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|14th July 2016, 12:25||#1|
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Weekend Trip - Hyderabad to Suryalanka Beach
My First Travelogue on here. Please excuse any mistakes.
The triggers for this trip were the usual, Boredom, Stress, work pressure etc. Our Initial Plan was to do Srisailam dam - Nagarjuna Sagar Dam however a friend had visited these places a week before and the update was "Still no rains - hot as hell' so that plan was dropped. Suryalanka came up as someone mentioned Goa. I am from Goa and have spent 20 years there and know the rains in Goa are relentless. At least they were until 6-7 years back. So a visit to goa would mean staying at home which we could do in Hyderabad. Anyways back to the trip, we checked the weather for Suryalanka and it said Cloudy for the 3 days we were going to be there. The decision was made.
I got on to google to check the distance and the stay options. Everyone who had been there said that Suryalanka is worth it only if you are staying at the Haritha Resort. Got online and found the WhatsApp Number (+91 9000282897) and messaged them the information in the requested format. They were quick to reply that the rates at the hotel as the same as on the website and as of then the rooms were available. This place is normally full on the weekends all year long and you apparently never get any discounts. Also the only way of booking this resort is Online. I enquired at the reception and they said that they don't entertain anyone who has not booked the resort online even if they have rooms (Not sure if this is true but I believed him). Anyways I checked other hotels too and found very little information about the others online. Meanwhile I got another message from the WhatsApp number that the rooms were fast filling so booked the room in a hurry. Made the payment online using a link sent by the staff to my email and half an hour later had the voucher in my email.
The plan was to leave on Friday morning by 5 am, Get there early, Rest while the Sun was hard at work then have some fun in the water and finally sit in the porch of the room and talk philosophy like we usually do.
Thursday Night - "Euro Semifinal - Germany Vs France" spoilt it all. We were awake till 3 am on Friday so the plan was pushed to 8 am which was then revised to 10 am and finally we left at 10:30 am from Chandanagar. Took the ORR from Gachibowli. A quick stopover at the airport to drop a friend (who was supposed to join us however had a change of plans at the last moment and had to fly to Mumbai), At 11:45 we were back on the ORR. Left the ORR at the Vijayawada road Exit.
Google suggests 3 routes. The quickest one bieng the middle one with a large part on 2-4 lane highway. We decided to take the route via Vijayawada city - Guntur - Bapatla. This is the longest route however you also spend the longest time on the 6 lane highway. All seemed fine until we were about 115 kms from home. Somewhere near Lakkaram we encountered a traffic jam that went on for about 25 kms well beyond Nakerakal. Reason, our honorable Chief Minister had a Rally and was going to address the farmers. It took us over 2 hours to cover 20-25 kms. As soon as the speeds got better we stopped for Lunch at 7 food court at about 3 pm. This place is just before Suryapet, it has a subway, coffee day, Baskin Robbins and their in house South, North, Chinese Food options. A must visit on this route. We stopped here and had lunch on our way back as well. By far the best rest stop on this route.
Left from there at 3:30, with 180 kms to go for Vijayawada and an empty 6 lane highway. We managed to clock good speeds here and reached Vijayawada just as the clock struck 5 pm. 180 kms in 90 mins is impressive. Says nice things about the road, bad things about my driving. Moving on, the road that allows you to kind of bypass Vijayawada City has been closed. I am talking about the Prakasam Barrage Road which joins onto the Trunk road and then the Chennai Highway. This means that you have to travel through the city to get to the other side. We were doing this at peak office hour traffic. Took us 50 mins to get out to the Chennai bound 6 lane highway. No offence to anyone from Vijayawada but the current conditions of almost all internal roads can put some of the high mountain passes of Himalayas to shame. Bad would be a gross understatement. To add to it there seems to be material to repair the roads piled up at the side, by the looks of it, it’s been there for over 2-3 months.
30 more Kms of good 6 lane roads until Guntur and you take the exit on to the state highway for 60 kms that takes you through a dozen villages. Takes approximately 2 hours, it took us about 2 hrs. 30 as not all people know the difference between low beam and high beam. We managed to reach the resort at around 8:30 pm.
Unfortunately all the other rooms were taken and we got the room which had a view of the restaurant. The next 1 day and 2 nights were spent Playing on the beach, Liquid dieting, and Talking philosophy. The usual.
The trip back was uneventful and we left Suryalanka at about 10 in the morning and were home at 5 pm, with an hour of break.
Sorry I could not include any pictures as the memory card from my camera seems to have gone corrupt. I have included pics from the Haritha resort website for visual aids to explain what I am referring to.
Few pointers for anyone planning a weekend trip to Suryalanka.
1) The Haritha resort booking must be done in advance. Preferably a week in advance. Longer if it is a major holiday weekend.
2) You don’t fix a room on booking, you get a voucher. The rooms are allotted on first cum first serve basis. Best to reach early and select the room at the far end of the resort (AC Room - Not sure of the non Ac ones) as that room has uninterrupted views of the beach (not blocked by coconut trees planted by the resort).
Views blocked by Coconut trees
The Porch mentioned earlier
3) The corner rooms also ensure you are away from the noisy group of boys that you would find at any resort.
4) Best time to leave Hyderabad would be around 3-4 am in the morning, Pass Vijayawada before traffic starts and that will make sure you are at the resort by 9 am, Which is the Check-in and Check-out time. This is the time you should get a choice of rooms.
5) Rest and sleep till 4-4:30 pm and then go to the beach. All day the beach is full of people from the local villages in and around who leave after 4 to get back home. After 6 pm you will find only a handful of people
6) Don't look beyond Haritha Resort. No Other resort along the entire stretch including Chirala is on the Beach. There is a Sea Breeze resort near Chirala Beach, Which boasts of a swimming pool overlooking the beach however the stench of fish from the surrounding fishing villages seemed unbearable while we were there. This may not be true for the whole year but was enough to put us off. Besides it also involves a long walk to the beach.
7) If you reach Suryalanka Beach after 9 am and before 6 pm, there is a small wooden gate which is like a panchayat toll. They charge Rs. 50, every time you pass from there. Carry along an extra copy of the Booking confirmation Voucher in the car (One will be kept by the resort), Show the copy at the gate and refuse to pay the amount stating you have a booking at the resort.
8) The resort has ample Safe parking and is insulated from the outside crowd by a gate.
9) It does get hot in Suryalanka during the day and AC room is advised.
10) Last but most important, Avoid the Cyclone season. It’s the worst around September, October and November Months. The resort is right on the beach and may not be the best place during a notorious Bay of Bengal cyclone. Check the IMD website for any low pressure formations over the bay to be on the safer side.
Wish I could have included my pics. Maybe Next time. Thank you for your time and patience.
Last edited by mangespat : 14th July 2016 at 15:34.
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