Friday, September 28, 2012

Trip to Alleppey (Alappuzha)

Its 28-Sep-2012 8:30 PM, Nikhil and Runai reached Kalada G4 Bus Stop in Madiwala, Bangalore. We will visit Alleppey which is locally known as Alappuzha for a one day trip in boathouse. We are all very excited about it and wanted for a long time. Anyway I too joined them after 10 min and at 9:00 PM, Akshata joined us. It started to drizzle a bit. Our bus comes at 9:30 PM and we all board the bus. It was the last row in Volvo and my suggestion, never ever book last row in Volvo. Anyway bus started at 9:50 PM and they played a movie "Mallu Singh". Halfway through, we all were snoring.
Next day 29-Sep-2012, we got up at 6:00 AM, we just reached Chirangara (Megha's house). Finally we reached Oliviya Travels, Alleppey at 9:30 AM. Nikhil called up Mr. Tony (owner of our boathouse Angel Queen Houseboats). He told us to wait near his office at 11:00 AM. So we went straight to a restaurant. We had Appam, Idyappam, Parota, Veg Curry, Egg Curry and Chana Masala.
There comes Mr. Tony's uncle and at 11:00 AM, another person comes in and asked us to seat in a auto which will drop us near the boathouse. We did as prompted and when we reached the place, it was like hundreds of boathouse all anchored together. Ours were anchored far behind. So we had to hop from one boat to another to reach our boat.
Boat House Entrance

We were very excited once we were in our boat and went all around the boat. It had 2 bedroom, 1 kitchen, 1 dinning hall and 1 upper deck. It was just like a 2 BHK apartment. There were 3 persons. one for driving, 1 for cooking and another for helping. There were 2 ACs in bedroom and each had double bed. There were TV, dining table and sofa. I think they are competing with hotel rooms.
Alleppey Back Water

Other Hose Boat

Alleppey Back Water

We started at 12:30 PM and hurray. We took bath and start headed toward the deck. For first one hour, it was very crowded with different houseboats. After an hour we were the only one in the middle of backwater. At 1:30 PM, the boat was anchored near a strip of land for lunch. It was one of the awesome preparation. There were rice, sambar, 2 veg dish, fish fry, pacheri, salad, curd, pickle and fruit.

After we relished the food, we started thinking about dinner. We asked the person what he is going to prepare for dinner. He told fried rice and chicken. We were not too very kicked about the menu, so we requested him whether he can prepare some authentic malayali recipe. He was OK with it and asked us our suggestion. We told him if it can be same like lunch + chicken. He told it is fine and only thing is that there is no fish. So if we want, we can buy from nearby shop in between strip land. We were OK with that, so we started walking in that narrow strip of land for 5 min and there we reached the shop. They had Pomfret, Seer fish and Tiger prawn. Those prawns I have never seen in my life. The size was just like lobster. We asked our cook, what is comfortable with and he told us that if we want gravy, then we should take seer fish and if we want it fried, then we should take pomfret. Prawns is optional. Believe me, those fishes were not even 1 hour old from water. It was so very fresh. So we got 1 kg Pomfret for Rs. 700 which was just 4 pieces. The boatwala told us to wait near the shop. He will bring the boat here. We waited for the boat to come for 5 minutes. In the meantime, we got biscuits and chips from another shop nearby in that strip. Our boat came and we hoped in.

Next till 5 PM, we were all around water and in middle Nikhil was driving the boat for 15 min. The view was awesome and lot of picture happened.
Evening View

At 5 PM, boat was anchored and it seems boat owners house is next to the boat. We ordered for toddy (local malayali booze). It was ok ok. At 7:00 PM they fried those fishes and gave to us. At 8:30 PM thet served dinner. We sat on the deck and went to sleep at 2:00 AM. They kept the AC running, so room was nice and cozy.
Next day 30-Sep-2012, I got up at 8:00 AM and took bath. When I went to deck, I saw all others were already there. At 9:00 AM, we were served breakfast. Its idly, sambar and coffee.
At 10:00 AM, they started the boat and we went all around. At 12 o'clock, we came back to same place where we started. There we saw our boat owner was waiting there. The boat house experience was awesome. This was the first travel experience, where I did nothing other that relaxing, eating and talking.
Anyway we came to auto stand and took an auto to drop us in Oliviya for Rs. 35. we waited there for an hour, but the shop was closed. So Nikhil told us to go walking to nearby Revi Karuna Karan Memorial Museum and we will take an auto to bus stand to find a clock room and from there he will come to the museum.
The museum was a private property and entry charge is Rs. 100 per person. There are 2 persons who will take visitors in group as a guide. No photography allowed inside. I can't imagine how on earth a person can buy so many costly items from around the world and keep it in museum. One person rightly asked "Is it Revi Karuna Karan goes only to souvenir shops when visiting any places and nowhere else?". You get to see gold, silver, ivory and any kind of precious gems in bulk.
Anyway we came out of the place after burning our eyes and took an auto to go the beach. Our intention was not to sit in the beach because it was very very hot, but rather sit in a restaurant nearby and eat some sea food and get cooled by sea breeze. We got down near Coffee House and paid him Rs. 25. Don't go with the name. It sells chicken, mutton and everything except fish. So it did not meet our criteria, we went asking people where we can find a restaurant. There we are after walking for a km in that hot sun, we went to a restaurant, We ordered, 2 chicken biryani, prawn masala, 2 fish fry, 1 meal and beef fry. It was nice lunch and came out of the place at 2:30 PM.
We went straight to the beach and sat under a tree till 4:00 PM. Then we went to a nearby shop and ordered for 2 lime soda and 2 sarja (layered ice cream with fruits and nuts).
At 5:30 PM, we took another auto and back to main junction. There were 2 big shops for kerala chips. We got 1.5 kg of fresh banana and jackfruit chips for each person from Malabar Chips. We came back to Oliviya which was hardly 0.5 km away. Runai and Nikhil waited there and Akshata and Me went to get water and medicine for Nikhil. You won't belive, since it was Sunday evening, not a single shop was open. We went all around for 1/2 hour and found a medicine shop. We came back to Oliviya and at 6:50 our bus came to take us back in Bangalore.
We reached Bangalore 01-Oct-2012 at 6:30 PM and as usual it was Monday.

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