Friday, October 6, 2017

Houseboating in Kerala's Backwaters

Our excellent tour company, Carnival Tours Kochi, arranged our overnight tour with Lakes & Lagoons, and we loved it.

Once we had filled out the paperwork in the office, we traveled in a little launch over to our houseboat number 16, after dropping two other couples at their boats.

The four crew members (three plus a trainee chef) welcomed us aboard. Their English was limited but we communicated just fine. 

We set off and before long we were cruising along the beautiful backwaters at a slow rate of speed, meeting oncoming houseboats and other craft, including ferries and

This gentleman seemed a bit shy.

The scenery is beautiful.

We stopped at one little village, said no to visiting a "wood studio" with no argument, and stopped in at St. Mary's Basilica, Champakulam, a 300-year-old Syrian Catholic church built on the site of a church originally consecrated in 427 A.D. 

Jesus' disciple St. Thomas came to Keral in 52 A.D. to preach Christ's Gospel - what a history!

The other outing was a canoe ride that took us into a little channel past houses and pedestrians before we circled back to our Kettuvallam (houseboat).

Incidentally, the language of Kerala is Malayalam, one of India's 22 scheduled languages. Biju, our driver /guide, told us he couldn't understand Hindi at all. It seems fortunate so many Indians speak English as an additional language.

We saw numerous people throughout the trip washing clothes and bathing themselves.

When we got to the water lilies, our paddler turned his little Honda outboard with its long shaft and propeller to stir us through them.

And then it was back to our boat as the adventure continued.

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