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A MEMORABLE TRIP (Page 6) By Krishna Varier
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Eighth day came very fast. Unwillingly Mr. Tharoor had to leave the palace because of already arranged other programs. But Kovilakam management remembered to present him the methiyadi he used. He was in love with that pair because of the convenience in using the same.

We moved to Guruvayoor from Kollamkode. Had darsan and Naivedyachooru for lunch. In another two hours drive we reached Marari beach resort for that days overnight stay. It was more than a shock when we heard that TSUNAMI hit Kerala coast. Hence we were not allowed to go to the beach in the resort. Mr. Tharoor was also busy sending /receiving messages to/from other parts of the world.

Spread over thirty five acres, it is one of the best private beach for Sun/Sea bath. Huts and Dining hall both with thatched coconut roofing it houses a world class pool. With plenty of open space for various outdoor games including Tennis, Beach Volley ball etc
Its vast and secluded beach gives maximum privacy to inmates. Beach bar and Barbeque are most convenient for anybody who wants to spend the whole day-time in the beach. It has a Ayurvedic center, Medical garden and a kitchen for making medicines. Next day we proceeded to Kovalam with Tsunami in mind and without waiting for a second thought. We reached Le-Meridian Beach Hotel in four hours drive. They have two units, one in the Cliff and the other on the beach. Mr. Tharoor checked in the Groove and straight for dinner and to bed.

I met Mr. Tharoor at the restaurant in the beach next day during his breakfast. He told me that he had decided to enjoy the sea. Beyond my expectations, Mr. Tharoor ventured into deep sea with his children in a Catamaran.(It was after settling all Tsunami threats).
This Internationally renowned beach has been a favorite haunt of tourists since 1930’s.Its Grove provide a safe place for swim and other water sports activities. It has two more adjacent crescent beaches. South most one , the light house beach is the most popular and otherwise called ‘Hippy Beach’.

The day was 31st Dec. Mr. Tharoor firmly declared that his new year party is going to be at the hotel itself. But I preferred to have it in an informal way.The tug of war still was going on between the hoteliers and the media pointing to the issue of Tsunami. Foreigners in the beach were willing to swim. Life guards had the confusion whether to allow them to swim or not. Main issue seemed to be relating to the color of the flag to be hoisted at various beaches in the State; Red/White ? And not about the safety of human.

My intension was to enjoy new year celebration with the general public. Hence waited in the illuminated beach hoping to join those who come in celebrative mood. But for the new waves, no body turned out. I went to bed around 1.30 AM after welcoming the new year. In my dream I felt like Tsunami laughing at –‘previous years figure – a crowd exceeding twenty five thousand at the beach’.

The journey to the hills was on the 1st morning. After break fast we started around 9.30 AM. The climb started around noon. Lunch was arranged at Peermade guest house. So when we reached Thekkady it was around 4 PM. Checked in at Spice Village the place where one can see cultivation of spices produced in Kerala. With the pleasant smell in the air, you need no air conditioning in Thekkady.

Noted for its Geomorphology Periyar is one of Worlds fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries. Its thick jungle is a declared Tiger reserve. Numerous little islets are formed by the Mullapperiyar Dam. Wild life at close quarters through a boat cruise on the lake.
Mr. Tharoor went for a detailed boat cruise with his children. We moved to Kochi next day. Checked in at Bronton Boat Yard at Fort Kochi. Once an English Boat Yard , Casino group bought the land and constructed a structure familiar to Kerala architecture.

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