» A long drive to Alappuzha & Fantastic Stay at Lemon Tree
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A long drive to Alappuzha & Fantastic Stay at Lemon Tree

A long drive to Alappuzha & Fantastic Stay at Lemon Tree

The 4th weekend of May continued into a holiday on a Monday, which prompted us to take a drive.
A very long drive actually. To Alleppey (Alappuzha, pronounced aala-purra) is just under 600kms by road.
The idea was to drive down to & spend the weekend at Lemon Tree, Vembanad.

We took the Bangalore-Salem-Ernakulam route.. and as always the roads of Tamil Nadu are just awesome.
Most of the Salem-Ernakulam highway is fantastic, towards Kerala and inside, it gets a little more of Indian style roads.
We left Bangalore at around 3 am on Friday.. being the only driver I wanted to cover as much distance as possible in cover of the night, as both Tamil Nadu & Kerala are very hot at this time of the year.
We did receive fore warnings about the temperatures in Alleppey at this time, as May is the hottest month of the year.
The drive was precisely 10 hours.. add another hour for food & freshening up.
Nothing much to write home about the route as there is no scenery.
Right from Electronic city, Hosur all the way to Ernakulum there is absolutely no shade, no greenery at all.
So the lack of photographic opportunities ensured an on-time arrival.

Not quite.
When we reached Allepey, we needed GPS to help us find our way to the resort.
But there are a lot of sign-boards all around.. so anyone who is not directionally challenged as I am will find it quite easy to find your way.

Once we reached the resort, we almost felt like we had arrived in a very different place from the roads we had just traveled.
The weather too had become extremely cloudy & there was some wind as well.
The folks at Lemon Tree very very hospitable, smiling and the usual welcoming kind 🙂
Interesting to note, once i had booked the room i had sent over an email informing them about our visit & my fetish for photography & if they could somehow give me a room which they felt had the best view.
I wasn’t expecting anything as i realized most hotels would acknowledge your request but not turn too many things around to actually make it up to you.
But i was quite amazed at the room we were offered.

As far as i could see, this was possibly the best room in the entire resort.
A very spacious & clean room, with a closet, a nice bathroom and a gigantic balcony.
The balcony opened out in to the swimming pool, which was overlooking the expansive lake.. A small island in the distance really made the view just amazing.

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We were extremely tired after the drive & did not even have the strength to go to the restaurant for lunch, so we ordered in.
The food was great, though the choices were quite limited.

We had a lot of plans to check places out in Alleppey, the next day was supposed to be a day out in a houseboat. And possibly a drive to the beach.
I was told by someone that is a pier in Alleppey beach & i figured it would make a good PO (photo opportunity if you didn’t guess).

Unfortunately for us, it rained & rained & rained some more the entire day.
Apparently Allepey had been having these rains for the past few days.
So Day 2 was spent just looking out in to the rain or at the idiot box.
We borrowed a couple of movies from a somewhat limited choice, but no complaints.

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The next day i had decided that rain or shine we would do something as the first day had been wasted indoors.
I woke up quite early to catch the sunrise & luckily, the clouds had not rolled in.
So we headed out to the Bird Sanctuary.
This involved a 2 km walk to reach some watch towers which allowed us to see over the sanctuary.
Along with us came a bird guide – Jiju.
This man would recognize a bird just by the noises it made, and he would quite easily point out to birds which otherwise was very well hidden to us.
This was apparently the mating season, so nest building was in full swing.
Jiju stated that Jan-Feb is the best season & you can get to see lots of rare species of birds then.

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Once we were done with the sanctuary, we headed back to the Hotel, had a heavy brunch, relaxed for a bit & headed out to the beaches.
Alleppey beach is the more famous of them, Marari beach – which we visited first was easily more beautiful of the two.
White sands, cleaner waters, trees at the back make this quite a picturesque beach.

We also visited Allepey beach.. and to be honest we were quite disappointed.
The peace & quiet & beauty of Marari beach was engulfed by at least a 1000 people, all kinds of road side shops & vendors, cops etc.
And to top it all, the pier was just a few broken pieces of iron… total waste.

That was the last night at the resort, we sat at the poolside & watched a full moon glimmer over the waters of the lake & the pool for a few hours. Very enchanting.

So the next day the mood was quite low as we had to leave by noon.
Had a quick breakfast, a dip in the pool, showered & got ready to leave.
Kerala is a very beautiful state & Alleppey is one of the jewels of the crown.
Again, lost more things we wanted to do like stay in backwaters & houseboats and stuff..probably next time.

Lemon Tree is definitely recommended for anyone who needs some peace and relaxation, certain level of luxury & service at the same time. Really enjoyed our stay here and hope more hotels & resorts can take their service to these levels.

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@ WhiteLight Photography 2013 Up