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  1. "It's not just where you travel, it's who you travel with that makes the experience special." And this quote is absolutely apt for the team Baleno (BOCH). Enthusiastic members, lovely people, beautiful souls and most importantly good human beings. It's a bliss to accompany them anytime for any trip - short or long. Trip Planning: Coming to the trip, after our Koilsagar night camping in January 2019, we (core team) wanted to go to any beach and spend some quality time for relaxation and refreshment. As soon as the idea popped up, almost all were ready and planning started. Considering several factors, we fixed our dates on March 9th and 10th. And two beaches came into consideration - Ramapuram and Suryalanka. We zeroed in on Ramapuram beach in Chirala rather than Surylanka beach as it is less crowded and later it proved to be a wise decision. Meanwhile, as the date fast approaching, a few core team members indicated why not to make this a BOCH meetup rather than just a core-team meet and wanted me to inform other members also. After informing, there was a very good response and as many as 15 members enrolled for the same, hence it became our 8th meetup. But as with any trip, as the date approached, 4 members dropped and eventually 11 members made it to the trip. Including family members and friends, the total member count was 28. Hotel Booking: Initially, some members did not want to shell out money for accommodation just for one night stay, but later as many were coming with families and small kids, they wanted accommodation in resorts near the beach. By the time we contacted Sea Breeze Resorts, it was too late and no rooms were available. The only other option wass Palm Coast Beach Resorts. I contacted them on February 17th and the price quoted was Rs.3000/- for double occupancy and Rs.5000/- for 4-member suite including free breakfast the next day. After bargaining, they agreed to remove GST and we booked beach side 5 DO rooms and 2 suites on Feb 18th. After hotel booking, some members were worried about bad reviews about the resort. I again contacted them mentioning the same and the person (John) whom I spoke with re-iterated that they will make sure to take all necessary steps to maintain clean rooms and other services, so we'll have a great time at their resorts. And indeed, the rooms and suites were clean and neat, and food served was delicious. Contact Persons of Palm Coast Beach Resorts: John - 8885439102 Pavan - 8341118904 For food service - 6371818313 Check-in and Check-out timings: 9 am to 9 am. Itinerary: 1) On March 9th, all members should reach the convergence-point RFC by 5 am. 2) Breakfast at Vividhi Restaurant and Lodge, Madgulpally, Nalgonda. 3) Reach Palm Coast Beach Resorts around 12 to 12:30 pm. 4) Settling in rooms followed by lunch. 5) From 5 pm to 8 pm, beach time. 6) At 9 pm, Barbeque and moonlight dinner. 7) Sunrise capture at beach, followed by breakfast and return journey back to Hyderabad. Routes: 1) Hyderabad-NAM expressway-Chirala (305 km) - We took this route from Hyd. Avoid this. Till Narsaraopet it was easy breeze, but after that had to pass through villages, narrow roads and traffic. 2) Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Chirala (370 km) - Best route. Taken this route for return journey. Overall Experience: The meet-up drive to Chirala beach went as planned and as expected without any problems or niggles. It was super fun and joyous trip with so many memorable moments. Members with families and friends enjoyed to the core at the beach. Only hunger and exhaustness retreated us to the hotel. After a short break, the fun continued with barbeque, conversations, dinner and drinks till midnight and after. Palm Coast Beach Resort is very near to the beach and a liquor shop available just a few meters of distance to it. So we bought drinks there, and put them in an ice box. We also bought 5 kgs of chicken and other stuff from Chirala town for BBQ. I don't know about Sea Breeze Resort but Palm Coast Resort is very convenient and had no restrictions for bringing outside food and drinks. They are very generous even for excess members in a room. They helped us a lot in setting up BBQ at an open area in front of the resort by providing tables, chairs and of course bringing food to that place, so we don't have to worry about anything. Also, we checked out of the hotel by 11 am as opposed to 9 am. The only major drawback (of course it was intimated to us) was salt water in bathrooms. So a few members carried 20-liter water bubbles for bathing (especially kids) and to wash hair. Some missed chances include we could not get a drone for rent to shoot our fun activities at beach. And due to travel, excess amount of time spent at the beach and late night drinks, we could not woke up to shoot sunrise pics and timelapse. Otherwise, it was a totally fun-filled trip. Here are some pictures (sorry for some poor quality pics): 1st meeting point at RFC: Stopped for breakfast at hotel Vividhi: Like father like son, Amit's son ever active Aarav: Cutie pie Aadhya: Palm Coast Beach Resorts (noting like resort look and feel): A view from beach-side room: Some boats at beach added flavor to the shore: Waves were moderate: Enough scenic surroundings for photography enthusiasts: BOCH members: Final group pic (two families missed here): Line up before return journey: In between Ramapuram and Vodarevu beaches, found this nice place: At Vodarevu beach: Last stop, Rajugaari Thota @Suryapet before members dispersed:
  2. Hello, I am looking to go to Suryalanka and Chirala this Monday and I've booked my accommodation at Harita beach resort for two days. Can you guys please help me out in planning my drive? I would appreciate any advice on this. Thanks!