Even before I left for Singapore, M and I had been planning a Kerala trip. Crazy, isn’t it? But that’s how I want to be, travelling all the time. Staying at one place makes me restless. And anxious, like I am missing out on a lot by being at home. I must be out there to see all that is there.
So, how much ever my parents try to domesticize me, I don’t stay still; I wander. If not outside my city, then within. My camera and I want to be out of home, on the streets, among ageing monuments, among ignored ruins, among unexplored corners of the city all the time.
So, M, E and I planned this grand tour of Kerala way back in June. This is going to be our 3rd tour together and the next one after Ahmedabad. I didn’t think it was a necessity informing my poor parents and surprisingly, they took it well. After all, you have to learn to take difficulties in your stride and keep moving!
And how did the planning happen? We started with the intent to go to Munnar. How could we resist the rest of Kerala? And so, we enquired and researched. Searched whole day on internet, ignoring persistent phone calls and impatient peers, for gems of Kerala. It became a mission. The most important mission for us. And so, M found Wayanad. And I found Allepey. And E found Pondicherry. Let’s combine it all!, we said, our zesty female spirit refusing to stay calm. We looked at lavish eco resorts, gorgeous food and bright greenery covered in mist, greed rising within us. How could we miss on any of these? Let’s go! Let’s attack all these places! And why not add Coorg too!
Unable to keep our enthusiasm within ourselves, we decided to approach a local who would guide us on the route. And so, E’s colleague from Cunoor was approached. The gentleman that he is, he agreed to give us tips, without scoffing us, atleast on our faces and politely said Ladies, you are planning a quadrangle, which is impossible to cover in 5 days. When E chalked out the route on Google Maps, our intended route indeed was a quadrangle and I realised that our plan was indeed scoff-worthy. At least we gave him the pleasure of secretly sneering at us and talk about our famed sense of direction (or the lack of it).
We ladies were stuck; choosing has never been our forte, which explains the high number of seemingly similar looking shoes and everything else in our cupboards – we basically want everything! Keeping Cochin as a definite place, how do we choose just 2 out of the rest? Allepey is the true sense of Kerala – the Backwaters! I argued. And look at Wayanad. It is so beeaauuttiful, pointed out M. Pondicherry is a French colony! Which means beautiful architecture. I want to go there too! I confused things further. Munnar was forgotten, Coorg was pitched for.
E, always the mediator, suggested a poll. It is scientific and the most popular method of determining widely-held opinions. Even among 3 people. So we voted. Unfortunately, this method failed. M chose Coorg, I chose Allepey and E chose Pondicherry. Back to square one! Now, who will sacrifice?
All of us did in a way and moved a step further – the places were decided. Cochin, Munnar and Allepey. Feeling relief, we moved further to planning the rest of the trip, the most cumbersome of all, logistics. And could this have been done without further chaos? No way. E looked for budget, M looked for convenience and I looked for comfort. I exploded at the thought of a 26 hours train journey and E tried to fit in everything in 5 days. Our troubles only seemed to be increasing.
At last, we arrived at some common agreements and yay!, we were done with the next stage of our planning! We then spent lot many days looking at hotels – their prices, locations, pictures, and reviews, wore out our keyboards with lot of group chatting and managed to finalize on 3 awesome top class resorts that also fitted in our budget. Girl power, yippie!
Before you think that our planning was all chaos and no system, all confusion and no direction, and you are forever going to be forever entertained by our self-deprecating stories, let me show you how girls also plan. We planned each stage at a time – first the places, then the travel plan, then stay plan followed by travel bookings, hotel payments. The next will be daily itineraries and specifics (ie, what to see, eat, shop and do in each town). Responsibilities were divided – E did the travel bookings and I paid for hotels. A detailed sheet has been made listing payments made by each person for record and settling of accounts later on.
Ha! You see, girls also do such meticulous work.
So far, so good. It’s time to load our company servers again, look at numerous confusing tourism and travel sites for days at work and decide what we want to do/eat/shop/see there.
Kerala, here we come!