Alappuzha was where I had arrived when I saw my first solid sign of the coming monsoon - it bucketed down. While taking shelter I met some medical students, two Englishmen and one Australian girl. I ended up spending the next 2-3 days with them on a house boat, floating around Kerala's backwaters.
We had wanted to go through the backwaters on one of the traditional houseboats which were manually propelled. We didn't have any luck with that and we ended up spending our time on a motorised house boat, that was equipped with two luxurious rooms and was way over the top and killed my budget. But what the hell you only live once!
We had some pretty amazing food on the journey and saw a pretty special area. But for me, It was a bit tainted by having heard it was one of the best things you could do in India one too many times and the crew. I think my expectations were a bit unrealistic and when the guys running the cruise started changing everything we had arranged when we paid and trying to find ways to weedle more money out of us, it started getting
a bit cramped on the boat.
All the same it was a good experience overall, with the highlight for me being getting invited to a local's house to watch the IPL semi final. I had been looking for a shop with a TV, when I got chatting to a local teenager, who told me there was no shop, bar etc I could go to but that he had satelite TV. I ended up watching the cricket with his entire family, who were extremely hospitable and welcoming hosts.
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