Trip Start Jan 01, 2011
9Trip End Jan 23, 2011
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The three of us clamber under the mozzie net (this hut is a magnet for mosquitoes) and proceed to drift off rather rapidly. The travel - and humidity - is taking it out of us. Up at 8am the next morning, we load up our packs again and after a breakfast of fresh pineapple and thick cinnamon porridge - hoorrah - no white toast!!
From here Dani and I take charge of haggling as Steph watches the bags, figuring, if we have a fairly large, meaty Venezualan on our hands they won't rip a poor English traveller off. Well Dani is a total softie and it ends up being I who haggles us down to 7000 for 3 people on as boat. Not the best boat and a shared room, but we think this is a good deal. Then Steph steps in and again, seems to gravitate towards a much nicer boat with two luxe rooms, all food included and a gorgeous woven thatch balcony that is just waiting to be sunbathed on. 300INR more and its ours. This girl is seriously good.
Departing the dock at midday, we proceed to have an unbelievably chilled 24 hours of cruising the slow canals and waterways that act as a lifeline to Keralan rice farming and of course, its ubiquitous spice crop - mainly boasting cardamon , long pepper, black pepper, ginger and cloves. The smell shoots through your nostrils and makes you hungry whatever time of day.
It's also wonderful to see the Keralites (or localites) go about their lives as if we were 200 years hence; old churches, schools and shops all line a place nicknamed the Venice of the East for its watery infrastructure and canoe dominated transportation. Come sundown, we step off the boat and ont one such canoe, manned by a local villager and his gorgeous son, who we learn wants to be an English doctor. Mosquitoes aside this was a particularly peaceful experience, being on as level with the water and lilly pads with nothing but the smells of a freshly prepared Allepy fish curry of locally caught catfish and delicious spiced ginger green beans calling us back for dinner. Oh, and we push the boat out tonight too and each enjoy a freezing cold kingfisher beer on the top deck. A suitably fitting end to a near-on flawless day.