Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Exotic Alibagh

An unplanned trip that turned out to be a welcome break from the daily routine of life. We decided on Friday that we would go to Alibagh on Saturday . Booked U Tropicana via Travelguru. (Read my TripAdvisor review here).

Day 1:  Left on Saturday morning (left late in the morning after Anagha's school meeting). The road after Mumbai Pune expressway is bad. We had lunch on the way and reached U Tropicana which is at Chondi Naka (about 3 km from proper Alibagh town). The resort  is fabulous. We got a ground floor room which had an external  sit out with direct  access  to the pool. Anagha absolutely loved this, she enjoyed  walking from the  balcony  to the pool. Here are some  pics of  the  resort.

We checked in to the resort, rested for a while and went to Kihim beach which is the nearest beach. Beach is not very clean. My husband being a fish lover, we went hunting for fish and luckily discovered a small local hotel. We got very fresh pomfret and prawns prepared in the local style.  

Day 2: Woke up to the sound of chirping birds. The buffet  breakfast  served by the hotel had a wide variety  of  items  and we thoroughly  enjoyed  it. Here  are some  pictures.

After breakfast in the hotel we left for Alibagh town.  Visited Mandwa beach. Beach is nice. It has a separate play area  with  slides etc which Anagha enjoyed. After that we visited  Nagaon beach which  is  also a  nice beach. However being a Goan, I have seen very beautiful beaches and the beaches in Alibagh don't really compare to the beaches in Goa. We had lunch at a beachside shack(again fish). Here are pictures.

On returning to the resort we rested for a while. We spent the rest of the evening strolling around the resort. Resort is vast and well maintained. It is a pleasure to just wander by the narrow paths in the resort. Bicycles are provided by the resort. I did not attempt the bicycle ride, but Anagha and Prasad enjoyed the bicycle ride.

Day 3: After a lovely breakfast once again we checked out . With wonderful memories of the  trip in our hearts we headed home.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Unique kerala

Day 1 - Pune to Cochin
After a long wait we finally left Pune. Anagha's excitement was the highlight of the day.  she put on her shoes, took her bag and was waiting outside 15 minutes before us.  We arrived at Pune airport on time and boarded our flight. Landed at Cochin and started our road journey to Munnar. We lost our way and somehow managed to hold on to our nerves while our cab travelled through the narrow jungle roads through the dark and just managed to reach our hotel "The Wind". (Read my tripadvisor review here). Tired and weary, we retired for the night.

Day 2 - Woke up early morning to a wonderful view of the mountains and green valley. We got dressed and were very eager to go sight seeing when we learnt that a strike has been called and Munnar town is closed so we cannot go out. Disappointed we spent the entire day clicking photos around the hotel. Since we were too engrossed in our disappointment, we did not realize it then but looking back now, the view from the hotel was really amazing.

Day 3- Eager to make up for lost time, we checked out of our hotel and went for Munnar sight seeing. First we went to see "Eravikulam national park". We were a bit disappointed as there was a huge queue for tickets. After an hour long wait in the queue, we reached the ticket desk and after buying tickets a mini bus took us to the top. After alighting the bus, we were allowed to take a walk around the park. The view was amazing, it was unblemished natural beauty. We did not really go right up to the top as Anagha refused to walk and returned half way.

Tip: Don't go expecting to see tigers and wild animals. The only animal the park holds is an endangered species of some wild goat and that too, you can sight one only if you are lucky. Just go for the view and natural beauty and you will enjoy it.
Post lunch, we went to see a flower garden. It had lovely flowers. After that, took an elephant ride. That was an experience in itself. As the elephant trudged slowly along the rocky path, we swayed along with it. I prayed hard and vowed to myself that I would never do this again! But looking back, was not that bad. After the elephant ride, we drove past the Matupatty Dam. We were very tired and so did not step out of the cab but clicked a few photos from inside. Then went to echo point. Contrary to the name, now there is no echo at echo point and its just lined with shops that sell all kinds of stuff. We bought a miniature houseboat as a sovenier.  Tired and weary we checked in our hotel "The siena village".

Day 4 -Again strike was called for and so we could not travel to Thekkady as planned and had to extend our stay in Munnar at "The Siena village".  Disappointed we spent the day exploring the resort.

Day 5 - Much to our dismay, the strike was extended in "Idduki" district i.e. the district under which Munnar falls. Luckily for us, there was no strike in the district to which "Kumorokoam" falls. So we left Munnar by 4 AM in the morning in order to cross "Idduki" district before 6 am. We reached kumarakoam by 10 am. Since the houseboat was not ready we were given a hotel to freshen up after which we traveled to our houseboat. The stay in houseboat was a totally different experience. The serene backwaters lined with coconut palms on both sides looks like a picture from a post card. The staff on the houseboat are extremely friendly. After a round trip over the backwaters the house boat is anchored in the evening. For lunch they served us delicious fish cooked in Kerala style.

Day 6 -  After a wonderful breakfast in the houseboat, we left from Kumarakoam to Cochin for our journey back. Thus ended  a trip that was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Delightful Mahabaleshwar

We planned a last minute holiday to Mahabaleshwar. It was actually a spur of the moment decision. We booked the hotel at 1:00 AM at night, woke up at 7:00 AM the next morning, packed a quick bag and took off. But we had such an amazing time, the climate was so wonderful and the resort we stayed in had such a beautiful view that we don’t regret it one moment. Sometimes in life we need to stop weighing the consequences, just take an impulsive decision and it turns out to be fantastic and this was one of them.

So here are the details of the trip.

On arrival we checked in to our Surya Resort (Read my tripadvisor review here). I was very apprehensive about how the hotel would be but it proved to be much better than my expectations. The location of the resort is great. It is away from the city and so very peaceful and quiet. And the rooms have a breathtaking valley view. You can sit in the balcony of the room gazing forever. Apart from the occasional chirping of birds and the sound of water flowing in the distant background its only silence. Sometimes listening to the sound of silence works wonders.

After lunch, we left for sightseeing. We first visited the PanchGanga temple. This temple is built on the origin point of 5 rivers. Temple is very old and lovely.  Pictures were not allowed here, so I don’t have any photos. But it was lovely.

We then set of to Venna lake. This is popularly known as Mini Kashmir. Boat ride on Venna lake was wonderful. Just listening to the oars sloshing the water makes you feel at peace.

Just outside, there are vendors selling fresh strawberries, carrots and radish. Just watching the fresh fruit and veggies is a visual treat.

We then went to Mahabaleshwar city for a quick stroll. The climate was pleasant and romantic. If our hands weren't aching from carrrying Anagha turn by turn, and if we weren't so tired, we might have enjoyed it more. But nevertheless!If you are in Mahabaleshwar, you cannot leave Mahabaleshwar without tasting the famous strawberries and cream. It was lovely, even now the taste is lingering in my mouth.

Tired, but happy we returned to the hotel. As the evening turned into night the climate started getting colder and soon we were covered in sweaters and caps. Dinner buffet was average, not great. The next morning we woke up late to the sounds of chirping birds. We had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel and checked out.

On our way back to Pune we stopped at Mapro farm. This is the factory outlet of Mapro where you get to see how their various products are made. There is also a sale counter where you can taste their various products before buying them.

With our hearts content and our minds at peace, we returned home.