4 Week Itinerary

#1 Feb 18th, 2009, 21:56
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  • kedgeman is offline
#1
Hi, we arrive into Cochin on March 5th and have 4 weeks to travel around Kerala (and maybe bits of Tamil Nadu), before departing from Trivandrum (April 2nd).

We will no doubt do the usual Munnar - Periyar - Alleppey -Kollam - Varkala - Trivandrum route, but will have time to spend going north first.

We intend to start from Cochin (after about 3 days there) and travel to the Pooram, I posted about, near Ottapallum.

But after that I get a bit lost

Considering going to Calicut and Kannur and then maybe Wayand and Ooty and then to Munnar etc.

Have no trouble with having to use buses and trains where possible, or taxi as a last resort.

But just wondered on peoples thoughts on this route and the travel options that would be available to us, up to the Munnar segment.

Also any comments on places to visit apart from the above are welcome.
#2 Feb 19th, 2009, 07:51
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#2
Have not been myself to Nth Kerala, but I keep hearing Favourable reports about Kannur & Wayand.

Don't reccomend going all the way to Ooty when you can experience the same in Munnar without the
Hordes.

Your Itinery looks great.

vandy
#3 Feb 19th, 2009, 15:59
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#3
Ooty is a bit of a mess and very busy -wouldn't bother especially if you are considering going to Munnar. Did like the Botanical Gardens at Ooty but not sure it is worth going just for that. Kannur is great - brilliant views and places of interest.
#4 Feb 20th, 2009, 12:43
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#4

Thumbs up Kerala

If you are planning to visit Periyar sanctuary, enquire in the sanctuary office for the short trips they organize in the forest. They also have a very interesting rafting day trip which starts at around 6am, its a nice way to go exploring and see some wildlife as well. They take u around the lake in bamboo rafts and you need to walk around 3-4km during the day. There is a forest guide accompanying you who shows you around.
Also, if budget is not much of a problem, you can even consider Lakshadweep islands. You can experience the best of beaches, and a few uninhabited islands with absolutely virgin beaches. An Air India and Kingfisher flight operate daily to the Agatti islands from Cochin. There are good water sport facilities including Scuba diving.
#5 Feb 20th, 2009, 21:12
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#5
I agree with Vandy and Clive. Skip Ooty if you are going to Munnar. Wynad is also a mountainous region.

About the trips suggested by roam along, check periyartigerreserve.org for more details. As far as the rafting trip goes, it starts at 8am and you can expect to walk from 10-14km during the day.
Travelpod / Flickr


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#6 Feb 20th, 2009, 23:20
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#6
Thanks for the replies,still planning the route and doing lots of research. (Leaving it a bit late, as 2 weeks today we'll be in Cochin)

Seems like it's unanimous that Ooty gets the chop. Will miss out on the Toy town train ride, but no great loss.

Oh and I added my avatar pic for you snonymous, as having read lots of older posts (9 pages still to go), you are keen on birds.

Just wondered if you had ever been fortunate enough to have seen one of these, as we did last year.
#7 Feb 21st, 2009, 19:57
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#7
I added my avatar pic for you snonymous, as having read lots of older posts (9 pages still to go), you are keen on birds.

What is it? I cant make out.
Have a good trip.
#8 Feb 21st, 2009, 20:03
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#8
Ok, it's Blue Footed Booby and we got to see them in the Galapagos islands. Fantastic

Just one more question - if we miss out Ooty how do we get from Wayanad to Munnar (other than hiring a car + driver)?

Also can we do this in a day, or do we have to stop overnight somewhere?
#9 Feb 21st, 2009, 20:50
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#9
how do we get from Wayanad to Munnar (other than hiring a car + driver)?

Suggest you pm PMVelu, he is sure to have the information.

Wynad and Munnar are 2 separate mountain groups divided by the "Palghat Gap". It will be a long trip, longer by public transport and I doubt if you will have any direct bus.

