The "water-locked" land....

29th Sep 2019
Photo of The "water-locked" land.... by sudersan
Day 1

Walking into the resort, the only thought was to crash for an hour atleast before the cab we had booked was scheduled to arrive. It wasn't a surprise since the ride to Alappuzha was indeed a tiring one..

A tricky train ride on an RAC ticket to Kottayam and onward by bus ensured that we were both tired to the bones and our little one itching to find a place to spread out rather than be confined in either one of our arms.

The train reached Kottayam at about 8.30 am and the first thing we did was to get an auto to the bus station. Unsure of where to have out breakfast or even think about morning chores, we just landed at the bus station. A nice tower opposite the bus station called itself "The Arcadia".

This place not only helped us rest a bit,  but also got out tummy filled. For Rs.210 per person, they serve an amazing spread in their breakfast buffet. Their spread includes, idlies, vada, chapati, korma, sambar, appam, chicken stew for appam, chicken sausage besides the usual spread of bread, eggs, salad and milkshakes. A sumptuous breakfast done, we headed out to the bus station. Oh, and the view at the 10th floor restaurant is a-m-a-z-I-n-g. It is worth a visit for anyone transiting through kottayam.

The bus station while fairly basic, had buses fanning out all parts of Kerala. The bus to Alappuzha takes about an hour and half to cover the 40 odd km journey. It is, however an interesting ride, since midway throught the ride, one gets a taste of the famed canals of Alappuzha. A canal seems to accompany the road almost all the way to Alleppy. A short auto ride took us close to the resort.

The quaint place was a bit off from the main streets although quite close to the Alleppy beach. A little difficult to spot, but the guys at Dolphin villa beach resort were helpful in giving us the directions to reach the place.

Seeing the Dakar style bike calmed me. It was indeed the right place. Khaleel told us that our rooms were ready and led us to it. Still thinking nothing of it, we walking in, just in time to be spell bound. A small cozy room, with a sweet french door framing the beach at just the perfect size. Guess one couldn't really ask for more. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach was just absolute bliss, on that hot humid afternoon. It was amazing to tired body and a wornout mind. Guess we would want to visit Dolphin villa, just for this view.

Lunch wasn't in on our mind just as yet. Getting ready, a nice shower et al, we headed out by 3.30pm, having rescheduled our cab to the well-spoken-about Marari beach for our sunset rendezvous. Walking around the Alleppy beach, we saw The Catamaran Cafe. An interesting name, with a catamaran slung just outside the porch... The food was good, and the ambience, just perfect. A quiet view to the sea with its low seats were just salve to the soul. A short snack of sandwiches done, we took out cab for the Marari ride. But as luck would have it, it began to drizzle, and the sunset rendezvous was just a damp squib. While the beach seemed ok, it was way too crowded and we decided to head back within 10 minutes. About 20km away from Alleppy beach, we reach back just in time to see the last ebb of the sun going down the Arabian Sea.. Quite an ironic twist.

A bit of a walk on the beach and we were back in the resort, planning a short ride to hunt local food and then head back to the Catamaran Cafe. But nature again had the last say. It simply poured. It just continued to pour, and thanks to Khaleel, we got to Thaza by 9.30pm for a s uh mptuous dinner of Chicken manthi, al-fahim and kerala parottas...

By the time we got ourselves back to the resort in the pouring rain, it was almost 11pm and the only thing that we could see was the plush bed, the crashing waves and the steady drizzle lulling us to sleep in no time....

From Arcadia.... out there lay Kuttanad

Photo of Kottayam, Kerala, India by sudersan

The famed backwaters...

Photo of Kottayam, Kerala, India by sudersan


Photo of Kottayam, Kerala, India by sudersan

The final ebb.....

Photo of Kottayam, Kerala, India by sudersan

The storm is coming......

Photo of Kottayam, Kerala, India by sudersan
Day 2

The waves that lulled us into a deep slumber played the perfect background score to the overcast morning. Getting out of the bed early enough, we hit the beach. Cameras in hand, the walk along the sands was bliss.

The overcast skies, and the fact that it was a monday, ensured that there was very little crowd in the beach.
Just as we had begun to think that the morning couldn't get better, we spotted a pair of dolphins going about their surfacing. Spending a decent amount of time at the beautiful beach, we headed back to the Dolphin villa (now I see the reason for the name). Our hosts had arranged a nice little breakfast of dosas and vadas. Sitting out on the beach at a small sea facing table, the breakfast couldn't be better.

As much as we would have loved to stay back, we had a rendezvous with the house boat for the afternoon. A little late, but we reached the house boat at about 12.30pm and set out soon after. Ktdc, through which we had booked the house boat had done a decent job of picking out the boat. It had supposedly been recently redone. We couldn't help but wonder if the price for the house boat might have been lesser had we booked directly, instead of doing it through ktdc.

Setting out of the Punnamada jetty, the boat headed out to the open waters of the lake. Along the way, the view of the tree lined strips of land were simply splendid not to miss clicking loads of pictures in. An hour into the trip, the boat anchored at a small island in the vembanad lake, for lunch. A lovely spread of traditional fish fry, rice, appalam, Avial  was prepared by the on board cook, Mr Baby. The crew of two that we had along were good company in the trip. Lunch on the "floating restaurant" with open waters on one side was indeed an experience.

With lunch done, the boat set out again by 3pm, onward towards one of the various kayals around. The  wide body of water flanked by a tiny strip of land on either side was indeed surreal. One couldn't help but think about how people actually go about their life in these areas. Lost as we were in our little dream, a sharp whiff of moist air brought us back to reality. A small drizzle started, and with it the threat of having to cover up the upper deck. The crew however were helpful enough to wait until the very last moment to close the deck thereby giving us maximum opportunity for pictures. A small snack of spicy plantain banjos and tea/coffee was served by about 4.30pm. This was a perfect snack for the overcast evening.

With the rains picking up by 5pm, we had to anchor half hour before scheduled time. Once anchored, we saw some malayalam movie briefly before retiring for a bit. Dinner was served at about 8pm. It consisted of some amazing chicken curry, chapatis and rice along with salad and curd. The food brought about the perfect wrap to an amazing day on the water. With the a/c s coming on by 9pm, we settled down for an early night, honestly not having much else to do. Before we knew it, the small waves rocking the boat pulled us to sleep.......

Alleppy beach

Photo of Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha, Kerala by sudersan

Overcast beach

Photo of Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha, Kerala by sudersan

"Picture perfect"... Punnamada lake

Photo of Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha, Kerala by sudersan

Parked for lunch..

Photo of Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha, Kerala by sudersan
Photo of Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha, Kerala by sudersan