Trip to Kerala during Dasara vacations

During this trip we spent more time traveling then sight-seeing. Anyway, day-journeys through Kerala are as good as sight-seeing on the move. Everything in sight is great to look at... curvy roads through hills, tiled houses, cashew trees, paddy fields, streams, the landscape is just green.

One evening October 1994, our journey from Bangalore. I think the private travels took us till Kannur from where we caught a bus to Thekkadi. The journey dragged on and on... after passing Munnar, we sang noisily for sometime and we could see that some of the local passengers were annoyed at our singing. As we neared Thekkadi, it was raining. Another 2 kilometers to go our driver trying to overtake another bus in those narrow jungle roads, runs off road and our bus is stuck. It was stuck fast, our efforts to push it out went waste. We walked up to the lodge in the rain. Exhausted, I just had dinner and hit the sack.

Next morning, we went for a boat ride in the Thekkadi Lake. The place was swarming with holiday makers like us. Most people come with hopes of seeing tigers, elephants and other wild life. We were not so lucky... a herd of elephants on the lake bank, a wild boar and I think few deers, that's it. Of course we saw ducks and some lonely water birds.

Our next destination was Kanyakumari. Thekkady to Chenganacherri by bus. Chenganacherri to KanyaKumari by train. I think we reached KK late, checked into a cheap lodge and crashed into the bed. Early morning we went to Vivekananda Rock. The place is magical. We spent about an hour on the rock, seeing the meditation hall.

Our next destination was Kovalam Beach. I think we traveled by bus to Trivandrum. Checked into a hotel close to the railway station. Srinivasamurty, the co-planner had booked train tickets and the status: Waiting List some three digit number. We spent time looking around the city and then spent an evening at Kovalam Beach. I was not impressed... black and grey fine sand. We had a good lunch... I enjoyed fish and rice.

_____, Ayesh, Jayanth, Aravind, _____, Venkatesh, Srinivasamurty and that's Rajesh sitting.

Now comes the most memorable part... I'll call it unforgettable part, of our trip. Our tickets were still in waiting list which meant we had to travel in the unreserved bogie which meant no chance of sleeping. We went to the railway station, it was crowded. Our train was no less... looked as thought everybody in the station were traveling to Bangalore. We got into the second class bogies and managed to get seats. At Cochin, the ticket collector chased us out... to the unreserved bogie. Oh man, it was jam packed! We hardly had place to put both feet on the floor. At times I stood on one foot and my arms up. I had never experienced anything like this before. We traveled standing, the entire night. Somewhere near Bangalore, I got a chance to sit the doorway for an hour or so. The nine of us took turns.

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