Christmas in the sunshine, another loverley day

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December 25th 2006
Published: February 12th 2007
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After a rather excitable breakfast with presents, cards and stockings (thank you Santa, aka Jess), we set off decked up in our Santa hats singing carols, much to the amusement of all, to the harbour to find our barge. What we saw left us pretty much speechless with joy, it was so worth the few extra pounds and we jumped on board by far the nicest kettuvallum (converted rice barge), which came with a captain, cook and boat boy, moored along the canal to explore the network of palm fringed waterways that line the coast and meander inland. We headed out over a large lake, past little villages, arable land, churches, mosques, temples, schools, women washing, men fishing and listening to incredibly loud music, hoards of quacking ducks, processions of pilgrims dressed all in yellow with matching umbrella hats and the landscape was made even more memorable by the Christmas stars and lights that huge outside the houses and our own decorations courtesy of mum and Deb.

Christmas lunch was a damn fine fish curry and veg dishes, followed by the most delicious pineapple I’ve ever eaten and then the afternoon was spent munching chocolate coins and Ferrero Roccio’s on the daybeds, playing backgammon and watching the world go by until it was time to moor up on one of the narrow spits, literally a few metres wide, of reclaimed land and dinner was served. Prawns selected by the girls earlier, chicken curry and beer, followed by singing, music and Jess’s very own Dracula impression!

Tuesday 26th December
Your typical relaxed Boxing Day.
I had a great nights sleep amongst the peace and quiet of the backwaters with the boat rocking gently from side to side, but before we knew it we were heading home and amongst the waterway equivalent of the M25 rush hour. It really was too quick.

Back to the hotel and a night in finishing off the cake, cheese and tomato sandwiches - I really missed my ham sandwich and left over sausages wrapped in bacon - the best bits! and an evening watching the BBC dramatization on the tsunami, which left us all feeling rather tearful and a little cautious as we were heading to the beach the next day.


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