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Old 28th December 2010, 23:45   #46
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Friends

It was a worst nightmare on 25th evening from evening from 7 PM till 1AM on 26th Dec.

@ashish bhau
From 7PM, the vehicle make kept changing from Innvoa to Xylo to Innova, Status kept changing from reaching in 30 minutes to vehicle met with an accident to a brand new Innova has been arranged to Driver is heavily drunk and hence can not reach tonight etc etc,

Eventually the vehicle did not come till 1 PM. Tthe Travel agent kept giving one excuse after another. Eventually at 1 AM, he told he can come in the morning, which means one day would be gone.

So we started by my ANHC by 1:30 AM and reached Top Slip by 11:30 AM, after spending some time, we reached Parambikulam on 26th afternoon
After spending 2 wonderful days at Parambikulam, tonight we reached a place called Chinnakannan near Munnar by 7:30 PM.

more about the travelogue, experience (worst and the best), pictures etc once i return to Bangalore.

@Lalu,
Thanks for your call when we were at Sethumadai checkpost. Since I had no IDEA, my mobile phone stopped working. I think at Parambikulam, having an IDEA or not does not help, only BSNL Cellone network is available.

I am enjoying the idea of not having a mobile phone since last 3 days.
This trip, i have not carried my notebook as well. I am getting this connectivity thanks to the laptop of you know who and the wireless internet from the hotel.

@Backseatdriver
I also heard about Taxi strike, but i have my faithful ANHC, so hopefully we will still have a nice day tomorrow, touchwood.

@rki2007
Ofcourse knowing the language helps, but it is not a must. people are friendly, I spent almost 2.5 days with tribals who does not know another language than Tamil and Malayalam. But they are passionate about their work and the guests they have in thier part of the world.


@advaith,
my apologies, i am not carrying my laptop, more over there was no connectivity in the parambikulam jungle, hence i could not check/post since last 2-3 days, i will continue will the travelogue only after i reach Bangalore on 1st Jan late evening.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 28th December 2010 at 23:54.
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Old 29th December 2010, 10:15   #47
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

@Star, Nothing could beat the joy of driving down. Everything happens for Good I know why you did not want to drive and spent all your time with your lovely family, but having known you, even though you are behind the wheels you always have the same enthusiasm and no one would miss you as much.

Hope you enjoyed the stay at Parambikulam, and were able to spot a few wild life. Did the elusive leapord came in your way?

I guess you drove through the route we discussed, udumalpet and via Chinnar and Marayoor. After Chatta Munnar did you like the avenues with tea gardens and those red coloured flowering trees? Were you able to stop by Thoovanam falls for a look?

Last edited by laluks : 29th December 2010 at 10:17.
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Old 29th December 2010, 10:29   #48
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
From 7PM, the vehicle make kept changing from Innvoa to Xylo to Innova, Status kept changing from reaching in 30 minutes to vehicle met with an accident to a brand new Innova has been arranged to Driver is heavily drunk and hence can not reach tonight etc etc,
Eventually the vehicle did not come till 1 PM. Tthe Travel agent kept giving one excuse after another. Eventually at 1 AM, he told he can come in the morning, which means one day would be gone.
Aah,
travel agent had shown his actual colour!!!
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Old 31st December 2010, 13:01   #49
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

@ashish bhau,
ture or not, i do not know, but it was a very disappointing and frustrating performance which we had not expected.
neverthless, we decided to not get influenced by travel agent and chose to still enjoy our vacation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
@Star, Nothing could beat the joy of driving down. Everything happens for Good
I do agree

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Hope you enjoyed the stay at Parambikulam, and were able to spot a few wild life. Did the elusive leapord came in your way?
Did you mean this one ?
Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country-leopard.jpg

Parambikulam is simply perfect

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
I guess you drove through the route we discussed, udumalpet and via Chinnar and Marayoor. After Chatta Munnar did you like the avenues with tea gardens and those red coloured flowering trees? Were you able to stop by Thoovanam falls for a look?
Yes, Yes, Yes, More pictures once i am back

We have another 2 days (today, tomorrow) before we reach home.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 31st December 2010 at 13:07.
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Old 31st December 2010, 13:43   #50
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

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Did you mean this one ?
Oh man - so you DID see a leopard!!
And that one seems close too.
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Old 31st December 2010, 14:55   #51
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

Ah, You lucky Bloke @Star . You managed to sight a leopard. We had no such luck just last week :-(
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Old 31st December 2010, 15:39   #52
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

@Star - See, I have always told you the leapord will come to say hi to you
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Old 31st December 2010, 15:46   #53
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

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@Star - See, I have always told you the leapord will come to say hi to you
Laluks,

Where is your Vagamon/Gavi experience?
Still waiting for it!
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Old 31st December 2010, 17:41   #54
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

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Laluks,

Where is your Vagamon/Gavi experience?
Still waiting for it!
@ampere,

After coming back from that trip, I went to Kaas with Star in a fortnight, and the next week to Goa, and the next week to Poovar, and the next week to Cochin, and the next week to Munnar and got busy at work. So the travelogue got stuck!

Will need ample time to start it back on track.
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Old 1st January 2011, 00:37   #55
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post

After coming back from that trip, I went to Kaas with Star in a fortnight, and the next week to Goa, and the next week to Poovar, and the next week to Cochin, and the next week to Munnar
@Lalu: Have you started a travel company?

@Star: Apologies for the OT.
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Old 1st January 2011, 08:06   #56
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

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@ampere,

After coming back from that trip, I went to Kaas with Star in a fortnight, and the next week to Goa, and the next week to Poovar, and the next week to Cochin, and the next week to Munnar and got busy at work. So the travelogue got stuck!

