Sunday, October 02, 2005

Boating on the backwaters of kerala....

Today was a bit of an adventure. We booked a trip on a house boat through the back waters of kerala. It meant a 6am start but it was worth it, plus it gave me and neil a proper chance to play with our new cameras.

First off - we thought it would be an hour and a half drive or so to get there. We were wrong. It turned out to be a three hour drive. After two hours sleep, this is not what you want to be perfectly honest. In actual fact though, it wouldnt be that bad if your driver wasnt a psychopath, hellbent on causing a mass accident, but beggers cant be choosers....

The driver we had to take us to our backwaters destination was mental. No - not mental, mad. No, not mad, I should stop beating around the bush...

He was a fucking nutcase.

By far and away, the worst driver we have had so far.

Now driving isnt the most pleasant of pastimes out here at the best of times, but when you have "Mohammed McRae" driving you its beyond mental. I would have been more relaxed with stevie wonder driving us. In fact, I would have been more relaxed with stevie wonder driving us in reverse the whole way there whilst simultainously blasting out an extra long rendition of "Isn't she lovely" for the duration of the entire journey on some sort of portable casio keyboard. Blind corners, overtaking lorries that were overtaking motorbikes and a general disregard for anyone else on the road was the order of the day, and I cant believe we actually made it to alappuzha to get into our house boat for the day.

A houseboat is exactly what it says on the tin, a house on a boat. There are bedrooms, a dining room and an upstairs and downstairs. The three of us on this boat had a great time, cruising the backwaters and lakes whilst enjoying great food for breakfast lunch and dinner. We stopped half way through and went for a swim, this is me accepting a dare from neil to jump in from the top deck (i'm not that fat, its just where i'm leaning over...)

The first half of the trip was nice, relaxing but pretty plain. There wasnt an awful lot to see beacuse we were on a massive lake and then quite open waters. Houses and odd little buildings dotted the side of the rivers and it was amazing to think people lived out here, and probably have been for years and years. The second half of the trip was alot more interesting where the waters got tighter, so we were able to take in more of the scenery and glimpse into the lives of the people who live out here. They all seem happy and content. The waters here are these peoples lives and whether they are washing their clothes in it or bathing, they seem to have a sense of wellbeing and honesty about them. The kids especially. They come running out and wave or ask for pens (!?) and love having their pictures taken.

Apart from the houses on the sides of the waters, we saw people diving for fresh water shellfish, fisherman and other locals using the backwaters as their main port of travel to get to work.

After spending the whole day cruising round, chilling out and taking in the feel of the place, we moored up in a lovely spot overlooking the trees and sunset. It was here where me and neil really got to grips with our new cameras, taking in the beauty of the colours that were in front of us. After eating dinner facing the sun, it was time to pull away and head back to the port. We met up again with the nutcase driver and took a deep breath as we set off for home. In the dark the danger was probably quadroupled. My nerves really kicked in when after yet another gasp of "Shit!" came from me at the back, the driver turned round smiling a mouth full of teeth and beamed "Confusion!". Yes. Confusion indeed - it was only my tiredness and the thought of the sunset that we had seen earlier (below) which helped my switch off and not pay (too much) attention to the road ahead....


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July 22, 2006 8:08 AM  

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