KSRTC bus ride from Bangalore to Ernakulam is really long
We travelled on a KSRTC (K=Karnataka) Airavat AC bus. It was supposed to transport us in 10 hours. It ended up taking over 12 hours to drop us at KSRTC bus stand (K=Kerala, not Karnataka). It did not help that the bus played a horrible movie, called Hello Brother, on a bad CRT TV.
Avoid the pay and use toilet at KSRTC bus stand in Ernakulam. They openly keep cleaning chemicals along with buckets of water intended for the use of travellers.
Palm Grove Homestay turned out to be better than what I had expected
Palm Grove is a nice farmhouse in Edapally. The small campus has many trees, orchids and a few domesticated animals. Daryl, who took care of our accommodation was very helpful. He suggested us to take rest, visit LuLu Mall, Asia’s largest mall, and finally, make an evening trip to Marine Drive.
In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter what mall it is, a mall is a mall in any part of this country. The only interesting thing was the presence of prayer halls for Muslims as an amenity in the mall – a consequence of the large Muslim population in this part of India.
An evening boat ride
On Palm Grove’s Daryl’s suggestion, we went for an evening trip to Marine Drive. It is about 7.5 kms from Edapally. An auto ride cost us about 150 rupees. We later returned on a public bus and ended up paying only 9 rupees per person. The auto fares were like the ones I was used to in Bangalore, while the bus fares felt like those in Kolkata.
Marine Drive is a picturesque area. We booked a boat called “Gaya”, that took us around the place. For only 400 rupees, we had a nice round-trip that lasted for about an hour. The helper, Santhosh, was a bit drunk. He was a pretty funny chap and explained a lot about the viewpoints. We took his history lectures with a grain of salt and a drop of spirit.
Lunch and Dinner
The Paragon restaurant in LuLu mall was listed as the no. 1 restaurant in Edapally. We had run of the mill North Indian style curries with Keralian breads – Appam and Kerala Porotta. We also had Prawn (Chemmeen) and Coconut fry. They offered us warm water that had a pinkish hue. I asked them about the colour, to which the waiter replied that it was because of some ayurvedic (herbal) roots that have some digestive property.
For dinner, we went to a place called Dhe Puttu, which specialised in various unconventional Puttus. Traditional Puttu is a steamed dish made up of coconut and rice. The two Putus we ordered, Runway Puttu and Veg Biriyani Puttu, were well paired with Prawn Tomato Curry and Chickpea Curry. They served unlimited Cinnamon Tea along with the dinner.