Will need ample time to start it back on track.
No points taken sir! We just need the story and the snaps!

Now we need all of them ! Kaas we have already seen.
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Old 1st January 2011, 12:17   #57
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

@arindam - I wish some one gives me a job of travel writing.

@ampere - I've started

@Star - waiting for your safe return tonight, and the story subsequently.

Last edited by laluks : 1st January 2011 at 12:18.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 10:46   #58
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Default Re: Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Count

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Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
Oh man - so you DID see a leopard!!
And that one seems close too.
Yes, the leopard was approx 100-150 meters, i could not capture a clean shot due to the vibrations of the safari vehicle (+my hand)and the un-comfortable position as it was on the opposite side of the road where i was seated.

Quote:
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Ah, You lucky Bloke @Star . You managed to sight a leopard. We had no such luck just last week :-(
Animal sightings are a matter of luck indeed. i hope enjoyed the nature and its beauty as well during your trip

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@Star - See, I have always told you the leapord will come to say hi to you
Yes, actually our vehicle had gone further, but the "naturalist" or guy made it reverse some 20 odd meters and showed us this leopard. These guys seems to have the eyes and ears for the jungle. I found it amazing especially it was pitch dark (~7 PM) and a noisy vehicle.

Quote:
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@arindam - I wish some one gives me a job of travel writing.
Lalu, You are already a prolific traveler, a seasoned roadie, experienced amature photographer, a famous travelogue writer (on team-bhp). I think you already are what you want to be. I think it is matter of time and your own initiative that some of your travel stories get published in the larger and/or specific media. I see there are lot many opportunities out there.

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@Star - waiting for your safe return tonight, and the story subsequently.
We returned home sweet home, safe, this morning 3.50 AM. We started from Vazhachal Checkpost at ~ 6 PM yesterday and drove through Chalakudi-Trissur BP - Pallakad BP - Coimbatore BP - Salem BP - Krishnagiri - Hosur - Silk Board JN - Yelahanka.

Traffic from Chalakudi till Coimbatore was almost like city traffic. This section took amlost 4.15 hours with a 25 minutes break in between.

Dinner took some 35-40 minutes, Coimbatore (Sharavana Bhavan on the BP) to Home took another 5 hours.

In all it was a memorable trip for all of us. Kids had a terrific time, Smart Ones had lot many conversations apart from fun moments. My friend managed to have a non hectic and relaxed (to the extent possible) vacation. I had a great time visiting destinations, taking pictures and a fantastic drive of 1700+ KMs.

i am not sure by when i will be able to start the story, My friend and his family would be leaving for thier home tomorrow. I have some 60GB of pictures and some videos (shot using D90).

hope to start soon..hopefully

Last edited by StarVegabond : 2nd January 2011 at 10:54.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 12:44   #59
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Default Some Top of the Mind recollections

We are fresh from our Kerala vacation. I thought of penning down my top of the mind perceptions

1. Vacation days in Kerala are expensive. Unless chosen carefully they will not be Value for Money for sure. In coming days touristy system in Kerala will have to compete with other destinations in a more intensified way.

2. Not knowing the language is not an issue. One can survive and thrive in Kerala, Common man on the street is friendly and willing to help when asked.

3. Travel agent is not our friend even though he wants us to believe that. One should never part with one's money unless things promised are delivered.

4. It is "Normal" for this thing to be like this, this quote is heard every now and then. We need to get the "Normal" defined b/w prior to the visit/paying money. e.g. Normally A/C would work in a house only from 9 PM to 6 AM. Normally Houseboat would return by 9 AM etc. These normal things are not generally stated at the time of booking.

5. Roads in Kerala are generally narrow and winding, villages, towns, cities are inter conencted. Inter town/city traffic is very high, Average speeds are lower than the ones generally shown on maps on-line. Need to take this into consideration while planning the schedules

6. There will be minor Khatta-Meetha incidents, We should not let that affect our vacations, fun and family time.

7. Kerala food is not available at touristy places in Kerala. It is more difficult to find vegitarian Kerala food. Answer we got was "Tourists do not like Kerala food cooked using coconut oil". The normal menu in any resturant at these touristy place reads " Chinese soups/starters", "Punjabi/NorthIndian Main Course", Deserts "Ice Creams / Cakes & Pastries / Gulab Jamun etc etc", Only exception is "South Indian Breakfast", mainly consists of Idly, Dosas, Appams etc. But half the items mentioned would not be available during the time of the day.

8. Everything happens at a slower pace, It is "normal" for a guest to wait for 45 minues before the food is served once the order is placed. Some times waiting time even streches to 2 hours, It is pretty normal.

9. There is no "systemic approach" towards the tourists, everything seems to be individual driven. e.g. one person in the resort generally becomes "Man Friday" and saves the occation for everyone. If he would not have been there, then the tourist might go back with bad experience. This was a repeatitive experience at every place except Parambikulam where the Tribals are amazingly organized to deliver consistant quality experience to the guests. Hats off to them.

10. There is no real effort on the ground to promote "Kerala Experience". It is just like the modern day super markets where everything is kept and customer has to just go in and get what he wants. If he is newbie or does not know what he wants, then he gets lost. There is no real "selling" or "efforts to sell" expect for the "price based selling" In Kerala it is left entirely to the tourist whether he wants to "enjoy the experience". Expect for 1-2 individuals i missed the "real selling" of the experience.

11. Most important question : Will we go again ?, Yes, We will.

more as a part of my story..

Last edited by StarVegabond : 2nd January 2011 at 12:53.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 12:50   #60
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11. Most important question : Will we go again ?, Yes, We will.
Is it because of, or in spite of the experience?
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