Saturday, 13 August 2011

African Queen - only Indian!

So we loaded our gear and clambered onto our houseboat on Friday mid-morning and were introduced to our boatmen-chef and driver. They toured us around the ensuite bedroom, living area and served us a cool refreshing lemon drink at our comfy seats behind the captain!

Off we went at about, oh five knots I'd say. Great views of backwater life- people washing cooking pots, clothes, themselves, fishing, cooking etc. Great wildlife too with billions of shags, paddy birds, egrets: "cattle", "little" and "great". Kingfishers? Only about four varieties!

Stopped for a sumptuous Kerala classic of fish fry, cabbage and coconut, veg curry, coconut curry, rice, naans, beetroot curry- really lovely. Then back on with the tour until about 6pm when we pulled up on a quiet backwater with paddy fields alongside and a great evening watching the light on the still water as sun set. Saw a night heron and were served a delicious supper whilst we sipped G&T (bought at the gvmnt booze shop in town before we left) Great night and then bed. Hot hot hot- the temperature I mean not Mr sexy pants spreadeagled and snoring!

In the morning we had another hour and half cruise before returning to our starting point and bidding farewell to our new chums!

Discussed options of bus or train and plumped for cab back to Varkala. Hell ride as per usual with death defying driving interspersed with heavy gut sickening braking.

Talk about the prodigal return! Wow we were welcomed back by every shop keeper, newspaper man and waiter. People were shouting out as we passed "you came back? Alleppey no good?"

The only person not surprised was lovely Rani who claimed she knew we would return to her homestay.

Tomorrow Rani has asked me to nip into town for her and buy her a new sari for the Independance Day parade on Monday. She won't give me any clue what colour, material or anything she just says "your choice will be great" what a responsibility! Told her she can go to London for me and buy my next party dress!

Tomorrow we are going to see some Kathakali dancing again as it was great fun.

Anyway that's us for now see all soon we hope

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