If you are taking the Sulthan Bathery route via Ooty and Coimbatore, then depending on how much time you have, you can still do your toy train ride from Ooty to Mettupalaiyam.
#10 Feb 21st, 2009, 20:53
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#10
Thanks synonymous

Sadly, as a newbie I can't PM anyone yet
#11 Feb 21st, 2009, 21:12
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Doing it for you now Kedgeman.
#12 Feb 22nd, 2009, 22:03
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#12
@Kedgeman,

For Wayanad to Munnar,

1.From Wayanad [ Read Kalpetta], Get bus to Calicut [Bus frequency is better].
2.From Calicut Jn [ Kozhikode Jn] ,get Train until Ernakulam Jn
3.From Kothamangalam , Buses are available to Munnar !


For Wayanad to Munnar Via Ooty , the following info might help.

1.From Wayanad [ Read Kalpetta] , get bus to ooty [100 kms / 3 hrs + - Bus frequency is not so great] Or else get bus to Gudalur from Kalpetta [ Bus frequency is relatively better]
2.From Gudalur,get ooty bound bus [ Buses approximately 45 minutes once.
3.Once done with Ooty, get toy train to Mettupalaiyam followed by bus to comibatore[ Around 40 kms]
4.From Coimbatore, you could board Munnar bound bus !

Hope this helps !

P.S:- Thanks for your PM Snonymous !. I did a short trip in this week end and back 3 hours back only !!Route Covered : Mysore- Gonikoppal-Virajpetta-Madikeri-Bhagamandala-Talacauvery-Abbey Falls-Bylekuppe [Tibetan settlement]-Mysore . Nagarahole NP / Anehoukur WLS are very dry and it's a long draught season ..Rain is very badly needed to get back to Normalcy and Mudumalai WLS is closed due to this and occassional forest fires were there in Nagarahole NP [ In Hunsur to Nagarahole NP route] and also in parts of Wayanad WLS adjoining Nagarahole NP in Kerala end !

Regards
Velu
#13 Feb 26th, 2009, 19:26
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#13
Thank you so very much for all your help here and apologies for not replying sooner, but have been fleshing out our trip, which starts next Thursday!!

I have put questions in Bold, so any reply is welcomed on the trip and questions.

Whilst the intinerary may seem somewhat rigid, it’s our intention to adapt it giving us more, or less days in areas, as we go along, depending how we feel. We are the sort of travellers who prefer to get a “taste” of countries, rather being able to “tick” it off.

We have shortlisted accommodation, but will most probably just turn up (apart from Cochin) and negotiate, as March isn’t peak season

Day 1 - Arrive Cochin 03.50 am, struggle through customs and hope that our pre arranged home stay taxi is waiting! Hopefully room is available, grab some sleep and then venture out into the heat for some exploration , Sim card and ATM.

Days 2 & 3 – Exploring Cochin

Day 4 - Ferry , Bus or Train to Cherai Beach (Which is the better method, considering we will have our backpacks with us? We prefer the ferry, but how far from the jetty is it to the beach accommodation and can this be done by rickshaw)

Day 5 – Leave Cherai Beach and travel to Eranankulam Town Train Station (By rickshaw?)
Train to Ottappalum and overnight here

Day 6 – Pooram (as per previous post). We still do not have confirmation that the Pooram is actually taking place on March 10th. So this part of our travels are still up in the air.

Day 7 – Train from Ottappallum to Thalassery (Maybe a quick look around here?)
Then a rickshaw to a homestay on Kannur Beach (Most probably Ezhara Beach house, as recommended by Cathy James on this site)

Days 8 & 9 – Kannur exploring beach and surroundings. Theyyam hopefully

Day 10 – Rickshaw into Kannur town and then bus to Mananthavady, (Jeep to possibly Varnam homestay) (We are thinking that we may have to pre book this homestay, as there doesn’t seem to be much else around this area and also it will be Saturday, and I’ve read that Wayanad gets busy at weekends?) (Or does anyone have some recommendations for places in Kalpetta? Budget max 2,500 INR, after negotiation)

