Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Alleppey (15th Aug 2011)

The Beautiful Backwaters are the main attraction in Southern Kerala, a myriad of  waterways traveling through the 900Km long and winding network that fringe the coast and trickle inland.

The Beautiful Backwaters
From Hampi we travelled by sleeper train to Bangalore, staying there for one night before traveling further south to Mysore visiting the famous colonial Royal Palace. We then travelled to Fort Cochin, were we watched the Chinese fisher men and went to the theatre to watch the famous Kathakali-a form of extravagant and eccentric dance.

Mysor Palace
When we arrived in Alleppey we decided to go on a day cruise with our guide Anthony, who invited us into his home and into his family. His has lived in his  house all his life, a small place that was flooded by monsoon water the night before. It is a simple home, with no materialistic goods; it is easy to step back in time here. What is striking is the warm, welcoming and loving atmosphere the family radiate. We had banana and coconut wrapped in a banana leaf for breakfast and rice, samba, curry and river fish for lunch, all traditional Kerala food-I was in my element.

Traditional Kerala Food
Nobody told us that the cruise involved us rowing; yet with our head umbrellas on, canoe at the ready off we went to explore the backwaters, the main source of life for everything in this massive maisey water world. As we rowed peacefully through the winding canals, its clear to see that this world is teaming with life. Villages hug its banks, women wash clothes, pots and pans and even their children; men fish from small boats silhouetted against the sun; coconut and mango trees lazily hang over the river as birds sing and meander in it's branches using its cover to fish as the odd passing river snake slithers past. As we row through the river, music and prayer breaks this peaceful silence and creates a surreal atmosphere  as people in the villages celebrate independence day.

No body said we had to row

The children always have a smile on their face

Me with Anthony and Maria

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