Vidya Bhat defines relaxation in this article on the Tin Ton River Palms Homestay…
If you are a person who loves water, loves to swim, enjoys being in the pool during the cool winter months of Udupi (cool personally defined as temperatures touching 21 degrees centigrade in the early morning and by mid morning, temperatures soaring to 32 degrees centigrade), loves serene and calm waters and river side places, is looking for a restful and rejuvenating environment, the Tin Ton River Palms Homestay is the place to go!
A home stay! My mind did conjure up some estate owner’s palatial home converted into a comfortable, cosy family gathering place or maybe an outhouse with a huge backyard. So, when we decided to have a college reunion, Tin Ton was a spontaneous choice. The name did seem odd and I wondered about the quality of the resort. But there were rave reviews of the place amongst friends and so it was decided. It was an hour from Udupi, at Thombathu, in Kundapur Taluk. We took a deviation from Kundapur via Goliangadi, which was around 15 kms inside. A pleasant surprise awaited us all when we entered the gates of the resort.
The calm, green, fresh, sprawling and well manicured lawns is a sight for sore eyes right when you enter. The first thing I noticed was there weren’t many people around. Yes, we had decided to meet on a weekday. So, we got lucky to have the place mostly to ourselves to enjoy its fun and games.
We had started out pretty early at 7 am and after picking up all 12 friends on the way, we reached at around 10.00 am. We were famished. A wide spacious seating area met us when we reached. The breakfast was simple and tasty, not too elaborate, but enough to satisfy our ravenous appetite. Taste wise, it was average, but with unlimited servings, there were no complaints!
I looked around and liked what I saw. The accommodation was spacious, secluded villas with all the privacy one needs, one overlooking the river. There was a large swimming pool area with an adult and children’s’ swimming pool. Around it were fun things to enjoy - a shaded swing, a wide, low, sleeping hammock, a cool gazebo, a canopied two sided seating swing and deck chairs to laze about. Overlooking the seating area down the green hill is a mini water park with 2 slides and a swimming pool which is hardly 3 feet deep (safe enough for the kids and for everyone to enjoy the water), a giant water bucket and rain dance rings and jets. Lots of sporting activities too like kayaking, pedal boats, motor boats, paintball, badminton and basketball, something that everybody can enjoy. Missed the campfire by night which we didn’t get to experience as we were there to spend the day.
With our stomach fueled, we headed towards the woods for a walk to check out the activities and games when we saw a tree house and decided to explore it. Enjoyable not only for the kids but also for the adults, it has a fan and is at a comfortable height to keep watch over the kids as they play paint ball or swing on the tyre swing.
After many photographs and memories shared, we decided we needed to get into the water. The water was clean and clear, not too much chlorine that burns the eyes normally. Then we stood under the giant water bucket until it filled up and overturned, splashing water all around to the shrieks and screams of everyone. And we became kids once again.
An hour or two into the swimming pool, we decided to try out the water sports. There were peddling boats and motor boats (comes at an extra cost). We had fun pedaling on the calm river and I went kayaking for the first time in my life, which was fun. We realized it takes some effort to steer a kayak, to swing the oars in tandem to keep the balance and move forward. We kept moving in all directions inspite of my best efforts to row towards the pier. We finally managed to reach the shore only with the help of my partner who had previous experience in rowing a correl.
Lunch was good. There were veg and non veg dishes and after a lazy and long lunch, decided to get away with a quieter activity. We decided to take a walk around the premises. That was time well spent talking about college days and love lives, lecturers and their quirks, to know who is in touch with whom, about their families, who has passed away. So much to catch up on… 27 years after graduation…to discover friends and know about each other all over again.
The water was too inviting and we jumped into the pool again. This time we jumped into the adult pool. Talked some more, clicked more pictures, until tea was served. There was hot goli baje, a typical Udupi evening snack. And then it was time to go. We paid our bills going dutch and then we were on our way home. A good day and a great getaway. We had made new memories to cherish!