28.11.2012 - 28.11.2012
Fort Cochin has a more laid back vibe than Delhi, Mumbai and Agra, which isn't surprising given its size. Arriving in Allepey transported us right back to the mayhem that is Indian industry. Allepey is a major town for exporting spices, cashew nuts, chocolate and rice. The streets were packed with small shops, people, spice stalls, cars, tuck-tucks and on this particular day, two very sweaty travellers trying to navigate our way through it all and find a houseboat. We tried bartering with a couple of guys, and eventually booked a houseboat for the next day.
Houseboats are big tourism business in Kerala and they dont come cheap. Well, compared to everything else here! Beautifully crafted and I assumed traditional looking, we got a boat with one room for two people. 3 brothers and a cook joined us and together they served us well with an amazing tour of the backwaters and lakes around Allepey, alongside delicious Keralan food. It was so relaxing to travel slowly through the waters surrounded by palm trees, rice paddies and little villages. Baking hot, we got a slight breeze which made the temperature bearable. When the boat anchored we were able to jump to the land and get a closer peek at the little villages. We were greeted by loads of adorable children wanting photos and pens?! As it grew dark we got back onto the boat and lay in bed with the gentle swaying of the water which I was worried would remind me of my vertigo feeling but it was fine. In fact i've not had vertigo since a couple of days into India and i'm hoping the heat here has killed off the virus! Our tummies on the other hand have been less than happy, Amanda seems to be getting over her stomach irritation but I am struggling to keep anything down. So i've decided to embrace the coconut and ginger tea diet until I come home.
Our ride back to Kochi was amusing, and distracted me from my nausea. Firstly we were picked up by an eccentric tuck tuck driver who thought nothing of knocking over a motorcycle parked on the side of the road as he pulled up to us. Then we were driven in a taxi with a man who loved europop band Aqua and was ranting about the UK's high tax rate compared to India which is apparently just 7%.
Tomorrow we are headed to Munnar to see the tea and spice plantations. We'll be back to Kochi late Friday and then we have to decide what to do on our last day in India...beach or massage. We were favouring the beach as we've had no time to sunbathe and hence still white, but a massage would be awesome.
Love to everyone in the UK, we'll be home soon x