Saturday, May 29

Riverside Homestays

If you are a true blood Malayali you should have spent a considerable time in the 'middle east', also known as 'the gulf', also known as 'foreign', also known as 'the other Kerala'. Almost every second person you meet in Kerala has at some point of time been employed there.

A look at the Kochi riverside skyscrapers.

This is true of Mathew too. After a good 25 years in Etisalat (the telecom giant based out of UAE), he and Mary are back in India and discovered the best way to combine suburban life with 'living on the backwaters'... our second Mahindra Homestay destination -  Riverside Homestay is a perfect mix.

When the house was built, its 3 bedrooms were meant for their two daughters who are now 'settled abroad'. So they decided to turn the place into a homestay to 'meet new people'.

Located just a km off the National highway, Riverside Homestay is pretty easy to find... also because of Mathew's precise directions.

View Riverside Homestays in a larger map

The modern home is well equipped with all the amenities we would want in a city homestay. It is very well connected by public transport and also has some restaurants close-by. The restaurants come in useful as Mathew and Mary offer only 'bed-and-breakfast'... we have to look for places to eat lunch and dinner... the restaurant next door (MJM International) can 'deliver' food sometimes, but that depends on the availability of staff.

Mathew was all praise for the Xylo. They had apparently just returned from a week-long trip to Munnar with some friends and had driven the entire way in a rented Xylo - "good choice to buy this car," he told me!

The telecom background and corporate experience that Mathew has had in the Gulf shows... the place is wi-fi enabled and they have monogrammed bed linen!

Incidentally, M&J stands for the initials of his first 2 grandchildren - now there is a third grandson and they are not sure how to handle this - they are hoping to find a solution "before he starts asking" :)

Mathew takes the effort to attend regular 'contact programs' that the Kerala tourism ministry have for homestay owners to help them handle their guests better. Sometimes the local police also attend these meetings to help them understand signs to identify people who might be potential thieves.

The drive to Fort Kochi and its many heritage places is quite simply 'one straight road' from here and is a great place to catch the sunset - especially near the Dutch Cemetery. After watching best sunset of the season and a sumptous dinner at a Kochi hotel, we rested peacefully that night to continue our journey further into Kerala the next morning.

Next stop Olives Homestay, Kalpetta, Wayanad


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