My travel recaps are not completely over yet, I just had a smaller ‘pause’? I still wanted to share the last part of our journey in India as it was the peak of it – the wedding. But first a stop in Alleppey – a must visit in South India where the famous Backwaters lie!
Backwaters are the main attraction here in Kerala. 900km network of waterways where still a few thousands of people love and use their canoe to transfer between villages.
We took a 3 hours train rode from Kovalam to Alleppey that costed us 240 Rs (5€) for both in a sleeper. Funny price. It was actually a good ride. No AC but the windows are open so the only problem is when the train stops for a station, then it gets really hot. Also some of the people reserve their seats so we had to move a bit from seat to seat.
For staying in Alleppey we didn’t want to spend much so we booked a homestay for 9€ for both a night. A good deal. The owner was friendly and suggested us a whole day trip to backwaters with canoes so we could see everything up close.
Hungry as hell we went for a lunch in a nearby Thaff restaurant that was full (always a good sign) so we filled our bellies with some chicken and veggies and a pineapple lassi. A big plus in the heat that was outside. It was around 40 Degrees and no shade so we had a stroll by the river where all the boats were parked but then just went back home to have a good sleep.
Do you remember the pinky little lizard (gecko apparently) from Kerala?! Well THEY, yes more than 1, were in our ROOM again. I almost flipped when I saw them. I just can’t stand them. People actually like them but hey I am just too much of a city girl I guess. The owner said it is normal of course and they were like their pets?! Nice… Well we accepted that and went to sleep a bit uncomfortably. That was probably one of the point when I really got a bit homesick. Hah! It can actually happen. It got worse on our last morning when probably a coackroach or sth similar?! popped out of my backpack when I was packing. Not good! Really not good!
The main point of our visit were backwaters. The visit of them is on the list of “to do things before you die”. So we expected something good! We arranged a private tour with a villager that lives there. It was way cheaper than renting a whole house boat as we initially intended and at the end it was one of the best experiences so far. An one hour bus/boat ride to his village was already a good start. A lot of school kids were going to school so the boat was filled with noises of curious kids. After we reached our destination, Anthony, our guide, took us to his home for a perfect warm breakfast. Rice noodles with some sauces and sweet ginger tea. The main problem here is when the rainy season start the houses get flooded. He explained that the last three years his family was rebuilding a new house so it won’t get flooded.
We took a canu ride and the magic began. No exaggeration, it was really beautiful. We paddled through two different villages, making a stop so Anthony could get his purified water and another one to drink some coconut milk and eat the sweet little bananas. In four hour long drive we saw how people live just nearby the backwaters, how they wash their clothes and dishes in the river and how they have people selling fish on a motorbike or in a canu. You can actually see they still live like a community, helping each other and knowing everybody around. The rainy season will start soon so they are building the barriers for the water from stone and rivers mud. After the tour we ate the most delicious thali since we came to India. Homemade!
- if you want to have a seat reserved even in a cheaper sleeper class on a train do it in advance if not it will be sold out.
- try some of the Indian snacks from the store. Tapioca chips? Sounds good. Just look for a less spicy ones if you don’t like the spicy burn in your mouth
- if you are confused what to order to drink in a restaurant then go for a coffee, tea or lassi. These are delicious and normally safe for your tummy
- always, I mean always have a toilet paper, dry tishues or wet tishues with you in the bag. You never know when you’ll have to use the toilet where there is no paper!
- appreciate what you have, really!