We started at 9 am in the morning, where we were picked up by a Maruti. After about one and a half hour journey through the fairly broad village roads, which were surprisingly clean and picturesque, the car came to a stop. From there we were taken to a long boat made of bamboo and wood, tied with coconut ropes. It had a dome-shaped ceiling over it and bamboo chairs were provided inside, for the tourists to sit.
As two men (one in the front and the other in the back ) rowed the boat, we enjoyed the brackish waters of the backwaters. We came to know that the backwaters are actually five large lakes, linked by canals, both man-made and natural, fed by 38 rivers. These backwaters extend as far as half the length of Kerala. The nearly 4 hours stay on the backwaters prove just nearly the fact.
The boat moved slowly through the low hanging trees, some of which threatened to enter the boat. An interesting feature of the backwaters was the floating African moss, a totally different kind of moss, unlike one seen in India. From the tourist guide, we came to know that when ships came from Africa, during the import and export of spices, these moss had lodged into the sides of these ships and since became habitats of these backwaters.
The water sparkled as we made our way to an island village, where we stopped for lunch. We were served a typical Keralan lunch, in a banana leaf, complete with rice, sambhar, soybeans,aviyal( a delicious dish made with mixed vegetables, coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves ), buttermilk and papad.
The people of Kerala are one of the most smiley-faced, genuine and hospitable people. Every time we went past their boats or houses, they ran out to the front and waved us with big smiles on their faces. Some of them gifted us with Cassava chips and beautiful flowers. This whole trip to the coconut palm-lined backwaters is and will be one of the most memorable experiences in my life.
Pictures were taken by meTags: Adventure Destination India