I came to Alleppey after Varkala Beach, and it is the center for Backwater tours and houseboating on the miles of rivers, canals, and lakes that make up this area. They call Alleppey the "Venice of India". Well there are canals and rivers, but it is not quite Venice!
It is very interesting though, crazy streets busy with Indian men wearing these skirt like cloth things around their waists (kind of like shorts)- probably beacuse it is so rediculously hot and humid! There are temples everywhere, and bells are ringing all day, the smell of incense all over the place, and fresh fish and fruit markets lining the streets.
Because I am traveling alone, I decided to take a day tour on a small canoe, rather than staying overnight on a houseboat. This was a great option, and we spent a few hours paddling around the backwaters, stopping to meet the canoe boat man's family in a tiny little village. Their entire home is smaller than a normal sized bedroom, and he, his wife, their daughter, his wife's brother, and his mother all live in this tiny shack. It is truly a sight to be seen. They made me
Alleppey is called the Venice of India
tea, and a little cornflake pea snack thing, which I ate graciously, wondering whether the water was clean, and what I was actually eating. This was probably their lunch meal, and they gave it to me.
We took dozens of photos, as they had probably only seen a camera a few times in their lives, some of the photos I will print and send to the hotel where I stayed and ask them to deliver to him. It was quite an experience, and the journey was well worth the 600 ruppees it cost (about 15 USD).
I stayed at a guesthouse, which is an old mansion, with rooms surrounding a main courtyard. The water is pumped from a well, and is brown and has leaves and dirt in it. There is no hot water, and showers are interesting. But the experience was worth it, and I met some really great Indian guys who took me on motorbike rides around town, and also invited me to a going away party for one of their friends who is getting married, where we drank insane amounts of rum and beer till 2am, and sang cheesy classic rock songs to the guitar,
everywhere in Kerala!
twinged with funny Indian accents. Think Beatles, Eagles, John Denver, and the likes. Good times..
Next up is Cochin, in central Kerala, the largest city in Kerala state, and an old Portuguese, Dutch, and Chinese fishing harbour.
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