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Published: November 11th 2012
For those who have not heard of the backwaters of Kerala before it is a popular tourist attraction for people who want to holiday on a houseboat floating around the backwaters typically in a romantic kind of way. You can hire a houseboat that comes with air conditioned rooms, meals and someone to obviously drive the boat during your stay.
We decided to go for the cheaper option! and hire a boat for the day, which was about an 8 seater with nice thatched roof and even a bed to lay to down should one need to catch a few zzzs! it cost about 12 squids for a 4 hour boat ride and we were the only ones there, which made it even better! our host was really helpful and made sure we were happy by asking "you happy? customer satisfaction is number 1 priority" and he kept to his word!
Our trip took us through the open lakes and some large canals of the backwaters. It was great to see all the large houseboats afloat and some really nice scenery. After a couple of hours our driver (that sounds a bit posh, from now I'll call him friend!)
our friend took us off the main highways and into the real backwaters! where houseboats can't go as the canals are too narrow. These canals date back to the roman times and around them are paddi fields that provide work for the people who live there.
These peoples' lives are constructed around the canals, their homes back onto the canals and from there they wash their clothes, take a bath and catch their food. It was such an amazing thing to see these people using the canal for everything in their day to day lives although our friend tells us that there is a lot of illness due to the use of the water for everything. Since the tourist boom there has been an increase in polution due to the amount of boats. We could sense a little disaprovement from some locals as we chugged along through their space and not suprisingly so. I wonder what I would do if someone came through my back garden staring at me doing my daily chores!!
That part of the trip, although amazing to see, did make us feel like we shouldnt be there as we are not ones to want
to intrude or be 'the tourist' who has to take pictures of everthing that moves! but apart from that it was a fantastic trip and a really chilled way to see some of Alleppy's hidden secrets . . .
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