First Trip of the Year 2021- Would you like to experience it all?
A feeling of Awe, a Gush of air through my lungs, water beneath, eyes getting to see those scenic views!
What more could one ask for to start this year 2021!
All of us have been planning, thinking on how to take a trip amidst the current circumstances.
Many of us, have opted for staycations and less tourism in the cities we plan to visit-People are preferring to stay at properties where safety and hygiene standards are being followed.
I also planned our first trip of the year, though second in such times to Coorg and Bekal.
How the trip got planned?
We and our friends (both having one daughter each) were looking for a Good resort to stay in.
We decided Taj Bekal, Kerala with beaches and backwaters in mind and the travel time by road from Bangalore being about 9 hrs. Then we saw the route and found Jungle lodges, coorg to be on the way without any deviation. Though we had been to Taj Coorg on our first trip, we decided let’s go for Jungle lodges this time. The experience of Jungle lodges, we knew, would be totally different. We finalized on 2 nights in Bekal and 1 night in Coorg.
Off to Jungle Lodges Coorg
We started from HSR Layout, Bangalore at about 7am, in one car. We got some traffic on Nice road (map had shown us a different route) but we stuck to Nice road. Anyhow, we stopped by at Kamath for Breakfast- had the entire range of food available there; from bamboo idli, to akki roti, puri bhaji, dosa, vada , jalebi and ofcourse, filter coffee. Thereafter, stopped only for bio breaks at Petrol pumps and for some sugarcane juice at Mandya.
We reached Jungle lodges, Coorg at about 1:30pm. The car needs to be parked on a dead end road and from there, a ferry takes you to the Lodges. We had booked two rooms with river view. It was so serene and peaceful there. The kids enjoyed the rope swings behind the rooms.
So, in jungle lodges, the price is all inclusive of all meals, a bonfire in the evening, a 2 hr safari, a morning 1.5 hr Nature trek and about 2 hr of watching elephants taking bath and being fed. One can’t touch or feed them right now owing to COVID-19. The entire stay went ON well with fresh air going through our lungs, we gazing the moon and stars at night and hearing the river flow in the morning. The rooms and resort both are clean and well- maintained.
Coorg to Bekal
We checked out of Jungle lodges at 11:30am and were brought back to our car by ferry. We started for Bekal, about 140 km from Jungle lodges, Coorg. About 3.5 hrs, but we took almost 4.5 hrs as we again stopped by for some Nariyal pani, and then lunch at A2B just before entering Kerala.
The drive from Coorg to Bekal is mountainous, first 1.5 hrs having lots of curves, one going uphill and then downhill and then on planes, but still with ups and downs. As you enter Kerala, you notice the Tall Coconut tress, and more greenery in Kerala, the Gods own country.
Taj Bekal, Kerala
We reached Taj, Bekal by about 4:15pm. We were welcomed by a welcome drink and list of activities one could do inside Taj itself. It included cycling, kayaking, moonlight rafting, photoshoot, paintball, archery.
Having already done the kayaking at Taj coorg earlier, we opted for Moonlight rafting for the second night at Taj. It definitely was worth it- the most Serene, delightful experience for both us couples and the kids. Also, it being , the anniversary of our friends, we cut the cake on the Kayak under the Moon 🙂
Day 1 at Bekal:
Day 1 at Bekal was mainly Complimentary High tea by the backwaters at 4:30pm followed by getting drenched in the beach and watching the Sun set. Thereafter, we had dinner in our room.
The best part of that property is you can see the backwaters, the beach and Sea in one line- as if the backwaters and sea are just divided by that small piece of land at some points.
Day 2 at Bekal:
The rooms were spacious and there was a big family swing in balcony where we sat and enjoyed our morning teas overlooking the lush green gardens and the backwaters the next morning. That day, we had sumptuous buffet breakfast at Taj followed by a walk of the property. Our friends decided to have their photoshoot done- it’s really nice for the price they charge- one gets the shoot in their rooms, on the beach, and by the backwaters, not to forget the romance that gets into you once again when the photographer says- “Look into each other’s eyes” 😉
We went to the Bekal fort, which has historic significance, and also leads to Bekal beach. It also has lush green gardens inside.
The evening was again High tea followed by Beach. And then Dinner followed by the most Awaited Moonlight rafting. We were allowed to take drinks on the raft. Gazing at the stars and enjoying the night by the waters, we extended the experience by going to Taj private beach at Night by buggy. The best part of that property- one can go at anytime to the Beach, not inside the sea, but definitely the beach! You just need to inform the reception, and security guards are there on the beach 24*7.
Last Day of the Trip
Yes, trips have to come to an end, but this one was exciting, full of activities, and a fun road trip.
We got up on the 4th day of our trip around 8am, had the tea on the swing and enjoyed the sunshine. It was followed by breakfast and some last moments and captures at the beach and backwaters.
We started back for Bangalore at 12 noon and reached home by 9:30pm. This time, we had decided to take less breaks, so we ended up having ready to eat, and ready to make teas during most of the trip. The big break we took was only one and that was for early dinner at Paakashala somewhere about 2 hrs from home. We all had a hearty meal there- from indian chinese to dosas to dahi chats and coffee.
The memories of the first trip of 2021 are intact. It feels like bliss to have gone for that trip.
So, cheers once again to 2021 and to our friendships. Hope it brings more joy to everyone.
Live life, love life. Live Bindaas!
I love dancing (from Bharatnatyam to freestyle to Zumba), travelling (for work and pleasure both), watching movies, going for walks, socializing with people, and playing with my daughter 🙂
All my experiences that I pen down here will showcase that life is beautiful and can be lived with a bindaas attitude. Live full to the fullest and travel for experiences.