Monday, March 03, 2008

Kerala's backwaters

For the last weekend with my fellow expats we decided to go for a sail in the backwaters of Kerala. I’ve been told by most of my team-mates that Kerala is a must stop and I soon realized why. Already from the plain I could tell how beautiful it is going to be.

Surprisingly arriving on time, we took a prepaid taxi to Alleby the place where all boats are docking at and leaving from. It took us about 2 hours where I had to sit on the gear stick which was not pleasant at all.
Arriving to our very basic but lovely guest house horribly hungry we went for dinner in Park hotel for A/C and booze.

The next morning Aly, Priz and myself volunteered to wake up early and go for some bargaining. The “quick” breakfast we were thinking of took more than an hour with terribly slow going kitchen staff.

We walked out to the main road to bargain for an auto-rickshaw which really upset us (extreme greediness) and after 10 minutes we arrived to the port where we could see tens of tens of boats getting ready for their noon departure.

After checking out a dozen of them we found the one we wanted and was available. Bargaining for the price was not easy and made me VERY annoyed and I even yelled at the “agent” which was a pain. Next time (if ever) I’ll do it completely differently. If you are going to go there do the research and talk directly to the boat operator. You will end up getting a better price and no misunderstandings and false promises.

We hopped on at about noon, and with our request (and money) the boat was packed with booze. We spent overnight with the extremely nice staff which cooked beautiful food (including giant shrimps we bought from a passing fisherman.

So we were 11 people on 3 double-bed boat and we had to fit in somehow. Excited (and stupidly) Aly, Priz and myself volunteered to sleep on the roof deck. You can imagine how many bugs were around us. I could not sleep all night but the girls were fine.

The next day we went for a walk at the beach in Allepy where we saw from distance dolphins. Hungry again we walked (more than an hour) in the unbearable heat to a nice restaurant. And later on to the A/C pub to regain powers for another 2 hours ride back to the AP.

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