Monday, June 11, 2018

Munnar 2018 - The family trip

Let's do a family trip ! yayyy!
Destination - Munnar
People - 8

How should we go ? Flight/ Train to Kochi and then temp from there? Two cars from bangalore?  One tempo from bangalore? Direct bus from Bangalore to Munnar? Note - Three people have acute travel sickness.

Should we leave on 18th night and come back on 21st morning? 22nd morning? 21st night? Can we travel overnight? Note - Three people out of seven are more than 58 yrs old

Where should we stay ? Homestay? Close to city centre? Outskirts in nature with no network? In a tea plantation? Budget kitna hai? Note - Three people do not have any preference, they are ok with anything :)

Planning a family trip that satisfies all the constraints is practically impossible. Given all that, we decided to take a tempo traveller 13 seater on 18th night to Munnar. The plan was to travel overnight on 18th night and comeback on 21st night by travelling during 21st day. We will have full two days in Munnar 19th and 20th to enjoy. Munnar from Bangalore is 9 hrs drive without any stops. With stops, it will be 12 hrs and if we leave by 8:30 pm, we will be there by 8:30 am next day.  The stay was booked at a top TA hotel to minimize any concerns and to top it, it also had a swimming pool :)

Day 1
The tempo was clean and okay - only issue that it made noise on acceleration but it had a functioning TV with DVD player and we had taken Amol Palekar movies - Formula for success. We wasted one hr while leaving Bangalore trying to find a mosquito repellant but with no success. We forgot that the bus will have to stop at RTOs for permits. On top, our driver was really sleepy through the night and made 3 extra stops to drive his sleep away. It took us a total of 16 hrs to reach Munnar at 12 noon and we were really exhausted.  On the way, we had stopped for breakfast at a typical Keral breakfast joint and it served yummy food

We reached our hotel - The leaf at 12 noon. We quickly decided to get fresh, have lunch and sleep for sometime. The plan for Day 1 was to go to Kalari Kshetra and see Kathakalli and KalariPayattu shows. Kalari Kshetra was very close to our hotel. The shows were decent, definitely a one time watch. They do not provide a good justice to the history behind it, also not very polished but a good start and if more people come, they can make it a lot more polished as well. 

Day 1 ended with us having dinner at our room - some home items and some hotel items. At midnight, we cut Aarti's birth day cake.

Day 2
Day 2 was going to be a full outing day. It started by a visit to KFDC garden. Followed by a boating at Matupetty dam. But before that, we stopped at a classic Munnar view point and clicked like hundred pictures.

The garden was okay. Matupetty dam was crowded with huge lines for everything - from food court to boat rides. We booked a Shikara ride and to our joy, we even saw an elephant family. While the boat ride was on, it had started to rain making the experience even better

Post the dam, we decided to come back and went to a Kerala massage centre to have a oil massage. I also tried Shirodhara for the first time. I have realized that I am not a big fan of oil based massages. Once we came back to hotel, Aarti gave her birthday treat with a big dinner buffet.

Throughout the day there were lot of traffic and our tempo was stuck. I leveraged this opportunity to my favor by finishing half of Sahir Ludhianvi's biography. Even in the morning, I had decided to skip the pool and enjoy morning coffee along with the book while cool breeze was blowing. 

At midnight, we celebrated Anshika Didi's birthday by cutting yet another cake

Day 3
Day 3 started by us taking advantage of the pool before we depart these beautiful premises. While the property was beautiful, the thing that stands apart for Leaf is their hospitality. They were able to get us cakes for both nights and were very patient in attending to our other requests as well.

Return journey was straight back journey. It was already 10am by the time we left the property. On the way back, Aarti, Kanishka and Babu were feeling travel sickness. We had to stop so that could puke. It was 2 by the time hunger hit us. We stopped at this local place for lunch which served us amazing Kerala food on banana leaf. 

After watching Amol Palekar flicks, Jaane bhi do Yaaron, we also watched a travel movie - Riding solo to the top of the world. It was a new one and I totally dig this movie. While others may have found it boring,  it is a very special movie made with lot of pains as it is a solo movie. 

For dinner, we stopped at A2B for a treat by Anshika didi. We had Appe along with very good North Indian food.  By the time we were home, it was 11 pm. We were all exhausted but it was a good family trip! We truly had lot of fun.

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