Monday, April 25, 2016

A Family Trip To Thekkady And Gavi

It had been sometime since we took a break. The last time we took a family break was in August, when we went to the most amazing place I'd ever been to, fell in love with and had an absolutely laid back two days of my life. Since then, I've wanted to be on a break all the time, but sadly, that is not how life is! April came and the husband was taking a two week break. After much discussions, we zeroed in on Thekkady and off we went to spend two days away from the routine life. This time, we had B's parents and brother join us for the trip as well.
We started off on the 14th of April, early morning and reached Thekkady by afternoon. Except for a breakfast stop in between, we had a non stop drive till Thekkady. We had booked our rooms at the Poetree Sarovar Portico Resort, which was around 2 kms further interior from Kumili junction and reached there just in time for lunch. The resort had two types of rooms - cottage room with a view of thick vegetation and club room with a view of the mountains. Though the cottage room was the pricier one, the view from the club room was breathtaking. I fell in love with it and we opted for the club room.
Once we settled down, we went to the resort's restaurant and had a good continental lunch.We decided to just relax that evening since we were tired from the drive and we had to plan out our two days ahead. After resting for a while, B and I took the little boy to the pool. He splished and splashed and enjoyed his pool time with his dad while I browsed the net, clicked pictures and just sat back and enjoyed. 
There are lot of to-do activities in Thekkady and we decided to stick to what we wanted to do. So we shortlisted a few from the list - A Gavi trip from there (Since Gavi was just around 40 kms from Thekkady), Elephant ride & bath with the elephant, Kalaripayattu, boating in Periyar River and an Organic Fruit Farm visit.
Next day we started for Gavi by around 7 in the morning. The Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) overlooks the tourism in Gavi and we took a day package of Rs. 1250/- per person. This package includes breakfast, a small trek to the hilltop, which is also known as the Sabarimala View Point, visit to the Museum, walk through the Cardamom plantation, cardamom processing unit visit, boating and lunch along with a certified guide. The trek to the Sabarimala view point was amazing. Thanks to baby wearing and my precious soul tai, I felt like a supermom with my toddler boy on my back and trekking all the way to the top. 
Although Sabarimala was only partially visible due to fog, the view from the hilltop was absolutely beautiful. I could've spent a full day on top just sitting there and finding hidden peace, had it not been for the toddler boy who wanted to get down and run around.  From there, we went to the museum. This museum was built by the locals there (so we were told) and consisted of the bones, skeleton and skulls of animals. The star of the show was the huge elephant skeleton and my little boy was amused. 
The next was the cardamom plantation walk and factory visit. In the whole trip, this was a total let down. It was just a walk to the factory, which was shut down since it was not season time so we just got to see the equipments used, and the cardamom plantation was on the way on the roadside. We had a half an hour to kill before lunch time and we decided to utilise that for the boating. Since it was summer time and off season, the water level was quite low and hence, we just had a small perimeter for the boat ride. The little boy, loved putting his hand in the water and feeling the cold water. During the boating, we were entertained by our guide with a couple of interesting, real life incidents and with that our Gavi trip came to an end. We left back for Thekkady after lunch and again, we had a beautiful, scenic rich drive back. 
We were too tired to go for the Elephant visit by then, all of us were cranky with the travelling and not getting any rest since getting up early morning and to top this, the little one was fast asleep, so we decided to drop the elephant visit. We went back to the resort, took some much needed rest and we went for the Kalaripayattu show. It was an amazing one hour show - respect to the artists who has such mind and body balance.
The next day was again an early morning day. We decided to go for the 7:30 slot boating. To get the tickets for the 7:30 slot, we had to reach the checkpost by 6, else the ticket might get sold off. The boating, however, was a major let down for me. I felt the Periyar river boating was highly overrated. It might be because it is not season time and it is summer, but except for a couple of bisons neither did we say any animals nor the boating was much fun. But, I learnt an important lesson - Thekkady and Gavi are places of natural beauty. You need to go there to enjoy nature and spotting wild animals is just an additional treat you get.
Since we had to leave for Trivandrum by afternoon, we decided to drop the organic farm visit plan, take a good rest and checkout from the resort by afternoon. And while I slept, the husband took the little one to the swimming pool and they had quality father-son time.
And thus came an end to our family trip. We had an amazing drive back to Trivandrum and I think, in the two day trip, this was the best part. We drove through some of the most beautiful places in Kerala, rich in greenery and exuding so much lushness.

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