Day 0: The Preparation

Couple of years back I had one motivation to learn driving which pushed me to go for it. It’s the love for overlanding trips. I didn’t know such a term existed then but I liked the idea of it. The idea of getting on to a car and driving to beautiful locations for an extended period of time. Now that I started driving, this is one such attempt at it.

Earlier this year I did a road trip to witness Kumbhmela the major Hindu festival happening in Prayagraj. I started from Bangalore along with my brothers on a Renault Duster from Bangalore and ended it in Bangalore 9 days later. With around 4500 kms driven across 9 states in 9 days visiting Bodhgaya, Sun temple, Khajuraho and Varanasi enroute, I enjoyed and learned a lot about my country. I wanted to do this again, to explore the nooks and corners of my country and to understand local cultures and cuisines.

This trip is to explore Kerala, my neighbouring state. Kerala has always fascinated me. Be its literacy rate or matriarchal society or the last and only active communist ruled state of the country, they have always left me in awe. I always liked their literature and movies. Be it the left leaning traveller and writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer or the movies like Charlie and Premam. So this time I am starting on a trip to go experience Kerala like never before.

So the trip started on 21st December from Bangalore and finished at Kanyakumari on 29 December covering the coastal stretch of Kerala. Given the nature of the road trip it’s almost impossible to plan the whole itinerary in advance. I just made a rough overall itinerary before the start of the trip. With the help of friends, I had prepared a list of places to visit, things to eat and things to experience.

The initial plan was to cover full of Kerala in 9 days. But realized that was impossible even though Kerala is one of the smallest states in India. So I decided to cover only the districts of Kerala which share a border with the mighty Arabian sea. This way I was able to cut down the districts covered to 10 out of 14 total districts of Kerala. So the plan was to hit the road and cover all the touristy places of Kerala which falls under these districts.

There were three of us. The plan to choose three had again come from my previous experiences where booking a room for three means a single room with an extra bed. If the number is four one has to book two rooms. Even if the travelers are fine with adjusting in a single room, not every hotelier is ok with it. Given the cost involved in staying somewhere was one of the major contributors for the road trip expenses, this was a conscious decision I made.

Our luggage included a 3 person tent, sleeping bags, pillows, cameras and a 30 liter water bottle. The aim of carrying a 30 liter water bottle was to cut down on buying new water bottles and hence contributing to the plastic pollution and also for the money I would save on water.

With all things ready, I was ready to hit the road.

This post is part of a series of posts. Do check the whole series here.

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