Friday, October 31, 2014

The South Indian Coastline Drive - Kerala and TN - Day 3 and 4

As the day faded into the night on 25th , we slowly and surely rolled into the capital city of Kerala , Thiruvanathapuram. Even in the middle of the night, I could see the changes in this city. The new glass covered buildings, the nice wide roads and full of new age apartments. Nothing seemed like the good old place, which I had seen 15 years ago. My phone buzzed with a newly arrived SMS. It was much awaited SMS of the month ie the Salary credit SMS.  And that drove me to the fact that, I had reached the place, where I had earned my first salary, after 15 years and 10 days.
Things cant get more nostalgic than this. As we tried to reach MG Road, I was craving to find a particular hotel to stay. Hotel Pankaj. The same hotel, where the faculty would stay when we were in training in TCS. Its changed a lot, but thankfully I hadnt forgotten the location. Just beside the GPO. But alas, there was no availability there on that day, rather the night.

My eyes started to look for the secretariat, and was wondering if there would be people on hartal that night also. I wasn't disappointed. The next stop took to us to another hotel on the MG Road. The South Park. The quick flash back took me to the day, we had dinner in that hotel years back, as I strolled into the dimly lit reception area. If I am not mistaken, we had treated ourselves in that hotel, after our first salary. Things cant get more nostalgic. As I checked for the tariff, I felt it was high for 5000/- per night, and it was already crossed 11 pm. Just to spend the night didnt make sense. A part me wanted to settle there, just for sentiments. We bargained and came down to 3500/- (Thats something I learnt on this trip, that at the end , even the finest hotels give discounts as a room empty only means zero returns). I did find it a bit stiff, though mentally calculating my first salary and the one I received a few minutes, defied my earlier logic.
Nevertheless we went scouting for a few more and finally settled in the Hotel Residency Tower. Nice and beautiful hotel. But only to realise a horror which we face only at the end of the next day.

Hotel Pankaj - The hotel we would yearn to stay during the training period in TCS. It now wears a different look.
Infact, it looked as if, it was renovated a few days back.

Arul Jyothi - The place were we would have our daily breakfast and that place has a strong memory for those who stayed in that area. We would see the daily hartal just opposite, in front of the secretariat.

Next to Arul Jyothi is the BSNL office,the place which we used to frequent for internet on the dial-up. 21 Rs for 15 min and 65 Rs for an hour those days :)


GPO Circle 

The road, which had our hotel Ganesh - Doesnt seem to exist anymore. The phone booth painting is still visible though,

Okay - That was all the nostalgia and especially for my friends who were with me during my stay here.

Coming back to the travel - Early morning, we had a nice breakfast in Hotel Residency and then left for Nagercoil/Kanyakumari. We didnt have much time to see the trivandrum and were more excited for the natural beauty around this place.

One thing that was so conspicuous about the Trivandrum was - its just spic and span. Which is very noticeable.

As we moved towards Kanyakumari - We found ourselves moving slightly away from the shore and then ignoring the directions given by gmaps, we decided to use the maps to get closest to the shore and drive along the shore. And the results due to this , were out of the world. The photos will give the message nice and clear...

On way to Nagercoil from Trivandrum

The Bylanes in Nagercoil - Just along the shores

The churches along the beach road in Nagercoil. This place has one of the most beautiful beaches.

Play on the beach..

One of the most beautiful beaches I have seen- Nagercoil- Nice blue water.

The beach road , which stretches from Nagercoil and finally ends up in Kanyakumari is very beautiful for drive. No Traffic at all. All these areas were completely washed away during the tsunami. 

On a watch tower in Nagercoil Beach Road.

Nagercoil Coast line

Vivekananda Memorial

The gushing waves...

And as the day came to a end, with the sunset on the shores of Kanyakumari, where the three majestic waters meet, the sunset can never be a dampner. Its just as beautiful as most other natural views in this part of India. The southern most tip of India.

As we left the shores of Kanyakumari and Nagercoil, the only thing that was in our mind was to come back and enjoy these pristine beaches again.

But the interesting part of the journey was not limited to the visual appeal. The taste buds were treated equally well. We went for dinner an Lynn's and had some of the best foods and probably I can never forget this mouth water fried ice-cream. Its as yummy as it appears...

Fried Ice-cream at Lynns

We loved the LCD screen that this auto carried. Quit big for an auto and we were quite impressed - In nagercoil on way from hotel to Lynn's restaurant.

As I end this post - many parts of the journey were not detailed, as it was too much for reading and the visual appeal would replace the words amicably.

We travelled, on the road less travelled  and would yearn to thread the same path again.

What we missed ? We really didnt get good shots of the Wind Mills which were planned for the return journey due to turn of events at the last moments. ( We had forgotten our DL's in the hotel in TVM and had to rush back and pick them ). But that does leave enough room for a next trip which we will cover.

The return journey was on the national highway, which is an expressway and no real sights , but still beautiful.

A journey to be remembered for a very long time.