Published: March 3rd 2010March 3rd 2010
We spent our last day in Allepey being taken around by a nice rickshaw driver. He wasn't pushy, he didn't talk too much, he didn't charge high prices and I'm ashamed to say I didn't catch his name and at the end was too embarrassed to ask. He took us to a very colorful, impressive temple. The whole temple was covered in portrayals of the Gods. We had quite a long visit as there was a lot to see. In the afternoon the rickshaw driver arranged a boat for us. We took a 2 hour trip up the backwaters and across the lake. It had comfortable seats and shade and it was a very pleasant experience -- but somehow it seemed much longer and it was enough for us. We saw all our neighbors from the hotel sailing past on overnight houseboats -- they all waved and were happy and relaxed -- they hadn't been too friendly before that -- it must be the houseboat effect.
Well, we are moving on today without the benefit of the houseboat experience but we had a lovely 3 days here, a lot of it spent sitting on the patio just watching the lake.
65 year old boatman
we were too fat for him ... he had to call a younger man to help him ... we shouldn't have had that extra slice of toast for breakfast
It's been so quiet and relaxing and unbelievably beautful scenery. This is the sort of place that you want to return to. Just one thing -- Kerela on the coast is very humid -- so you spend a lot of time resting in the shade. But so far, it has been great.
... and then we got to Varkala -- where for some insane reason we had planned to spend our last week -- and I don't even like the beach ... and I didn't like Varkala either -- mostly becauste it was just too hot. We took a more expensive room than normal with a nice balcony in front of the sea. We took AC too for the first time since we have been here -- but it didn't work -- so we were going to move hotel but then we decided to just move on and after just one day there we caught the first plane back to New Delhi. Varkala is a pretty seaside resort, perched on a cliff with a nice beach down below and it is very hot and very humid. We were just dripping all the time. We never even made it down
to the beach -- just to the cold shower -- about a million times a day. It is packed with European tourists -- young, old, families, etc. who are probably thrilled to be having a beach holiday in the middle of their winter.
They have great food in Varkala -- but it was so hot that I lost my appetite. There was a tropical rainstorm the last evening for about 10 minutes and that cleared the air a bit but I was awfully glad when the taxi came to pick us up at 3.30 a.m. and take us to the airport. So now here we are in Delhi again, eating some lunch on the rooftop, in nice, pleasant, warm weather. Anyway we decided to return a week early because we saw what we wated to see here and we really enjoyed it but felt like it was time to go -- but it wasn't -- no seats on the plane. So what should we do? We didn't want to go somewhere we had been in the past. We wanted to go to Rishikesh but they are having a big religious festival there now, so that's out. It looks like
we will be taking a jeep and driver for a week and driving up to Manali. It snowed there a few days ago so this might not be a good idea -- but it might just be a great idea -- beautiful mountain views and we can get the driver to take us for trips during the day.
We found a really good agency for hiring the car -- a very nice, young Indian -- very pleasant to work with. He spent 2 years in Tel Aviv working in a travel agency and speaks Hebrew! He sent us to a place with fast internet. I managed to update the blog until Kumilly and upload photos until Munnar. I am way behind.
There are more photos below