I wasn’t going to “document” this trip. But then, I did create this space to put up everything related to my days traveling here. And I was traveling these days. So, here goes.
It wasn’t a particularly pleasure/vacation trip. Well, it was a small vacation-like for my daughter, and of course it was immense pleasure meeting her. But in the end we both felt that it’d been better if she had just come to Delhi for these days. We both absolutely love “traveling around” in the city, in the metro, swiping our merry cards at random stations, wherever our whim takes us on a particular merry day. 🙂 That is one reason why she decided against it initially, cos she just had five days of the long weekend, and two would be spent traveling and she felt she’d hate to spend just 3 measly days in Delhi, the city she loves so much. The ten days turned out to be tiring more than anything. And I didn’t even feel like carrying my camera around much so didn’t click many pictures.
Reaching Kodaikkanal from Delhi is a bitch. You either fly down to Coimbatore, or Madurai, and then drive up the hills. It’s a four hours ride from Coimbatore, but I prefer it to the 2.5 hrs one from Madurai as there are no direct Delhi-Madurai flights, and just reaching Madurai could take most of the day, so no, thank you.
Day 1 I flew down to Coimbatore (Indigo provides convenient direct flights mornings and evenings), drove up the hills to Kodaikkanal (2.5 hrs on regular road and 1.5 hrs in the hills, twisting and turning and resisting falling to the sides) and reached my daughter’s dorm room by the afternoon, welcoming a little shut-eye till she returned from her classes. Around 5 pm we left for Coimbatore as we had an early flight out to Goa next morning, via Chennai.
For some strange reason, my cab guy send this sad, old, beat-up Indica that wouldn’t go above 40 km/hr and by the time we reached Coimbatore, it was around 10:30 in the night. Thankfully, I had seen this decent looking hotel very close to the airport (Hotel Skylight…Skylite?) and thankfully, they were able to get some food for us, from outside.
Day 2 started out comfortable. We reached Chennai airport and were pleasantly surprised with the developments since we were last here, I think last year. They now have a nice, little cafe, serving breakfast and snacks and also a Krispy Creme. My daughter’s happiness knew no bounds; she is a doughnut freak. With a nice breakfast and the free wi-fi (only 30 mins), we breezed through the couple of hours and were in Goa by the afternoon.
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt, which at first look, looks amazing. Reminded me of Taj, Kovalam and the amazing property they have.
Day 3, 4, and 5 It was only the pretty property which Grand Hyatt people have developed very well spreading acres that left me not feeling too flustered. The food was bad. The rooms were comfortable though. The bathroom could use some re-doing. We had to call to get the faucet changed it was so … tight and uncomfortable. The bath-tub was small(er) and narrow and no bar to help one get up after a nice, long relaxing soak in the hot water. And there’s no real beach anywhere close by. The one on the property is a calm, quiet, small one, ok for nice walks and all. It’s walled in by the bay so there’s no surf to speak of. But I liked the spa; nice steam room and jacuzzi. A good 40-45 mins cab ride away from Calangute, Baga, and other known spots.
We spent the last coupla days driving around in Calangute, Baga area…visitied Fort Aguada, churches in Old Goa, and Panjim. I love walking around Panjim. I showed my daughter the places I had been the first time I was there, in the early 90s, back-packing with a cousin.
Day 6 we returned to Kodiakkanal; my daughter happy to be back with her posse.
Days 7, 8, 9 I spent doing the regular thing around her school, meeting her teachers, other parents, her classmates.
Day 10 I was back in the cab driving back to Coimbatore, feeling sick. For some strange reason, coming down the hills from Kodi has started making me sick. I have never had that problem. Never in the Himalayas. Strange! I hadn’t had lunch before starting at around 1 pm. Around 4 we reached this place, middle of nowhere it seemed, and this little “tiffin” place. It was a beautiful afternoon, cloudy, amazing fresh breeze. I loved sitting there for a while, enjoyed this really good bowl of fried rice and some chai, before heading on.
All that remains of those ten days are beautiful memories on my daughter, and tiredness. I am getting old. 🙂