House Boating on the backwaters of Kerala
The South of India around the Kerala Backwaters, could not be more of a contrast to the North. If your view of the North conjures up images of overcrowding, huge cities, poverty and grey skies, then the South is anything but! Think tropical, peaceful and clean with an abundance of wildlife.
Our houseboat accommodation was not 5 star luxury, but it was fairly close. Private rooms with en-suites, very comfortable beds and heaps of space to unpack, made us feel like we were in a decent hotel room, rather than being on a house boat. When we dined in the common eating area at the rear (stern) of the vessel, we ate fabulous local food while we watched the world go by.
There were 4 boats for my group of 16 people so there was ample room. We had dinner together on the one boat and told many stories and jokes. Before we knew it, we were all singing. This may have been helped along by the very cheap, but tasty local beer that was on offer.
Breakfast was served on our own boats and as we sat quietly we spotted all kinds of wildlife. Watching the locals go about their daily lives must have been the highlight. The people fish, swim, wash themselves and their clothes in the backwaters. We were inundated with constant waves and smiles. One young school boy was keen to demonstrate his cycling skills on the dirt road he followed us on. He somehow managed to stand on the handle bars and wave at the same time. (Think Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid riding to “raindrops keep falling on my head”).
If travel is your thing (you are, after all reading this blog), then make sure you add a houseboat in the Kerala backwaters to your bucket list.
Words and photos by Brett Goulston