Saturday, 14 February 2015
Day 32 (India): Alleppey kayaking
The backwaters are the best bit of Kerala, and the best way to do the backwaters is by kayak. Today, thanks to a friendly little tour-hire outfit in Alleppey, I spent a blissful day paddling the canals and channels with a small group (pic). Samson, the guide, and I were the most experienced paddlers and the fastest boat. That meant we were the rescue party when others got lost, so we got lots of extra paddling. I'd earned my beer that evening.
We stopped for snacks and coconut-water drinks en route, and were entertained by this rather tame Krishna Eagle (pic). They eat poisonous snakes. By gum, they like their food spicy down here.
The main routes get very busy and noisy with motorised houseboats. But thanks to squeezing under limbo-dancing low bridges like this (pic) we could slip away from them into quiet and remote waters. Here you could hear nothing except birdsong, village chatter, and the peaceful lapping of paddles. And the frequent shrieks of the accident-prone paddler from Bengaluru who kept going the wrong way, losing her shoes, and falling in.
This is the sort of thing we saw much of the day. I was just beaming with happiness all day, as was Tim (pic), an Aussie working in Bengaluru. When he updated me on the progress of the Australia–England world cup match, though, he was smiling rather more than I was.