Kerala is magical during the monsoons. The strong winds, the fickle rains, the lush greenery and the beautiful fragrance of the earth when the first rains drench her is to die for. The atmosphere is so alive; you can hear birds chirping merrily, a fisherwoman singing away somewhere on the lake and the happy splashes of water that you make as you jump in the puddles! Monsoons= pure joy in Kerala.
I had such a wonderful time in my short vacation that I can ramble on and on about the beauty of this place. But that is hardly useful to you, isn’t it? Instead let me tell you about the things you can enjoy and things you should do when you decide to come down to Kerala during the monsoons.
When I landed at the Kochi international airport, the first thing I wanted to do was to take a cab to reach the Lemon Tree Lake Vembanad Resort. I was told that it is a two hours drive from the airport and I wanted to be there as quickly as possible. But a friend I made at the airport convinced me to take the local bus instead. Best decision ever. Not only you end up saving a lot of money but you also get to interact with some interesting people. I met a navy officer hailing from Muhuma who helped me with the directions to the hotel once I get down at the bus stop. He in fact shared the contact number of an auto walla who knew Alleppey very well and would take me around at a reasonable price. KSRTC has an excellent fleet of air conditioned buses that are very economical. I had a friendly couple help me settle in the bus and for the next two hours all I did was enjoy the scenic view and chat with my companions.
Language would be a major issue for you, my friends had forewarned but I did not find this to be a problem. The locals were helpful and once, when I was panicking in the bus over the fact that I had forgotten my wallet at the hotel, a kind gentleman offered to pay for my ticket! But that’s a story for my next post J
On reaching the resort on my first night all I wanted to do was enjoy some delicious food and sleep. Mr Anand in the front office ensured that our check in took less than a minute and we were whisked to our rooms quickly to be welcomed by the gorgeous swan you must have seen in my previous post.
Lemon Tree Lake Vembanad Resort’s Citrus Café has some amazing food. Kari meen is their local delicacy and it is something that you must try. I also loved their fried ice cream and insisted on having one everyday.
I do not have any food photos because I would always be too hungry to eat but let me tell you everything was delicious. Their breakfast buffet had a wide array of options and I would easily end up spending an hour savouring the food.
During breakfast, I noticed some smoke near the resort and I pressed my nose at the window to see what was going on. The local fishermen had caught ‘kakha’ (a kind of shellfish) and were boiling it in hot water to separate the shell from the meat.
The staff at Lemon Tree was amazing. From taking time to explaining us a little about the local culture as well as arranging for boat rides, helping us plan our travel and giving us some amazing tips; they did it all. Each and every staff member was all smiles every single time and were very very helpful.
They ran me through the entire process of separating the meat from the shell and I even got to know that the shell would be sold to Ayurveda centres as it had medicinal properties.
While strolling near the pool, I attempted to converse with the a lady who had just caught some ‘kakha’. Sadly, we could not understand each other at all but she smiled as she threw a kakha at me as a souvenir.
After a restful night, we were raring to do all touristy things. The rains however decided to intervene and we ended up exploring the resort and the Muhuma village.
Lemon Tree Lake Vembanad Resort has an amazing collection of movies, indoor games and books. They also have bicycles that you can borrow for a day or two to cycle around the nearby villages. Their Infinity Pool with its gorgeous view feels so relaxing that all you want to do is curl up on their comfy armchair with a cup of coffee.
In the evening, we explored the town of Muhuma by walking a short 3.5 kms and stopped by KK bakes to gorge on their delicious plum and marble cake.
When did I finally visit Alleppey to do all the touristy things? What did I buy and did I learn to cycle? Stay tuned for the next post J