Don’t you feel sometimes we make our holiday so hectic that we need another one to recover from it? With them packed itineraries and super long checklists! It is fine at times, because you have travelled really far and you want to go back having experienced most of what the place has to offer. But, sometimes, what you really need is a complete break for your body, mind and soul. A wellness holiday with lots of pampering, basking in nature’s serenity and some much needed ‘me’ time to connect with yourself.
Given our proximity to Kerela, I thought what better place than God’s own country for a holistic wellness experience? We chose Purity, a boutique hotel in Alleppy, as our abode for the weekend, after scrutinizing lots of spa resorts and wellness retreats. We didn’t have the liberty of time to go for a comprehensive program spanning 10-14 days. A resort isolated from the hustle and bustle with a nice spa and a gorgeous view of the backwaters is just what we needed for our weekend escape! As we went down the narrow and winding potholes filled road, we were wondering if we had picked something a bit too isolated. But, one glance at the hotel property, and we knew we had made the right choice!
The infinity pool by the lake. What a shame I forgot to carry my swimwear!
Our room right by the Vembanad lake
The view from our room
A lot of people warned us about heavy rains in Kerela in the month of June. But, that also has its own charm right?! Everything was so green and serene. Also, I read somewhere that monsoons is the ideal season for Ayurvedic treatment. The weather is perfect which allows our body to absorb the medicinal oils to the fullest. Plus, since it’s off-season, you can get a sweet deal on your stay!
So, what did this wellness weekend look like? Apart from taking long walks through paddy fields, gazing at the lake, reading a book and lot’s of sleeping, here’s what we did!
A canoe ride along the backwaters
What a surreal experience! We were stumped by the vastness and the beauty of the Vembanad lake. We could see the locals by the shore- some of them fishing, the others relaxing. There was complete silence around us broken only by the sound of the oar pushing the water and the chirping of birds. We saw a kingfisher perched on top of a pole in the water. We also saw an eagle swoop by. The stillness of the water, the palm trees dotting the shores, the cloudy sky with the sun playing hide and seek- it was perfect!
Yoga to kick-start the day
We really undermine the importance of Yoga. Pranayam and certain asanas can make you feel super energetic and refreshed. Purity organizes daily yoga sessions for its guests. The air around me was so pure that I could feel the difference after the breathing exercises. The instructor also guided me with some exercises for my back given my chronic back problem. Just what the doctor ordered 😝 (pun intended)
Shirodhara at the Spa
It had been quite a hectic month at work and I was really looking forward to hitting the spa. I decided to try the traditional Shirodhara therapy (pouring of lukewarm oil on your forehead), as it is known to nourish the hair and scalp along with improving concentration. The therapist first began with Abhyangam (a full body massage) which was very relaxing. She then moved onto the Shirodhara treatment which was a bit uncomfortable at the beginning. I had a ticklish sensation on my forehead, but then I eased into it. I came out feeling rested and content.
Culinary interaction with the chef
My husband, the big foodie that he is, was keen on learning some authentic Kerela cuisine recipes. So, he enrolled for a cooking interaction with the chef. The dinner menu- Fish Moilee and Appams (a pancake made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk). Making the appams was quite tricky, as it’s thin towards the ends and thick in the centre. You need to use a stick to take it out. The chef was helpful and guided us with the tricky process. It was quite cool! The chef said the fish in the Fish Moilee recipe could be swapped with veggies- so yayy for me! I tasted the curry- it was very rich and flavourful. I am going to badger my husband to make it for me back home!
The trip would have been incomplete without some Toddy (Palm Wine- fermented sap from a palm tree) Ours was freshly tapped from the tree!
When was the last time you took a vacation with a complete focus on rest and relaxation? We need to take such vacations more often!
This post is a part of the series- #12TravelTales wherein I plan to explore 12 new places in 2017- one every month and share my experiences on the blog.