A beautiful sunset greeted me as I relaxed at our resort in the backwaters of Poovar in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. We were on an island in the Neyyar River estuary where the river converges with a lake, a beach of golden sand and the sea, with thousands of coconut trees dotting the landscape. It was a great way to start an exciting journey around Kerala, India. To all those who voted, thank you for sending me to the Kerala Blog Express!

I arrived in Trivandrum (another name for Thiruvananthapuram), the capital of Kerala, after a short flight from Malé in the Maldives. I was met at the airport by the Kerala Tourism staff who took me to the Estuary Island Resort, my home for the next two days. As I walked in, I could hear the calls of crows, among the many bird species abundant in these backwaters. Egrets, kites, kingfishers and cormorants were also quite common. It was a fascinating place.

From my balcony window I could see the small lake that separated us from the beach. To get to the beach, one had to ride a boat which the resort provides for its guests. To the right was the Neyyar River which flowed into the lake. I went straight to lunch at the restaurant by the lake.

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting some rest, coming out an hour later only to see the beautiful sunset. We were brought to the beach by boat where we joined locals enjoying the same view. It was an unusual strip of sand which separated the crashing waves of the Arabian Sea from the tranquil lake.

The next day, we were brought to various resorts in three areas. We walked to the neighboring Poovar Island Resort for a sumptuous lunch. Then we boarded the boats that would take us to the jetty where our bus was parked.

From Poovar, we proceeded to Chowara, a fishing hamlet with many scenic spots. From the Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, we had a picturesque view of Chowara Beach with its colorful fishing boats parked on the gold sand. At the resort, the group was given an orientation on Ayurveda. But the actual treatments had to wait as we were having them at another location in Kerala. We spent the rest of the afternoon just enjoying the view while having tea.

We ended our day at Kovalam Beach where we watched the colorful sunset from the Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach Hotel while having, you guessed it, tea! Tomorrow will be another long day!