16 April 2013

Alappuzha- the Kerala backwaters

The most advertised activity in Kerala is a boat ride on the backwaters. The most popular city, because of its accessibility to the backwaters, is Alappuzha, a small, but friendly city. However, it wasn't the boat ride on the backwaters I enjoyed most. It was the friendly and relaxed atmosphere and the beautiful city beach.
Sunset at Alappuzha beach

How we got there is a bit fuzzy. We waited for at least four hours in Kochi because we just missed our train(we later found out that there was a bus for Alappuzha about every half hour). From the train station, we took a local bus to the city center. After a while we got so tired of haggling with taxi drivers, that we took the local bus if it was possible. Obviously, like proper spontaneous travellers we hadn't booked anywhere to stay in advance. It was getting dark at the time, so we decided to go with a really persistent Indian who stood with us for about an hour while we were deciding what to do. It turned out to be a nice place, so close to the beach that you could almost feel it. However, when we got there it turned out to be full, so they offered us to stay at their friend's place which was a little bit more expensive. One of my fellow travellers was a big, convincing and slightly intimidating man when haggling, and arranged for us to live there for the same price as we were promised. It was by far the nicest place I lived at in India, run by a really helpful man. New, clean and spacious for the eight of us. Also, a fifty meter walk to the absolute prettiest beach I saw in India, and a tiny convenience store(just a hole in the wall with two benches on the sides), where we got beautiful chai and a chat with the sweetest locals.

Like before mentioned, the backwaters is the main reason to go to Alappuzha. According to travel guides anyway. The Kerala backwaters include five lakes linked together by canals and rivers. It's possible to do an overnight boat ride and sleep under the stars(or in a luxurious room on board), but we chose to just see what it was like for a day. Also because the overnight boats are very expensive (It does include food cooked on the boat and a private room though).When we first started out we all thought that four hours couldn't possibly be enough to enjoy the beautiful nature. Our boat was also gorgeous. Well-maintained, with soft velvety cushions and plenty of room. To be honest, it was kind of a snooze, quite literally; I fell asleep on one of the really comfortable sofas for about half of the time. It must have been the soft motion of the boat, the warm sun and the fairly fresh air. Yes, it was pretty neat to see people do their day to day activities by the water; washing clothes, preparing food and bathing. And the pretty nature surrounding us. But we all agreed afterwards: Four hours was more than enough(including two hours of sleep). 
Women doing laundry by the shore

A tiny area of thousands of ducks hanging out together. The harsh reality? It's a duck farm.

The five minute bus rides from the city center to the beach, where we stepped off, were the most memorable. There were always people smiling at us and making conversation, and politely reminding us where to get off. Kerala was the only state where most people(except for the very old chai woman by the train tracks) could make themselves understood in English, which made travelling a lot easier and more fun. Humour does bring people together after all. The conclusion? If you're only going to go one state in India, go to Kerala. It rules.

Alappuzha beach- Don't judge a book by its cover, or a beach by its beauty. The waves were beastly! 



 

4 comments:

  1. So Kerala it must be, your writing make me want to go there rather badly. Ye, ye, we'll see.

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  2. kerala backwaters tour-Kerala backwaters tour provides wide range of opportunities to the visitors worldwide to play watersports and othe activites. Some famous Kerala backwaters spots Kochi, Alleppey, Kasargod, Kozhikode, Thiruvallam Kollam, Kottayam, Kollam, Kumarakom and more. Tourist can enjoy lush green tea garden and evergreen tropical forests in Western Ghats during backwaters tour in Kerala.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. The stillness and quietude of Kerala backwater is the real draw of the place. Universally well known Kerala is honored with peaceful Backwaters that give you the chance to appreciate the excellent excellence of nature.
    backwater trip kerala

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