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Picture perfect beaches on Jolly Buoy

The Emerald Islands of Andaman and Nicobar

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The view from underwater is breathtaking. Corals, oysters, sea weeds, colored fish  and the surrounding blue water is mesmerizing. Touching endangered species such as corals are  not allowed. The best part of the sea walk actually came when we fed pieces of bread to the  fish. As soon as you hold up the bread pieces, fish of different colors gather around you and it does get a bit ticklish but it is definitely a wonderful experience.  After 20 minutes of  “seawalking”, the divers  escorted us back up to the pontoon. When you climb up, one is likely to experience  the pressure factor again . At the end of it, the whole experience leaves you spellbound and the sparkling blue water always tantalizes you to go back underwater.

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Valparai Series – Part 1: An Introduction

Valparai Series – Part 1: An Introduction

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Green Hills has a restaurant that is dingy and uninviting but their food is delicious.  Some of the home stays provide meals, some do not have this facility.  There are several restaurants, food stalls and messes along the one and only main road where you can enjoy a cheap and delicious meal.  Besides this there are umpteen bakeries serving hot snacks, cakes and locally grown tea.  The problem arises for strict vegetarians who will not eat vegetarian food in a non veg establishment, and as we all know there are many such good folk not just in Tamil Nadu but all over India.   I have seen only one place near the Gandhi Bus Stand – the Sabari Mess – which proclaims itself to be “Veg Only“.   No personal experience but you can not go too wrong with the local food.  We dined at the Plaza on the main road opposite the Police Station.  It was consistently good with excellent service and spotlessly clean.     For us, once we are on to a good thing, we are reluctant to experiment with something new so as with the home stay, the staff at Plaza now also treat us as long lost friends.  I did notice a Mary Matha Mess in the adjoining building on the first floor which seemed to be popular.  Mess in these parts  means restaurant or a place where meals are served.

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Periyar Tiger Reserve

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Kerala has more than its fair share of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the Western Ghats. Of these, the Periyar Tiger Reserve at Thekkady [Kumily] is the most visited. It is our favourite wildlife reserve simply because we have always seen wildlife there on every trip, without even trying to!

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