26.11.2015 - 28.11.2015 33 °C
We spent two nights in Alleppey which is the most popular choice for visiting the famous backwaters that Kerala is known for. The Backwaters is a network of rivers and small canals that run through the state and are used for farming, transport and many villages are built around the banks. The waters are very scenic and surrounded by all sorts of trees and birds. A popular thing to do is hire a canoe for the day and visit a family for lunch then get the ferry back to town. Another option is to hire a houseboat for 24 hours which take your through the main channels (but not the small canals). On board the boat is a captain and your own personal cook. We chose to visit the canals with a canoe.
We were joined by other tourists also doing the same trip and the day started with a ferry ride into the backwaters. Once there we visited a family for breakfast which was a traditional South Indian spread (very delicious) and we experienced our first meal that was to be eaten by our hands. It was really hard to eat this way, especially curry. It was really quite gross and made me feel like I was not able to enjoy the meal even though it was very tasty.
We then went into small canoes and traveled all through the waters. Along the way we saw animals, lots of plant life and other boats. There were small villages we passed where women were washing in one small area right next to an area where another woman was killing and gutting fish. It was interesting to see this primitive lifestyle where they live off the river and the land.
After a few hours we returned to the home for some lunch and again it was a dig in with your hands affair. Pretty awful but again the food was very good. Keralan food is different to North Indian curry. It is sweeter and milder. They use a lot of coconut and fresh sweet fruits like papaya and pineapple. It is really delicious.
After our day out on the backwaters we returned to town on the ferry.
The next day we explored the area and there was a rally on where people were raising awareness of the dangers of drugs like tobacco and alcohol. It was really interesting to see so many young people passionate about this. It was a really hot day and there was not much else to see in the town so we headed back to our area where we were staying which was near the (very dirty and unswimmable) beach.
Our guesthouse was really nice run by a kind family. We spent some time talking to some of the other people staying there from different places like Belarus and France. They also had a very cute pug called Vega and I really enjoyed coming home to her excited little face each day. After missing the beach we left Alleppey to visit the quite beach town of Varkala.