Thursday, June 25, 2009
the run-up to our sojourn in God's Own Country...
Picking a holiday destination is not easy. More so if it happens to be your honeymoon. My first choice was Lakshwadeep. But a little bit of research with a dropped-jaw I realised that Lakswadeep is closed from May to August. Andaman and Nicobar seemed to far (conisdering that I was getting married in Kerala) and too expensive and too time-consuming.
Hence I modestly settled down with Kerala. In fact, it seemed a golden opportunity to explore the land where I was born. Though, I was born in Kerala, I never really got a chance to see places in Kerala. Our annual visits usually consisted of visiting family and long-lost friends.
But again, there was a problem of plenty. Kerala in itself is so beautiful, we needed to decide which part of kerala. The usual suspects were Munnar, Kovalam, Kollam, Kumarkoan, Idduki, Wayanad et al. But then, on a honeymoon trip theres' no point visiting places that were crowded. You know what I mean... We needed a place that was quite, serene, preferably devoid of people and one closest to Mother Nature. And did I mention, the destination had to have a beach???
With that in mind I embarked on a journey to find isolated and deserted beeches on keralatourism.org. If you are planning to visit Kerala, this website is a must-read. And soon enough I started finding what I was looking for. I stumbled upon several "unexplored" beeches in Northen Kerala. Now I know "unexplored" was probably over-rated, but I decided to take my chance.
Pretty soon I had decent list of beeches in and around Kannur district. I had decided I will pretty much stick to one district, considering the tremendous number of attractions each district in Kerala provided.
So here's was the tentative list I prepared:
1. Bekal Fort
2. Muzhapilangad Beach
3. Payyambalam Beach
4. Meenkunnu Beach
5. Kizhunna Beach
6. Pazhassi Dam
7. St.Angelo Fort
8. Gundert Bungalow
9. Pythal Mala (65 kms from Kannur)
10. Ezhimala Beach (55 kms from Kannur)
Bekal Fort which is in Kasargod district was included in the list, as it was a long-standing dream of my wife to visit the place. Cant say No to the wifey!!! Ever!! :-)
Closer towards to the date of honeymoon it was realised we had to be only 4 days than the earlier 7 days. Hence, there was more cutting and chopping and modifying of the list.
Day1. We had taken a late-night train from Ernakulam to Kannur and landed there at about 8 in the morning. Thanks to a keralatourism.org and KTDC combine travel book we got to call a few hotels the day before and decided on PalmGrove Heritage Hotel. At Rs. 600 a night, we got what we were looking for - budget hotel. We must accept we were a little apprehensive about the quality of the hotel, so booked it for just one night initially.
Sometimes, you can never imagine how lucky you can get. As we walked into the hotel we realised we had taken the right decision to come here.
To our relief:
The hotel was just 2 kms from the Railway station.
The hotel was neat and quiet away from the craziness of the city and looked like an old heritage bunglow.
The hotel had furniture and painting from the old world and magically transported you to a different era.
The hotel was 2 kms away from Payyambalam beach.
Oh.. yeah we were THE only guests in the entire hotel for those 4 days :)