Not in my wildest dream did I think that airport look would mean donning PPE kits, faces shield, gloves, and masks. Where PCR negative results mattered more than your passport and visas. The year is 2020, and thanks to coronavirus – traveling has never been this easy!
The pandemic (Covid19) caught us off guard and hit us all badly. With containment zones, lockdown, curfew, and restrictions, the pandemic seemed like eternal hell. With a bleak present and an ambiguous future, I couldn’t help pine for the past dearly. Of the many memories of the past, I seemed to miss traveling deeply. Honestly, I couldn’t wait for flights to resume and normalcy to ensue. However, when things got a tad better, we decided to hit the road. Thus began our corona travels!
ALAPPUZHA THEKKADY KOTTAYAM
Since we were in Kerala at the time of the pandemic, we decided we would use this time to explore the beauty of God’s own Country. From the beaches and backwaters of Alappuzha to the hill range of Thekkady, we saw varying landscapes of Kerala during corona.
Alappuzha is a popular town festooned with lakes, ponds, lagoons, canals, beaches, and the like. Any resort you choose comes with a bonus of a water body. Our first stay was at Deshadan Resorts in Muhamma. It was a pleasant stay with a beautiful view of the backwaters and canals.
However, the best of Alapuzha was Marari Dreamz, a cozy homestay run by Allwyn and Jency. Nestled in the hamlet of Marari, Allwyn’s homestay is one of a kind. Marari was our last destination before leaving India, and I was glad to have had a memorable time at their homestay.
Their pool villa is simply astounding even more is the couple’s hospitality. Their little homestay is lush with greenery and resonates simplicity in abundance.
A serene sunrise by the backwaters and a tranquil sunset by the beach were all we did in Alappuzha. However, Alappuzha is more than just a staycation. The limitation in exploring Alappuzha was largely due to Corona Nonetheless, we reveled in the little pleasures of our staycation.
Unlike Alapuzha, I had never been to Thekkady before. So, the excitement was double. We had booked our stay at CGH Spice Village. Since CGH being a very popular resort, we chose a weekday to avoid the rush. The road trip from Pala to Thekkady was quite picturesque. The serpentine curves of the hill range, occasional waterfalls, and plentiful tea estates provided an exceptional montage – indeed gratifying the mind and body!
There are plenty of things to do in Thekkady on a normal day but with Corona, all the destinations were closed. With fewer choices, we opted for the property tour of CGH Earth. We explored the different fauna and flora of the property, indulged in some ecological activities, and called it a day.
In Kottayam, we visited an agricultural theme park called Mango Meadows. Apparently, it is the world’s largest agricultural theme park and resort. Mango Meadows is an ideal place to spend a day with family and kids in the lap of nature even during corona.
Since it was the time of corona, the park was very secluded which made our visit even more beautiful. We saw many varieties of plants species, fed the fishes, canoed a bit, and soaked in a lotta green!
UAE – DUBAI
Dubai was a corona jackpot! It was never planned. In fact, Dubai was our quarantine place in the Emirates before entering KSA. After spending 16 days, I was besotted by Dubai. That’s what Dubai does to you. Dubai is peppy, sexy, and classy! A desert city that is fun personified, Dubai indeed teems with a lot of oomph and verve.
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