room on the 31st morning when the AC had suddenly stopped working. The response from the front desk is otherwise non-committal, though they assure me that they would check in the room to see if it’s still lying around in the cupboards. We keep our fingers crossed, hoping that they find it and that we are able to collect it back tomorrow during our return trip via Kanyakumari and on to Madurai.

Coming up: Trip to the dam
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Old 8th December 2015, 14:06   #29
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol

Fantastic travelogue , Excellent narration & equally good pictures.

Your travelogue was an inspiration for me to do a trip to Kanyakumari , Kovalam, Trivandrum etc last month.

My Civic did a BLR-KKR on a tankful of petrol (Civic has 50L fuel capacity) , even after a over nighter at Madurai. I got a mileage in excess of 16.9kmpl with relaxed & sedate driving
Bangalore to Kanyakumari on a tankful of petrol-dsc_0369.jpg

Waiting for the next part.
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Old 11th December 2015, 23:56   #30
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Thanks @sushrutha. Nice to know that you were able to do the route in one tankful and that the thread was of some use, inspiration-wise at least. 16.9 kmpl for a 1.8L engine is no mean feat. Apart from the skills (and patience) of the driver, it also goes on to prove the frugality of the i-VTEC motors that Honda churns out. How I wish their suspensions were equally capable.

The familiar lighthouse is proving to be quite popular on this forum BTW!

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