Kerala Part 3: the Houseboat Tour of the Backwaters

Leaving from Alleppy, we took this very relaxing cruise on a houseboat (with a captain, mate, and cook) through the backwaters of Kerala, a “must-do” when visiting. The food was excellent, as was sitting on this boat reading, relaxing, watching Kerala as we floated by.

Here was an odd aspect. I really wanted to do this tour, because the novel (The God of Small Things) is set in a village that is along the backwaters. I wanted to see the scenery. But, you are basically touring people’s neighborhoods. Granted, it was on water, but the American equivalent might be if foreign tourists rented RVs and toured around suburban streets. We actually “parked” in front of someone’s house for the night. I know the residents must be very used to all of the tourists, but it’s got to be very annoying. I cannot imagine waking up and seeing an RV parked in front of my house with gawking tourists. (And that is basically what we did.)

We saw rice fields growing famous Keralan rice, which is very different from basmati. There are a lot of photos from the houseboat tour, so I will simply let you look at them below. Click on individual photos to enlarge them.

A note about the photos: the long skinny boats full of men are snake boats. They are preparing for the famous snake boat races. The hammers and sickles are indicative of the strong presence that the communist party has in Kerala, which plays a large role in the novel The God of Small Things. The rest are photos of views we saw while on the boats — or pictures of my family.

After we got off the boat (into pouring rain), we got into a car for a twisty ride up to Thekkady and the Periyar Wildlife Preserve.

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