We left our hotel around 10.00 A.M., and started towards our day’s destination – Kanya Kumari. We would cross the Kerala State border and enter Tamil Nadu state today. NH was crowded as hell as expected. We reached Thiruanantpuram – old name Trivandrum – in time for lunch. Here a bright idea crossed my mind. We were coming back to Trivendrum 2 days later. If we booked the hotel for that stay now, it may keep our luggage for some charge, and thus I wouldn’t have to ride with the entire luggage. When on a bike trip, luggage needs planning too.
Out came the guide book, and a quick review showed us the ‘Manjalikulam road’ was well connected as well as housing good hotels. We found our way to Manjalikulam road, and started scouting for hotels. Some hotels were too low key, some were too high for our budget, and those in our budget were having tremendous attitude. Few of the hotels flatly rejected any rooms, sighting non availability. Who the hell was filling these hotels on Thursday in an off season would be anyone’s guess. I have noted that some hotel owners are too much of culture police and they feel the very fabric of society is protected solely by them. Seeing us two turning up in biking attire confirmed their beliefs that we are runaway couple who shouldn’t be allowed on the hotel campus. The other hotels that did have rooms, didn’t have any luggage keeping room, nor the will to do so. We wasted around 1 hour in this futile exercise. After 5th or 6th such encounter, we had had enough. Took our lunch in a nearby hotel, and headed straight for Kanyakumari.
When you enter Tamilnadu, the road quality improves significantly. But the width of the road remained same, so we were still struggling in big vehicles, only on smoother roads this time. Sun was in full form, and thus draining us out every now and then. While en route, we found a ice cream chain shop named ‘Arun’. Later we found that this was a famous ice cream chain like Dinshaw etc, and had a very reasonable priced menu. The ice cream parlour’s menu was simple, take any combination of ice cream, topping and sauces, it would be charged on weight for Rs.35 for 100 grams. I couldn’t have believed Nandinee could eat ice cream so much if someone would have told me. Girls, they always have a hidden pouch in the stomach for this sort of stuff, it seems.
We reached Kanyakumari at around 3.30-4.00 P.M. There is a place called Vivekanandapuram, where a small village-like establishment is erected. They have hotels too, but unfortunately they didn’t have two days’ availability. So we moved inside Kanyakumari in search of hotels.
Kanyakumari is a proper tourist-focused town. So you will not have any trouble finding food or lodging for any budget. We went straight to Hotel Tamil Nadu, located at a great location in front of sea. After going through the room list, which started from a see facing room, we finally settled for a 3 bed non AC family room. The room was located bit away from main hotels, and didn’t have any sea view. As we would he hardly in the hotel at day time to enjoy the view, it didn’t matter us. The room is big, and for 3-4 people it would be comfortable. For 2 persons, it was very big. I will definitely recommend Hotel Tamil Nadu for good rooms at logical prices.
In evening, we went to Kanyakumari temple on the beach. There was hardly any crowd, this being the mid of the week. Darshan was done quickly, and afterwards we rushed towards the better location for seeing sun set. There is a sunset point erected on the beach, but it was crowded, and having a personal vehicle gives you good access to points where general tourists can’t come. We rushed towards the end of the road where we would get a good view without anyone popping up in the frame of photo.
The sunset was frankly as normal as can be. In fact, April period is not for scenic sunsets at all. For grand beautiful sunsets/sunrises, Oct-December months are preferred.
We went to the beach for shopping of the Conches. The prices are wonderful, and you get lost in the beauty of conches and the sound they produce when blown. We bought a few conches, and planned to check on post office rules for feasibility of sending a bunch of conches by post. In distance, we could see the Rock temple standing proudly in the sea.
We could even see some lights in the opposite direction of the rock, and some said it was the Shrilankan lights! My P&S camera refused to click any photo of the far away foreign country though, so no photos of those lands.
In night, when we returned to hotel after dinner, I was trying hard to learn to blow a conch, and suddenly I could do it! It is like a light bulb turning on. You try and try, and pop! Suddenly you get it. The happiness that I could do so was great, and I was blowing the conches to my heart’s contents. Even called family back at Mumbai and had them hear the conch through the phone! At 10.30 P.M., only after getting a warning from home minister of getting thrown out of room along with the conches, did I put it to rest.