My Ayuvedic Experience in Kerela, India

by Nicole Farrell

I've travelled to Kerela before so I had heard of Ayuvedic treatment and even had a couple of massages. Earlier this year I decided to focus on my health and book 28 days of treatment. I googled, read reviews and asked for personal recommendations. I booked a resort at the recommendation of an Ayuvedic doctor in Sydney. Unfortunately it was not of a good standard and I moved to Mekosha and stayed for a further 14 days.

    

Mekosha is set in small village away from the hustle and bustle of Indian life. The gardens, river and pool make the setting ideal for rest and relaxation. There are 11 rooms and each has a massage table and balcony. 

     

 

    

 The meals at Mekosha were delicious. I now like most Indian breakfasts (although not as much as Vegemite on toast!) There was indoor and outdoor dining and the tables were communal so it was a great way to get to know guests from all over the world. Making life long friends at Mekosha was one of the highlights.

    

 

  

 The chef and staff encouraged guests to visit the open kitchen and learn to cook our favourite meals. 

  

Treatments are individualised for each person. I usually had 3 treatments a day, lasting about 2 hours in total. 

  

This is the steam bath. It was a bizarre experience (luckily I don't get claustrophobic!)

  

These are some of the treatment. The pouches are filled with herbs and used in conjunction with a massage. The power is rubbed on the body in a massage also.

 Mekosha can arrange afternoon outings and this was great opportunity to visit local shops and the markets. 

   

   

 After 14 days at Mekosha I am well on my way to my fitness and weight goals. I've been home for 10 days and am not tempted by sugar and junk food. This is a major step in the right direction for me!

    

 I visited more than 7 resorts in and around Trivandrum and in my opinion, nothing compares to Mekosha. The staff are happy and genuinely want the best for you. The setting, quality of treatments and positive atmosphere are second to none. Use the code NICOLEATMEKOSHA and you'll get a discount on your booking. If you have any questions, please get in touch. I am happy to chat about my experiences. 

 

5 Reasons Chefchaouen will capture your heart

by Nicole Farrell

Chefchaouen is a town in the Rif mountains in the northwest of Morocco. It's known as the blue city of Morocco as most of the buildings in the old city are painted blue. Of course you are wondering why they are painted blue? There are a couple of theories; maybe the Jewish population painted the houses blue as they believe blue represents the sky, which reminds them of God and Heaven. Others say it was to repel mosquitoes and keep cool. Lastly some people believe it was to represent water. 

Here are 5 reasons you should include Chefchaouen in your Morocco itinerary;

1. Chefchaouen has managed to retain a traditional Moroccan town vibe. The people are friendly and the alleys and lanes are safe to wander without fear of getting lost (if you've been to Fez or Marrakesh, this is a welcome change!)

   

2. The locals are friendly which makes wandering a joy. There are shops but there is not the pressure to buy like in larger cities such as Marrakesh. 

    

3. You could meet our lovely guide. Our tours include a morning walking tour with a local. We had the lovely Abdosalam show us the best of Chefchaouen and he delighted in sharing his culture and the history of the area with us. He is wearing a traditional djellaba which is made of wool.

   

4. It's not as touristy as other places in Morocco. There is no airport in Chefchaouen and Morocco is a large country so lots of tourists don't allow the time to travel here. It's about 3 hours drive from Fez.

    

5. It's a photographer's dream destination with every shade of blue imaginable. There are some classic 'Instagram' spots to have your photo taken! Why not!

   

Both our Magical Morocco and Morocco Highlight tours include Chefchaouen in their itineraries. If you want to read more about why Morocco is a great country to visit, read my blog post Why visit Morocco?

The Ultimate Sunset Restaurant in Jodhpur, India

by Nicole Farrell

Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan and is known as the blue city. The spectacular Mehrangarh Fort, built in 1459, towers over the city and is the number one tourist attraction in Jodhpur. I highly recommend visiting the fort during the day. An audio guide is provided with the entry ticket and this is a fabulous bonus. It allows you to block out the noise of other tourists and learn about fascinating history of the fort. 

Did you know there is a restaurant within the fort that opens only for dinner. Dinner is served from 7 pm. However, you can arrive early to enjoy the spectacular sunset with a drink.

  

 

   

This is the stunning courtyard within in the restaurant. These stunning floral decorations are created daily to greet guests. The restaurant is upstairs.

  

   

Jodhpur is known as the blue city. There are a number of theories as to why. Legend has it that the colour blue is associated with Lord Shiva. Another belief is that it is associated with the caste system. According to locals, the Brahin community painted their houses blue to stand apart from lower caste communities. Some people also believe that blue deters termites so houses were painted with chemicals including copper sulphate. The final reason is that blue is considered a cooling colour and would help keep houses cool in the scorching summer heat. 

We were in Jodhpur in February so it was necessary to take a scarf. We'd bought several along the trip so that was not a problem!

  

The food was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the mushroom golauti and aloo gobhi adraki. The restaurant serves wine and beer too. 

This dining experience is one of the evening highlights on our Royal Rajasthan Tour. If you are in Jodhpur, I highly recommend booking a table.