Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kerala - Part 2 (Houseboating)

After Munnar we drove another 6 hours to get to Allepy where we met up with te crew running the houseboat that would be ours for the day and night. We had a driver and a chef on board. They welcomed us with a coconut to drink from. With the coconut water craze in full swing back home I am sure most people have tasted it by now. It is acquired and not as sweet as the coconut flavor we are used to, but it is refreshing and thirst quenching, not to mention safe to drink. 

The houseboats are converted rice barges of varying sizes. We saw some 2 story mansions with multiple bedrooms and showers, it was crazy. Ours was a modest 1 bedroom boat with the added advantage of being able to make it down some of the smaller channels in the backwaters, I think it was the better deal. Life on the backwaters is unique. People rely mainly on fishing and working the rice fields. The river is the source for everything from cooking and washing dishes and clothes, to bathing and brushing teeth. 

These backwaters were beautiful and relaxing, it was difficult not to want to lay there forever.

The river/lake was higher than the rice paddies in the back giving some homes the appearance of floating.

Our driver actually lived in a village on the backwaters so when we docked for the night he was actually able to go home to sleep while our cook stayed on the boat with us. 

When we docked Matt and I went for a walk that took us by a Toddy bar. Toddy is a palm liquor that is consumed by about 80% of the Keralan residents and the working men definitely get drunk. As we walked by the crowd of men one them, titled "The Mayor of Toddy Town" by Matt, approached us and shook Matt's hand informing us the Matt and I were fine. His eyes were glazed over and Matt had to physically pry his hand away, but it was a sweet encounter that amused everyone around. On our walk we also stopped to view the growing rice closer and take a quick picture.

Once it was time to retire to our room we started making some interesting discoveries. There was a type of sawdust on the pillows which I realized was termite droppings. We weren't too concerned by this so we went on getting ready for bed and as we were dozing of I woke Matt to help me identify the beetle making a cool and creepy whistling noise and as he did, he jumped up because a mouse was by his head. The lizards on the boat were awesome cause they were eating the bugs but the mouse by our heads took some getting used to before we fell back to sleep. The bonus was that it was a cute little grey mouse. 

The morning greeted us with this beautiful view and the sounds of roosters excited by the day break. Overall it was a great experience and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. 

1 comment:

  1. mice and lizards, oh my. thank goodness you made it through the night, I would've had a heart attack.