Days 11 & 12 – Exploring Wayanad, (Most probably have to book this through the homestay?? Or are there other options, for comparison prices. Bearing in mind we have no transport)

Day 13 – A big journey! I did ask about Wayanad to Munnar and it seems the best way is back via Cochin. But we don’t really want to retrace our route. So this is our plan
Bus from Mananthavady to Kalpetta (1 hour?) Bus from Kalpetta to Gudalur (thanks pmvelu) and then bus to Ooty (3 to 4 hours from Kalpetta?) Stay overnight in Ooty

Day 14 – Most probably bus from Ooty to Coimbatore. Toy train leaves too late in the afternoon.
Once in Coimbatore we will most probably have had enough of buses, so think we will take a taxi cab down to Munnar (Any idea of what this should cost for the return journey?) (If we take a cab, will he stop on route for pictures etc, or will he be like an F1 driver wanting to get back to Coimbatore as quickly as possible? The later I suspect) We thought that it would be cheaper to not hire a car and driver from here for the next part of the trip, due to the return cost from Periyar (see later)

Days 15, 16, 17 & 18 – Exploring the region - Hire a car and driver in Munnar and keep him for the trip to Periyar . (I read that most hire their car and driver from Cochin for their travels. But what would be the best option in Munnar? From our homestay, from a tour shop in town, or simply off the street, as we did in Sri Lanka?)
We think that this many days may be too many in Munnar (maybe not). We had intended to travel over to Madurai, but have found that the temples are covered over for restoration. So that’s why we have these days here. Madurai will wait for another trip.

Day 19- Slow drive to Periyar (Kumilly)

Days 20 & 21 – Explore Periyar and surroundings. Have read lots of info on the sanctuary. At the moment we are going to give the boat ride a miss (seems like it depends on the amount of noise your passengers create). Bamboo rafting maybe. But edging toward the 2 day overnight Tiger Trial, at the moment.

Day 22 – Say goodbye to the driver (Maybe, depends on cost and how much we have handled the buses!!) and catch the bus from Kumilly to Kottyam. (Then maybe take the ferry to Allepey? About 2 hours ) (Or bus, or richshaw, or taxi?)
Find a homestay – 1st choice Malayalam Lake Resort (Depends on whether we can manage without A/C – will have found this out in Kannur)

Days 23 & 24 – Explore the backwaters etc. Feed the mosquitos!! Decided against a houseboat as it seems great but too touristy and prefer to visit local areas from the homestay by canoe or Country boat

Day 25 – Take the tourist boat from Alleppey down to Kollam, for a relaxing day. Then take the train to Varkala. But will stay at Odayam and visit Varkala, as it sounds like Varkala is turning into the new Kovalam

Days 26, 27, & 28 – Explore and relax and pack ready for home
(Our flight leaves Trivandrum at 04.30 in the morning. Should we be able to catch a taxi from Varkala to the airport OK? – (any idea of cost?). Or would it be better to go to Trivandrum and stay there overnight (not our preffered option)?

Lastly - looking at the train journeys above (i.e Ernakulam to Ottapullam and Kollam to Varkala) - would we have to book in advance, or can we just turn up at the station and buy a ticket there? Were thinking of just trying sleeper class, as not long trips and we can get to see some countryside out the window

Phew, that’s our holiday over already!! Time for the next one (Malaysia and Australia in October to January– now that’s a big trip)

Thanks so much for your patience reading this far – you are all great. I promise I will post a report once we get home
Last edited by kedgeman; Feb 26th, 2009 at 21:26..
#14 Feb 26th, 2009, 19:59
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#14
Cherai Beach - take the ferry and then an auto.
Return by ferry and take an auto to train station.
Munnar - ask the people at your homestay or go to the tourist centre in the town.
#15 Feb 26th, 2009, 20:09
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#15
Just found a company I used for taxis in Munnar
Vinayaga Tours and Travels MG Road, Munnar Tel:04865 232920
Mobile 9447512118. We used a guy called Rajan who was a good driver and very friendly. Can't remember the rate but it would have been reasonable.

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