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Published: March 24th 2007
After leaving the Periyar sanctuary around midday, I took my final trip with my driver down to the city of Alleppey. Alleppey is just another Indian city really, and I was only here to jump on a boat cruise down the backwaters to another little city called Kollam. Getting a ticket for this boat was an ordeal in itself - with a million different people trying to sell you "official" tickets to a boat that probably wouldn't make it a quarter of the way.
Finding accomodation here was likewise painful, and after settling on one place, I later read an internet review saying the owner was a bit of a nutter and had been attacking people. Having just bought my ticket from the government place and not him like I said I might, I was a bit worried about heading back. He did seem to get a little angry and didn't speak to me, but I survived the night.
The next morning I jumped on the boat for the 8hr, 86km cruise down the backwaters to Kollam. This was a very pleasant journey through a vast network of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals, passing local villages and people
Locals washing clothes on the edge of the backwaters.
the whole way along, giving a glimpse into the everyday Keralan lifestyle. The people here live on narrow strips of land only a couple of metres wide at points, and were ever enthusiastic about the regular boat loads of tourists passing them by.
We arrived in Kollam around 6pm, which again was an uninspiring town, not really worth mentioning.
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