Monday, May 18, 2009

Lakshadweep Diaries 5

(Read Lakshadweep Diaries 1,2,3,4 below first)
The Morning of 29th April passed quite uneventfully. We all had just finished a fantastic journey and we all wanted to enjoy our last few hours on the ship. We reached Ernakulam shortly after lunch time and as we came closer to the city, we also had a fleeting glimpse of dolphins although not as much as we would like to. Our train back to Goa was scheduled for the night on the next day and we still had a day and a half to ourselves. We had pre-booked our rooms in Hotel Hakoba, this time in the main Ernakulam city.

After checking-in into the hotel, we went to the Oberon Mall for the evening. The mall was huge and by the time we finished exploring it, it was about 10 pm. We returned back to the hotel and went to sleep.

The next morning, we had booked seats for a half day backwater ride organised by Kerala Tourism. It was supposed to show us the rural life in Kerala and its backwater. And after paying an outrageous amount of Rs.400/- per head, we rightfully expected something nice.

But believe me, it was a total waste of time and money. In the name of backwater, we were made to travel in boats that were about 2-3ft wide through a canal that was more of somebody’s backyard water than backwater. The canal was very shallow and the boat kept hitting the bottom. All along the shore, people washed their clothes, vessels and themselves and we didn’t dare touch the water. I won’t say it was horrible or totally bad. We did see many species of plants and a few cottage industries and the guide was knowledgeable. But after experiencing the absolute value for money that lakshadweep tourism offered us, it wasn’t something we enjoyed. I had heard a lot about Kerala tourism. But this was absolutely disappointing. If any of the Kerala tourism guys are reading this, bad job guys. The entire thing wasn’t worth Rs.400/- for all of put together, Rs.400/- per head was too much. It was barely worth of Rs.100/- only. (Better no body should ‘try’ it).

After lunch, we once again went to Ernakulam city for shopping. We went to a shop called Jayalakshmi’s. The city was modern and all along the way, we had seen many huge shops selling jewellery, Sarees, Dress materials etc. This one was no different. The shop had 4 floors and spread horizontally over a huge area. It was crowded. To give you an idea about it’s size, there were more then 500 shop attendants themselves, dressed all alike in sarees. Their turnover must be huge cause the cash counters had their own cash counting machines and they could afford to give free tea, coffee to their customers!! Not that all things were costly either. They sold everything from super cheap to stupidly expensive sarees to not-so-famously branded shirts to levi’s, pepe jeans, van heusen’s etc. The entire evening passed in this shop alone. And guess what, I even got the first raindrops of the season there.

After having our dinner, and checking out of the hotel, we climbed aboard the Rajdhani express and bid our adieu to the city and the next day, we were back in Goa.

So that’s it…that was entire trip to the Lakshadweep. It was the best holiday I had ever had. I did many things I always dreamt of… travelling aboard a ship, be on a far-off island, see corals, and of course…scuba diving. But alas, it was all over….until next time…..

I hope you all liked reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. You can drop in your suggestions, queries, comments, jealous views, badwords, curses etc.. in the comments for these posts. And ya, check out the pics. I have clicked 702 pics in all, but i've uploaded only abt 50 on the flickr link in the first post.Hope u like them… C ya!!!

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