Yesterday we spent an extremely relaxing day on a traditional Keralan houseboat in Alleppey.
We were picked up from our hotel in the morning by our driver Mannu, a theology professor none the less! Which made the hour and half car journeys conversations very interesting as a whole manor of topics and discussions on religions, politics and life were covered!
We had booked the day trip through a friendly member of staff at our hotel, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves on a beautiful boat all to ourselves. It had a large shaded deck area at the front with woven roof, lots of seating and a much needed ceiling fan to keep us cool in the 36 degree heat! It also came complete with our own little bedroom and bathroom, and a chef busily cooking away something that smelt amazing in a little kitchen at the back!
We set off from the dock, and the boat gently cruised through the flowering pond weed that covered the water surface, making our way along to the quiet canals and waterways which this area is famous for. The banks were lined with tall coconut and palm trees, with mangoes and bananas ripening in the warm sun. Women were busily washing their laundry by hand in the water outside their small colourful stone houses, fishermen were fishing or delivering goods and elders were just sitting relaxing in the shade. When I thought Kochi was laid back this place took it to a whole new level, life here is simple and so untroubled.
Time drifted away as we slowly meandered along just watching and smiling as we watched people go about their gentle lives.
At lunch we moored up to a palm tree next to a large rice paddy field and enjoyed a traditional Keralan lunch of freshly cooked fish, coconut dal, fresh pineapple, homemade lemonade and lots of aromatic and tasty vegetable and meat dishes! Far too much for the four of us to eat but so delicious!
The afternoon just drifted away with a warm breeze and the soft smell of fresh pineapple in the air, it was hard not to just fall asleep from pure relaxation, but I wanted to saviour every moment. I can see why most people stay on board for a couple of nights, what a carefree way to spend your time.
As we began to make our way back to the dock at the end of our day, we could see the smiling children coming home from school, running for their school boat giggling with friends as they waved to us! I can see why they call this area Gods country as life here is so beautiful and seems so relaxed, slow paced and easygoing.