1000 kilometers and counting: road trip to Salalah, Oman

When my husband’s brother suggested a road trip to Salalah, Oman, my husband’s first reaction was, ‘over a thousand kilometers through the desert, not happening’. Though the flesh said no, the mind still yearned and urged him to do some research.  Many bloggers had written about the grueling and dangerous journey as if they were confirming his worst fears. We went through a spell of selective abstraction even though there were others who told us about how they had done it and that it was not as gargantuan as we were imagining it. Anyway, the brother in law decided that he was going, come hell or high water, my mother in law was thrilled to join him and my husband decided to yield. That is how we set out on a journey across the Sultanate of Oman.

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A lot like Goa

“I am coming to Kerala,’ said the voice on the other side of the phone; “on one condition,” that voice added sternly, “we must stay at Varkala at least for one night.” The voice belonged to none other than one of my closest friends.  As exciting as the idea sounded I was a bit anxious, though we have been to Varkala many times before, the prospect of staying in a resort there alone with a female friend of mine would not be very exciting for my parents. Kerala is slowly becoming open to the idea of Indian women holidaying alone but parents still fear for the safety of their girls because the patriarchal society is not often sensitive to the needs of female travelers and small towns in Kerala are still in the process of getting used to their independent, wander lusting young women who travel without a male guardian. However, I had not met my friend in a long time and it was high time we did something together and we could not think of a better place than Varkala.   Continue reading “A lot like Goa”

Through the mangroves

Aayiye, boating chahiye (Do you want to go boating?)”, asked the friendly man at the makeshift counter of one of the many boat operators in Poovar. He mistook us for travelers from the North of India, only to be surprised when we replied in Malayalam. The backwaters and mangroves were already calling out to us and we managed to get a boat to drop us off at one of the resorts. They usually do round trips – a ride through the mangroves with a stop near the estuary – and back to the pick up point.

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An elixir called the sea

 

There are those days when you wish you could just stay in bed and never have to put your feet down on the ground, those days when life seem to bog you down and every minute feels like an effort, when even though sleeping might seem like the solution, insomnia beckons, when no daily distraction seem to cheer that weary heart, I would say, go look at the sea.

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The boat less taken

The backwaters of Kerala attract a ton of travelers from around the globe. The calm waters, the coconut tree lined banks, the ducks enjoying their swim, the lone bird on a log of wood floating on the water, the blue skies and the refreshing breeze from the lake will calm your mind and soothe your senses and if you are a romantic will make you reach out for your partner’s hand. Continue reading “The boat less taken”