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March 13th 2018
Published: March 13th 2018
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Kerala Day 10-11 House boat day & night!!

Next stop Kollam 84km away. So I had booked a beach place later in the trip and saw the owner Babu got awesome reviews on TripAdvisor, so when he told me had a house boat in Kollam and showed me how lovely it was via website I booked it. Alleppey can be very busy/dear to get a house boat so I could see next port Kollam was less hectic where Babu’s boat was, so that was fine by me too. I had also asked the Raheem by email before we got there who they used and that one got brutal reviews online.

So you don’t need to be on a house boat any more than 24 hours, I originally thought to book a few nights but that’s not how it goes. As it turns out 24 hours is perfect. Babu also sent a car at 7:30am (for 3500rps which seemed fine as it was 168km round trip for his man). Boat trip starts around 10am.

The house boat was gorgeous! All the staff were amazing starting with Babu’s guy who takes the money there. You need cash for this one 28,000rps plus tax for 4 pax (about $600au) but you have a private 2 bedroomed boat, chef, captain and guide/butler. Also if you pay they’ll nip off to the bottle shop/off licence for you for some beers before you take off for your 24hr epic. And they throw in an excursion in a wooden canoe too and informal spice plants talk.

So the boat has 2 double bedrooms with a/c and ensuites downstairs and a kitchen for the chef. One bedroom opens out on to where the captain steers which he is happy to let you have a go of too. (The guide will even get out on the bow and photograph you too.) There’s a stairs to the top deck from beside his perch and also another winding one between the 2 bedrooms in a little hall or foyer. Up top is a covered area with dining table etc. and off that a little raised area (which is the roof of the kitchen) where you can lie out if it’s not too hot, and on other side of the dining area is an open air wooden deck surrounded by seating where you can lounge about. This is where the 3 crew members sleep at night too I think. The whole boat is wooden complete with carved bird heads along the edges and the outside is covered in what looks to me to be plaited straw. The internal bedroom doors are beautiful hand carved heavy doors - both full and half.

So the guide/butler was lovely (whose name evades me now) and had good English. We could see the water-way was much wider here but also much less busy or touristy. We sailed out of Kollam passing numerous catholic churches, bridges, memorials, Chinese fishing nets etc. We even waved at the guide’s wife who we could see standing at their house. He had 2 sons also around our kid’s ages, so he wanted selfies with our guys which he asked permission for first J. After a chat he left us to it and later brought us some drinks.

Lunch was amazing and sumptuous (we told Babu we were vego in advance), kids ate s.f.a. though, punks. I even called into the kitchen to see the chef and he was amazing, it was hot in there too! Then we played a few hands of cards with the kids, read, lounged, took photos.

3 hours after lunch we docked and met the captain of the wooden canoe, who was possibly off his head on paan judging by the red around his mouth but he was alright, so more punting around the canals and waterways via a bird sanctuary. Kids played a great imaginary game involving leaves we could pluck off branches we were ducking. We passed loads of brightly coloured houses, bikes and life in general. We had to crouch under some very low bridges and we even bought coconuts pre-strawed from a farmer and his kids for a lovely fresh coconut juice drink.

Back to the house- boat for more lounging, drinks, sunset and once we docked at Munroe Island for the night we had an impromptu spice tour with the guide when we went for a little walk with him where the locals were very nice. We had cows gently lowing in the night beside us too. Then of course more abundant yummy dinner was consumed by lamplight and we had one of our kingfisher beers.

After dinner I was downstairs with the girl when I heard an “OMG” exclamation from the hubby upstairs. The boy, out of no-where, had just started projectile vomiting! I called the crew and they cleaned up in no time. The boy at least directed the vomit in one direction only. I cleaned him up and got him into bed as he had spiked a temperature, he shivered all night under loads of blankets while I had to have the a/c on for myself above the covers. As it was dark by then we all pretty much turned in. The girl was not impressed her brother got to sleep with me but I don’t think she realised how miserable he felt. Thankfully he didn’t puke again, had a few squirts out the other end in the toilet but that was it. Temperature was back to normal in the morning but he didn’t have much appetite for a few days after.

So breakfast was at 7am and then 2 hours later we were back at the port. Sad to leave the guys and the vessel but all good things come to an end. Babu had a new driver waiting to bring us to Odayam beach at Varkala 26km (1500rps) away where his main operation was.


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