Monday, October 27, 2014

The South Indian Coastline Drive - Kerala and TN - Day 1 and 2

And finally the long and much awaited drive along the coast line of Kerala was materialised  during the long weekend of Diwali - And unlike my other road trips, not a single element was planned for this trip. Nor the route or the stay nor the places which we wanted to see. Ultimately after speaking to one of our colleagues in office, we decided to have the first destination as the 'Drive-In Beach' near Kannur, which officially goes by the name 'Muzhappilangad Beach'.

The plan was then made , not really with destinations for the day, but more so, as touch points. The first touch point being the Drive in Beach at Thalassery, in Kannur District. After that, the plan was to drive along the coast line of Kerala , mainly on NH17 , with Cochin and Trivandrum as touch points and then final destination being Kanyakumari. The day breaks were not really planned and we thought we will stop over as convenient.

Day 1 - 23rd October
Started early in the morning, considering its a Diwali long weekend and we will have heavy rush on the Mysore Road. Hence decided to take the Kanakpura road to hit Nagerhole. Somewhere in the middle, we managed to forget our GPS tracking and relied on the signposts and managed to hit the Mysore highway. Hmmm, but we didnt mind. We continued through on that and took a deviation at Sriranpatna towards the Rangantitu Bird Sanctuary and headed towards the roads which basically leads towards Coorg. Thats what google maps instructed us, and we blindly followed that...

On the way while passing the villages, after Mysore, saw some diwali rituals followed, which I had last seen only in my grandparents home, during my childhood. Though the version seen here was a little more colorful , than what we see in our villages. 

In our village, on this day of Diwali, the Cows and Buffaloes will be smeared with a particular mud,which is yellowish in color, and also the ropes which are used to tie these animals to their posts are replaced , annually. Here , I saw that different colors are used to decorate them and didnt see new ropes around their necks. But nevertheless, it was a refreshing memory of my childhood days.

Next we reached the Nagarhole National forest

Around lunch time we were in South Kodagu,(Dont ask me how we reached there...) and we were looking for a place to eat.This place - Cafe Robusta' on the way, served us very nice Dal and Paneer and fresh chappatis. We stuffed ourselves and knew that, we can carry on driving till evening for sure..

After lunch, just around this Cafe, we saw these blood red leaves . We spent considerable time to capture these different leaves.  I first thought that, these were flowers, and only on close inspection , saw green leaves turn into Red.

At a particular time of the evening, we realised that the KMS travelled and the time on the clock had the same digits, and as long as we would have travelled one km per minute, we would have the same pattern for the next few minutes... Well, just goes to say, apart from enjoying the beautiful landscapes outside, we didnt forget to pay attention to the little details inside the car :)

On the way to Thalasery, we saw some of the best houses and very beautiful churches. Unlike the houses we see in Bangalore, the houses in this part of the country are made with very good planning and time. 

We actually felt like stopping at each of the houses , when we saw the initial ones, only to realise later that, every single house in this area is very well crafted and beautiful. They are indeed homes made for themselves.

Finally around 6 pm or so, just when the sun had just set in, we reached our first destination, ie the Drive-In Beach, after asking a few locals who were very helpful and went out of the way to give us the directlons.

Couple of night shots 

We also tried some experiments with the long exposures and didn't fare too bad.
At night we retired to a hotel close to this beach - Surya Residency, which was very clean and well priced at 1700 INR for the night.

Day 2 - 24th October 2014
The day started with the Drive on beach again and I can for sure say that, it was one of the high points in my life. Driving on a beach with the water around or through it, was something which I had never experienced in life and should never be missed.
Hope these pictures excite you to try this drive, if you haven't already.

We started from Thalassery around 8:30 in the morning, and proceeded towards Cochin, which was our next destination. We stopped at a small joint near Calicut for breakfast around 10:00 and got one of the tastiest breakfast for 100 Rs, which included, Puttus, Parathas and tea.

Just after Cochin, came across this beautful church and stopped for a couple of pictures.

At night we stopped over in Trivandrum. After 15 years and ten days, I reached the place, where I had started my journey. More on this , in the next blog.